Paint Your Love, Week 6: Exercise Your Body, Exercise Your Will

This past week it has been SO sunny and beautiful in Seattle as opposed to the normal gloomy gloomy that puts all Seattlites in a melancholy mood. It's not Seasonal Affect Disorder, it's Seattle Gloom Disorder (not a real disorder, but the effects are fo real.)  Anyway, It has been GORGEOUS these past few days and I have been so much more motivated to get healthy and treat my body better.  I don't care about getting my bod in shape for a bikini because bikini shopping and bouncing around in skimpy nothingness are both completely not appealing to me.  But, I do love having more energy in the summer.  And having better eating habits and exercising regularly are great ways to get my summer energy going!  Plus they are great ways to help lighten your mood and get your head in a happier mindset.

For this week's Paint Your Love challenge, I painted my nails a firey red.  I usually go with more muted tones, but I wanted something that looked like I had passion and love painted on my hands so I went with the classic red.  This week, my painted nails represent a passion that screams "I'm taking care of me in physical and tangible ways by eating well and gettin' my exercise on!"
For me, exercise needs to have elements of fun and accomplishment.  Running on a treadmill, for me, feels like the most miserable boring way of exercising.  But hey, it works for some people!  Instead, I go rock climbing at a climbing gym a few times a week with my boyfriend and I do bouldering which is the type of rock climbing where you climb on lower walls with no ropes.  Most of the bouldering walls are between 10-15 feet high, which when you are working on a difficult climbing route, and you are barely hanging on when you are at the top of a 15 foot wall that curves inward, it can be totally scary.  But there are big squishy mats to land on when you fall. :)
I am scared of heights, but I choose to rock climbing because it forces me to face my fears every time I climb.  And the more I climb, the more confident I feel in myself, not just confidence that I can reach those difficult holds at the top of the climbing route, but confident that I can take on whatever other challenges I have to face for the rest of the day.  I have weak days, and I have strong days.  But I have come to realize that it has less to do with my physical strength, and more to do with the strength of my will.  And I think this applies to ALL forms of exercise.  It's not your body that is stopping you from working harder, it is your will and confidence in yourself.

I LOVE watching The Biggest Loser.  I know lots of people think it is cheesy, but gosh, seeing folks who are up to 600 pounds deciding to change their lives by really focusing on getting their body back in health is mind blowingly awesome and inspirational for me.  You ALWAYS have a new chance to try again, to start again, to refocus on treating yourself well.  You are ALIVE, so keep going!  And you don't have to be alone in your efforts.  Having a team or a partner in efforts, be it work or healthy living, makes the job sooooo much easier. 
I started running with my boyfriend recently.  Well, jog, run, walk, jog, walk, run is more like it :)  There is a lake in between our houses that is about 3 miles around and has a running path where we go running.  Now, I have hated running all my life.  I was always the last person in my class to finish the mile in junior high.  My gym teacher would yell at me and make fun of me.  I just thought I could never be good at exercising.  I thought that when it was hard and hurt that I was hurting myself.  But to be able to go for a jog or a run, all you need is will power and faith that you are not going to hurt yourself when your muscles are cramping up or your breathing is heavy and difficult.  My boyfriend has a high pain tolerance, long runners legs (he is 6'6") and he was on the running team in high school.  I do not have a high pain tolerance, I've hated running all my life, and I like most everything more than traditional exercise haha.  BUT because he goes running with me, I feel more motivated when I run, I have support and a partner, and my will WANTS to do go for myself.  Plus, I've got a little bit of a competitive spirit in me, so I want to prove to myself that I can keep up with him even if I'm wheezing, haha.
If you don't have anyone who supports you and pushes you to take care of yourself, I say get on the hunt of finding someone to partner with you in getting healthy.  If that means a life coach, a trainer, a husband or boyfriend, a bestie, a family member, a neighbor, whoever.  Find a friend who will push you and who you can push back.  Call each other and say, I'm going for a walk around the park, take a hip hop dance class, go climbing at the gym, going to go do cartwheels down the street, go for a bike ride, wanna come?  For those exercise regiments you really hate but feel like you need to try, (for me that is running) find a friend to do it along side you.  The companionship makes it SO much more fun.  And you will feel SO good about yourself for following through with doing something that is challenging for you, challenging for your mind and for your body.

