Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I exercise

I'm just about ready to fall into bed. I've been sneezing and sniffling all night, allergies I think so I took a Benadryl. At least I'll be able to sleep. Waking up may be a different matter.

To Anonymous:  thank you so much for the book review on Insomniac by Gayle Green. I just ordered it from Amazon and can't wait to get it. Maybe it'll change my life too!

To Jenni in Seattle (Jenni's Health Journey):  I love your blog and would love to post a comment but for some reason I can't. When I click on post comments it won't let me. I hope you see this!

Why I exercise

I've been thinking about this one for a while, exactly why do I exercise almost every day? If someone asks me I give them the normal reasons, it's good for my health, it helps me lose weight and I can eat more. I feel better, my clothes fit better. All the normal reasons. I never really tell anyone the real reason I feel compelled to climb out of a warm, cozy bed every morning at 4:30am and head for the gym.

It's because I have very low self-confidence. It's something I've suffered from my entire life. I've never felt smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, funny enough. I've just never felt like I was "enough" of anything good. Even when I was in high school and weigh 135 pounds at 5' 6" I never felt skinny enough (or smart enough or pretty enough or...well, you get the picture).

It's been a life long battle to try to convince myself that I am good enough, but it's a tough thing to make myself believe. That's why I exercise at least an hour a day, at least six days a week.

It's like a little miracle happens to me every day at the gym. I work out hard, I lift fairly heavy weights for a woman. 20 and 25-pound dumbbells, 75 pound lat pulldowns, I go as heavy as I can manage with the weights and do 40 minutes strength, 30-40 minutes cardio. I do three sets of each strength exercise, a minimum of six exercises, upper one day, lower the next. I do crazy cardio workouts, drenching my body in sweat.

While I'm working out I feel completely in control, and I feel a little...well...I'll be honest. I feel like the cool girl. I know it's silly and I know it's "just" exercise, but I'm proud of myself for how hard I've worked the past 2 1/2 years, and how hard I exercise every morning.

It's gives me self-confidence. Not that I think I'm "all that", but I feel like a normal person. It's like hey, I exercise and I exercise hard. If I can do this then I can accomplish a lot.

When I walk into a room full of people now I always stand up straight, shoulders back, head high, eye contact. I use to slunk into meetings at work, barely making eye contact with anyone. When I had to lead a meeting, it was a form of hell. I felt like everyone was looking at me thinking what a fat, lazy slob I was, and that I must be totally stupid to let myself look like I did at 240 pounds.

It's so different now. I feel so different. Having some self-confidence is a new thing to me. And I like it. A lot. So that's really why I exercise and why I'll never stop. The other stuff is just icing on the cake.


jinxxxygirl said...

Thank you so much for your comment. Its nice to know i'm not alone. Its a journey. One can only hope he will miss doing things with me like i miss doing things with him. Best wishes to you. deb

MizFit said...

Oh Diana.
I adore this post.
And while you know I wanna yammer at you (lovingly. always lovingly :)) that you are indeed enough no matter what you do. just as you are.

I adore that youve found our selfesteem in such a healthy empowering STRENGTHING fashion.

Roxie said...

Lordy how I hate the word empowering, but it just fits in this instance. I hope you find a way to use that gym feeling to get some peace on the esteem issue. I completely and totally understand where you are coming from. It's tough work, recovering from low-esteem/confidence, but it can be done. Just takes some effort to create and play a different tape loop in our heads.

Good luck to you my friend. I hope you had a wonderful night's sleep.

Helen said...

I've told you before that there are times when you write exactly what is in my head. All that stuff about not being enough... I have moments of thinking I am all that and it's good. If I can just hang on to that long enough to stay there it would be great. I wanna move to that land permanently, you know?

✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

It's never "JUST" ... Take full credit, Diana!!!!

It's about time you can see what others see about you, eh? :D

I love the look of your blog. It must reflect how you're feeling about yourself these days! ☼☼☼

bbubblyb said...

You know it wasn't till just reading your post that I realized you just described me. I never thought of my long hard gym workouts as a self esteem/confidence booster but everything you said is so me too. I always thought of it as a fix for my down mood or for my anxiety but its also for the reasons you said. I do feel like the cool girl at the gym lol. Even though I don't talk to anyone I know they see me every week and think I'm pretty darn tough (just like you) lol. Thanks for an ah ha moment for me Diana, we really are so much alike. *hugs*

Carrieheff said...

I'll bet the majority of overweight people have low self esteem. It's probably why we are fat, because we've never felt good enough or strong enough etc.
The funny thing is, I will bet nobody thought those things about you when you were overweight. When you see an overweight person do you think they are lazy? I don't. Actually, I don't think much of them at all. I think most people are wrapped up in their own lives and don't really take much time to critisize other people in their minds. As Dr Phil always says "You wouldn't care much about what other people think about you if you knew how much they do."
I guess what I'm trying to say is you are a million times harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be. Be kind to yourself. You are a wonderful person that has inspired so many people that think the world of you.
BTW- congrats on the size 10. I can only dream about that..... LOL

M Pax said...

Grow it big, super girl! If you tend to it, it does.

I really noted mine in a recent photo. It kind of shocked me.

Hope you soon see what the rest of us do. :)

SeattleRunnerGirl said...

I don't think exercise is "just" anything. I LOVE feeling strong and I LOVE knowing that I just left it all on the floor of my gym. Those kind of workouts are the best. I think building your self-confidence and knowing your self-worth are hugely important, and if exercise is part of how you do that, then amen, sister!

The title of this post is a joke, there's no new me. It's just the same old me, doing the same old stuff. Just for fun, I went back...