Exercise! -or- Oh God, Every Part of Me Aches

I’m pretty good at lying to myself. One lie I have convinced myself of in the past: I’m in decent shape.

I’m not.

I don’t look like I’m unhealthy at first glance. My BMI is right in the ‘normal’ range. However, my body fat percentage is a bit higher than it should be, as is my heart rate. I’m not unhealthy, but I’m healthy either.

I work on this sometimes.

At the beginning of the summer, I was in the best shape I think I’ve ever been in. I weighed the least I ever had at my fully-grown height. I was exercising more or less daily. I had some muscle tone. I was really pleased with myself. I felt pretty good, and I thought I looked pretty good, which did wonders for my confidence.

Then summer happened.

If you read my posts, you’ll know I was ‘back home’ all summer. I was depressed, and ridden with anxiety. I had other people cooking for me, and helping to do other tasks. I didn’t get out a lot. I ate too much and moved too little.

So all my hard work went down the drain.

Here I am in fall, out of shape once again. The plan is to gain back some of my muscle tone and drop the weight that I put on in the summer. I’ve already started eating less, and I think I’ll start seeing the results of this soon. I’ve also started to get back into exercising.

Joy, oh joy.

I like to try lots of different types of exercise; if I didn’t, I’d get bored and never exercise. I try some dance-based workouts, because dancing is fun. Oh god, I feel my heart pounding as I’m gasping for air. Maybe I started with something too high-intensity. I tone it down. I try a ballet-based workout. Oh god, my body doesn’t want to contort in those ways. It protests loudly when I move. I realize I’ve lost a lot of flexibility. I start doing more stretches. Every muscle and tendon is screaming at me: “WHYYYYYY?!”. I ignore them. I stretch some more. I see slightly better results. I take a break for a day. The next day, I’m back at square one. My body wails some more. I tell my body to shut up because I see small improvements in the mirror. Yet I also see my terrible body and feel bad about myself. I’m tempted to just lay about and mourn. That doesn’t help me any, so I do some more stretches. My neck and shoulders don’t understand why I’d do this too them. I carry all my tension in them, why would I put more pressure on them.I don’t understand why I have so little movement in them. More stretching. More shoulder rolls. Oh god, I can actually move my upper body a little! Oh god, it hurts to move my upper body! Oh god, it hurts to move almost any part of me!

Is it worth it? I think so.

I already look a little better than I did two weeks ago. I wish there were instant results, but I know I just have to wait it out. I already have more range of motion than I did two weeks ago. Yes, I may not enjoy getting to a point of decent flexibility, but I’m damn well going to enjoy being there when I get there!

Does the exercise help with the depression and anxiety?

It’s hard to say. Maybe a little. The better I look, the better I feel about myself, and that helps. Maybe I’m not exercising enough to get the full benefits. Whatever the case, exercising certainly isn’t making things worse!

Here’s to health, even if it does kill me.

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