Reflection #3: Physical Health

Despite my love for junk food, I have always had an interest in leading a healthy life. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Over the past few weeks I have really been trying to get in touch with what that means to me. I decided (despite my anxiety) I would like to begin sharing those thoughts and experiences with you. I will begin with a summary of my physical life experience.

As early as I can remember I loved being active: running around the farm with my brothers and our imaginary games, participating in intramurals throughout elementary and middle school, after school basketball, curling, soccer and volleyball teams. I think I was even in jazz for a year or two. Apart from that, I was outside every chance I got.

After graduation came a year of university, three years in the workforce, two years of college. Never being exposed to “working out” in a gym, a few months into college I had a startling revelation. I had barely done any physical activity in the last four years! This honestly shocked me, how does this happen after a childhood so immersed in physical activity?

It made me feel sad and stupid. How could I let such an important part of my life disappear? Why didn’t I fight harder to make time for it? I suppose my priorities changed – as they do with many teenagers. This felt like a lame excuse to me.

Good news was, I could exercise whenever I wanted. I had to laugh at myself though. Twenty-two years old and I had never been to a gym with treadmills, weight benches and whatever all of those other crazy contraptions were. I had experienced all of my physical activities outside.

During my second semester of college I decided that I would take a yoga class once per week, in addition to my full time studies. I had always wanted to try it, a classmate accompanied me and.. It was great. I loved the quietness and focus it took. It was incredibly difficult, my legs and arms trembled and spasmed as I attempted to hold the poses. My face went red as I glanced around the room, worried someone would notice my inexperience and call me out. They never did.

That’s the beauty of yoga, you start where you’re at and progress as your body adapts. There is no right or wrong, just the persistence to not give up. Also, the added bonus of everyone focusing on themselves – not you! My competitive nature helped me catch on quickly and after a few classes my body welcomed the challenge. I think it missed exercise too. My favourite part of yoga was how awake and energetic my mind felt after each class. The 8 week program was soon over and I immersed myself in my studies, quickly forgetting about exercise.

Near the end of my third semester a couple friends invited me to come to the gym with them, a place foreign to me with mystical machines strategically placed in a huge room. It took a little getting used to, but it was a lot of fun with my friends and I felt great after every workout!

Unfortunately, school ended and I again found myself not exercising. I realized my physical activity was tied to interactions with friends. I bought a 3 month gym membership (hoping the financial burden would motivate me to use it daily). I did a pretty good job of sticking to my routine, and felt great after every workout! However, when my membership expired I couldn’t justify renewing it to spend a small fortune on exercises I could probably just do at home.

Long story short, I truly miss exercise when I abstain from it, and I ALWAYS feel great after a workout. So why the difficulty staying committed? Why is finding motivation such a struggle for me? Why do I let the day-to-day take over, instead of setting aside time for such a significant gift to my well-being? My INFJ self-improvement voice be thinking, “I will speak daggers to her”.

Expect some goals (and progress!) from me in the near future, the “voice” demands it.

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Do you lack motivation? Have you had a similar struggle? How is your physical health? Feel free to share your stories and make some goals with me! If you need help with that, check out my recent post: INFJ: Self-Improvement.

Be beautiful, be you. Shine on, friends. ♥

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19 thoughts on “Reflection #3: Physical Health

  1. Setting goals is a huge help. I joined an online running club that made a huge difference. The club was for running “streakers.” Members were required to clock in at least one mile of running, walking, swimming, rowing, or paddling per day (no exceptions, no excuses) for as many consecutive days as possible. Then they had to post to an online group about their day. In my first year, I made it to Day 343. One friend’s streak has lasted more than 1200 days. While I’m not “streaking” consecutively any longer, I do find it useful to clock in my mileage. I have a small space on my blog that is dedicated to my running, hiking, and outdoor adventures. It holds me accountable.

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    1. I completely agree, setting a goal and being held accountable are very important to success. I really appreciate you taking the time to write about your online running club. I wonder if a mile of bicycling would count as well?

      Wow, 343 days is incredible! You must be very proud of yourself. I know I enjoy reading your posts about your activities. I remembered reading them and wishing I knew someone like you to partake in activities with – you sound like so much fun! 🙂

      Perhaps if I am able to keep up with posting about my exercise goals and progress you would be willing to take a read and give me some feed back! Have a wonderful day. 😀

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        1. For sure! This might be something I’d like to try. Could you tell me the site? I’d like to take a look. 🙂 Haha yes I can feel that already, I am sure this is why I was anxious about even making the post! It felt like a commitment had begun.

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  2. It was a faculty/staff club through the school that I worked for, so it was by invite only otherwise I’d share it with you, but we just used google groups. It was so fun because you really got to know your colleagues in a different way by learning about their goals and sharing your own achievements. But if you wanted to do a group, it’s not hard to get one started on Google+. Let me know. I wouldn’t mind getting back on track with my “streaking.”

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  3. This is totally relatable. I just recently had the epiphany that since starting college I never was working out either, but I tried to justify it with the fact that my campus is so big and requires lots of walking. This however is not sufficient, of course haha. I just recently started the 30 day yoga challenge with Adrian on youtube and am really loving it! You should check it out!

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    1. Thanks so much for your feedback! It’s crazy how college/university can suck up all of our time. Yoga with Adriene? That’s who I watch too!! She is so hilarious, I love her. I am actually just about to start a video right now. You are awesome girl! 😉

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  4. I’m the most sedentary person alive – hehe. I like reading on a couch and writing at a desk all day. But I can relate to the idea of always feeling better after I read. When I noticed this, I made it a priority in my life and I was amazed how just adding read for half an hour a day made a difference in my life. Love it! I always wanted to read more, but I had to consciously see that reading actually did good things for me to change my behaviour.

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    1. Haha that sounds so great. I have to say I really like the way your mind works. Even though you couldn’t relate to the exercise piece you thought of a way that you could relate and wrote about that. I really appreciate that. 🙂 It makes me happy when people change their behaviours to do things that make them happier, I am smiling for you. 🙂

      May I ask do you still read every day or two? What kinds of behaviour changes did you notice?!

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      1. Hehe, I like the way your mind works to have picked up on that. I definitely try to read for at least half an hour a day. An hour is great, and if a book is really absorbing, I’ll read for hours. Love it! Oh, the behaviour change was that I read more. And got away from my laptop – hehe.

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  5. Life is so hard (in so many ways) after you leave the routine of school. Good luck finding your way back to healthiness and activity – it is both so good and so difficult! I started a blog series to motivate me….maybe you could incorporate INFJs Exercising into your blog to keep track of what you do!

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    1. Wow thank you so much for your comment! I was unsure what my reflection posts meant to people, it’s really reassuring reading this. I am hoping to post another reflection within the next 2 weeks! 🙂 Thank you for the follow and support! 😀

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  6. In the moment I usually don’t like exercise, and I have to do it first thing in the morning or I won’t have time. Like you, I love yoga! The benefits far outweigh the feeling of not wanting to exercise. Don’t think do. Keep up the good work!

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