Putting My Best Foot Forward

Running shoes

In exactly a month, I’ll be turning 24.

23 has been a hit-and-miss year for me, with most of the misses in the first six months and hits in the last six months. And as I turn towards my 24th year and start to think of what’s in store for me and what I want ~to do with my life~, I realize that overall, I’m pretty happy with how 23 turned out. I’ll get more into the highs and lows of my 23rd year on my actual birthday, but as I started to reflect and analyze on the events in the last 12 months, I realized that there was one thing I was glaringly unhappy with.

Coincidentally, this was one of the very few things that I had absolute control over. Like, 100%.

So, in my last month of being 23, I’m going to do something about it. End my 23rd year with a bang and start my 24th right and all that, you know?

I’m going to take control of my fitness.

Doesn’t that sound like such an empowering sentence? To think that that’s what I’ve been wary of for a myriad of reasons (some legitimate, most not) and have been putting off oh, since I was 15 years old, with brief lapses in attempting to become fit and healthier at age 20 and 22. I danced ballet till I was 15, climbed mountains and hiked rural jungles for a year, committed to a yoga studio for six months, and still I managed to convince myself that I “can’t [fill in the blank with whatever fitness activity].”

Well, yeah. Of course I can’t do something if I don’t commit to it.

Is it going to be painful in the beginning? Yes. Is it going to suck and am I going to long for the couch and Netflix instead of being outside/on the treadmill, pounding the pavement? Yes. Am I going to ache the next day after practicing yoga or Pilates (or hell, even barre), feeling stiff in areas I didn’t even know had muscles? Yes.

If I accept all of this and keep my eyes on the prize of becoming healthier, shedding the extra weight I’ve gained in the last year and generally being happier with both my body and my fitness, then I will make it through the rough beginning. I’m already anticipating the nastiness in the beginning, so I’m able to figure out how to tackle the initial hurdles, pain and self-doubt and push them aside to get to where I want to be.

As most people know, I’m kind of obsessed with all things beauty-related. With skincare, there’s talk of the skin “purging” as it adjusts to new products or tools used to cleanse the face. The general idea with this is that “things get worse before they get better.” Even if the skin starts breaking out more after using a product that claims to clear up acne-prone skin, the “purge” might just be the product working to speed up skin function. By quickening the cell renewal process, breakouts aren’t being newly created but rather are brought to the surface faster. Skin purging SUCKS (and truthfully, I’m not totally sure it is Actually A Thing but let’s just go with it here) but it’s all about short term vs long term gains. Once those breakouts are brought to the surface and eventually clear out, the skin is left blemish-free and clear for longer than it would be without using new the product/tool.

That’s the frame of mind I’m going to have when it comes to my quest to get movin': things get worse before they get better. So much of exercise is a mental game, and I know my mental game is HORRIBLE when it comes to my fitness capability. I’ll be the first person to talk myself out of doing anything fitness-related because “I’m not as flexible as I used to be” or “I have trouble breathing when I run for longer than 20 seconds” or “But I don’t have the right workout clothes” or “The machines in gyms are really intimidating!!” etc etc. Years of self-doubt have fueled this fire, but it’s never too late to change some bad habits. Now, it’s time to remind myself that I CLIMBED MOUNTAINS and DID BALLET FOR 15 YEARS and ACTUALLY REALLY LOVE YOGA AND CAN’T REMEMBER WHY I STOPPED PRACTICING.

It’s time to crush my fitness demons, encourage my inner cheerleader and put my best foot forward. (Literally.)

Wish me luck!!

Comments

  1. says

    As a 28 year old who only begun to tackle fitness at 27, I cannot commend you enough for starting to get fit now. It is only going to make your life easier as your metabolism changes post 25.

    Good luck, I know you will smash this!

    • says

      Thanks Alice! I need all the support I can get because I am the Queen of Excuses :( I’m going map out some sort of weekly schedule that incorporates work, social time, fitness etc to help me keep on track, at least in the early days.

  2. says

    Good luck! I’m really trying to do the same. I went over my ‘maximumm, never going back over this’ weight and got a bit sad so I’m working on bringing it down and hopefully getting down to my goal weight.. it’s a big journey ahead!

    I don’t know how fit you are now or what you will be doing but I’ve found the Blogilates Beginners Calendar ( I hope html is enabled in the comments :P) really useful. It’s is basically 2 or 3 short work out videos (so you don’t need to worry about not being able to breathe or going to the gym) per day targeting different sections of the body. I have found I’ve kept on track more with this because I know what is coming and it’s all planned out.

    • says

      I’ve heard about Blogilates but I hadn’t looked into it — thanks for the link! I just clicked around and it looks pretty good, and especially for someone like me who’s on the road fairly often. How handy :D

  3. says

    Oh man. You have such a great attitude about fitness that I have to say it’s inspiring. I’m 23 and will be 24 in February. I also feel like I have too many excuses and I think about how I used to be in shape back in the day, but it will take hard work to get back to that point. I did cross country in high school, but now it’s five years later and I’m not working out at all. I at least need to take my dogs on a walk more often. Having a set schedule really helps, as you said. So does working out with others. Well, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ll be thinking about this and putting it into action.

    • says

      I’m trying really hard to be positive in the “pre-stage” (for lack of better phrasing?) as I KNOW just how negative about everything fitness related I will be when I actually start moving! (For the record, I’m planning on this weekend. Hold me to it!) I’ve looked up the times of classes that my local yoga studio offers and can block out certain days of the week before/after work for exercise. That’s a good start for me, and will be a good basis for when I’m trying to form the habit.

  4. says

    Yes! I have started to feel like this too lately. I was hugely into fitness last year and after I was finished with losing weight, I kind of just… stopped. I am lucky I didn’t gain all the weight back, but the problem is I’ve lost a lot of the tone and muscle I gained. I’ve just taken up yoga and strength training to try and work on this. You go lady, this is a great plan!

    • says

      Strength training intimidates me (mainly because I have none :P) but I love how yoga makes me feel. I miss that the most! Not just the muscle toning and stuff, but I felt way more relaxed and at ease with a lot of things. While yoga is great for you, the reason why I’m most excited to take up a yoga practice again is so that I can find some quiet in each day!

  5. says

    I can totally relate to this and I sort of decided a similar thing yesterday. About getting fitter. I’ve always been a person who was more mind-oriented than body-oriented, but as the years pass, I’m realizing that I simply cannot keep neglecting my body! It’s screaming out for me to take care of it but I ignore it in favor of things like being lazy on the couch and watching Netflix or even other activities like writing and reading, which are great, but still don’t move my body.

    I think with anything that’s new and out of our comfort zone, there’s that period of resistance. I think bracing ourselves for it is good… it doesn’t mean the change is wrong, just that it’s different and we have to adjust. The worse before better thing is used in detoxes for food, too. Or really anything. That’s so spot on!

    Well, I will be encouraging you and following along with your journey! You can do it!

    • says

      “It’s screaming out for me to take care of it but I ignore it in favor of things like being lazy on the couch and watching Netflix or even other activities like writing and reading, which are great, but still don’t move my body.”

      YES! My feelings exactly. I love my reading and writing but that doesn’t move my body at all, so it’s time to find balance between what I love to do and what I need to do.

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