I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my blog recently, and I feel like there’s a huge lack of personal posts going on. In all honesty, I don’t get do much outside of work – but I’m working on that. Anyway, I’ve decided to start a new series: ‘Thinking About’ Thursday. Basically, these posts will cover everything and anything. Whatever I’m thinking, whether that’s on a particular topic, a book, a tv series, a dream, food… You get it, just thoughts and a bit of a ramble. So today, I’m thinking about fitness and why I exercise.
I’ve spoken about exercise pretty regularly on here, though not so much lately, and I felt like I needed to look at what fitness means to me. Why I first started exercising and trying to watch my diet, and what’s happening right now.
I actually enjoy exercising?
Well, for me, it’s all about the results. And I don’t just mean the way my body looks. (Though that is a part of it, and it’s nice to see changes – obviously.) There’s nothing better than running for a bus, across a train station, down some stairs, past the taxi rank and then realising that you’re nowhere near as out of breath than you were a month ago. Being able to lift something heavier than before. Shocking people when they look at your small figure and don’t think you can lift. I like to feel myself getting stronger and fitter, and for me that beats the physical look hands down. I may not have abs (okay so I’d love abs – diet, I’m blaming you) but that doesn’t mean I’m not fit, and it doesn’t mean I’m not happy with my body. I like to think I have good strength for my size, and something like that only improves with exercise.
Body Confidence is great
Like I said above, I don’t have abs and I’m happy with my body. Nowadays, there’s just so much focus on having the right body and shape and it’s difficult. Especially in the fitness world. There’s far too much about women having too much muscle or becoming ‘bulky’ and it makes people worry about unnecessary (and normal!) things. Like, it’s hard work getting solid abs (lowering your body fat % is harder than you’d think!), and it’s really hard for a woman to just bulk up.
Then there’s the thigh gap – something that some people just won’t have naturally. If you have wider set hips, you’re more likely to have one naturally than someone with narrow hips. It just shouldn’t be a goal. Before I started working out, I had super skinny thighs and I hated them. Then I started using weights, and damn I gained some quads. My thighs started to touch. I could feel them getting stronger and that’s when I really started to like my body. I have quite an athletic or ‘boyish’ shape – meaning I have wide shoulders, a small waist, narrow hips and long legs. I don’t have curves. I used to hate that, but through exercise I was able to accept it. I’m never going to be curvy and that’s perfectly okay.
Finding the time to exercise
So why am I thinking about this now? Well three weeks worth of half-term working hours have just passed, I started a second job and I’ve never felt so worn out and mentally drained. It’s had an effect on everything. I can’t remember the last time I went to the gym, or even did a home workout. Or yoga. My diet has suffered. I work a lot of evenings, and the awkward timing means I never have a proper dinner before going to work, and I don’t eat a proper dinner whilst at work. I’m tired because I’ve been eating far too little for what I’m doing, and what I have been eating hasn’t been the healthiest of meals. Convenience meals. Everything I’ve said above is harder to put into practise when you’re not managing your time properly. Having had a month off exercise, I’m starting to feel pudgy and unhappy with my body.
I know what exercise does for me. I have so much more energy afterwards. I like feeling my muscles ache. I feel like I’m actually doing something for myself. Now I’m settling into my new job and balancing the two jobs together I can actually sit down and think. It’s time to get myself back on track and enjoying my body. That’s what exercise and fitness does for me. That’s why I need to keep it up.