I have figured out something very important and sort of freeing. For years, I have been reading fitness magazines: Self, Shape, Women’s Health, Health, and Fitness. You would think I would be super skinny for all the health stuff I read about. If information equated to accomplishment I would be the fittest woman on earth. The thing is, I have realized, it isn’t necessarily the right kind of information for me. I mean they have wonderful motivating advice in them, good recipes, and tips for life like wear sunscreen. I don’t know how many times I have read wear sunscreen. Here is the thing I didn’t realize the exercise in there is not for me. The first time I had a hint of this was when I decided to try some of those yoga moves they put in various magazines.
My best friend came home and found me with my butt in the air and one of my legs. I had never done yoga before. Actually I think I had my butt in the air and my arm out to the side. Needless to say I kept falling over. I had read that this pose could increase my circulation and/or help remove stress in my shoulders or some such thing. It only does this beneficial thing if you can do it successfully. Christine, my best friend was mortified. She actually does yoga as a practice. She asked me if I was crazy and said that even someone like her would not have attempted this pose. I showed her the magazine and she said, “Really? They just expect anyone to be able to do this???” This was my first hint, these magazines where not for me. They were for the more competent exerciser.
The next thing is the fact that I have been actually exercising. It is killing my legs just to do my 30-40 minutes of walking three times a week. I mean to the point of I need help off the couch. So how would I begin to start these intense exercises they put in magazines. They always have titles like, “Lose a size in fifteen days,” or “Pick up the intensity in your work outs.” I think these magazines are for women that are already healthy and are trying to get into a certain shape. It is preaching to the choir.
Reading these magazines in a sense has given me a false sense of what I can do. I can’t just pick up exercising like a pro. I can’t watch Venus Williams perform her normal work out and just expect that I am going to pick that up. She does this for a living for goodness sake. To be honest most of the celebrity work outs are created for and by women who are already in shape. Do you think I can open up to the page and just do these safely? I mean if I am having trouble walking, what kind of hope do I have? Eventually I will be able to do them, but not now.
This has made me realize that it is upsetting when you try these things and fail. I mean I like I pay my bills but I can’t understand a word of Fortune magazine. What would make me think I could pull up my computer and start buying up stocks right away?
We need an exercising for dummies magazine, one that tells you basic things. I just learned from my friend Chuk, about a thing called a heart monitor. Apparently this is something that is important for a beginner so that you aren’t over doing it. It helps you to figure out the sweet spot so that you are getting your heart up to the desired level, but not going over. I will soon invest in one with a pedometer. I have been using the pedometer on the phone, and I woke up this morning and found I had already taken 68 steps and hadn’t even left the bed. Perhaps that is not accurate. Apparently a heart rate monitor will help you with recovery too, because you are training correctly. I did not know that. In the several years I have been reading magazines I have never picked that up. I never saw anyone use them, even the women I know who exercise regularly. This is why I really never heard of it. It might help me a lot.
I guess I just now understand a lot of the reasons why I have failed at my attempts to lose weight. I had way too many expectations for myself. I was reaching a little too high. When I fail at just the smallest of tasks I want to eat a whole pizza, and follow that up with a gallon of drumstick ice cream chaser. I think I am learning that with exercise like everything else, I have to take every piece of advice and soul search what is the best course of action for me. Personalizing my life and doing what I can, small steps is working for me.