What would you do with more time, if you had it?
I’m asking because for once, I have time.
And for the second time in my life, I am using that time to embark on a lifestyle change for the sake of my health.
The first time I did this was when I was 17 and still in high school. My school got a little bit of money one year and decided to build a professional gym with a weight room and treadmills. They also began offering an optional weight-training class that could replace regular gym class credits. As a nerdy kid with shitty hand-eye coordination, I dreaded gym class because I was bad at sports. Prior to this class I didn’t realize that there were other options, I thought you were either good at sports or you were completely sedentary. That weight-training class taught me how to exercise and push my body in ways that I had never heard of.
This should have been my gym uniform.
I started using that gym a few days each week. Any day that I didn’t have to go to work (I had a part time job in food service), I lifted weights and jogged on the treadmills. It was easy to incorporate this activity into my schedule, and since it was convenient I kept it up. I lost a lot of weight that year and felt good about my body for the first time in my life.
Since then I’ve struggled to figure out how to seamlessly incorporate exercise into my schedule. In college I tried going to the gym between classes, but my schedule changed every semester and it was hard to be consistent. I ended up gaining a few pounds over the years.
Then once I graduated and had to find a job, exercise took a backseat. I struggled while working nights and trying to sleep during the day at crappy jobs for low pay. I abandoned the gym and just focused on getting enough sleep and trying to avoid the doughnuts and other treats that people would bring to work. Later, I got an office job (:cough: sell out :cough) with regular hours and a long commute. I spent my lunch break walking around the outside of the building and wishing that I had access to a real gym.
For most of my life, I’ve put other things before my health. I’ve focused on my career and my relationships and my hobbies. I know that going to the gym doesn’t take a lot of time, and I know that it’s good for me, but it’s just too easy to hit snooze on my alarm or go straight home after work. I know myself and I know that if something is good for me but inconvenient, I won’t end up doing it. I’m lazy like that.
So now I’m making a conscious decision to stop being such a baby and start taking care of myself. I’m 30 years old now, it’s not like it’s going to get any easier to workout as I get older.
Plus I have all of the advantages right now!
- I live less than 2 blocks from the YMCA.
- My job requires me to start work around 9:30am, and even that is pretty flexible.
- My new apartment is in an area with few hills or other obstacles. No reason not to walk everywhere.
- I have access to all kinds of helper startup companies that can take care of things like my grocery shopping, laundry, lunch delivery, and package delivery at convenient times of the day for a small fee. Ridiculously small.
- I have no kids to take care of, and my husband is an adult who can take care of himself.
So starting May 25, 2015, I began going to the gym almost every morning (I have a work call on Wednesdays at 7:30am so I use that and Saturday as rest-days). I am currently focused on cardio but I’m going to start lifting weights too. Sometimes I go to the gym after work as well for a class or two, but I consider those optional. The morning workout is mandatory.
I will probably never have it this easy again. Life will only get more hectic and there will only be more responsibility piled onto my shoulders. I need to see this as the opportunity that it is, and use this time wisely.
- A Beautiful Mess – Elsie’s Fitness Story
- Tumblr – In Pursuit of Fitness
- Pinterest – Fitness