Finding Freedom in Fitness
When I was younger, I never wanted to exercise. I wasn’t on any sports teams, and because I was homeschooled I didn’t have any kind of Physical Education class. I hated running and walking farther than a few feet. My parents always encouraged me to be physically active because I would “regret it later if you don’t start now”. The state law says that children aren’t allowed to ride in the car without a car seat until they weighed 100 pounds. I didn’t weigh 100 pounds until I was about 10 years old (far behind most girls my age).
I never worried about exercising when I was younger because I was so skinny. Extremely skinny. My friends that were my age could pick me up easily because I was so light. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain any weight. I never had a problem with any of this and it was all great until it came to get new pants. I hated pant shopping, and still do. No pants ever fit me. When I was finally big enough to wear an extra small in the juniors department in tops, I was still wearing a size 10 in children’s pants. I was also pretty short which made things even worse.
Last fall I got fed up. I was tired of being tiny and not being able to wear anything. I decided that I needed to gain weight in order to be able to wear the clothes I wanted. So I would eat and eat and still not have anything to do with exercise. I didn’t notice any significant changes and I was still sewing the waist of my pants to make them smaller. One day, I just thought “what am I doing? Trying to get fat just to be able to wear my jeans?” And I realized, what I needed to do wasn’t just sitting around waiting to gain enough weight, I needed to become stronger and gain more muscle instead of fat. The only way to do that was to workout.
I watched some videos on fitness to get inspired and motivated (because honestly I had NO clue where to start). This is when I found Sam Ozkural. I started watching some of her videos and she is AMAZING (I highly recommend checking her out). One day in September, I put together an exercise routine and gave it a try. I have to say, it was hard. My body wasn’t used to using up all that energy at once. But after I finished that first workout, it felt amazing. Not so much the next day, however. My legs were so sore I could barely move. But I felt better than I ever had before.
At first, it was really hard to stay motivated. The first few months I had a hard time staying focused and on a schedule. It was hard not seeing the improvements right away. It was hard to get through the workouts because I was getting tired in the middle of them, but I kept going. Kept pushing myself harder each time.
Almost a year later, so much has changed. I’ve been working out consistently 3-4 times a week and I love it. I can get through the sessions now without getting too overwhelmed or tired, and it is sooo rewarding afterwards. I still feel tired after a workout, but it’s a good kind of tired. I can endure longer days without becoming exhausted. I’ve noticed changes in my body too. I’m much stronger now (it’s not super visible yet but the muscles are there!), my stomach muscles are stronger, and I’m in much better shape than I was before.
Now I look forward to my workouts instead of dreading them. Now I don’t exercise to gain or lose weight. I don’t obsess over the models on Instagram and try to look at them. Because I don’t think that should be the purpose of fitness and exercise. It’s okay to be skinny or a little heavier, every body type is beautiful. Because it’s YOUR body. God didn’t make you to look exactly like someone else. You are unique and special in your own way. At the end of the day, it’s about being confident about who you are and how you were made. And that’s what fitness is about for me.
P.S. I still can’t fit in any pants and that will probably be a struggle for the rest of my life