This past Sunday, about ten and a half months into my obsessive aerial practice, I passed the Aerialfit level test and moved up to level three in silks! As you may be able to imagine, I am overjoyed. I distinctly remember looking at the level three girls when I first started in awe and admiration – and now I’m one of them!
Plus, in my first level three class ever today we learned a REALLY cool drop.
Ever since I moved to Charleston, any time I mentioned running to anyone, the very first response I got was “oh, are you going to do the bridge run?” Fortunately I have a friend at Clemson who told me about the race before I even moved, so we’d already agreed to run it together and I knew what they were talking about. But I still assumed that their insistence that it’s a really big deal was just Charleston people being proud of Charleston.
I’ve referenced the fact that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight more than a few times on this blog. I use “significant” a bit loosely, because I’m very short and was never overweight in the first place, but what I’ve lost ultimately adds up to about 16% of my original body weight, so it’s no small matter. Anyway, clarifications aside, there has been a significant improvement in the way that I look and the way that I feel about myself this past year.
Most of the time, I feel awesome. It sound silly to say, but I will freely admit that I’ve spent a bit of time admiring my smaller stomach in the mirror, particularly once the two-pack I’m currently rocking started to show and I got a few new muscle lines I didn’t even know I could have. I feel more comfortable in my clothes – I started wearing tighter shirts and shorter shorts and dresses, and I didn’t think twice about it (when before I absolutely hated shorts because I felt like my legs were too fat).
However, it’s hard to feel good about the way that you look 100% of the time, particularly in today’s society, and I am no exception to that rule. Occasionally, even though I know with every bit of logic available to me that I am perfectly healthy bordering on fit, I still feel fat. And that can be really difficult to deal with when you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are.
At the very end of my last fitness post, I mentioned the importance of having goals that make you feel like you’re exercising because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. And that is absolutely one of the most essential elements of keeping up with a fitness program; you have to be doing it for the right reasons. Let me explain.
When I first started going to the gym on a regular basis, I was doing it to lose weight. That’s a common goal, and I was serious about it, but the problem was that I had limited motivation for doing it. I mentioned last time that I had several mental breakdowns out of frustration – I was losing weight, but slowly enough that I couldn’t see a visible difference, and I had never been overweight so I didn’t feel like it was that important that I continue to lose it. Essentially, weight loss was too slow to seem like I was making any progress and not important enough for me to accept that progress would be slow.
I did keep going, in part with the help of my boyfriend’s emotional support and in part because I was training for a 10K and I didn’t want to hold back the friend I would be running with, but working out absolutely felt like a chore and I had to use mind tricks to get myself to continue doing it. I wish I had known at the time that there’s a better and easier way:
Set Readily Achievable Goals Unrelated to Physical Appearance