Sunday, March 15, 2015

What I'm Really Thinking While I Exercise

All the endorphins are apparently being released when I work out, these days. Because I couldn't wait to go to the gym today.

But as good as my body feels, I'm having to work on my mind.

Going to the gym is really forcing me to face some of the body image issues I have.

Even before I started on the elliptical this afternoon, the inner monologue started in my head.

I'll pick this one. There's no one on either side of me, so I won't compare what I'm doing to anyone else. This is about getting healthy. 

I'm going to be strong and amazing, today. Not like last week when I fell off the treadmill when I looked at my phone. 

Oh, and graceful! Today I'm going to be totally graceful. With enough exercise, I will not only have a great body, but I think I might have read somewhere on the internet that exercise will make you less clutsy. And if it was on the internet, then it must be true. 

Is it too much to hope for? Probably, but we're going with positive thinking today, damn it.

My legs hurt. Are they going to hurt this whole time? I don't know if I'm going to want to do half an hour if my legs hurt.

Stop trying to sing along with your music. You can't sing out loud here, and you'll look like a crazy person just mouthing the words. Stop it!

Then a tall, gorgeous blonde takes the machine next to mine. And when she starts to work out, she doesn't smell like sweat and desperation, like I do. No, she smells like fresh flowers and shampoo. How does that even happen?

Now instead of feeling badass, I feel like I'm only pretending to workout. Like this:

But the talking in my head continues...

Keep going. It doesn't matter what she's doing. If I want to get this body into the shape I want it to be in, I have to keep moving. And hey, my legs don't hurt anymore, so bonus! 

How fast is my heartrate? Should I kick it up a notch? Maybe I should take it down a notch instead, because I think my heart exploding on the elliptical would be a bad thing.

Yeah, totally bad. Stop trying to match her pace. I don't think she's human, and it's not a competition.

And so on it goes. I love those few minutes when I feel strong, and hate the many more minutes when I'm wondering if I'm too slow, or what it would take to get a figure that was never mine to begin with, and doesn't ever really need to be mine.

I did my elliptical, weights, and a mile on the treadmill (without falling off). Then later I walked 3 miles with the dog. So, as far as exercise goes, I did fantastic today. And I feel so good about it. Now, the real trick is going to be changing that inner dialog that goes while I'm at it.

I don't need to be better than anyone but myself. I don't need to look like anyone but myself. And I am not exercising for anyone but myself.

Strong and healthy has to be my new mantra. Fantastic butt can just be a happy side effect.

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