Friday, May 18, 2012

Heading to the Gym

I have officially joined a gym! 

When I started this journey towards a healthy lifestyle and weight loss in June 2011, I did a bit of exercise on my own with video programs, but I only did that for the first few weeks.  Since then, I’ve had a few random days where I got outside and walked some, but haven’t really committed to any regular exercise until now.  There have been a couple of reasons for this…

My relationship with food has been skewed my entire life.  While my mom worked hard to make sure our family had meals on the table every day when I was growing up, almost everything she prepared was either canned or processed.  There were very few natural foods included in our meals and little cooking from scratch.  Consequently, I never really learned how to cook either.  Opening and heating really isn’t cooking!  Growing up like that also develops a tendency to continue gravitating towards those foods as an adult.  In addition, it became very easy for me to just “grab something” from a fast-food restaurant most days (often, more than once a day!) and blame it on my hectic schedule and lack of time to do anything else.  I have finally quit kidding myself and now recognize that a fast-food grilled chicken sandwich with a leaf of wilted lettuce thrown on it does not count as a healthy choice!

Over the last 11 months, I’ve had to redirect all of my food choices.  Before I could jump headfirst into an exercise schedule, I had to get my food issues straight first.  It would have done me no good whatsoever to head into a gym several times a week, only to run through a drive-through on the way home!  When I think back to the things I used to eat, sometimes I really can’t believe I used to put that junk into my body!  By getting my eating habits corrected first, I’ve avoided the trap of feeling like I can overeat or indulge just because I worked out.  I'm not working out so that I have an excuse to eat poorly.  I'm working out to tone and strengthen my body and to reach the point where I am lean and healthy.  Eating junk defeats the purpose!

In getting my food issues straightened out, I’ve developed a love for so many really healthy foods, and I’ve found that I truly prefer natural, whole foods.  I find myself craving things like salmon, watermelon, and broccoli, and cringing when I see someone eating a burger and fries.  Other people can eat it if they want it, but I just can’t even stomach the thought of it anymore.

I also think that I had to prove something to myself where food was concerned.  I had to lose the first 100 pounds or so through changes in my food only.  By doing so, it proved to me, once and for all, the effect that my food choices have on my body.  Because of that, I’ll never look back. 

Losing as much as I have through food choices only has also given me the confidence to know that I can do this!  When I walk into the gym, it’s with the knowledge that I am already successful, and working out is just going to help propel me further.  I don’t have to feel intimidated or out of place in the gym because I know how far I’ve already come. 

I have actually found myself excited about going to the gym…well, I wasn’t too excited on the day of my first full workout, but I’ll save that story for another post!

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