The Beauty of Exercise: From the Perspective of an Unfit, Unmotivated Girl

For a good part of my 18 years thus far on this earth, I have been in rigorous training for the life of a coach potato.

Many said I could never do it, that I could never be that lazy and unproductive… but I showed them. Oh, I showed them.

I have never liked exercise more strenuous or involving greater distances than the walk from the couch to the fridge. Nor have I ever felt enthused at the idea of running around an oval, or lifting up heavy objects for the hell of it. I always came last in cross country, even when I tried my very best (which is really no different from my laziest: I’m very unfit). 

If it were possible, I’d be lapped in a hundred metre race. I really would. 

I never understood the people who would encourage me to exercise. To be honest, I thought they were all raving mad. Worse were the people who ate healthily — no chocolate??!? VEGETABLES?!?! What madness is that!

But I’m a changed (wo)man.

Well, I still eat a lot of crappy food, struggle with beans, and get puffed on stairs but I’m in the process of changing, okay! Leave me be!

I actually really enjoy exercising now. I’m still super unfit, so there is no running. Actually, I hate running and I may always hate running, no matter my fitness. It hurts my boobs and I always think that I can feel my brain bouncing around in my skull. Is that a weird thing to think? Maybe I shouldn’t have said it. Well, it’s out there now. (There is a backspace key? What? No one ever told me!)

But I ride much more often now (which makes that expensive bike that I bought then left untouched in the garage for seven months MUCH more worth it) and I love long walks. I’m also getting more active with sports like basketball (which I coach) and soccer (which I play against my two little siblings and my dog… they always win).

For someone who is a very anxious person and who can easily get weighed down by the BS like me, exercise is really beneficial. I find that I can get absolutely lost when I exercise (figuratively and literally — thank god for Apple Maps). I stop worrying and just let it all go. I feel much happier for it, every time.

And that is the great thing about it – every time I don’t feel like going for a walk or a ride (which is the vast majority of the time) I remember how great I felt every other time I send screw it and just went. I’m lucky enough to be very near the ocean and have easy access to a gorgeous bike/walking path that is frequented by many cute guys. So whether its my view of the ocean, or of the guy in front of me (I like beautiful things, what can I say), I always see or experience something that makes me smile. So I never regret going for a walk or ride. 

Seriously though, this is my view:

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I also find that as I walk, I see really lovely things. Whether its a mum teaching her son to ride a bike, or a sweet moment for a couple overlooking the sunset, I always end up feeling warm and fuzzy inside. 

There are two different walking styles for me: long, lovely walks by myself where I just relax and let go, and shorter, hilarious walks with my friend. 

Although the walks I take with my friend are much shorter, they burn as much energy just through the laughter we share. I thoroughly recommend walking with a friend, especially if you don’t really like exercising. For me, it doesn’t even feel like I’m walking because I’m just having fun. In saying this, choose your walking buddy carefully. If you are a speedy gonzales, choose a speedy gonzales friend. If you are slower and more in the mood for a chat, choose a mirrored friend. The lovely girl I walk with is actually much fitter and faster than I am, but she saves her speedy gonzales moments for her own walks and indulges my turtle-like walking. For that, I am eternally grateful. 

My friend that I walk with personifies the other kind of healthy and fit. She is really good at sticking to healthy eating and is much fitter than I am. I have tried to keep up her in the past, with no sugar diets and the like, but I just do not have the will power. But what I have found through being her friend is that everyone does things their own way. Just because she is much better at sticking to the greens than I am, it doesn’t mean that I can’t slowly transform my eating habits, too. 

(SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO THIS FRIEND: Thank you for putting up with my lies when we used to walk in the early mornings, when you would call when I was late and it would wake me up, but I’d say that I was on my way and almost there. You hardly ever made fun of the fact that I was too tired to change out of pyjamas when I finally showed up for the walk, and never commented on my bed hair. Thank you. Thank you kindly.)

On the other hand, if you ever see me walking alone, you will notice me. I really let myself get transfixed by the music in my ears and the sights around me and just the methodic act of walking, and I’ll end up kind of dancing and singing as I go without really realising it. It happens all the time. I also madly smile at lots of people, who all look back at me like I’m a lunatic. 

(SIDE NOTE: Do not be the person who gives ‘the look’. You know which look I’m talking about. It is the look that says, “I’m completely decked out in Lorna Jane gear and you are wearing pyjamas. Embarrassing.” It is the look that says, “How can you be so puffed already! My make up/hair is perfect but you look like road kill.” Don’t do it. I hate it.)

