How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Exercise. . .

I come from a family, on my mother’s side, of larger women. We’re Eastern European peasants, so you need to be hefty, bulky, and strong with a constitution of something-stupidly-healthy to survive as a farmer’s wife in the pre-industrial world. Too bad I’m an archivist in the 21st century. When I get my own yard I’ll probably grow my own veg, but there’s really no comparison is there?
It really didn’t help that the last two years have been super stressful – completing a Masters degree, trying and invariably failing to find a job (or even an interviewer that had the decency to even call me back after an interview). So I let things go. Near-constant self-inflicted stress does not add up to good things for someone with my genes. A friend of mine gets into a super-stressful situation, she ends up losing 25-30 pounds. Me? I gained around 15 . . . Some things in life just aren’t fair. Also, I had been going to a seriously awesome pilates class (if you’re nearby – GO! Great teacher!!) for the several years before the Year That Shall Not Be Thought Of and I had become really fit and happy with my body, which is sacreligious not easy for women in North America.
And in the last few months (okay. . . since the horriblest Christmas ever. Stupid tax people), I began to notice the toll all this stress had taken on the functioning of my immune system – a brush with probable appendicitis, colds that literally knocked me flat, constant exhaustion, and an unwillingness to take the effort to do anything but read and nap the boring hours away. I was on my way to a serious depression, when including how I’ve been noticing the weight I had regained. . . I’m a walker – I generally walk as much as possible, and luckily I live in a very walkable city. But it wasn’t enough apparently.
But I did find a job – money is nice (not enough, but what can you do?) – and felt I had actual worth again.
And so I started actually using that gym membership again. I swim 2 or three times a week, take spin classes (with two different friends) 2 or 3 times a week, and I’m trying to fit in this killer body combat class they offer. It helps that a friend, who has a membership at the same gym, is back in town for the summer and I have a semi-regular gym buddy. Also, I finally got new hiking boots, so I am hoping to get a good hike in at least once a week 🙂 Hiking in whatever-shoes-I-have-on (including flip-flops once. Not recommended) really wasn’t all that successful.
Here’s the kicker: about two weeks ago,  I started to notice something – I liked it. No, craved it.
When I can’t get to the gym at least every other day, I start to go stir crazy. If I can’t fit at least one swim in every week, I feel funny. I am now, apparently, addicted to the endorphins.
I knew that I had an adrenalin thing (from the singing – more on that later), but this is pretty funny to me. I knew I’d have to start exercising again at some point, but putting it off seemed so much more awesome than actually doing it. I had no real reason to get my ass in gear. I really had no initiative. But I never thought I’d get to this point. Though a bunch of my friends are telling me, in various ways, “I told you so!”
I weighed myself for the first time in a month, and I’ve now lost a total of 10-11 pounds since I started exercising again. And I feel really good about myself again, which is even more important, really.
So I don’t feel too guilty about the ever-growing list of recipes-I-MUST-try. An indulgence here and there won’t be an issue. Cause I have the exercise fever.
See you at the pool!

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