Food & Health · Recollections & Reflections

Revisiting an old goal – perhaps a start of something new?

So, I know I had written in an earlier post that I wasn’t going to make resolutions this year (like, specifically on January 1st, which would then end 4 weeks later). But I actually have. One in particular, which anyone who has talked to me for more than 5 minutes can guess, is health-related.

I’m not going to lie – part of it has to do with my weight. But I’d really like to get to the point where my desire to go to the gym/workout is not motivated because I’m unhappy with my body. You know that whole “healthy lifestyle” thing those ever-perky health experts on television talk aboot? I’d like to find out if that’s real! It could be my Don Quixote-esque quest!

I’d love one day to be that one buddee in her shalwar khameez and running shoes who goes out for a walk every morning, rain or shine. Non-Desi Translation: you know those old people who exercise and make you feel horrible about yourself? I wanna be that cool one day!

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Hopefully, my future

It’s going to take a while for me to get to that point. Not old age – I’m already there mentally – but the whole “health” thing. I feel that it will perhaps be a constant process of discernment and choice for me. Because as I am learning to see, even though many of us can overcome the issues that plagued our childhood, they will always be with us in some way. You can’t divorce yourself fully from the forces that shaped you. You have to learn to deal with them as you get older – that’s the struggle.

I guess that I just need to continue to have this conversation with myself.

Back in 2011, I think it was, I ran my first ever 5K. That was a big deal for me having been overweight for most of my life. When I was in middle/high school and thus required to take physical education, whenever we had to “run” a mile, my time was pretty appalling. Not only could I not complete 1 mile in a not-embarrassing time, I couldn’t even last the entire thing; I’d have to start walking halfway through the first lap.

I hated gym class.

As a kid, the only thing I ran to was the kitchen (that old sense of humour never dies).

During recess in elementary school, when all the other kids couldn’t wait to get on the field and do whatever it is they did, what I most wanted was to be back in class. Not necessarily because I was a super-nerd and was too preoccupied with mathematical equations or anything, but because in class, I felt safe. School was something I could fool others into thinking I was good at. Sports? Nah, not even if I tried could I pretend that I liked sports. My dislike of all forms of physical activity (this included tag and hide-n-seek, folks!) made me feel like an odd child growing up. In many ways, I was. Now that I’m older, I have to wonder: was I fat because I disliked sports? Or did I dislike sports because I was fat? Sucking at sports as a kid can be brutal; some kids are just plain old meanies!

Before I fall deeper down into this rabbit hole of childhood memories, my point was that deciding to complete a 5k was a big deal for me. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something I had once deemed impossible. I did it with the weight, so why not this?

Even though my time was not great, I kept a steady pace and did not take any walking breaks. I was proud of that.

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I didn’t make it up! I think I must have instructed my parents to take this photo for “evidence”, if ever I doubted myself.

But it was just that one time and it was so long ago, it feels like.

There are a few reasons why I never did another race after that. The whole no pants thing for two years is a convenient excuse, but honestly, weight was all that was ever on my mind during my exercise bouts over the years. As soon as I got down to a weight I was okay with, I went back to old habits. One slice of cake? Who do you think I am? A normal person?

But now that I’m getting older, I’m seeing the importance of fitness really in order to be able to do simple every day things. I’m not there yet, but if I don’t make it a part of my life now, I’m not going to be able to get into a routine when I actually start having debilitating problems. Type II diabetes runs on both sides of my family. I was able to reverse it that one time, but who knows if I will be that lucky again?

So this year, kind of as a kick-off hopefully for a more long-term way of living, I’d like to complete my second 5K (if I can make it, maybe I’ll expand on this goal).

I’ve begun using the treadmill again, and let me tell yeah, it’s way harder than the elliptical. But I’m also at the point where I kind want the challenge that can translate to something healthy and fun (okay, maybe not fun – it’s me we’re talking aboot after all) when it’s not freezing outside. I’d really love to be able to go for a run…okay, jog when the weather is nice instead of the usual, “Mr. Rafia, do you have any plans for the weekend? No. Me neither. Should I text Couple A to see if they’re free?” Eating out is great, but I also wanna do things that don’t always involve food or money.

I’m actually a bit hesitant to publish this post because that means if I say I’m going to do it, I have to hold myself accountable and actually sign-up for a 5K. It’s kind of scary. Can I even do it? I live in Indiana now. Also, what about the weather? Will I need to get another pair of running shoes for pavement running? Why did I write this post? I should have just done another post complaining about social media! Ahhhh!

6 thoughts on “Revisiting an old goal – perhaps a start of something new?

  1. Yeah, I don’t love my gym. But I go, because I need to and it’s relatively inexpensive compared to others. But I get it – it can be intimidating. I also really wish we had a women’s only gym here. Having to exercise in hijab makes thing even tougher than they already are. I’m also out of shape too. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hard to embark on a goal because sometimes we constantly see in our heads the desired end goal and we forget that 1) it will take a lot of hard work and 2) we usually envision perfection and perfection doesn’t exist. Except in chocolate.

    I commend you for having an awesome yet realistic goal and making the life changes you need to, you’re going about this in the best way, I think. Little by little I’ve been exercising too. One day weights, another day yoga. I’ve even got a 30 day plank challenge going. (My improvement isn’t fantastic, but at least I’m doing it.) Because our bodies are worth taking care of :]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL at ” Except in chocolate.” Preach, sista! Thank you for the encouragement. It is hard, this whole trying to run thing that I have got going. But I know that I’m literally starting from zero and it will take time for me to get to a place where I will actually enjoy what others say exist: that runner’s high. I feel it sometimes, but I also feel like my head is going to explode. I’m glad you’ve started exercising too. What do you for for weights? I find this to be even more challenging than cardio, which is challenging in and of itself! I should try to 30-day plank challenge. Is there a specific person you’re following?

    Like

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