It is my walks alone with only music for company that see me kind of zone out and get lost in time and end up walking much further than I can really walk, and end up sprinting home because it gets dark and I get increasingly more frightened of being kidnapped. I’m clearly not the brightest bulb in the kitchen. Is that even the saying? Are there any other bulbs in the kitchen to compete with? Who knows…

If I exercised for anything more than fun and feeling good, I would be doing a pretty shitty job. Although I could stand to lost a love handle or two (preferably two because what is the purpose of only one love handle? They are a package deal…), I am taking my time.

At the beginning of this year I was feeling particularly down about myself (see: the rut post previously in my blog). I was on a mission to lose weight, and fast. Because I thought that that would magically make me happy. It was driven by my own insecurity as well as friends and family telling me I had put on weight or that I should watch what I eat. (DON’T DO THIS TO PEOPLE. IT’S SHITTY. IT IS NOT AN ACT OF CHARITY. IF THEIR PANTS AREN’T FITTING RIGHT, THEY WILL KNOW IT. THEY DON’T NEED YOU SPELLING IT OUT FOR THEM. ASSHOLE). Being someone without a really healthy relationship with food or exercise, I found myself eating nothing and then binging crazily, or going from no exercise to making myself run until I felt ill. 

Now, exercise isn’t about losing weight to me. If it happens, cool! But I’m pretty happy with my lumps, bumps and curves. I’m just taking it at my own pace and using it to feel good, rather than putting undue pressure on myself. It is the same with eating healthy now, on a side note. I still eat too much Nutella and lean more towards chips than vegetables, but I’m slowly making my diet healthier, without actually dieting.

This is not because dieting is necessarily bad for you, but because I now know what I am like, and what I need to do to implement change in the long term rather than just short periods of it.

Look, exercise may not be your thing. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you may be super fit and healthy and look down on this post greatly. Don’t we all, don’t we all. But this is just my newly formed opinion on exercise from the girl smack-bang in the middle of the spectrum. 

Now, it’s not the idea of the end goal of weight loss that makes me happy, but the process of exercising that does. 

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A Day in the Life of a Relatively Boring Teenager

My blog is still taking form, as I am, and as such I’m still throwing a bunch of different styles of posts into this higgilty piggilty thing.

It has been all doom and gloom and all things important on my blog the last couple of weeks, so I thought that I would show you that I can actually take away the teen angst and passion and just have a good time. It is essentially the majority of my activities as I stumble and bumble my way through life.

My day started at 6am. I would like to remind you that today is a Saturday.

I pity myself.

I coach an under 9s boys basketball team which is about as fun as it sounds. I didn’t take any photos of that because I was too busy pulling my hair out. It is really rewarding as an experience but coaching boys at that age is really just herding crazy cats, and is usually about as much fun as my last dentist appointment.

The boys are on quite a winning streak which I am proud of them for. Somehow they do this despite my erratic coaching and short attention span.

My little sister was still a bundle of energy when we returned home so I took her for a walk to practice her basketball skills. In case you aren’t noticing a pattern, I’m really only good for two things: babysitting and basketball. And I’m not too good at either.

(Excuse me a moment, just putting that little gem in my CV. That is going to get me bundles of jobs).

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Mmm, just look at those moves. I got that basket in by the way. You will just have to take my word on it…

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This is the face of true concentration.

Or constipation.

They are usually one and the same.

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This is how real players play basketball. Don’t question it. No – uh – no – stop. I said don’t question it.

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Basketball skill training quickly gave way to hopscotch, which is just as important in my books.

 

We found a bunch of playground equipment, so this is what ensued:

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My athletic skills did not necessarily meet those of my sister…

After this lovely little morning adventure, I went home and watched a lot of the old Office episodes because I’m living life to the fullest and I definitely DO NOT procrastinate studying. At all. Ever. Nope. Not me. You’ve got the wrong guy.

My lovely friend from down the road came and picked me up in her (cute/adorable) new car and we went to the gorgeous Yelo cafe on the beach which is gorgeous. I had a lovely, fresh smoothie and healthy banana bread that I smothered in butter to cancel out the healthy aspects.

Later, we made our way back to her house in the cold weather where we had a grand old time and I played with her rabbit, who I find equally adorable and terrifying.

(I have a strong fear that the rabbit will suddenly plunge its teeth into my cheek).

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(Look at the fear in my eyes).

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(I am hoping that none of you have foot fetishes).

I finished the day with a dinner at a Chinese restaurant with the family, which I wore this to:

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My style is somewhere between Hippie-Chic and I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit. It’s leaning more and more towards the latter.

There really is no purpose to this post except to show you that I do sometimes do things in life other than moan about things on a blog.

I also moan about things in real life.

Also, I forget the vast majority of my life so doing something like this may be helpful. Thus, you may see this a little more often.

