A Closeted Goth Girl Trying to Make it in the Professional World

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

For Your Health (& An Outfit)

Last week, I read all of The Curious Professor Z's Bat Fit 2017 posts. I always find it interesting to read about other people's ideas about health and fitness. In today's world we are constantly bombarded with information about health and fitness and messages about how our bodies "should" look. Ultimately, we must all decide for ourselves how we are going to manage and prioritize our health, fitness, and appearance and there is no one right way to do this that works for everyone. Today, I am going to share some of my perspectives on health and stuff. 


ON EXERCISE

In my opinion, exercise is VERY important. Unfortunately, I am a low-energy, introverted, non-athletically inclined person who HATES EXERCISE. The reason I force myself to exercise is SCIENCE. I work in health care, so I see people doing all kinds of crazy things to try to improve their health and ward off disease such as strange diets, expensive supplements, and unproven treatments and therapies. Do you know the ONE thing that is SCIENTIFICALLY proven to help prevent and improve a WIDE range of health problems? It is EXERCISING 30 minutes per day. Therefore, I make myself run on the treadmill or outside for half an hour and lift weights/do stuff on an exercise ball for half an hour 3 to 5 times per week. If I am feeling lazy, I go for a walk. It is important to find a way to exercise that works for you and your schedule. I used to go to the gym and I hated it; it was expensive, I didn't like working out with other people, I had to waste money on gym clothing to look presentable, and it took a lot of time to drive myself there. Now, I work out in my basement. I purchased a treadmill, some free weights, an exercise ball, and a weight bench. These can often be found used for the cost of  a 1 year gym membership and can be used for many years without having to keep paying membership fees. Also, I don't need to purchase any workout wear as I am in my own house and there are NO EXCUSES for not exercising as the gym is RIGHT THERE. There are endless options for getting exercise so everyone can find what works for them. Also, have you ever heard the term "use it or lose it"? I have watched many people's health and mobility deteriorate over the years due to inactivity; my exercise goal is to sustain my level of exercise over the long term to maintain my health.

ON WEIGHT AND APPEARANCE

Another reason why I exercise is to maintain my weight. Weight is a touchy subject for many people (especially women) and it is not hard to see why; we are constantly bombarded by images of body types that are not realistic for 90% of the population. Also, most of the images we see are photoshopped so all we see is tall, thin, women with perfect skin, no stretch marks, no wrinkles, no cellulite, etc. I think it is important to accept the fact that 90% of us are NEVER going to look like the women in the magazines and realize that there are many aspects of our appearance that we cannot control; we are all predisposed to a certain body type and you're either born with features that are whatever society says is conventionally attractive or you're not. Also, we are all going to age and we may give birth or have medical treatments that affect how our bodies look. When I was younger, I used to be a lot thinner but I remember feeling self conscious about my weight and sundry other aspects of my appearance. These days, I have decided that it is a waste of time and energy to have "body issues" and to focus on my health instead. I am not perfect looking and I am fine with that, I try to dress nicely and present myself in such a way that makes me feel good.  At my job, I see a lot of people of all different ages dealing with health problems that have a huge negative impact on their lives. I have decided to convince myself that worrying about how fat I look in a bikini is a first world problem and that I should be thankful for the fact that aside from a couple of minor things, I am healthy and can live my life unimpeded by health issues. Do I weigh myself? Yes I do. At this point in my life, I gain weight easily if I eat too much and do not exercise so keeping track of my weight helps me to know if I should be more careful about eating habits or exercising.  I have found it is helpful to have reasonable, sustainable, weight goals. Right now, I am 5'8 and 160 lbs and that is where I try to stay. I am not thin but my weight is also not to the point where it negatively affects my health; I have enough time to exercise to keep myself at this weight and I can still eat what I want within reason. Would I look better or more conventionally attractive if I decided to lose 30 lbs? Yes. However, I have decided that it is not my job or my priority to be conventionally attractive and I am not going to feel bad about myself for not conforming to societal ideals. It is not worth it to me to count every calorie I eat or exercise 7 days a week to maintain myself at that level. There is nothing wrong with prioritizing your weight or appearance if that is what works for you, but I find that it does not work for me and I don't think a person should HAVE to look a certain way or conform to beauty standards if they don't want to. 

