Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

I Looked In The Mirror. Damn.

It’s confession time. I looked in the mirror, even though I said I wouldn’t. I didn’t mean to, well not exactly. Let me tell you what happened.

I had just finished working out. I was running to the bedroom to grab a hair elastic so that I could put my hair up before getting into the bathtub. I just happened to glance in the mirror in our front hall accidentally. The next thing I know, I’m standing in the mirror, admiring the beginning of those lines on my stomach. You know what I’m talking about. Those lines that hint at the outline of a future six pack.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so far from having clearly identifiable ab muscles. But I will admit that I like to see those lines. They make me feel strong and sexy. All I know is, 2 to 3 minutes had passed and I was still admiring my body in the mirror. And do you know what happened after that?

A whole bunch of nothing happened after that.

Once I decided that I was going to work out only 5 days a week, I figured I didn’t have to pick specific days. I figured I would just work out as my schedule allows.

For this week that meant working out every day except for maybe Wednesday and Thursday, which were the only 2 days I have to go into work. Oh, but no, that’s not what happened. The mirror is my enemy. I knew looking at it would make me feel like I was making real progress.

I don’t know why, but any sort of progress sucks away my motivation. And as usual, I’m hoping that telling on myself will make me get back into working out. There are still enough days left for me to get my 5 workout days in this week. Cross your fingers for me because I really want to stick with it this time.

I know I say my main goal is to fit into the dress I wore the day I met my husband. And in some ways, it is my main goal. Or at least, it’s a way to visually recognize that I’ve got the body I want. But also, I just really want to be happy all the time with what I see when I look in the mirror.

Some of you know what its like to have mixed feelings about what you see in the mirror. I love my body and I think that I’m attractive and pretty and all of that. I know I could be better though. Having excess body fat on certain parts of your body is just unhealthy, and it makes certain items of clothing look unflattering. I’d like to be more healthy and not to leave certain items of clothing in my closet because they don’t fit well. It would remove a point of stress in my life, just that simple.

I care about my long-term health, more than I usually talk about in this blog. Working out as consistently as I can makes that possible. You may wonder why I care so much. Well, when I was a little kid, there were so many old people in my family, and I loved it. They were the siblings of my great grandmother. She passed when I was in college, making it past the age of 80 . So basically, I come from a family where people live until they are 70 and 80 years old. I want to be able to know my great grandchildren before I die. And to do that, I’ve got to grow old. And to do that, I’ve got to stay healthy.

I’m almost 30 years old, and I don’t have any children yet. The husband and I intend to have children in the next few years but we aren’t in any rush. That means I have to live really long time if I want to get to know some grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ideally, I’d like to be in good health when I’m spending time with him. I just can’t see myself in a wheelchair, on an oxygen tank, or needing a walker. I want to play with my grandchildren and great grandchildren. So I have to do everything I can now so that I can have a life I want later. I think that if I focus on the deep reasons instead of just the superficial ones, it will stay important to me day after day to get my lazy ass up and exercise.

I talk a lot about exercising but not so much about diet. I just wanted to explain why. I’m not exactly a health food nut. But I do believe in eating as many unprocessed foods as possible, and trying not to overindulge. It helps that I don’t have any food allergies, and I have a pretty strong stomach.

Normally, I don’t have problems with moderating my diet–except for when it comes potatoes. If it wasn’t for the fact that I would eventually weigh 300 pounds, I would eat potatoes every day. But usually, I don’t have a problem regulating my diet. So if you’re going through this same struggle trying to get in shape and stay healthy, I’d like to apologize for having no words of encouragement on the diet front. But I’m with you on your struggle to exercise.

It’s hard to get up everyday and expend that energy. Even when I think about the extra energy I’ll have after a few days of working out, it’s always… later. And for some reason ‘later’ isn’t a strong enough motivator. Or at least it wasn’t, until I started thinking about play time with my future great grandchildren. Needless to say, I’m feeling more motivated.

I just had to dig deeper. So if you’re lacking motivation, dig deeper. Figure you why you care about being healthy. Does it affect your future? Affect your clothes? Does it affect your happiness?

If you run out of motivation by thinking of whatever size jeans you aspire to fit, dig deeper.

If you can dig deeper, maybe next time  you’re working out, but don’t feel like pushing yourself, you can dig deeper then too.

Good luck.

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