In my last YouTube video, I talked about how in 2016, I was invested in trying new activities like paddleboarding, wakeboarding and dance classes. I didn’t do it for the exercise, for weight loss or fitness. I did it for the fun of it. These are all things I used to do as a child but as you grow up, sports become a competition and exercise becomes a weight loss strategy.
All these things are monetised and commercialised and pitched as the new workout trend. “This brand new revolutionary form of exercise which means you can work out AND have fun!” They talk about it as if you are going to trick yourself into losing weight. ?
Movement will always be a part of MY body positivity. It started when I was in hospital at 19. I lost the ability to walk for 3 months. This was not the first time it had happened, the last time was 8 years before and despite my decision to never forget how it felt to be bed-ridden, I had forgotten. When I finally was able to, I was so grateful for being able to put my feet on the ground. Then after a few weeks, I grew frustrated that, that’s all I was allowed to do and actually that was even more frustrating. I felt lost in my body, I had no control over it and so it no longer felt like mine. So I made a promise to myself in that moment that I would never take my body for granted and that meant doing things WITH my body.
That meant not sitting on the sidelines at the beach and jumping into the sea.
That meant saying yes when my friends wanted to go on a hike, instead of sitting at home.
That meant going to visit my friends instead of complaining about the 20 minute walk in the freezing cold.
And yes that meant going to the gym. I was going to run on behalf of the people who couldn’t. The people like me, who so desperately wanted to.
I know everyone has a different relationship with exercise and it is often tied to EDs but I wanted to share it for anyone who has felt physically limited or disabled, I want to show it is possible but also that you don’t need to be the best or the fastest.
I’m not an inspiration for working out and you are not a failure for not working out. To each its own, exercise is just a part of MY journey.