Being a Better “Me”

I do this every year. I claim that I will work out, and be healthier, but it never happens. Do we every truly commit and complete our resolutions? I know I never did. Sure, the month of January would go smoothly with me eating right, but I would soon give up and go back to my bad habits. I think this year it will be different. I decided I truly will be a healthier person. But let me blab to you about my life story, so you really will get the feel of why I want to make a change.

I had a good childhood. I was always the smallest kid in my class, and the most petite. I did have stick-like legs and arms, and rarely gained weight. My friends parents would call me a garbage disposal, and they would always plop extra helpings of food on my plate, trying to “fatten” me up, so to speak.

Then of course, puberty took its toll, and I realized I no longer had that awesome metabolism like I once did. Sure, I could still eat as much as I wanted of all the delicious foods my friends were wary about, but I had noticed I was developing a pudgy tummy. I still was the smallest of my friends though, so I never thought anything of my growing pouch of flubber.

I ran a lot my with my family when I was younger, and we always played a ton of sports that involved getting too sweaty. Both my mother and father were extremely fit back then, and are to this day, even if they are creeping into their mid 50’s. My mother is in better shape than I am, and my father has enough muscle that scared any of my potential boyfriends away.

I joined track in high school, and with all the working out I was actually hungrier than if I wouldn’t have been working out. The good thing was I got toned, and I felt a lot more in shape, even if I did have the appetite as a hungry-hungry-hippo.

Unfortunately, once high school ended, I certainly wasn’t driven towards exercising and eating healthy. I (embarrassingly) consumed too much fast food the year before freshman year. Obviously, this is a huge cause of weight gain, and add on the fact I wasn’t very active (I worked all summer) you can bet I packed on the freshman 15 before school had even started.

Thankfully, college changed my eating habits. I lost the 10-15 lbs just by cutting out fast food altogether (and swearing off the garbage). Since I commuted, I was forced to pack a healthy lunch, or I would be forced to spend $10 on a salad from my school’s pub.

Since I am still a commuter, I spend a good portion of my day running to and from either the train or my house. It takes up time that could be spent napping, relaxing, or you guessed it, exercising. My courses were hard freshman year because I had a lot of classes that had nothing to do with my major, so I often spent most of my free time keeping my grades up. I would go straight home and change for work, or sometimes, go straight from school to work. I always work until 9 p.m. so I don’t have much free time when I get back home. It’s quick eat dinner, get ready for tomorrow, and do my homework or study. As you may guess, exercising was not on my to-do list.

Now, this year, I had a hard time managing my time. I have another job working at my school in the marketing and communications

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. " Thomas A. Edision

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ” Thomas A. Edision

department. It’s not a grueling, physical job, but I do have to be in the office for it to count as work. It takes up time that I would probably spend doing homework (or maybe exercising?) but I love the job, and I love the experience I am getting. So, it’s been hard to work in eating right and exercising, on top of going to school full-time, working two part time jobs, and having a social life.

Some people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it, working and going to school.” Sure I love the money, but to be honest, I love the jobs just as much. I always wondered how other people stay active even with a busy life. How do they get up at 4 a.m. and go for a 5 mile run before heading off onto their commute for work? How do they squeeze in working out at the gym after an eight hour day at the office? How do they find time to pack a healthy lunch, when it’s easier to just pick up lunch at convenient store?

Well, they love it. I’d also say motivation. If you think positively, you can pretty much do anything.  I also like to think you need a support group, an entourage, cheerleaders; you name it. Just someone who will be there for you no matter what.

One of my challenges has been finding my motivation. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who only want what is best for me. But, a flaw I have is comparing myself to all my close friends and family, which gives me nothing but doubt.

It’s hard having two extremely fit parents because it seems like everything they do works for them. It’s hard having a naturally in-shape boyfriend, and friends. I look at them and think, why can’t it be that simple?

Every time I have tried to get back into my healthy habits, I have been surrounded by discouragement. Not by everyone, just some people don’t understand. They see me eating carrot sticks and a yogurt and complain, “You don’t need to eat like that, here, have a cookie.” And so I eat that cookie, because they make me feel like I don’t need to eat the healthy food. People are always telling me, “Oh stop. You don’t need to cut back, you’re skinny” or “You’re tiny what are you talking about??”

No. I’m not tiny. I’m not just some insecure girl who wants to be like the girls she sees in magazines and movies. I just want to be a healthier person. It’s not weird to like yogurt, nuts, protein bars, salads, vegetables, or fruits. I sure do love my sweets, my carbs, and my sodium. But I can’t consume it all the time. That’s not me.

I’ve started this “New Madi” thing Monday. It’s only been about a week, but I’m keeping it up. I haven’t gone crazy and eaten a whole cake. I downloaded this app on my iPod called My Fitness Pal, which helps you keep track of exercising, diet, and calories.

It sounds like every other calorie counting app out there, but so far, I have nothing bad to say. When I look down at my iPod and it tells me I ate cookies and cake as my snacks, it’s a slap in the face. It’s right there in front of me, and it gives me the motivation to do something good for myself. So, when I look down and see all these healthy things I have eaten for the day, it makes me smile, and gives me the strength to keep going.

I’m trying to add more cardio, strength exercises, and yoga into my life. Hopefully I can work out at least three times a week for the rest of the semester. I hope to hear from others about their motivation for working out, or maybe if you have a story of how you changed and became healthier!

 

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

 

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3 comments

  1. Agree fully. I was also a very skinny kid until last year really…I started earning my own money and started spending it on hi-carb meals. It wasn’t long after that I realised my little tummy or as they call it in South Africa, a “Boepie” (Boopy). My dad or my girlfriend are always the first ones to point this out…and I really hope I won’t have to start gyming soon. At best I would love to take up a fun sport like Capoeira but there isn’t anyone giving classes in the town where I live. 🙂 Great post!

    1. Yes I think everyone goes through this phase where they eat bad. Thanks for sharing your story! I like that little tummy name, I may have to use that! Thanks for reading!

  2. It can be intimidating to be around other fit people, but the true motivation for working out and being healthy has to come from within. It doesn’t matter how skinny or fat or jacked or lumpy that person next to you is, if you don’t want to improve yourself, it won’t happen. It’s all mind games. You can’t trick yourself into thinking that that carrot is delicious, and that 30 minute run is worthwhile, you have to want it. And I know you want it. And you know you want it, or else you wouldn’t be trying. Diet wise, writing down everything you eat, EVERYthing, really takes its toll on bad habits. That handful of doritos sudden doesn’t look as appetizing since you will have to pull up the app and log it, and then have that history of how you caved. You have been doing great so far and I know you can do it!

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