Lately I have been loving this girl.
Currently, much alike me, she is recovery from some disordered eating. Struggling with the issues of recovery and dealing with the attempts to “gain weight”. In all honesty, the idea of weight gaining is the most confusing thing… ever.
First you have to battle it out… with you own mind. The one that has been telling you for years that the idea of gaining weight is not acceptable. And on top of that, you have the media saying “lose it” “shred it”…. it’s exhausting. Then one day, someone looks at you and says: So, I think you need to put on a few.
Then after that you have the actual physical discomfort of over-eating. But, at the same time, you need to. It is honestly just a bottle of confusion.
In her latest post, Clare discusses something that is very near and dear to me. This is the concept of: would you rather be fit or fun? It created a bit of a discussion among the reader’s of her blog regarding the ability for you to be both fit and fun. This really caused me to think.
I think there are layers to this. Like a cake… or a Shrek and I think it is important that we recognize this.
First of all, yes you can be both into fitness and fun. Perhaps you’re even one of the few who find fitness to be fun (…. I do too). But when you become too involved with getting fit, I do think you lose your funny. I am a prime example. For years prior to my ED and everything else, I would spend days laughing and dancing and enjoying life. I moved, but I didn’t think of it as exercise… or fitness… just fun. The words: I need to hit the gym did not belong in my vocab at all. But the statement: ‘I think I might go downstairs and dance’ did.
Then somehow it all changed. I could not just go dance meaninglessly to get a work out in. And a nice brisk walk? Merely a supplement to my actual work out of HIIT.
This morning when I worked out… I did not have fun. It was a purely cardio day for me and you know what? It was the first time I really said: Why do I need to do this?
So mid-way through, you know what I did?
I started to just dance it out. It was weird. I hadn’t done it in a long time. But it was nice. It still wasn’t exactly what I wanted though. So I did a lot of thinking. And it occurred to me.
Why am I doing something I do not enjoy?
Now do not get my wrong. I LOVE working out. If I did not have my yoga and barre (and recently dance/aerobics and kickboxing/shadow boxing), I would cry. I love them. They make me feel alive and beautiful. But why force myself to do something I do not like because I need X amount of cardio minutes a week? Truthfully, my heart-rate elevates in almost any exercise I do. Never to a crazy high, but enough to make a difference. And I enjoy it. The pulses and lifting and flow. It’s exhilarating to me. Much more than cardio work. You know what… it’s fun.
So, taking this back to the main point about fit vs fun. I think it is hard to be “fit” and fun at the same time. To be “fit” you need to worry about so many things like how much body fat you have, how your going to fit your work outs in, what muscle group will be assigned to what day… how much cardio you need. Where is the fun in that? You also need to not eat this or that after this time or that time, limit carbs, increase protein… what good is limiting food?
What I do think you can be is healthy and fun. The word “healthy” is much different than the word “fit” to me. Healthy has many different masks, while fit typically has one (usually adjacent to ‘ripped’). Healthy on the other hand, is different for everybody. So, if you lead a healthy lifestyle the way you want to live it, feel good in your own skin… you are very likely to have fun with life. However if you’re bogged down by being this ideal ‘fit’ person, you’ll not have enough time to be fun as you’re too focused on being fit.
Life is to short to want the perfect abs. But it isn’t to short to enjoy. So live your life, exercise, eat and have fun.
I am trying to, too.