Exercise, Exercise, Exercise…. I heard it ALL the time. I didn’t do it…much.
Guilt, guilt…and more guilt….
Finally, last January I decided enough was enough. I started working out twice a week with a personal trainer. Best decision ever! Costly, yes. Necessary, YES! Life-changing. Before I started, I had no idea how positive changes in my body, energy level, and physical ability would impact my sense of well-being.
No, I am not aspiring to be a middle-aged body builder or super athlete. Far from it! In fact, I still moan and groan and fight the whining voices in my head that want to boycott the exercise program every time I go. Still, I go. The difference maker for me is that I have a real person at the other end who counts on me to show up because I pay her; and, if I don’t show up, I still pay her. Paying for 30 sessions at a time keeps me committed. I hate to throw away a single penny—I am Dutch after all—and these sessions cost more than a few pennies.
So besides being cheap, why do I still keep going? There are a number of benefits I had expected and some amazing other benefits I had no idea would be there:
- Increased energy
- Decreased weight
- More muscle mass
- Clothes fit better. Dropping a few sizes. Yes!
- Laughing and enjoying a new friendship.
- Feeling successful.
- There is a beginning and end to the sessions. Each time I complete the goals for that session I feel successful. Daily life with complex needs is a very loooong journey; positive changes and growth can take years and successes are rare.
- Each time I go farther, dip lower, lift more, or do more repetitions, I improve and the results are obvious and measurable. It feels so good.
- I am accomplishing a goal that I have been putting off for years, decades.
- Even if I don’t “do” anything else that day, I worked out.
- I am taking care of ME and my health
- I feel less stress and anxiety after the sessions
- My heart is healthier.
- I can keep up with my kids.
- My kids don’t say it, but they are proud of me
- I am proud of me
Let’s be serious, if you have endured severe trauma you are trying to work your way through the pain and may even be drowning in it. Life is unmanageable. Self-care is likely barely happening or not at all happening; and my goodness, how in the world are you going to fit self-care in along with everything else? I certainly hear you Weight gain, sluggishness, as well as more depression, stress and anxiety are all a part of trauma. The downward spiral of trauma. It took a long time before I was willing to take the working out step. When I did, as I said before, I paid for 30 sessions. It was a lot of up-front cash, but I knew the out-lay would keep me locked in. It did. Once I started seeing all the expected AND unexpected changes I knew I had to keep going and I keep making time. Every penny has been worth it, and that is saying something!