This morning I woke up and my body ached. While I have been getting back into working out, some days I find it hits me harder than expected. So as I lay listening to the kids getting ready for school (my kids are teenagers and it’s not often I get to lie in) I started to procrastinate.
I needed a shower, but there seemed no point before working out. However I couldn’t be bothered with the idea of getting dressed to work out, to undress for a shower, to get redressed to go to work. (I volunteer in my local Barnardos donation centre on a Friday.) Deep down I knew the way my head was going I’d get up, get dressed, make a coffee and start pottering around the house, avoiding the workout completely.
So my train of thought went to ‘I’ll grab a shower and workout tonight after work’. Then I remembered that my daughter was having a friend over for the night, and I’d probably find more excuses to avoid my workout. Especially when it’s the first time this friend has stayed over, and not been subjected to the swearing and grunting that accompanies me as I train.
At this point I realised it was now or never, so I dragged myself out of my bed and fell across the hallway to my gym. I sleep naked, but I really didn’t care, there was only me in the house so who could complain?
Three sets into my first exercise I began to feel the burn and walked around the room in between sets to allow for a little recovery. Problem is in every bedroom; one of which my gym is set up in, there are built-in wardrobes that have floor-to-ceiling mirrored doors. My head was still not fully into the workout, and walking around meant I kept seeing myself in the mirror which wasn’t doing much for my mood.
It was then I stopped dead and stood looking at myself. Yes; my breasts sag; and my belly hangs so low it looks like I’m wearing an apron, but I started to notice other things. My arms don’t jiggle when I move, they’re not really defined, but I don’t suffer with saggy batwing underarm skin. My traps are noticeable as are my calves. My thighs may be large; but again while there is fat, I can see the muscle beneath. My glutes are quite tight too.
Then it hit me; despite how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror there are positive aspects to my body. I also have a man from halfway around the world who is waiting for me, and has been waiting for a long time because he loves me. He fell in love with me when I was at my largest and even though I am not happy with the way I look; the training and nutrition advice he gives me is because I want to change, not because he thinks I should. After that I went back to the rest of my workout with a more positive attitude in my head.
I’ve talked to a few people over the years in situations similar to mine, and put simply it seems there are two major factors that enable someone to change. The first is knowledge, and knowledge can be learned. No matter how you want to go about getting healthier (weight training, crossfit, swimming, martial arts, dieting), there is always someone you can find who will help tutor you.
The second is willpower, and this is the hard one. Willpower is not a skill you pick up in class or that someone can teach you. Willpower comes from within, it’s the mental strength you gain as you see progression and feel good about yourself, but it’s also the driving force that pushes you into action when the last thing you want to do is train. It’s the inner strength you have to look beyond the negatives to keep going; because no-one else can change you, except you.
My knowledge has never been an issue (though I still have loads to learn), it’s my willpower allowing me to put my knowledge into actions that has always failed me. Having Bill does help as he points out the positives when I’m blinded by my own darkness, but writing this blog I hope will also help me to stay positive and keep driving forward. It’s not going to be easy; there’s no quick fix, but I’m a stubborn woman and I will succeed because I want to.