my exercise conundrum

Oh yes! I’m binge blogging. Har har. Actually this is what I had intended to write about the first time around, but realized that my posts are long and talking about my newfound interest in fermenting should just have its own post. 

I’m in a bit of a pickle. And it’s something that only I can deal with because it’s up to me to actually DO something about it. And that pickle is: EXERCISE.

I sorta hate the word. I’ve NEVER been one to work out. Sure, I danced ballet for several years in high school, and I’ve been some yoga classes and to the gym a few times, but I just can’t commit it to my lifestyle. Or rather, I don’t WANT to commit it to my lifestyle. However I’m reaching a point in my life where I’m coming to realize that I NEED to exercise if I have any hope of being comfortable and healthy into my 30’s and onward. Now that I have a good 10 years to reflect on, I’ve noticed that my body has been in a steady decline and having a child only sped up that process for me, albeit temporarily. My body is not what it used to be since I had Hannah, but I’m beyond blaming childbirth for changing my body so much. Sure, I didn’t bounce back as well as some women do, but it’s not worth comparing myself to them because I have no idea what they looked like prior to babies or what their fitness level was at pre and post baby. Never mind the fact that all bodies are unique in this regard. 

If I were to spend a day in the life of Jessica circa 2003 I think I would be shocked with how strong and flexible I was. I just can’t remember it very well anymore. Last night at work I was stretching out my feet and calves while waiting in my manager and started doing some demi pointe rises and retires. Well holy fucking shit, I couldn’t do them. I wanted to cry on the spot. It was too depressing a truth to be served. Even just pointing my toes hurts. 

The other issue is weight loss. I’m trying pretty freaking hard to appreciate my body for what it is, but the fact that rather than losing my weight via breastfeeding (it’s all a lie, I swear!) I’ve gained 10 more pounds. Now I know I’m just fooling myself. The only way to get this extra layer to budge is it actually WORK it off. But, this isn’t a solution I want to pursue for the simple fact that I hate working out. 

I’m trying to think of other alternative that will both save me time and be pleasant in terms of the work out itself. I want to get back into dance just for recreation. I still remember a lot of it, it’s just a matter of getting my body to actually do it. I’ll have to wait until September to do that, though since the dance school follows a regular school schedule. I’ve also thought about yoga videos at home. Nothing crazy, just 30 minute therapeutic yoga my body would benefit from from both healing and exercising perspectives.

Healing…there’s a word I don’t really identify with, but something that just clicked with me now. My body does need some healing. It needs to heal from being pregnant. My abdominal wall is still incredibly weak from being stretched out, my body as a whole is weaker than it was a few years ago. However, despite my resolution to NOT workout over the years, I’m still baffled by how this can be. I’m not a couch potato. I walk everywhere (to and from work and any time in between), my job requires me to stand, and I’m more active than ever now that I have a toddler to take to the park every day. So what gives? 

If I could afford it and really have it my way, I’d see a personal trainer, tell them all the ways my body is weak and exercise for the sake strengthening rather than losing weight. Weight loss would be a fruits on my labor along with conditioning. But when I think about that I just want to shudder and go curl up on my bed. 

I’m really getting sick of this aversion to exercise, but I don’t know where to start, how to go about it, what methods I want to use. This is when my incredible lack of patience comes into play. I do better in a class setting, I know that, which is why I think ballet would be a good option for me. I have been thinking about Bikram Yoga as well. There’s a studio right down the street from where I live. Yes, it’s pricey, but I’ve done it before and it’s the only form of physical activity that I’ve benefited from instantly. Bikram Yoga is instant gratification for the impatient exerciser like myself. And the poses are designed to cleanse and condition your body one system at a time, both gently and aggressively. 

So basically, I’m stuck. And I know I’m the only one who can get me out of this, but I can’t carry on like I am forever otherwise I can see myself being very miserable by the time I hit my 40s. I don’t want to be buff necessarily, but I don’t want to be overweight and useless either. Certainly not! 

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