I actually received a few emails and looked at old posts and saw many inquiries about my exercise. If your new to the blog, you can go read the updated “about” section to learn more about the exercise issue.
These days, I dont exercise nearly as much as I used to, thank goodness. The funny thing is, when I was very sick, I worked out very “stupidly”. I did the SAME workout, every single day, I never touched weights, I just set the treadmill up, put on some headphones and zoned out for a while…..a long while. So it wasn’t that I was trying to get a “slammin” bod or anything. My exercise was quite simply a very effective time killer.
My exercise addiction intensified in college as there was plenty more time to waste. See, although I was physically rather sickly in high school too, I didn’t have much time for exercise, so the food intake was very regimented and controlled. In college, the insatiable appetite kicked in. I figured I’d only allow myself to eat once or twice a day but A LOT. And to pre-occupy me the rest of the time, I’d go run. But honestly, the runs turned to walks because I simply had no energy in me. Plus, my bones were so brittle and had a lot of hip pain, that even walking became nearly unbearable.
Then I went to treatment. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my treatment center was not typical. Exercise was part of the program, well, given that you were at a semi decent weight. But when I arrived, I wasn’t. So for about a month, while the other girls went for 15 or 30 min walks, I stayed home, and sat. And for the first month, I ate all the additions to the meal plan, and sat while everyone else was working it out. To my surprise I barely gained any weight.
Don’t fret, and its not like I’m blessed with some super high metabolism (on a side note: its annoying when people claim to have a jack rabbit metabolism and say they eat everything in huge amounts, I think that claim is BS). But what this helped me realize is that I dont need exercise to maintain my weight, and that I can go a month of just “sitting” and I wouldn’t turn into the purple grimace from McDonalds.
And sure enough, I put on some weight, I got to workout with the rest of the girls and all was well, relatively.
When first got out, I was very disciplined with my workouts and with my circuit weight training (which I did my first time IN treatment). I wanted to mimic EXACTLY what I did in treatment. But the sad thing about effective treatment centers is that they are a bubble. It’s not real life and getting thrown in back to the real world is difficult. For one, walking in LA is nothing like walking in the hills of Malibu. So that went out the window pretty quick in favor of the “rolling hills” of the treadmill. It was scary going back to the treadmill for the first time, I was convinced I forgot how to use it. But there was a difference now. Plus, I didnt have a trainer like I did in treatment to tell me how many reps to do. And frankly, I didn’t want to pay for one either (I’m a jew, I dont want to pay for anything).
But this time, I could actually run and not have my hip kill me in pain. I also realized I was satisfied with being on a treadmill for a lot less time than I used to spend on it. I also made a very clear decision to NOT workout at home. I kept a strict boundary between the gym and the rest of my life. The minute I would bring the exercise into the home was a red flag for me. Because at home, time limits slip away. At the gym (at least my gym) I can only park for a certain time period before I have to pay (and lord knows I’m a jew and will not pay for parking!).
Heather asked me in the comment section a few posts ago if I prefer cardio or weights. I wont lie that even after my first yoga training, I prefered cardio. I didn’t abuse it, but I felt like it justified a workout. As in, I thought “It’s not a workout unless I do cardio”.
But this past year, after yoga school, working in a crossfit gym, and picking up some weights, I actually think I’ve come like the weights. Why? For one, I can actually see changes. I’m not getting thinner (at least I hope not), but I’m developing some definintion. I can pick up heavier things: I can do more “chaturangas” without collapsing. I can do “Bakasana”.
Sometimes, recovery from anything can be hard because we don’t get to see results. Recovery doesn’t have a certain look to it, its like atoms, we know its there, but we cant see it and its hard to grasp. But I can SEE changes from stopping the treadmill and picking up the dumbbells.
I looked back at my iphoto album last night from the pictures of me in treatment. I can’t believe how scrawny I was. I thought I still was scrawny! But a few days ago when a group fitness instructor told me, “Wow, your strong!”. I loved that he A) said nothing about the way I LOOK and B) recognized something that is truly an inner virtue I was working towards.
I can’t admit to being THAT strong. I find myself still weak when it comes to certain things. Its still hard for me to abandon all forms of exercise. I told my therapist a while back that if there was an exercise pill, I wouldn’t take it. It doesn’t feel like a chore, but I feel it does energize me. Whats more is that I mix it up. Somedays I’ll get my yoga on, some days I’ll do some heavy lifting, and some days I’ll even step on a treadmill. In some ways, I still feel the compulsion to be active in some form. However, I dont use it as a “time killer” and I’ve certainly learned nothing happens when I sit for a while, a very long while. I’ve also learned to embrace this concept of……..rest! Its my favorite pose in Yoga (savasana or “corpse pose”). Its literally surrendering, becoming a corpse, even for a few minuetes. Letting everything go. No yoga class is complete without out, and I carry that with me as a general rule towards my workout regime. I dont get to workout unless I take time to rest. Hmmm….another thing I’ve discovered I’m good at….rest!
Damn….I wanted to do a funny post since the last post was all depressing and bordering on a rant….I promise, shits and giggles tomorrow!
And I totally forgot the Stevia giveaway was supposed to have FOUR winners, so I picked them today and they are:
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