Posts Tagged ‘Super Bellina’

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am really excited that I was asked by FitApproach (@fitapproach) to become one of their Sweat Pink Ambassadors (#sweatpink), because one of the perks is being able to contribute to their site.  One of my first “assignments” was to write about My Fitness AHA Moment, and I really enjoyed reflecting on how I got to where I am today. This post is going to run concurrently with the one on their site

Growing up, I was not what you would consider active.  When my sister and I “played outside” it usually involved setting up a tea party for our dolls where our “crumpets” were Cheerios.  🙂  But I loved to ride my bike, swing on the swing set in our backyard, and I could roller skate like nobody’s business.  I never had a penchant for group sports, we only had gym class once a week (I went to Catholic school and we didn’t have the same PE requirements), and I spent my recess sharing secrets with my best friend, rather than playing dodgeball.  When we did have to run the mile each year, I dreaded it, especially the span that took us right past my house, knowing I would be at the back of the pack, and hoping none of my neighbors would see me struggling.  I remember going way out of my comfort zone and trying out for volleyball in 6th grade, encouraged by my mom’s tales of how much fun she had playing volleyball in school, and hoping that her killer serve was somehow inherited.  I was cut after the first day of tryouts, and that was the end of my sports-playing career.

At my all-girls high school I was only required to take 2 semesters of PE, and I chose aerobics both times (this was the late 80’s, think Jane Fonda in all her leotarded glory).  I loved every minute of it, especially the music: my teacher let us bring in songs from our favorite bands, as long as they met the required beats per minute.  On weekends and in the summer I remember riding my bike all over the place with my friends, because none of us were old enough to drive.  In March of my senior year I knew it was time to get serious and try to lose some weight – I thought I was huge at 172 lbs (oh, how I’d love to weigh that now), and I joined Jenny Craig.  I knew that I had to exercise in addition to restricting my diet, and so I started walking.  One day I set off, and just kept walking and walking and walking.  My mom started to worry about me because I’d been gone so long, and when we drove the route later to see how far I’d gone, I realized that I had walked 5.3 miles.  And it felt easy, because I had my Walkman to keep me company.  Walking helped me work out whatever was on my mind; a little escape from the so-called troubles of my teenage life.

Early in my college days, I joined a local gym, and I remember feeling really proud when the step aerobics teacher told me what natural rhythm I had.  I could grapevine with the best of them!  I never really liked going to the gym for the weights or the treadmill, but I loved taking those step classes. It was so nice to get the recognition in a class full of skinnies.

And now at 40, I’ve come to realize that exercise makes me feel amazing. I can’t help but smile my way through a challenging Zumba class, because the music makes me happy.  I find my center while getting zen in a Bikram yoga class.  I enjoy the weightless calm I achieve when I swim.  I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I see that I’ve done a 5K on the elliptical machine.  I’m a natural, swaying my hips to the Middle Eastern beats in a belly dancing class.  When I take my dog Sofi for a walk, I get to live in the moment along with her, and soak in all that I have to be thankful for – the great neighborhood I live in, the sun shining on my face, the beautiful houses I’m seeing.  Mostly, I’ve come to realize that despite the fact that I’m considered morbidly obese on any doctor’s report or BMI chart, I am an active person.

I thrive on variety and am constantly looking forward to trying new forms of exercise, like that Saturday Aqua Zumba class I was excited to try a few weeks ago.  I’m willing to give anything a try once, despite my size.  Most of the time the limitations are only in my mind, and those times that I do find a physical limitation only serve as a future “to do” on my Fitness Bucket List.  Exercise is a form of expression, it’s an outlet for stress, it’s a release. Through movement, I can become the person I’ve always known I am inside. 

Fitness is a way of life and I look forward to each new stride I can make, each new height I can reach, each new obstacle I can overcome along my weight loss journey. It’s one of the reasons that I had a graphic designer draw up a superhero cape on my fitness avatar – every time I workout and do something I’ve never done before, I feel like I’ve found a bit more of my superpower that was inside me all along.

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