I feel like I have so far to go when I pull up the apps, scan those fitness sites, and analyze the plans presented to me.
Some give it six months- others give it years and years. None of it looks easy, or quick. But I know it’s important.
Working out today, I was startled to see the way the fat moved in my legs. Sometimes when it’s settled, I can almost imagine that chubbiness is beautiful, in it’s own sort of way. But when I see my muscles (or rather, lack there of) straining to do a relatively simple exercise, I know there is something wrong. This fat has got to go.
I didn’t gain my “freshman 15” until the last semester of my senior year- and I wasn’t exactly skinny to begin with anyways. In all honesty, I should have seen it coming. In a way, I did. The past summer I completed a study abroad program that was a bit more labor-intensive than I anticipated. While I was abroad, I turned to energy drinks, caffeine, and sugar to merely keep me awake long enough to complete my assignments, and get me going in the morning so I could hop the early train and hopefully make it into class on time. Basically, my caffeine and sugar intake spiked like nobody’s business, and it didn’t stop when I got home.
For a semester, I almost managed to keep the sugar addiction under control. The next though, my will power failed. Between being the president of a club, serving as an apartment leader for an intense living learning program, playing intramural sports, taking five classes, and having three internships, I was swamped. I felt like a barely had time to eat (so often got take out) let alone sleep, and never saw the inside of the gym that semester. My academics were a priority, and I knowingly let my body slide.
Those were my excuses, when I was a student.
But now, the excuses have run out. And it scares me.
Before, some days I think I convinced myself that the weight would come right off, and that it wasn’t just because I wasn’t trying very hard. I took it for granted that, if I wanted, I had the strength to do intensive workouts, and to dedicate a few years of my life to achieving not just a more healthy weight, but to becoming really fit.
When I did occasionally exercise, I would set a goal for myself, and then push myself to go a little further. Okay, so maybe I didn’t exercise 3-5 times a week as recommended, but if I say I’ll run for 30 minutes… and then I run for 35? How about when I get on the treadmill and start at a certain speed- and keep turning it up every few minutes? That has to count for something.
Not the way I thought.
What I am learning as I look at the scale and see little improvement is that those bursts are not really significant if they are not consistent.
It’s not as important that I run as fast as I think I should be able to- what’s important is that I run, day in and day out.
Now that I know how far I have to go, and what is actually required, there’s a fear inside me that I don’t know what I am capable of. But I am going to learn this year. I have to learn.
Can I really lose the weight? Do I have enough self control to change my diet and exercise- and change my life? I think I do.
This time as I make another push towards my weight loss goals, I’ve done things a little differently. I’m still pushing myself to do a little more than perhaps necessary- but in the right way. I’ve done my homework, and continue to do my homework, looking for the strategies about how to balance both my diet and my exercise routine. I’ve signed myself up for a service project based job with mandatory physical training, guaranteeing I’ll work out at least three times a week whether I like it or not. I’ve accepted, although the negative thoughts about this are certainly still there, that where I am is not where I want to be, but it’s where I have to start. I have to run at the speed I can consistently run at, and lift the weights I can actually lift without hurting myself or burning out. And most surprisingly of all, to me at least, I’ve started to talk about my weight loss journey. I admitted to my mother what my plan was, and she was remarkably supportive for what I expected. Finally, I’ve started to write about it on here. I will not take on this challenge in silence anymore and I will, I know I will, sooner or later succeed.