Getting Back to 30 Minutes a Day (or Haters Can Kiss My Fat Ass)
Help us keep bringing you sharp, critical commentary like this by donating to our fundraiser and voting for a dollar whether you prefer Fat Santa or Skinny Santa.
Trigger warning: Discussion of diet and exercise to improve health.
Just about a year ago, I realized I had to do something to help myself feel better. I was physically miserable — collapsing with exhaustion by 3:30 in the afternoon, suffering from a lot of swelling and water retention, hurting, not sleeping.
So I started a 100 Day Eat the Food Experiment that involved eating a minimum number of calories a day that took my personal basal metabolic rate (BMR) into account and exercising at least 10 minutes a day (which grew to about an hour a day). The results were pretty spectacular. I felt almost shockingly better after about six weeks, and I kept feeling better and better and better.
And now, a year later, I’m still feeling pretty good. Not as good as I could, though. I let myself be distracted by haters who, most significantly, went crazy when I called myself an athlete. I let myself be torn down. And when my shoulder started hurting and I needed to let it rest–I let myself fall away from what was working.
Fucking haters. (I actually feel sorry for them. I can’t imagine what’s happening inside of a person that leads to spending your time the way that they do. But still, FUCKING HATERS.)
Here’s the thing though: 30 minutes of exercise a day is like magic — at least for me. It improves my mood. It improves my health. It gives me energy. It reduces my risk for all kinds of health issues. And if considering myself an athlete helps keep me motivated to keep moving, then yeah — I can’t even begin to fathom why a bunch of people who purport to be in support of people exercising (especially fat people) would have a problem with that.
I can’t control them, of course. I wouldn’t even want to try, because EW. But I’m unhappy with myself for letting them get to me so deeply. I mean, I actually did feel like an athlete. And what’s wrong with that?
I was thinking about this recently — wondering why I feel the need to put on an athletic mindset for exercise. I guess part of it is because I was a competitive athlete for a long time, and I like feeling some of that again. I like competing with myself. I like feeling that I’m working toward some physical goal.
I’m frustrated with myself for letting people who mean nothing to me get to me.
But that’s what’s going on. And then I had something happen in the last month or so that doesn’t have anything to do with my personal health, but that really made me realize that I can’t let assholes who get off on tearing other people down make my decisions for me. It doesn’t matter that I still am struggling to regain my athletic mindset. I want the benefits of exercise.
I need the benefits of exercise.
So, I’m back on the wagon. Starting with a commitment to 10 minutes a day — because for whatever reason that amount of time is enough to motivate me to start. I feel like in 2014, I really got the eating part of Health at Every Size® (HAES) and Eat the Food and, oh I don’t know, the whole life thing, under control. I’m making 2015 about really getting a handle on getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
I’ve shared this video before, but it’s worth watching again. Thirty minutes of exercise a day is a goal worth pursuing for reasons that have zero to do with weight.