Newest Review: ... already quite developed in my shape. In my first year of high school my breasts really began to grow - a fact I hated! This made me feel... more
In my experience...
Other Exercise and Classes
Member Name: Mama-Q
Other Exercise and Classes
Advantages: a healthy body, a healthy mind, those who exercise regularly can reduce their chances of being fat.
Disadvantages: stupid pre-conceptions about self-punishing and killing yourself
I have memories of my mum working out in-front of the TV, doing aerobics and using a bull worker (better known as a chest expander) from when I was at least 3 years old, way back in the 80s ;). My dad was also a keen skier, runner, aerobics junkie and all round fitness freak. Well, with him being in the army I suppose he needed to be in a good condition. My mum grew up with a mum who exercised, too, so the desire to exercise was there and the body was willing.
My parents used to love skiing whenever they could and often went away on skiing holidays before I was born, taking my older brother and sister with them. By the time me and my younger brother were born there just wasn't enough money to take us all so either one of my parents would go skiing in France or Austria at least once a year, usually this was my dad ;).
My parents were also into crazy fad diets, which I followed in my teens - or tried too - but I do think I hit a rebellious streak when I was around 13 or so and just ate what I liked, didn't exercise and generally didn't bother about the way I looked. I couldn't stand that my parents seemed on a quest for the perfect bodies all the time - they had become really negative about the way they looked and seemed to constantly want to change. Myself? I was by no means the perfect weight but being around the big side of a size 10 I was happy, or tried to be happy about my size.
I suppose it didn't help that my sister was always a small size 8 and could, uncomfortably, fit into a size 6. It's only now that I realise she skipped lunch every single day as well as maybe not going about things the healthiest way. And there was me thinking I was doing something 'wrong' by being the weight and size I was.
I loved team sports and PE at school, oddly enough, and it was one of my best and favourite subjects. However, when I got to high school this really changed. I was 11 when I started at high school and was already quite developed in my shape. In my first year of high school my breasts really began to grow - a fact I hated! This made me feel super self conscious and almost hate myself for how I looked. I loved cricket - and was good at it - but most other sports I felt so self conscious taking part in.
I began to get excellent grades in PE - it was actually the only subject I got such high grades in! Haha - and this bolstered my self-belief a little more but whenever we did something like swimming I would always become embarrassed because the teacher would make me demonstrate various different strokes to the whole class. I was a natural swimmer, absolutely loved it, but I didn't appreciate being the class example as I was a very shy girl who lacked a lot of self belief and self confidence I just didn't think I was all that good. And with my teacher saying things like 'watch her legs! That's perfect, you all need to do that!' it made me super duper trooper self conscious. EVERYONE WAS WATCHING MY LEGS JIGGLE. Of course I had forgotten the part where he said my technique was perfect ;).
I began to make excuses as to why I couldn't participate in PE, just because I was getting more curves and increasingly self-conscious with it. This started to effect my grades a lot in this subject as well as my own personal physical fitness. I put on weight, whether that was puppy fat or not, I was beginning to feel massive compared to my smaller peers. In hindsight I wasn't massive, I was just made to feel as though I was. Yes maybe I could have lost a stone or a half stone here and there but overall I was a decent size. I was curvy and had never been curvy in my life - I'd always been a skinny child with no bum or hips to speak of and suddenly I was developing all these curves that I didn't know what to do with.
Over time one of the teachers really laid into me about my lack of participation in PE, probably going about it all the wrong way, but it got me back on track with things at least. I also signed up for the schools athletic team and took up running. Unfortunately the athletic team fell through as not enough people
were turning up to practice but my strengths were things like the shot put, relay races and the long jump.
I still remember the day that I won my team first place in the relay race - that is probably one of my better memories of an otherwise miserable existence in high school (hated the place with a passion.) I left school at 15 and was glad of it. By this stage I was around a size 12-14 and not very happy with this.
Over the next year I got very depressed and put on loads of weight - I looked ill, bloated and was genuinely over weight. I was doing zero exercise and eating all the wrong foods. I couldn't stand being overweight at all so I devised an exercise plan for myself; yoga in the mornings, cycling at night. I loved cycling through my little town at night because it was so quiet and no one was around to watch me make a complete twat of myself on my bike ;).
I lost about 4 stone (but at this time was also suffering with an eating disorder) in this time but I still wasn't happy. I was disappointed with this as I thought when people lost weight their lives just fell into place. I couldn't have been more wrong!
Over the years my weight and activity levels have yo-yo'd up and down. I've always avoided expensive gyms and classes because I'm too embarrassed about my jiggle factor ;). I've also been to one aerobics class in my whole life and hated it with a passion - my friend managed to convince me it would be great but it was more like complete torture. I don't know why people associate pain, torture and shame with exercise - it shouldn't be that way AT ALL!
These days I prefer to be home, swinging or dead lifting my adjustable kettle bell - I'm currently on 25kg, working my way up. I also like to use resistance bands, but I couldn't tell you how many pounds of resistance I'm working against these days. I work within my own constraints and comfort levels. If it doesn't feel good, I don't do it. If I feel I'm getting my ass totally kicked, you can stuff it. A little bit of pleasant discomfort is good, though, but to punish yourself through exercise has never been my thing :). I usually try and work out before every meal for five minutes which adds up to 15 minutes per day, better than nothing. Last night I worked out for a good 10 minutes because I hand't exercised all day and I felt good for it.
I also love to swim and haven't lost my natural water baby instincts ;). I pick a majority of things I love, like swimming and weight lifting (easy weight lifting lol) and I stick at those. At first I wasn't sure about the resistance training but it's so straight forward to do.
My exercises are a bit wimpy but they add up - and to me that's what counts. There is no point in telling myself I don't need exercise because I do, everyone does, but it should never be about killing yourself with effort. I also suffer with a health condition that attacks my immune system and leaves me feeling very exhausted and I've found exercise actually helps to manage this exhaustion. Over time the weight bearing will also up my bone density, which is important to me as osteoporosis is rife in my family history. We also have heart disease and kidney disease and while my eating isn't an issue anymore I want to be an all round lean, mean healthy machine - or human being ;).
I need to lose some extra weight but I know that weight will come off. What's important is my all round health and looking after myself. Sure, I could get run over by a bus tomorrow but I want to die knowing I did all I could to avoid killing myself and therefore this is why exercise is important to me, but perhaps not in the traditional sense where people feel a need to self punish, self criticise and overdo everything they do. Just pick something you love or enjoy and stick at it. The results will be so worth it.