I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a hard time admitting that when it comes to exercise. I can’t. Not just having a hard time finding the motivation or affording the gym but actually physically cannot. I have to start from scratch.
I did all my google research when I started getting healthier, trying to beat the illness that had gotten me down over the last four years. Where to begin, best exercises for certain body parts, beginner, low impact, yoga vs Pilates, swimming etc etc.
There are tons of blogs, advice columns, Pinterest posts, friend and family advice for exercise. Everything a beginner could possibly need! However through all of this I struggled. How was the beginner stuff still too hard for me?!
Because I am more than a beginner. I am starting from scratch, level 0, brand new (think newborn) no muscle at all. I learnt how hard it is to face the fact that I am weaker than I have ever been, weaker then I should be and weaker than everyone thinks I should be. The comments and judgment are hard. I know no one does it on purpose, I know it comes from a place of love and misunderstanding but my gods it’s hard. It is hard enough to face this myself and struggle through but to not be able to explain this to anyone else, is tough.
Beginner is too advanced for me. I know most of you reading this are thinking “its beginner” it is literally for someone starting out. This doesn’t mean it is for someone who is struggling, who is fighting their body and their health the entire way. Beginner is too much for me, so I have started my own “beginner” level of exercise. I am starting from scratch.
I’m posting this to help others, this is one of the harder posts I have had to write. It is a lot to know or to worry about the comments, the thought that I am so weak, I am doing it wrong, it just takes determination, etc etc. Trust me I’ve heard it all, I’ve thought it all, I have fought harder with myself than anyone else has that this is ridiculous, but it is necessary and I am proud that I am still trying, that every day I get stronger and closer to being a “beginner.”
Here is what that looks like:
It is finding an exercise that doesn’t make you want to cry and sticking to it. It means I hate running but skipping is actually a blast! Even if I can only go for thirty seconds at a time, and I am not joking. Thirty seconds at a time, being timed, and trust me I felt like crap for quiet a few weeks. That I was weak and worthless and nothing mattered. Then last week I went for a minute and a half. A minute and a half! I can’t do this everyday, but some days I can, and every week is more and more days that I can skip for a minute and a half. So here is to eventually reaching two minutes, five minutes and someday ten minutes!
It means moving whenever and wherever you can. Lunges and squats while brushing teeth (maybe a set of 2-3, no joke), or dancing around the kitchen while cooking, leg lifts at work in your chair or at home one the couch. It means just moving more even if it doesn’t “count” as exercise.
It means doing any and all exercises on your knees “like a girl.” From push ups to planks, hip dips, and yoga poses. Sometimes it means holding a shitty plank for a few seconds and working your way up to even one push up. This is no joke, at the very beginning and on bad flare days, one push up is too much. This is okay, it happens and it does not make you weak. Only weaker than others, and what they think doesn’t matter, only what you think.
It means doing reps of three and four, not ten, and only one rep to start. It is not working your way up from one rep of ten to more but from just one sit up to two. THIS DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK. It means you are getting stronger. Your strength is based on you and you alone. I know, I fall into the trap of guilt and embarrassment too when others talk about exercise and fitness but ignore it! Trust me, let it go in one ear and out the other, smile and move on. Get back to it, one sit up, one push up at a time.
You are getting stronger and that is all that matters! This is how I have had to start exercising from scratch, not at the beginner level but even lower. If I can do it, so can you. Exercise does not have to be pushing yourself to the limit or doing what everyone else does. It is about feeling healthier in your own body. Do this, not every day, but everyday that you can and you are already stronger than you were yesterday. Stick to it and don’t give up, don’t let anyone make you feel inferior, we all have to start from scratch sometimes, and I see you, you beautiful, strong, independent beings!