Now, I want to preface this by saying that there is no need to change to meet any kind of aesthetic standard. There’s a lot of pressure floating around, especially this time of year, that is telling people that they have to look a certain way or be a certain weight to be considered attractive. However, that, my friends, is not true. A person can be beautiful at any size and deserves respect at all sizes as well. A person should love themselves for who they are and any changes they choose to partake in should be to strive towards self improvement. That being said, sometimes a person has to lose some weight and get fit because of health reasons, and that’s okay. I am a self proclaimed couch potato that decided that 2017 was the time to make some lifestyle changes to improve both my physical and mental health. If there’s anyone out there that is struggling with the same culture shock, then this article is for them to read and feel a little less alone. Let’s do this together. Ready? Set. Go!
15 "Is it supposed to burn?"
I have a weak heart and piss poor lungs so I was never really an active person. I spent an entire summer so inactive that my mother was constantly worried I would develop bed sores. So going from a figurative potato to a fit tea drinking fitness guru (I’m totally kidding. Fit teas are the devil’s nectar and making a huge change like that would never stick with this lazy bones) has been a jarring shock to my body. The first time I tried to go jogging, my entire body started screaming and I had to lay down at the end of my block. My legs hurt for the rest of the week and I had a sharp pain in my lungs for two days. Death is coming. I have never died but I am certain that this is what death feels like.
14 Crying Over Supermodel Instagram Pages: An Autobiography
I don’t know why I do it. I know I’m never going to look like Karlie Kloss does when she works out but for some reason, I always go to her page and drool over her perfectly styled and posed workout sessions, then look at my own stained sweatpants and wonder what’s the point. Who am I kidding? I’m never going to be Karlie Kloss. But we can’t think that way. We may not be able to be Karlie; however we can be our best selves and I’m like 12% sure that comparing someone who doesn’t even have the same body type as myself is not going to help me at all. There is no need to compare ourselves to others, especially not our looks. As a wise person on the internet once said “comparison is the thief of joy”
13 Realizing That You've Been Watching TV in Your Work Out Clothes for the Past Hour
It’s time to work out, I’m in my workout gear, I have a water bottle ready to go, and I’m gonna kick this workout in the butt. Hold on, I just need to sit down for a moment while I put on my sneakers. All of a sudden I come back from fantasy daydream land and two hours have gone by yet I’m still on the couch. Now the sun has set, the cold is creeping in, there’s fog on my window, and I can’t find my flashlight. Now I have to do a floor workout (since I can’t go for a walk anymore,) that’s easy enough. Or so I thought before I laid down to start that first sit up (that never ended up actually happening.) I was supposed to set a timer on my phone but suddenly I’ve been scrolling on instagram for an hour and I have no idea how it happened.
12 "Oh no, there's a single cloud in the sky. The weather is too bad for a run."
I can and will find any single excuse not to workout. I can’t find a hair tie, my water bottle is leaking, I can’t find a second sports bra (though to be fair, this one isn’t really an excuse as much as it is a requirement,) the weather is too mucky, I have a stomach ache...I sound like a small child trying to convince his mum to let him stay home from school. But the weird thing is, is that when we make these excuses, we’re not giving them to anyone but ourselves. We know that we’re not going to work out and we know what the reason is, but we’re still lying to ourselves and making up excuses so that we feel less guilty. Humans are silly.
11 "Jillian Michaels, my body doesn't bend that way!"
Youtube workout tutorials or, even worse, the workout tapes of yore are not helpful at all. I know I’m not doing it correctly, you know I’m not doing it correctly, and yet I keep pretending that I’m following along and you keep pretending that I’m doing a good job. At least we’ve both agreed to lie to each other rather than just one of us committing to this charade. One good thing about those tapes is that they can be viewed and practiced in the comfort, and safety, of my own home. Free from the judgment and flailing limbs of others. So, I guess you win some and you lose some. Although nothing on Merlin’s green Earth compares to the feeling you get when you lay on the floor, eating chips, and the overly enthusiastic workout lady tells me how great I’m doing. Thank you Captain Spandex, I really needed that.
10 The Weird Feeling You Get From Actually Using Sweat/Yoga Pants For Their Intended Purposes
I love sweatpants and I live in leggings. I will never wear jeans again unless someone pays me to. Ever since that first day back in grade six when I wore a sweatshirt and leggings to school (it wasn’t cool or even acceptable at the time, I was just in the middle of a Full House phase.) However there is something wrong with wearing these workout clothes for their intended purpose. I’m wearing my comfiest clothes; therefore I should be doing my comfiest activity not this horrific mock exorcism. I have betrayed my yoga pants by using them for their intended purpose and it does not feel good in my little heart. Although my skin looks better, I have more energy, my anxiety is reduced, and every other aspect of my life has improved, I see my crumpled sweaty yoga pants on the floor and wonder if it’s worth it.
9 "No, really. I think I'm dying."
I know I’ve already moaned on about how sore I am and you’re probably sick of it. But every extremely sedentary person will know that kicking your butt into gear has some painful side effects. My muscles haven’t been used in so long that they have practically decayed and I imagine that this is what medieval torture would have felt like. Now even sitting on my bed and playing on the computer hurts. Coughing hurts. Eating hurts. Dancing in the shower hurts. Everything is hard and I am left with having to make the choice between dying of heart disease or dying from this god awful muscle cramp that, I swear to Zod, is trying to kill me.I wonder which death would be less painful.