 

 

Goodbye Rut, Old Friend

For the past couple of months, I have felt like I’m stuck in a rut. It’s a rut of my own making, without a doubt, but one that is hard to look at objectively as a means of changing my ways and getting out of it.

I’m not someone who glorifies high school days. At all. I had some good friends and good times, absolutely:

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But I also had a lot of unnecessary drama and focus on things that I felt weren’t what I wanted to be doing or thinking about. Because of my disinterest in the freaky micro-society that is high school, I really looked forward to graduation. I had big plans. I was going places, kid. 

But then I graduated and I had a very long break. It was filled with the same old drama of high school, as well as a job I really didn’t enjoy. After all my ideas of travel and adventure, I was feeling pretty dejected with the reality of time away from school. 

After such a reliance on the stability of scheduling of high school, I found it really difficult to deal with the abundance of free time I suddenly had. I quickly became overwhelmed with the feeling that I should be doing something much more than I was doing. I jumped from one idea to another, never settling on one or generally calming down.

Needless to say, I felt pretty crappy. 

Paired with this was the inevitable changes in friendship as we all went our separate ways after high school. People that I had compartmentalised in my head as being particular ‘types’ of people were quite quickly evolving into different versions of themselves. Think Pokemon, but much less fighting in bushes. That kind of change is not only inevitable, but really healthy — you’re not a stationary person and nor is your personality; growth means changes, it is to be expected. But it still really threw me for a loop. I didn’t know how I was supposed to act in their ‘new’ world, and as much as I wanted out of high school, I was scared of change when it really came down to it.

I stopped sleeping well, I ate terrible food, never exercised and didn’t do anything to help myself grow. Essentially, I gave into my fears. 

These were the effects of my personal rut, and served to deepen it as well. 

Without sleep, I wasn’t operating to the best of my ability. By jamming junk food down my throat, I was making myself feel bad and losing my self confidence. This wasn’t helped by a lack of exercise. I actually really enjoy sport and running and especially walking along the beach. I am so uncoordinated, so my love for it doesn’t show, but it exists, I promise! Exercise is one of the most important things you can do, for mental and physical health. As a consequence of slacking off on exercise, I gained weight and stopped feeling good. 

I also found myself saying no to a lot more. I went from a resounding ‘yes’ person to someone who made excuses not to attend things just because I would let myself think too much about the potential negatives of every situation.

Now, I’m on a warpath. A warpath to happiness. Mmm, I don’t know if that works but it’s too late, I’m on it.

I still don’t feel tired until 2am but I’m trying much harder to sleep better. Already I feel the improvements. Although I find it impossible to wake up early, I’m always thankful when I do. I feel like I miss so much of the day when I sleep in. I like being able to go for a nice early walk or read a book outside. I’m slowly forcing myself to become a morning person rather than the night owl that comes naturally to me.

I’m trying really hard to eat better food. I’ll never be that amazing person who eschews all junk food and only eats healthy food straight from the ground. But I’m definitely improving my eating habits. I snack less now, and when I do snack I try to have it be with healthy foods. I have a newfound love of sultanas, greek yoghurt and fruit. I have been chain eating fruit lately. I do feel much better with it. I cooked dinner tonight (which, if you knew me, is an amazing feat. I’ve never cooked in my life. Fried eggs are the most you will get from me). It was Aubergine Rolls, which is a recipe I got from Lady Smart’s blog. I actually loved it. I have always loved spinach and ricotta together, and I wasn’t disappointed. It felt really good being able to eat something that I had made myself that didn’t make me feel sluggish. 

I’m starting to exercise more. I’ve been going on long walks because I’m lucky enough to live near the beach. I walked 16.5km the other night and got to watch the sunset, which was lovely. I take my dog for smaller walks because he’s just as lazy as me, and if I walk him too far he makes me carry him home. Honestly, he stops and just jumps at my arms until I pick him up. I coddle him, I know. I’ll start jogging and running more soon. I am easing my way into it. I’m also coaching a basketball team, and the trainings keep me pretty active. 

I’m saying yes to more things. Some have been great, like coaching the team and going to some parties I’ve really enjoyed and meeting new people. Some have been not so great, like crappy parties and awkward dinners. But it’s been really nice to be able to say that I didn’t enjoy something but gave it a go. 

I’m also not putting as much pressure on myself. I don’t know if university will end up being my niche, as I really want to travel. I don’t know if I’ll ever write a book, or publish a magazine, or have a successful blog. I’ll just try, and see what happens. 

I’m not expecting crazy changes, and there are a lot of parts of me that I wouldn’t want to change. But life is being the best person you can be. It’s improving myself confidence by allowing myself to be happy.

A life lived with no achievement other than happiness is a life lived well. 

It’s calming. 

I hope that you guys are liking life as well! 

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I sure am.