So I joined the local gym last week. Actually, it was the week before and I was so motivated, but then Chris aunt got sick and died all in one week and everything got put on hold.
So last week, last Monday, I rolled my fat ass into the gym and began what I hope to be my healthiest year yet. I turn 39 at the end of this week and my goal is to be in the best shape of my life by the time I'm 40.
Now starting an exercise program is an average kind of thing to do for most people. I've done it many times before in the past myself. Whatever... slacking off too much + eating too much = clothes getting too tight. Solution? Eat less, move more. Simple.
This time around though, things aren't as simple or as average as I'd like them to be. For over a decade, I've suffered from anxiety. Anxiety that I tried to combat with reason and logic. You know what reason and logic did for me? Cranked the anxiety up and morphed it into a panic disorder. With agoraphobia. You can read a little more about all of this here. I'm happy to say that I haven't had a full blown panic attack in years, but the residual agoraphobia and avoidance behaviours really have me stuck in a few areas of my life. Exercise is a big hurdle for me to get over. BIG. I recently (and tearfully) backed out of a hike with my husband and daughter because I couldn't handle the fears attached with the hike itself. I let myself down. I let my family down. That hurt and cut me deeply. What kind of mother frantically backs out of a WALK with her family? My poor almost 3 year old consoling me and saying "it's ok mama - c'mon let's go! And I still couldn't. I was frozen. Clearly, something needs to be done.
If you've ever had a panic attack or experienced anxiety, you understand the discomfort and fear that goes along with your racing heart. And that in a nutshell is why I have such an aversion to exercise. I KNOW it will help me, I KNOW I can totally DO this... but once my heart starts beating faster I can feel myself start to panic. Needless to say, I've been avoiding all manner of exercise for almost 4 years. Not good. I'm the heaviest I've ever been. I'm out of shape. With a capital "HOLY SHIT YOU'RE OUT OF SHAPE!" I really need to get past this or I will literally die from being afraid of cardio and how fucking lame is that?
So... I joined the gym. The gym people are helping me by creating a program just for me. I actually welled up telling the trainer guy at the gym what my damage is (and how fucking lame is THAT?)... he was really supportive though. Which I need. I'm focusing on cardio for now and weights should start soon. This is going to take a while - because in order for me to be successful, I need to take it slow. How slow? Here's an idea... (don't laugh at me):
Day one: Treadmill. Only managed to walk at the breakneck speed of 1.9 and no incline - I hope that makes sense - if it doesn't? It's fucking S.L.O.W. I walk faster than that standing in line at the grocery store. Whatever, I went and I stayed for almost an hour.
Day two. Treadmill again, but increased my speed to 2.5 and "allowed" my heart rate to get up to 118bpm.
Day three. Again, treadmill... 20 mins. BUT, I walked up to 3.1 and at a 1.5 incline. Heart rate? Up to 125! I then went on the rowing machine for 15 minutes.
And even though I haven't had a chance to get back yet - man this parenting thing really takes away from the me time - I am proud of myself and growing more confident in myself. I know I'm not really exercising yet... but I'm working up to it. I'm making positive changes in my life and that feels really good. Hopefully I'll keep it up. Hopefully, I'll be sweating buckets in a couple of weeks and most importantly, I hope to go on some long hikes with my little girl. She deserves that much. I deserve it too.
And please feel free to kick me in the ass if you see me on Twitter too much.