Last year, I addressed my relationship with food (fancy a read? you can find that here). I’ve tried to let go of the guilt that comes with food in a diet-culture-obsessed-world. No longer do I reward myself with ‘bad’ food or feel better for eating ‘good’ food. I just eat what I want, when I want. Seeing as I’ve been creating a more positive relationship with food, I’ve been thinking about exercise. After reading a couple posts by Callie Thorpe and Gracie Francesca about their relationships with exercise, I was even more inspired to consider my own feelings.
I’ve never been sporty. Let’s just get that out there. I am not competitive at all. I find sports the most mind-numbingly boring thing. For years, I used to horse ride most days but I never really loved it as much as my sister (who was amazing at it) and didn’t like the competitive side. At secondary school, P.E. was my idea of hell. I hated changing in front of all the other girls. My peers were always better, more coordinated and fitter than me.
Sports always felt overwhelming because I wasn’t that good at it. Then my mental health issues begun. So rather than facing anything overwhelming or difficult, I just wouldn’t do it. Better than a panic attack, right? For a while, that was fine. I was focusing on my mental health and getting better. Exercise wasn’t a priority. I mean, I couldn’t really get up to do Zumba class when I couldn’t even get out of bed and brush your teeth.
My mental health has been manageable for a few years, but I still haven’t started exercising. The reason? I’m fat. And we all know that people love to judge a fat person. There have been countless photos and videos plastered on social media mocking fat people for exercising.
But I want to be stronger and healthier. So now is the time, I have started to exercise. (Plus getting those endorphins flowing will help maintain my mental health!)
The starting point
At the start of this year, I set myself some goals. One of those was to try out some yoga. It is something that I can do from the comfort of my bedroom. So there is no fear of judgement or failure.
Four months into the year? I’ve been doing yoga at least once a week. I love seeing my progress! Not my weight-loss progress because that isn’t why I’ve started this. I don’t want to make exercise about striving for a bikini body or hating the body I have.
I love doing yoga. It strengthens my body and relaxes my mind. It’s the perfect way to unwind because I’m just focusing on my body and my breathe.
I’ve even started the gym
Two years ago, I never thought I would ever set foot in a gym again. I found it completely overwhelming. I was terrified that people would judge me.
God help a fat person for having the nerve to exercise.
Even though I always try to embrace my body and being fat, I was still worried about being seen exercising. When you exercise, there is no hiding your body. But I decided to try going to the gym. Stepping out of your comfort zone is always a good thing!
Nobody looked. Nobody laughed. Nobody judged. The gym attendants congratulated me on a good session and for coming back. My new gym buddy makes sure I take things at my pace, motivates me and never judges (thank you Tanja!!). I’m enjoying feeling parts of my body work and grow stronger.
That’s it, I’m working on my relationship with exercise. And so far? I am loving it.