It's not about running for the entire 3 miles.  That would be awesome, but I just can't do that yet.  It is about following through and making it to your goal.  If you have to walk/jog/run/walk/jog to get there, cool!  It is your WILL that is getting trained, and your body will benefit from your endeavors.

SO, let's paint our nails this week as a sign that we ARE going to take the time to take care of our body and challenge our will.  What exercises are you going to fight to accomplish?  I have to fight my mind to believe I can reach the top of a wall when I am climbing.  And I have to fight my will to believe I can keep going till I reach my goal point when I run.  I am worth the fight.  And you are too.  Believe you are worth the fight, and let the color on your nails be a reminder of that.  I am worth the fight.
ps, read the first comment below this post by Amy.  Good point!


Amy - a is for ampersand said...

I would add to remember to practice healthy exercise habits and not get carried away. Exercise should be fun and invigorating, NOT PUNISHMENT! All women should remember that and realize that exercise isn't competition or punishment or anything negative. Also, it's my personal crusade to spread the word to stop exercising with the goal of burning calories and do it to FEEL GOOD! :)

Lily Darger said...

Love this post! Done right, exercise can be a way to reward yourself. I leave the gym feeling so refreshed. I know who I am when I come out of that sauna!! A good work-out is great way to center yourself and clear your head.

Becky said...

Such a good motivating post, Moorea! My boyfriend gets on my case all the time about being more active because he's very dedicated to his health and fitness and I'm...well...a bit of a couch potato. My goal is to go to the gym before work at least 3 days a week this summer!

LilyLipstick said...

Great post! I will definitely be thinking of this when out running this week...I've only just got into running and for the first time in my life am actually enjoying exercise. I used to go to the gym but it just felt monotonous and I never really pushed myself, running is so different and it's amazing how fast you get better at it - you'll definitely be running those three miles before you know it! x

Liz said...

You are so incredibly talented and amazing. I love that you go bouldering. It sounds like something I would love to try. I so wish you lived closer, or that airfare to Seattle didn't cost an arm + a leg. Love you, girl. Let's iChat soon. XO

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this post so very much. Especially since I've been struggling with running since August (I still can't run all thee miles.) As much as I struggle with it, I really enjoy it and I promised myself this was one thing I would stick with. Thanks for this inspiration post. I will think about it as I go running this evening.


Sarah With Love said...

Love this post and just in time as well, i recently decided to start another challenege which is to exercise for 20-30 minutes every day for a 100 days. I'm going to go for a bright motivating colour this week to remind myself what my goal is for.


Janette said...

Sweet Moorea...You are truly inspiring.. I love how honest and forthcoming you are...I know that you are encouraging a ton of ladies right now... And it's much needed, for sure!

Janette, the Jongleur

Peachy Cheek said...

What a sweet post! As Janette stated you are an inspiration! I painted mine a mellow white, to signify calmness, but my toes are a contrasting purple!! I created a similiar post on what you spoke about in regards to things that comfort you. And you asked to link it. Here is the link: http://peachycheek.blogspot.com/2011/05/paint-your-love.html

Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

Magical Day Dream said...

Good for you! I started running about a year ago (after doing no real sport for years). I started with one time a week and had a really hard time. But slowly I got into it and now I am running 3 times a week by myself and recently decided I am going to train for half a marathon! Although I am not there yet, I am satisfied by my progress and the feeling of treating my body healthy is great!

Here are my ladybug nails: http://magicaldaydream.blogspot.com/2011/05/ladybugs.html

Samantha said...

Thank you so much for this post, I am really touched by your encouraging words. I participate in high school sports and I am pushed all the time by trainers and coaches, and sometimes I literally dread going to practice. So when the sports season is over I feel relieved and become a couch potato. But your post has inspired me to sart taking care of my body not just for sports, but so that I can feel good on the inside and out!


Lauren Jones said...

Reading this could not have come at a better time, after leaving my slimming class this evening after a totally unjustified 2.5lb loss! I plan to crank up the exercise this week, not only because it will help me to shed the lbs next week but because I know I will have more energy and feel better in myself if I do! :)


Jennifer M. said...

This is a great point. My will to exercise is also very low. Lol. Always has been. Lately I've really been working on whipping my will (and my body) into shape. For me, using the Wii Fit balance board works pretty well because it doesn't feel like working out. Also it's organized more like a game, so that makes me want to try to beat my score!

I like the idea of rock climbing too. I tried that once years ago and it was pretty fun. I think that'd be a fun way to trick myself into working out.