My Relationship with Exercise
Updated: Jan 2
I haven't always had a healthy relationship with working out. At one point it became an addiction and something I didn't do because I enjoyed it, but because I wanted to look a certain way. It wasn't until recently that I finally felt like I could exercise because my body wanted too, not because I needed too. After having 4 knee surgeries, I was in physical therapy for a total of 4 times a week for 2 years. That was all the exercise I was allowed to do. This was extremely hard for me to cope with after being addicted to it for so long and going from high intensity workouts to being limited. I could feel myself gaining weight and not being happy with my body. It took some time for me to understand and come to terms with that I was fueling my body to recover. I had to feel my body nutrients and foods that would help my body heal.
This was one of the hardest things for me to do. I didn't feel pretty, or desirable anymore. I felt uncomfortable, disgusting and ugly. The time of these surgeries was shortly after I got out of my inpatient eating disorder treatment facility. The timing could not of been better though. During the 6 weeks I was in treatment, I learned so much about my body, I had THE most mental gains and I was at a good place with my family. The recovery for my surgeries was rough, I wasn't expecting it to be as hard as it was. During a 2 year span, I was not able to put any weight on my leg for a total of about 5 months, was on crutches for about 8 months, and had to re-learn how to walk twice. This tested my mental and emotional strength. There were days where I would just cry, all day, I would scream, I would be so angry at the world, at God. I found myself asking Him "WHY, why is this happening to me?" If it wasn't for all the hard work I did while in my ED treatment center, discovering my self-worth, developing an unbreakable relationship with my family, and understanding my purpose, there is no way I would of made it through this time. I could of easily put myself in a dark place and never came out of it. I knew I was better than that, I knew I was worth more than that. I was not giving up and I was going to keep fighting until I won. I continued to go to physical therapy, doing exactly what my therapist told me do and I wasn't going down without a fight. 2 years later, although I am still recovering from my most recent surgery, I am able to do so much more (still limited) but I have figured out exercises and workouts that my body can handle. I have stopped going to physical therapy because of time purposed, but I continue to do all my exercises about 3 times a week and I can feel myself getting stronger.
My weekly workouts include 2-3 days of knee rehab exercises/lower body weight training, 1-2 days of cycle classes, 2-3 days of upper body weight training, with 1-2 rest days.
Ever since my knee surgeries, I have found a passion for cycle. I love it. I love how you can make it as easy or has hard as you want. You can go at your own pace. It makes me feel so strong and like I don't have an injury. It gives me the rush that I use to get from playing soccer and man, have I missed that feeling.
Back when I played soccer, we use to be in the weight room 3 times a week lifting HEAVY weights. That was my favorite part, I hated running, but I loved to lift weights. I love the way it made me feel and it gave me a sense of power. Not being able to lift was one of the most challenging part of my recovery. Now I am back in the gym lifting weights and as Shania Twain said, MAN I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN! The amount of power and strength I feel when I lift is unmatchable. I'm slowly but steady getting back the muscle I lost during my surgeries and not only is it helping with my knee rehab but it's helping me get that fire back in my soul that I lost. There are so many benefits to weight lifting and I know some girls are scared to start because they think they might get "bulky" or "too buff" but that isn't what is going to happen. Instead they are going to build muscle mass, increase bone density, boost heart health, burn more calories, and in some cases reduce anxiety.
I would be more than happy to share what exercises I do for both my lower and upper body workouts if anyone is interested!