I have a little confession to make.
I actually like to work out.
Before you go rolling your eyes at me, hear me out. It wasn’t always this way.
I used to workout because I felt like I had to or something bad would happen. Like I’d gain a pound. Or five. Every time I went to the gym it was a sort of punishment. I didn’t do it for my overall health or fitness. I didn’t do it because it made me feel good. I didn’t even do it because I wanted to be strong or toned. I did it because I wanted to be skinny.
I would do 20 minutes of running and stop, thinking I was all big and bad and then go eat half a pizza and a bunch of cookies and wonder why the working out wasn’t doing anything for my figure.
About 7 years ago, I suddenly, inexplicably, started to lose weight. It was a dream come true! My appetite just wasn’t as strong and the pounds started coming off. At first, I was ecstatic! I mean, isn’t that every girl’s fantasy? For those last 5 pounds to just fall away without putting forth any effort whatsoever?
Another strange thing happened around the same time: I wanted to work out. I wanted to go running. This completely baffled me. Working out was always something I considered to be a “have to” rather than a “want to.” I didn’t need to exercise for the reasons I always had in the past; I just wanted to do it. I felt fantastic.
But my happiness was short-lived. Everyone around me got concerned. Why was I suddenly so thin? I didn’t want to be talked about behind my back or pulled aside by my boss, a careful look on her face as she asked me if everything was ok. So I cut back on the workouts. I still craved them, but I was more worried about what people would think or say. They made comments. And I continued to lose weight.
Understandably, the continued weight loss started to freak me out. I went to my doctor for some blood work, which all came back normal. A clean bill of health in my hand, I walked out completely baffled. What was going on?
And that’s when I realized that I had recently stopped taking anti-depressants. I had been on them for so long that I didn’t make the connection between them and my weight. Realizing that was confusing. My weight had always been a contributing factor to my depression, and here I was trying to treat my symptoms with something that was partly causing them. How could this have happened?
Feeling empowered, I let myself enjoy my new figure, eating what I wanted, as much as I wanted, and not worrying about my weight for the first time in my life. I didn’t add in any workouts; I just let myself be. I didn’t gain weight, but I also felt more in control with my eating. I could have what I wanted and maintain my weight. Suddenly, it made those forbidden foods less appealing.
To be continued . . .
In the meantime, I’d love to hear.
Do you like to workout?
Have you ever discovered something unexpected standing in the way of your health/fitness goals?