Today is day 22 of my current "on track" streak! (Previous streaks; 290 days, 13 days and 53 days.)
You know what? I really do LOVE to workout! I can't believe I'm saying that, but its so true. Sometimes I still have to push myself to just get my workout started, but once I'm doing it...it is just awesome! I love to sweat and I even love to struggle, because I know that when I'm struggling, I'm getting stronger!
There was a time when I definitely did NOT love working out. I used to go for the easiest workout possible...one that would barely make me sweat or breathe hard. If a workout actually felt like WORK, I would give up. I would say "Oh, this is just too hard for me", and I would just quit. I never gave myself a chance to get stronger and better. I never attempted to see just how much I was truly capable of.
When I first started streaking last March, I was in really bad shape. I weighed 286 lbs and exercise was not really a part of my life. Thats hard to admit, especially since I belonged to a women's gym back then! But here's the truth...I would go to the gym and just walk my way through a workout. I put forth no effort. I didn't breathe hard or sweat. I just went from machine to machine, going through the motions. No exertion. And after my "workout", I would hop in the car and head home, stopping first at a drive thru or convenience store for a treat.
And then I would get on Sparks, and encourage my dear Spark friends to believe in themselves, to work hard, to exercise, to eat right and to keep pushing for their goals. I told them..."You are worth your best effort." But I wasn't putting forth my own best effort. I was talking the talk but not walking the walk.
Last March, I guess I just got sick of living that way. I was tired of never feeling that I was worth caring about, so I decided to just START caring. I was blessed with a great hubby who loved me, and I was also blessed to have the most caring, loving support group....my Spark friends! And because my Spark friends cared about me, I decided to start caring about myself, too.
It wasn't easy, but I knew I had to really start putting the WORK into my workouts. So I quit the women's gym, and started working out at home. And I told myself, "no more sleepwalking through your workouts." I started to put my BEST effort into it. At first, I could barely make it through a 15 minute workout, but I pushed myself to keep going and to try harder and harder. If a workout got difficult, I told myself to just keep going because "Someday this will just be a warm up."
It didn't happen overnight, but by sticking with it, I got better and stronger. I got more flexible. I built endurance. So many times, that voice in my head told me to give up. But everytime that inner voice said "You can't do it", I would literally say out loud "YES I CAN!"
Over time, I began to notice more and more progress. I discovered that I loved yoga, and sometimes I would amaze myself with the way I could move my body. I began to feel like an athlete! I became addicted to those wonderful exercise induced endorphins. And I began to have such a great sense of accomplishment and pride. Not an arrogant sort of pride. I know I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I have earned the right to be proud of how far I've already come.
And now when I tell my Spark friends "You are worth your very best effort", I am actually living the truth of those words myself! And I look forward to seeing how much more I am capable of, one workout at a time.
By the way, this is Ernestine Shepherd. She is in her 70's and in awesome shape. Check out the link to read more about her;