I recently saw a new video that GoodLife Fitness put out about “beginning”. It made me think of my own beginnings in my journey to a healthier me. It didn’t start where you would think. It actually started at the kitchen table.
I was sitting there with my life insurance salesperson and we were reviewing my somewhat embarrassing statistics. I was considerably overweight for my height. I qualified for insurance but barely. I was worried and ashamed. I was tired. I talked to a friend I trusted who lifted weights in his spare time. He recommended the South Beach diet, which I adopted and followed religiously. The weight started to peel away.
At a certain point diet wasn’t enough. I needed to move more. At that same time, my life changed drastically. I had to move to a different city and start over again as a single mom. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do with myself. My body image took yet another hit. I decided if I was going to change my whole life, I may as well add something that’s good for me. The day my furniture was delivered to my new place, I walked down the road to the local GoodLife Fitness and signed up for a membership.
The routine was important to me. I didn’t know where I was supposed to be. I left the house three times one day to buy cat food and didn’t even end up buying any. I was so scattered and disoriented. The gym helped me focus and I made friends. I was really geographically isolated before, and I found in my new routine fun supportive people I get to hang out with outside of the gym. I had people who expected me to be places. I worked with a trainer who was kind and supportive. I really needed understanding. I met these incredibly vivacious group exercise facilitators who encouraged me, sang with me, and told me they loved my smile. I had a team that was working hard to get me where I wanted to go.
One of the reasons I didn’t begin before was I felt like a bad mom for taking “me time”. I was afraid that my son would resent being left in the gym childcare. I really couldn’t have been more wrong. He flourished and enjoyed the social time with other kids and other grownups. Often he will encourage me to complete a second class so we don’t have to go home right away. I’m a better mom for the time I spend taking care of myself and I’m modelling healthy habits for my son. He has his soccer time, Mommy has her Zumba time and that’s how we take care of our bodies.
I have learned so much:
I learned I can persevere through a workout that’s really hard.
I learned I can laugh at myself while I try new things with varying levels of success.
I learned about discipline. I learned not to cancel a workout until I was fully dressed and in shoes. I learned to sleep with my gym clothes over the alarm clock so I could feel them when I was fumbling for the snooze button to remind me why I shouldn’t press it.
I found a way to inner peace. Dora the Explorer finds things using the map. No offence to Dora, but I’m TERRIBLE at reading maps. I prefer to use a mat. It gets me where I need to go.
I’m so glad I decided to begin and give myself a chance to feel good about myself, find friends and find parts of myself I didn’t realize I had. Beginning is all it took. The rest takes care of itself.
“This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own”