Thursday, December 27, 2007


Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood 1952 by Philippe Halsman
Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood 1952

Do you exercise regularly?

I came across an article about how much Americans regular exercise, or rather, how many Americans exercise regularly and it turns out that about half of us do. Then I started thinking about people I know who exercise. Then I started thinking about me and how much I exercise and WHY I do so . . .

This really isn't really for your information as much as it's for MY information. I have been exercising fairly regularly since I was a very chubby 15-year-old. I did so because I knew that I didn't want to be "the fat girl" for the rest of my life. I remember the exact day I decided that I would lose weight and be healthy.

I used to be in show choir, a group where you sing and dance on stage, in high school. I LOVED it. Most of the older girls were dancers, so naturally they were thin and pretty. I was one of the youngest girls in the group, so add on the fact that I was chubby and awkward . . . I definitely DIDN'T fit in.

One day our instructor decided to videotape us because our dancing was becoming sloppy. She wanted to show us what we looked like on stage. We watched it and I felt SICK to my stomach. Seeing all that blubber, seeing how out of place I looked . . .I just couldn't believe that that was ME. I just kept thinking, "No wonder I don't have a boyfriend! Who would want to go out with me?" It was like for the first time I was seeing myself how others probably saw me and it broke my heart.

I was excused from class and claimed I was feeling sick (which was true). I went to the nurse and told my mom to come pick me up. Once I got into the car I cried and said: "I am so fat and ugly. I want to sleep forever!" And the truth was- I actually DID want to. With all my being, I wanted to sleep it off. Of course my over-dramatic mama FREAKED out. She said: "Do you know what you're implying? YOU'RE IMPLYING YOU WANT TO DIE!"

I was on suicide watch. I wrote in my journal, I slept and I watched television all day thinking about what I was going to do.

And then I decided I was going to lose weight and I knew I would do it. I just knew it would happen.

I looked in the phone book and searched for a kickboxing class. I got a free trial and loved it, but we found out it was going to cost $400 for a year, so my mom bought me a work out video instead (Kathy Smith: Kickboxing Workout) and I did it 3-4 times a week in my basement and it WORKED. I lost a significant amount of weight.

I made a promise to myself that cold and sunny day in November of my fifteenth year that I'd never be sedentary again. I had to work on my eating habits (and still am working on them to this day), but exercise was so important to me. It helps in every way. I may not be the most muscular Gym Queen in the whole world, but it's not about that for me at all. It's about health and happiness. It's about this being a part of my daily routine and my life forever.

Stop reading and start doing.

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