I apologize beforehand, as this post is really wordy, but I really wanted to ask you guys for some much needed advice! Before I get to the real question, I feel some personal information about myself is necessary.
If there’s one thing I am determined to change about myself, it’s my obsession with perfection. I didn’t realize this before, but all my life, I’ve set standards and goals that have been far beyond my reach. Additionally, fear of criticism and disapproval crippled me. I wanted to be the perfect daughter, sister, friend, student, and even the slightest hint of approval or word of praise meant the world to me. On the flip side, I blocked off all criticism. My family and the husband can attest to how defensive I can get when I feel as though I’m being “attacked”. Boy, let me tell ya…It’s not a pretty sight!
Well, let’s take a look at where this “perfectionist” is in life currently – According to my preset expectations, I should have a successful career, be a mother, be the model wife…you get the idea. However, my life is full of failures. I’ve made so many mistakes and sacrifices that simply cannot be undone. As I’m at a much happier place right now, I realize how much I’ve missed out on…well, LIFE!
I’m so ready to kick this evil and awful perfectionist side of me to the curb. All this time, I didn’t realize what I was doing…And that is, I was trying to be….Jesus Christ! Of course I was doomed to fail. Only Jesus was able to do and accomplish everything the Father asked him to do. He and only he is perfect. Who am I to think that I could achieve what he had done? If I had realized earlier what a sin perfectionism is, would things have been a lot different in my life? I don’t know, but all I know now is that I was not meant to be perfect, and I need to come to grips with it. The sooner the better!
Having said all this, I want to discuss my all-or-nothing mentality, specifically in relation to fitness.
From my eating disorder, I weighed a meager 85 pounds. That was 3 three years ago.
As you can see, I was nothing but skin and bones. Exercise or any form of physical activity was out of the question. When I came to the hard-to-swallow realization that my life was in fact in dire danger, I decided to go into battle against my internal self. That meant no more counting calories, no more constantly weighing myself, and no more starving/binging cycles. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I still haven’t won the battle yet, but I’m getting closer and closer to victory.
I weigh 118 pounds now. I have dabbled in many different types of exercise. In the beginning, I ran and did Bikram yoga for about an hour, almost every day! You see my all-or-nothing mentality coming to action here? I loved them both, but the problem was I was overdoing it. Once I start running, there’s no stopping me. Ultimately, I wasn’t doing what I set out to do which was to gain weight! Therefore, I switched gears to strength training. And I gotta say, I’m so glad that I did! At first, I could barely curl a 5 Ib dumbbell, but I’ve gradually worked my way up to curling 15 Ibs comfortably now. I feel so much stronger. I have tone and definition. I feel so empowered! Never in a million years did I think I would be able to do regular man push-ups and pull-ups!
The problem is, you guessed it, I’m once again taking it to the extreme. Although I weigh 118 pounds, my body fat is at 13%. I’ve recently dedicated myself to scaling down the intensity of my workouts and to consume more of the healthy fats, hence my avocado a day challenge.
The problem is that rather than reducing my intensity, I have stopped exercising all together! I LOVE the heart-pumping, sweat-dripping kind of workout, and I find myself just not getting into the low-intensity workouts. However, I know that I NEED to. While I don’t want to gain more muscle mass (not at this time anyway), I don’t want to lose the tone I’ve worked so hard to achieve!
So my question to whoever made it this far in the reading is:
What low-intensity workouts (besides walking) would you recommend? Any useful resources such as articles, websites, videos? In what ways can low-intensity workouts (esp with weights) be made more exciting and challenging?
Thank you so much for reading and any input or suggestions would be truly appreciated!!
Hope you have a blessed day!!