Changing with Cider: loving exercise


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I’ve had a rocky relationship with exercise. I went from not caring about it, to hating it, to overusing it to hating it again. It’s been a rollercoaster of a topic for me, but I’ve finally found myself finding a steady medium.

When I was little, I hated the rants about exercise teachers would give. We had assemblies dedicated to the importance of moving around. It was boring, and I didn’t care about it at all. I was a pretty energetic and active kid, so I had no worries about getting my daily 60 minutes of activity. 

As I got older, and as puberty hit me, my relationship with exercise changed a lot. I wasn’t as active mainly because I was staying in my room all day. I was getting busier with studying, and I didn’t have the energy to get up and move around as much. Of course, I gained some weight because of the growth spurt I was going through and because of the higher intake of food. 

Like a lot of teenagers, I hated how I looked. I was so unhappy with everything about my appearance, and my weight didn’t escape the list. I was learning about calorie intake and nutrition around that time which led me down an obsessive rabbit hole. I came to the amazing conclusion of “Why don’t I just work out more?”, but that soon transformed into working out until I felt sick or dizzy. 

The negative feeling made a connection with dread and hatred again. I didn’t want to get up or go downstairs to the bike in the basement. I hated the idea of even moving around for longer than needed. It was its own version of unhealthy. Overly abusing exercise turned to barely getting my heart rate up. Of course, I gained weight again and the cycle repeated itself. 

I’ve been on my own journey to loving myself. Letting myself be happy with who I am no matter what. All the preferable mental health stuff. But, I still have the goal to lose weight. Some of it does come from my own vanity. I want to look good, and for me personally that means losing a few pounds. However, it’s also a health goal for me. I’ve realized how horrible some of my family member’s lives have become because of their declining health. Working out means I can, hopefully, avoid meeting that same fate. 

I also just want to feel better. A new realization I came to was how positively moving around can affect me. It makes me feel better physically and mentally. I feel an energy boost that helps me focus on studying and getting work done. It feels great. I feel great. It’s true physical activity is good for both the mind and body. 

With my weight loss goal, I needed to overcome the whole “working out until I wanted to throw up” thing. My previous connection to physical activity was all or nothing. I needed to figure out how I could enjoy it without wanting to push my limits too much. I tried a variety of at home workouts. HIIT workouts tire me out too much to do regularly. Pilates bores me to death, and I have no balance. Going to a public gym makes me scared to death. Thankfully, I was able to figure out with the help of my gym class that I really enjoy using a bike and treadmill. Although, knowing I can’t ride an actual bike makes that realization a bit ironic. 

It’s still a bit too cold for me to go to a park and walk, but my mother has her own exercise machines downstairs. Exercise bike and treadmill included. I’ve started to regularly incorporate them into my life when I can. I don’t stress too much if I can’t workout and remind myself that there’s always a new day. I do it to make myself happy, and that’s all that matters. 

That’s my overall advice for anyone reading this. Exercise is good for everyone, and it should be something everyone incorporates into their lives. However, don’t make it a chore. Find something you enjoy doing and love. Utilize that feeling of admiration and work out because you love it, not because you have to.