Fitness and Self-Care

Jul 3, 2017 | Life

It all started with a feeling in my gut. I was having my morning coffee in the balcony outside my room and I remember looking up at the sky, smelling the fresh air and instead of feeling relaxed and at ease (like I usually do), I felt unsettled.

This usually happens right when things are about to change. Like some movement in the cosmos (so space age-y) was telling me to brace myself, strengthen my resolve, plant my feet firmly because things are about to get whacked.

And true enough some weeks later, we finally decided on some big life decisions that will impact my family in the next 5-10 years.

It always starts out with the best of intentions, like goal-setting, exposure to new things, things like that. But you know what they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I may be exaggerating but change always makes me feel unrooted, and it’s a feeling I dislike because my formative years were spent nomadically moving from one place to another. I know what it’s like to have a life uprooted because of a whim or an idea. Now that I have settled and built a good life for myself in Davao, it’s a bit disconcerting. I’m not saying I don’t like change or I don’t embrace change, it’s not that at all. I just appreciate a heads up before all hell breaks loose so I can prepare my sails as I weather yet another storm.

I’m bad at metaphors.

Last year I decided to start taking looking after my skin as a way to practice self-care. This year, I’m getting into yoga.

I’ve been steadily gaining about several pounds a year since I hit 25. That’s totally normal, they say. Women of a certain age will undergo changes to prepare for child-bearing. What started at a flat hundred pounds, I’ve ballooned into 110. And before you ring the alarm at some sort of eating disorder, I’ve heard it all before.

What are you talking about? That’s not fat.

Do you have some sort of body image issues? You are tiny!

If you’re fat, then what do you call me?

It’s not about the numbers. I just feel like I am at my optimum weight for my frame at 100-105. It’s comfortable, kinder to my knees and overall, I feel good about myself. I could stand to lose a couple of pounds of fat and replace it with muscle. I’m okay with that. Again, this is what feels right for ME. It’s different for anyone and that is totally fine.

You do you.

I’ve started to educate myself on what my body needs. I don’t need to go to a gym and undergo some massive weight loss. I just feel like yoga will give me some core strength, get those happy hormones flowing and fulfill that daily exercise requirement my Fitbit keeps reminding me about. That’s just the physical.

But I’m also excited about the mental aspect of yoga.

My first instinct was to research and invest in some good gear (we’re talking yoga pants, cute sports bras, yoga mats, blocks, gym bags) and then I’ll look for a beginners yoga class at a nearby gym. Talk about procrastinating! But then I realized I had this old exercise mat lying around and Youtube. All I really had to buy was a pair of leggings.

And so on I went.

I don’t know when I will be comfortable enough to enroll myself in a class but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

All I know is it feels good to do some exercises every day before everything else, just to get the blood going before I sit in front of the computer and work. 30 minutes of self-care goes a long way.

Because in a few years, will it really matter that I lost that half-hour everyday to exercise when I could have spent it working?

No.

You know what will matter? My sanity.