Today, I won.

Have you ever had the feeling of overwhelming defeat? I don’t usually get this feeling with every day situations. I’m usually laid back about my work and I do well under pressure. However, lately i’ve felt this sense of defeat in my body. I feel like i’m fighting a losing battle and I just want to come out ahead. Here is what I mean.

I’ve never had any traumatic physical illnesses, never been in the hospital other than to visit  someone else and I know that I eat healthier than the majority of Americans. But my body is still losing. 

I was a cheerleader for eight years, Jr. High, High School and half of college. Now before you go on stereotyping me, I went to a small schools so I played other sports too, including basketball, volleyball and softball. During this time, I was in shape but I didn’t know it. My mind thought being in shape meant being a size 2, not being able to run a mile without wheezing or coughing up a lung. During this time, especially in college, I worked out an average of 14 hours a week (this included games, practices and personal exercise). After I became too busy with school work in college, I stopped. This is where it gets worse. 

I started to work out on my own but it was more like 3 hours a week instead of 14, then it went to 2, then one, and soon, the only exercise I was getting was walking to my classes every day and up the four flights of stairs to my dorm room. 

Since then, i’ve finally gained the freshman 15, gone up 4 pant sizes and found a new appreciation for sweat pants (which is unhealthy for any human being). Most of all, I felt like I was a loser. 

Another point to add to this madness is that this summer, my grandfather passed away. They weren’t sure how he died, but there was talk of heart failure. He was also a rather large man who didn’t get enough exercise. When this happened, my father was distraught by losing his dad, but it also stirred up in him a new motivation to get in shape. He realized that if he wanted to be around for a long time eith my sisters, my mother and I, he would need to start working out. He started slow with one mile, but after almost a year, he is down 20 pounds and can run 4 miles straight with no problems. He is my inspiration. He woke uo every day and told his body, “you will not beat me, today, I will win.”

This is what I want to be able to tell myself.

Our society makes us think that to be pretty, you have to be skinny. Don’t worry, I’m not about to rant about the injustice of the media playing on girl’s emotions and poor body image. But here is the thing: I don’t want to go up another pant size, I don’t want to feel like I  can’t wear bikinis in the summer. I also want to be healthy and feel confident knowing that if the zombie apocolypse happened soon, I would be able to outrun any of the slow fatsos the zombies will attack first. 

I want to beat my body. I want to be heathy, I want to be able to run half-marathons and 5k’s, I want to look great and feel great too. I don’t want to get winded walking up a flight of stairs or playing a game of tag with my five year old cousins.

My mind is in the right place, now I need my body to get there too. My mind is winning, and every morning that I drag myself out of my confortable, fluffy bed to work out, my body is winning too. 

This past week, I’ve upped my workout to five hours a week, about one hour a day and I can run about 3/4 of a mile without passing out. My goal is 3 miles so that I can run a 5k later this year with my dad. 

Today, I dragged my sorry butt out of bed. 

Today, I decided I wanted to feel accomplished.

Today, I wanted to be proud of myself.

Today, I won.  

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