Challenges, finance, Health, Living, Uncategorized

Asking for Help is a Good Thing

All my life I have struggled with my body image and weight. Growing up I was a hefty kid (not fat, but certainly big) and carried that through to my adult years. At least when I was young I played multiple sports and was active enough to feel healthy. As I went through my twenties I completely neglected my health, assuming that since I had always been big I would continue to be so and there was nothing I could do to change that.

However, when I turned 30 I stepped on the scale for the first time in a while, and it topped 200lbs. Having always come close to 200 but never actually getting there, this was a shock for me to see. I don’t know why, but I always assumed I would never get that heavy. I carry it well, having very muscular legs from soccer and volleyball (that I still continue to play) and a proportioned physique, so I thought I would be fine. The mental toll after stepping on that scale was huge. I’d never hated my body before – I was just resigned to that fact that it was what it was.

Fuck this scale to hell and back. I like the tape measure though.

Since then I have woken up to the lies I have been telling myself all these years. I actually read every book I could in the library about health, listened to podcasts while walking to work, and devoured blogs on the subject matter. Some might say I took too long actually researching it before doing anything, but to me it was important to have that knowledge in place before I made big changes, kind of like a security blanket. I re-joined the gym and completely ignored the cardio machines, instead opting for lifting things. Heavy things. This included using only my own body weight.

Now, things are looking up! I don’t really step on the scale any more, but I’ve dropped a couple of dress sizes, can see definition in my muscles, and am feeling a shit ton better. I eat better, and sleep better. Overall, I look and feel better at 31 than I ever did in my twenties. That being said, I got stuck in a rut. I’m not so creative at coming up with my own workout routines – I followed one I saw in a book that I liked or I’d do an online program, but once it ends I sort of stand around, scratching my head and not progressing.

After many weeks of shrugging it off and trying to find my own way, I sucked it up and hired a personal trainer for three sessions. Having done so much reading about it I had been confident I could do it mostly on my own, and told myself that this was mainly to ensure my form was good before I tried lifting even heavier. Not to put to fine a point on it, but my trainer kicked my ass – I hadn’t even been doing many of the basics correctly, and once she adjusted my form I couldn’t even do a push up (previously I’d been able to do 10 no problem, but with very poor form).

I went from improperly swinging 25lbs kettlebells to about 8lbs properly. Actually viewing this as excellent progress.

Interestingly, I never viewed this as a bad thing. I now have the tools to move forward properly, and am regarding this as actual progression. Having someone help me along the way is the best decision I could have made, because she is giving me safety, purpose, and accountability. There is no shame to be had in asking for help, and I believe this is not only for my health, but for other areas of my life as well. For so long I convinced myself that I didn’t need help for anything, and while I could muddle along on my own, why don’t I make it simpler for myself by asking for support from someone who knows what they are doing?!

I think many people are as stubborn as I am, or are maybe scared, or see asking for help as a defeat. It is not. It is a courageous act to admit when you need help or support, and taking that first little step towards it relieves a huge burden off of you. Whether it’s online or in person, there are so many people out there who want to help you and see you succeed. Learning that lesson has already reaped rewards for me, and I plan on carrying it through.


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