Facing my big, fat fears

A few weeks ago, my gym began offering free spin classes. I go to a cheap, bare bones gym that doesn’t offer any classes, so this was pretty exciting.

Except, I had never tried spin before.

There are two thoughts that go through my head when I think about trying new things:

1. Am I too fat for this? I’m probably too fat for this.

2. It doesn’t matter if I’m too fat for this or not, other people will think I’m too fat for this.

Oh my god. Sometimes I think I got off “easy” compared to trauma other fat people face, then I become aware of my thoughts, and realize being fat has affected me in more ways than I probably realize.

It’s amazing what you hear when you start listening to your thoughts.

Rationally, I know I’ve been working out consistently for about a year, have run two 5Ks and have much more endurance  than I did at 240 pounds. Also, there is that tiny detail of not actually being 240 pounds anymore.

There was nothing standing between me and that spin class except for my big, fat fear.

I was really nervous going into it, but just kept telling myself that I belonged there and I would be able to complete the class.

It helped that the instructor was really nice and because the spin classes are new at the gym, there were other spin newbies like me.

Since that first class, I’ve been back whenever my schedule allows it and have a great time every time. I leave so sweaty and so, so happy.

Source: Uploaded by user via Bobbie on Pinterest

I know that part of the good feeling that follows spin are due to endorphins, but there’s a feeling of accomplishment every time I leave the class that I’m doing something I didn’t think I could do.

Losing 65 pounds has changed my life in so many unimaginable ways, the most important of which have absolutely nothing to do with how I look.

I hate watching TV when I’m on the treadmill or elliptical, so instead I usually stare into my reflection on the dark screen and challenge myself to go when I want to stop and do what I think I cannot do.

Today, let fear be your motivation to action.

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5K running playlist

Music has been a huge part of my journey.

Maybe you saw this tweet the other day?

Having music that’s motivating and enjoyable had truly been something I’ve come to depend on.

When I first started excising, I didn’t set goals on time, distance or speed. My only rule was that I do it consistently.

For motivation, I created music playlists that were exactly a half hour long, so I didn’t have to bring a watch or phone with me on my walks. I would plug in my headphones, tune the world out and go.

This turned out to be a great move in the long run because these walks were such positive experiences. My whole life I’ve always hated working out. It was tiring, painful, and I felt like, a waste of time.

But not having any goals or expectations for my walks allowed me to focus in on the mental benefits of exercise. After an hour strolling through the park, I was always less stressed, happier and more focused.

This experience changed exercise from something I hated to treasured “me time” where I didn’t have to respond to any texts or answer phone calls. I could zero in on just what was going on in my own head.

However, when I began running, time, distance and speed began to matter. For my first 5k I set one goal: Finish under 40 minutes.

Then I made a new running playlist to be exactly 40 minutes long. I knew that if I began to hear the last couple of songs, it would motivate me to run faster.

So here it is, my 5k, 40 minute playlist. Enjoy!

Beverly Hills – Weezer

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera

Not the Doctor – Alanis Morissette

Possum Kingdom – The Toadies

Pull up the People – M.I.A.

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

Silver Lining – Rilo Kiley

Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine

Super Bass – Niki Minaj

What I got – Sublime

A quickie

Check back tomorrow for more on motivation and why it’s ok if you don’t always love working out!