Thursday, June 9, 2011

How i learned exercise can be unlame.

i have always hated exercise for the sake of exercise.
i grew up on an acreage where our family heated with two wood stoves. i was constantly hauling firewood, cutting firewood, mowing (with a non-propelled push mower), and doing other odd active jobs. i LOVEd that kind of exercise because it had a purpose.
i don't have as many outlets for purposeful-getting-things-done exercise here. i do bits of yard work but we don't have a huge yard. kansas city is quite spread out so I can't walk to do my errands very well.

sometime after i started adelaide's, i got to a place where i HATED my body. i was mostly in front of  a computer all day, and i also thought it was appropriate to eat a butterfinger every time i went to walgreens to buy shipping envelopes.
I tried a lot of things to try to get back in shape: running, going to the gym (blech) hula hooping, yoga, pilates, i even bought a dancing with the stars video (seriously). But i always felt frustrated when i was working out and all i could think about was stopping, so i usually did.

At the encouragement of my new friend becky, i started this "slim in 6" series. the goal is to do it 6 times a week, but becky told me to start at 4 to five times a week.
at day 3, i called steve and said,
"i think i must have the flu, i feel awful, every muscle in my body hurts, even muscles i didn't know i had. i can't move."
he said, "no love, i think you've just learned how to exercise."
he talked about training for football in high school. how the first week of practice, you really thought you might die. that you could barely walk to class the next day.
i had never in my LIFE pushed my body like this. but i've kept going and i've gotten better at it.
after the flu day, i came to really like this video. and i'm REALLY doing it. hard core. like an hour a day almost every day. if you knew me in real life, you would say "WHAT????!, NO WAY!, you maria?" yes way, dudes. i'm exercising.

i do NOT say all this to brag. at all.  on the contrary, i want to say that if you hate exercise too, i promise it can change for you and you can find something you like. if i can do it, i KNOW you can. and then you'll feel like you can conquer the world.

my dad died from heart problems (let me clarify that he had a heart disease, not a weak heart from lack of exercise). but here i have been making my heart weak, just from sheer laziness. EVERY year when i get my check up at the doctor it goes like this,
"so, have you been exercising?"
"no, not really"
"maria! you have to exercise, your heart is a muscle, you've got to take care of it."
"i know, i've been trying, but blah blah blah excuse excuse."
 its so important. of all the things we can't control in life, eating healthy and exercise is one thing we CAN control and make time for. and don't worry about the SCALE. my mom was very obsessed with weight and from her i learned that i should focus on a certain number. but i haven't lost any weight since i've started exercising regularly, but my body is still changing in little ways here and there. toning up. and i know i'm eating healthy and exercising, so the scale can go jump off a cliff.

i'm showing these pics from 3 weeks ago, because i took them after a crazy workout where i pushed myself to the max (you know, where your heart is pumping so hard in your ears). then i felt so empowered (i'm telling you these exercise endorphins are pretty rockin!). i slicked back my hair, put my most graphic shirt on and my most bad ass grey suede boots and my most dark skinny jeans and i felt like an 80's rock star for some reaon (which seemed like a good thing on this particular day, though its not a look i often strive for). And i went and scaled the tallest building in Kansas City....or i went out for some really yummy salad with my hubby.
        either way, i. felt. awesome. and not because i thought i looked awesome. i realize my body is still a million miles from being perfectly toned. no, i felt awesome because i was doing good things to take care of this body that God has given me. And that also means that ill be able to play with my future kids without getting tired after five seconds, which is a really lovely thought to me.

will you keep your heart healthy with me? please, its super serious.
thanks for reading,



  1. Yay for you! I know it can be hard to find what you love (I actually kinda like Pilates and running so thats usually what I go to) to make you feel empowered, but it is such an awesome feeling, I know exactly what you mean. I have recently re-committed to be being someone who exercises more frequently. This post is such a great reminder of how good it makes you feel!

  2. What an inspiration!! I have a similar story actually - I got into exercise for the first time a few years ago, and haven't looked back! I lost 25kg and learned to feel great in my skin.

    At the moment I am training for the City to Surf - a race from the Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach. It is the first time I have been so active in winter. I normally slack off to a few sessions a week in the cooler months, but exercising 5-6 times a week has actually been making me a lot happier!

    Thanks for sharing your story - it is always nice to have a reminder of how important exercise is :) I may have to follow suit and make a post myself!

  3. you go girl!! i have been trying SO hard to get into an exersise program regularly. i've been getting different videos from the library lately, which helps with the boredom thing. but gosh! it is just SO hard!!!

  4. Wow, you are so inspiring sweet lady! Always truthful and hardcore at the same time. I love that about you! I think you look great now, so whatever the exercise does for you physically I think there is nothing that can change that wonderful person you are inside. Thanks too for adding my button to your blog! I think I have some new followers because of you :)

  5. omg! i love this post!!! you never realized how much exercise can do for you until you start doing it! i was never an exercise gal, but after having three kids, i wanted to do something to lose the baby weight. it all started superficial. but then i noticed it gave me so much more energy in chasing 3 little ones around and i am a much happier mother! and i am doing the funny infomercial p90x videos! haha!!! but my kids reap the benefits so that is good enough for me! and believe it or not, i still have been doing it while pregnant. it really does help with energy. keep up the good work, your heart and future kids will thank you!!!

  6. OK, you've lit a fire under me. I'm off to yoga and doing a walk tomorrow. New mantra--- "keep moving". Thanks for sharing.

  7. SUCH a great post. Thanks for the encouragement. Dude, I can't believe you started exercising. Good job! :)

  8. I love this post. Your attitude is so addicting. I want you to come over every morning and tell me what you said in this post over some tea and then we'll do your awesome video together. We'll both be so healthy!!!

  9. first of all missy, i love your hair all tough like that, i just love it. secondly, your skin looks more radiant!

    what is this slim in 6. i actually like exercising, but never like exercise "plans", i am wondering if this one is different and how.

  10. Loved it. Glad you found something you liked. Now that I have the time again, I've started to exercise again. But I agree with you, it's easier to have purpose driven exercise like yard work, but again like you said, not every home or yard can provide for that.

  11. thank you all for your support! i am inspired by all of YOU with your p90xing and city to surfing, and yoga, walking, and running!
    keep it up :)

  12. Wow! This is awesome, Maria! I had no idea you'd begun a serious exercise campaign. You do look great, but feeling great is an even better reward. I'm going to join you and try to loose this honeymoon weight. :)

  13. Great post! I got into rock climbing recently and I LOVE it! It doesn't even feel like exercise! Keep up the good work!

  14. Sounds stupid, but it feels so great to feel better. I lost 20 pounds in 2009 through basic, non-crazy exercise, so I know how this feels. I'm pretty soft now after an emotional year, but I'm on my way. Applause for you!

  15. that's really great, Maria! thanks so much for sharing your story. Heart disease is awful. My dad had a triple bypass before I was born, and I got to have him in my life for 13 years. That was a blessing. Then, in my teens I began to focus on eating healthier and taking care of my body, but all through the years I've learned that I just have to be gentle with myself, give myself some love, and let go of this ideal perfect body image that I was holding myself up to. Sounds like you get it. Just do what makes you feel good. Eat what makes you feel good and always listen to your body. :)