ON FOOD

One of the best things I did in the last several years was learn to cook and to be organized about meal planning. I used to eat many processed foods that came out of a box which is not good for you. I also learned a lot of vegetarian recipes; I have always loved vegetables but wasn't great at cooking them so this has been a good thing for me. I used to HATE cooking as well, but now I don't mind it. Another thing that I think is important about food is NOT restricting yourself too much. I LOVE to eat and I would be miserable if I was constantly counting calories or telling myself I can't have this or that. I find that it works for me to make healthy and nutritious meals most of the time while also allowing myself to have some chips or go out to eat when I feel like it. This is also why I weigh myself, it lets me know when I need to reign it in a little so I just adjust as I go along. For example, if I have been on holidays and was eating too much, then I just clean it up a bit when I get home and exercise a bit more. Another lesson that I have learned is that your weight doesn't necessarily correlate with health; when I was at my skinniest I ate chips, slurpees, and fast food all the time because I was a teenager and my metabolism was high so I could get away with it. Would I eat like that now? NO WAY. 

ON MENTAL HEALTH

I think we often forget that mental health is very important as well. We must all remember to take care of ourselves in this way. Right now, I am focusing on developing constructive ways to manage stress. 

In summary, health is very important and we must all try to get to a point where we feel good about ourselves. Health is a very personal thing and we all need to find out what works for us in our lives. 

And now, an outfit.

THE EQUIPMENT

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Jet Boy,  Necklace: The Rogue and the Wolf, Earrings: made by me, Ring: was my mother's grandmother's. 

THE OUTFIT



Sweater: Simon's
Skirt: Zara
Tights: H & M

SHOES

Steve Madden Wantaghh (???)

What are your thoughts about health and fitness? 

5 comments:

  1. I love this post! Health and fitness in a world that tells women to look a certain way is so difficult, and I enjoy your attitude. I think if we focused on being healthy, we'd be a lot happier.

    My weight has fluctuated up and down my entire life, due to an aversion to exercise and cruddy eating habits, especially my first few years of college when I would eat whenever I was stressed (and I lived right next to the dining hall, soooo yeah). I was absolutely miserable and down on myself because I didn't look "the right way" and also got sick all the time. I decided that I needed to make a change around my senior year, and really began to focus on eating much healthier and especially on exercise. In the three years since then, I've been able to replace my stress eating with stress working out! I'm in graduate school, and I just find that the absolute best thing to do after a really awful day is tire myself out with a rough workout. I've become a bit of a fitness junkie actually! I love interval training, since I don't have the attention span for extended cardio. I really recommend Fitnessblender's video workouts on Youtube - they create really great routines you can do with minimal equipment and space, at all levels and difficulties! They're my secret to success. It's kind of fun seeing myself building muscle now - I'm getting She-Hulk arms at this point! XD

    I still need to step up my eating habits, I'm a terrible cook! I want to explore more vegetarian/vegan recipes, since it's so healthy for you(plus, meat is super expensive!). But I don't feel the need to deny myself anything either - like you, I'd be miserable restricting myself all the time. I do try to be smart about my snacking, but with so much Christmas chocolate around, it might be difficult :P

    Thank you again for this post! You look gorgeous, as always :)

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  2. I'm naturally very slim, so I haven't experienced any issues about weight, but I feel all the problems of non-healthy living style on a mental level. I was going on yoga lessons regularly before christmas and when I stopped, I started to be lazy and depressed and unmotivated all the time, I couldn't find my daily working routine. Now Im going to pool, but it's not regularly and my body is still somehow confused.
    Healthly food is important for everyone. When you cook some good vegetable lunch and eat it, your whole day is somehow better and complete. I can't cook junk food and meat, so Im just cooking vegetable all the time and I'm having bad day when I cant eat proper healthly food for lunch...
    I stopped smoking and drinking alcohol when the autumn started and now I feel that my body is so clean and healthly and I would like to care even better, but I just hate exercising -_-

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  3. Started feeling terrible after sitting at a desk job for years and years, so I started doing yoga 3x a week...I love it! I feel much less stiff. It's like the fountain of youth. I watch my calorie intake since I literally don't move all day

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  4. Well I for one am really impressed that you even tried a gym, being an introvert and all. Kudos to you indeed! The very thought makes my hair stand up heh!

    It's extremely difficult for me to find a balance, it is feast or famine in my health world. I have come to the distressing conclusion that my work and hobby are the source of my persistent physical malaise, and simultaneously, the catalyst to my thriving mental state. They are things that require very little motion of most of my body and demand much from back, eyes and hands... but yield a great deal of 'feel good's to my brain lol. If I relent one, to alleviate the other... then, you can guess what happens to that one, heh.
    Quite the predicament.

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  5. Great post! I think your views on health are very reasonable and smart. The "use it or lose it" is what drives me now. My flexibility and mobility are poor now... I will be in real trouble in 10 years if I don't do something about it.

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