8 Wishing You Had a Treadmill So That You Can Work Out While Watching TV
It sounds like the best idea ever, in theory. Now I don’t have to give up my couch potato habits and I’ll be losing weight while watching every episode of Hannah Montana consecutively. However, treadmills are expensive, I have an extremely small flat that can barely house my three friends and I (let alone some god awful exercise equipment,) and treadmills seem like innocent exercise equipment that can make all your dreams come true; however they are actually secret ninja death machines in disguise. Watching TV while workout seems like the greatest idea until you get distracted and end up finding out exactly what getting treadmill burn on your face feels like. Hint: it’s horrible and does not heal well. At all. It might even scar.
7 "I did yoga this morning, so that means I can watch all of Lizzie McGuire in one sitting."
Once a couch potato always a couch potato. Even though we’re making strives to be far more active in our everyday lives, we always end up right back on our arses for 10 hours at a time once that mandatory hour of physical activity has been completed. But that’s not helpful either because you’re still being a sedentary little goldfish, aren’t you? If you really want to make a difference, keep that hour but get up every hour and just wiggle a little bit. Get that blood pumping. As someone who works from home, finding the time to get up and move around can be hard but I try to remind myself to shake those lazies out every now and then so I don’t get that pain in my legs that I get sometimes when I try to stand up.
6 Procrastinating Working Out With Chores and Other Awful Things
Cleaning the house is awful; however it doesn’t hurt my body in the way that working out will feel. Maybe I should film another youtube video or do all of my homework for the rest of the semester. Oh my goodness. I have no idea how to speak fluent Russian. Better spend two hours googling common phrases rather than working out. Zdravstvuyte, Proshchay, Tebe nravitsya syr? Much better. I’m not doing anything now. I could work out...or I could watch the first season of ‘Life With Derek’ and paint my toenails. Maybe I should clean my house for a second time? I think I might have missed a spot but I’m not sure which spot so I should just redo the entire cleaning process to be sure that I get it.
5 When You Realize That You've Spent Longer Creating Your Workout Playlist Than Using it
In writing this, I have realized that I haven’t made a workout playlist nor have I worked out today even though I’ve been awake since 7am. I made a record wall instead and strung up some fairy lights around a makeshift ‘Little Mermaid’ tapestry. Now, I have to add another thing to add to my to do list. But when I do eventually create my playlist, I know that I will spend at least a good hour listening to it without even working out. If I play my workout mix while I lie on the floor and kick my legs spastically in random directions, does that count as working out? I don’t even want to finish writing this article because I know I have to work out afterwards. Curse me for sticking to my New Year's resolutions like a nerd.
4 *Googles* "If I eat better, do I have to work out?"
At this point into my decision to get health and get fit, I don’t want to ever have to do another squat again. I’m done. I’m tired. And I’m pretty sure I will die if I have to do one more chest press. So at this point, I’m doing everything I can do to avoid having to workout and maximizing my couch time. If I eat better foods and less of them, can I skip working out and still achieve the same results? If I walk around the mall for an hour, does that count? What if I walk up the escalator rather than just letting it lift my dead corpse to the next floor? If I sell my soul to the devil, will he make me fit and healthy and I can lounge around for the rest of my mortal life? If I promise my first born to a witch, can she do the same?
3 I Remember When Breathing Didn't Hurt: A Memoir
Now, as someone with the worst lungs on Earth, I can’t remember a time where breathing didn’t suck to some degree. However I haven’t always gotten this sharp and awful pain in my ribs every time my body decides it needs more oxygen to survive or some garbage like that. Why is this happening? I just want to breathe. Why is that so wrong? Why does everything hurt. Watching Dodie Clark on YouTube for six hours in a row doesn’t cause me this much pain. Why must everything hurt? Is working out with this pain? I imagine heart attacks hurt and I am preventing them, but at what cost? To quote Leslie Knope, “Everything hurts and I’m dying.” Although it might be more accurate to say “Everything hurts and I’m dying: The Sequel. Everything is garbage and I did this to myself.”
2 Trying to Find a Balance Between Vegetation and Working Out
I need to sit down and rest after my workout; however where’s the balance between rest and reverting to my old couch potato ways? How do I balance being active and healthy while still doing things I like to do? If I stop doing the things I like to do, I’ll get anxiety but if I never move again I will literally die. I need to get up and move around but it’s awful and it hurts. Is it worth it? I don’t want to fully give up being a potato, but maybe I could be less of a potato. Maybe, instead of being a french fry dipped in mayo, I could be mashed sweet potatoes. Those are healthy right? Opens new tab to google if sweet potatoes are healthy or not so I can prolong this article and not have to work out.
1 1 Begrudgingly Keeping it Up Because You Actually Do Feel Better
Alright, family, I admit it. I do feel better. My skin is soft and tight, my digestive system is finally functioning properly, my heart isn’t racing as much as it used to, I’m not as tired (and BONUS:: I can fall asleep before 6am on most nights now,) my chronic depression and anxiety issues have gone done (I can drink a soda without having to tap it either 8, 16, or 32 times,) and I might eventually be able to tackle a set of stairs without needing to take a breather. I have fought against taking better care of myself for years but I have to admit that you were all right. Are you happy? I’m not going to go as far as to go Paleo or vegan or some hardcore thing like that but I will keep this up. As awful as it may be, it has drastically improved multiple areas of my life. Ugh, I hate it when I’m wrong.