I hate looking at myself in the mirror lately. Everywhere I look, I see flaws. Thighs that wobble and rub together when I walk, a formerly taut tummy that now more closely resembles bread dough, little rolls at my side. I’m floating somewhere between a size 12 and a size 14, when once I was a size 6. Admittedly, looking back at those days, I was almost too thin, and yet I would comfortably settle for a happy medium. A nice size 10, when I didn’t feel conspicuous and heavy, and generally all over disgusting. Feeling like this is a relatively new experience for me, because I never used to hate the way I looked. But these days, I avoid the mirror unless I have to, and I hate photos of myself like I never did before.
All of this is a combination of a lot of things. In small part, genetics, and age. In large part, my own laziness. See, I used to walk everywhere. I was fit as hell, and it was never a bother to walk for an hour or more to get to my destination. Then I bought a car, and things have gone steadily downhill from there ever since, as I have slowly gained more and more weight. Recently I started walking again, but almost crippling pain in my calves made me stop, and I’ve once more lapsed into a largely sedentary lifestyle.
I want to be active, and eat well, and be one of those super fit people I see getting out there and active every morning. But I find myself consistently making excuses. I need an overhaul, something to motivate me and keep me motivated. Because I miss looking in the mirror and thinking “shit, girl. You look good” instead of “well fuck, this dress makes me look like I’m six months pregnant”.
Something needs to change. I need to set some goals, and make some serious lifestyle changes I think. With the change in weather, and having just earned Sundays off after months of working seven days a week, I think now is the best time to kick my own ass into gear. Let’s get it, girl.
The morning air is crisp against my cheeks, painting them a fiery shade of pink. Nostalgia plays out scenes in my mind, as songs from my youth play accompaniment. There is a burn in my calves, always expected but not yet pleasant. Give it time.
As blood circulates and my heart rate increases, my hands are finally warm. They’re cold as ice so often lately. I pick up the pace as I pass a fluorescent shirt-clad road crew, as much uncomfortable at being seen as I am anxious about unsolicited comments. I’m sure they’re actually nice guys, but experience does make one wary.
Morning dew from the grass soaks the mesh of my shoes, and then my socks. I step over a used condom on the ground, and a pothole in the dirt that I almost tripped in two days ago. I walk into the familiar car lined street that I call home.
I’ve been starting my days with a walk lately. I regret every moment of the half hour that I push myself, after months of almost no exercise at all. But I forget how much better I feel when I start my days this way. Even if nothing else, I can at least say I’ve accomplished one thing. So, I have decided that today is going to be a good day. And it’s time to drag out the badass, punk rock babe that has been in hibernation for far too long. You’ll forgive me for posting twice in 12 hours, but goddamn am I ready to change my mindset, and tackle this new day with a whole new perspective. Here goes nothing.
The world had a different feel at 6 in the morning. If you leave your house at 9, or even 8am, a larger portion of people are awake. Cars speed past with ever increasing frequency, the sun rises higher and, at this stage in the year, brings with it the cloying heat that makes you feel in equal measures heavy and gross. But things are different at 6am.
Today is my last day of 8am starts at work for a while, after two weeks of it. I started back at the gym last week, having not been for months. So, in order to fit in the gym before work, I’ve been getting up early, well before six. And I think I could get used to it. There’s something about getting up early that makes me feel motivated, like I’m starting the day off positively. Of course, my body clock hasn’t quite worked itself out yet, and so I fall asleep earlier but then wake up at four so…I guess I gotta work on that. But, nevertheless, getting in some regular exercise and starting my day with something proactive is certainly the best thing I’ve been able to do for my physical and mental well-being. And makes me feel infinitely better about sitting my chubby butt on an office chair for the better part of the day!
When I don’t go to the gym, I go for a walk. As a self professed hater of people, this is actually preferable. I can put in my headphones, and listen to tunes that I actually like, instead of the crap that they blast over the gym speakers. I don’t have to worry about looking or feeling awkward, because there’s generally no one else around, and it helps to get into a routine.
6am is a good time to be awake.