Reclaiming the Gift of Physical Activity

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Getting back into the swing of things is tough emotionally and physically! We all go through different phases.

Throughout my twenties, I was an exercise fanatic. I did at-home workouts, went to the gym, and even did a few 5ks.

I gained momentum, lost weight, built muscle, completed many programs, and felt those crazy feel-good endorphins!

I felt accomplished and was hooked! I felt my most confident self while moving my body consistently for the first time in my life.

What could go wrong?

Well, I learned it was a slippery slope.

I craved the feeling it gave me. I became obsessed with numbers. Everything from tracking every single calorie, my caloric burn, measuring body parts, weighing myself before and after every workout, and so on. I even doubled my workouts depending on my daily intake, or if I ate ”too much.”

I solely did at-home workouts for 4-5 years. However, there was a period where I also attended a gym. Sometimes I went to the gym twice a day. It wasn't unheard of to exercise 2-3 hours a day (on and off) SOME days if I could manage.

Before attending a conference, I ”punished” myself because I wanted to be a few pounds lighter before I left. I remember doing a HIIT workout back to back in my bedroom, 3x in a row. I did HIIT for an hour straight, which is NOT good as they are intended to be short due to intensity.

However, a week or so later I stepped on the evil scale and my goal was met. I was finally ”happy.”

That wasn't the healthiest pattern to develop...

With time, I gradually lost interest in exercising until it became non-existent, besides going for walks on the weekends. With being busy with work, a new relationship, moving into a new environment, my habits shifted.

As we all know, habits can be hard to change, but I was glad to be happier and healthier, even after gaining 10-15 lbs back. I didn't look tired and defeated. Although I missed the old me, things happen for a reason. I knew what I was doing wasn't sustainable.

Over the next few years I exercised here and there, but nothing was consistent.

Was it a fear of obsessive behavior? Beating myself up over and over? Laziness? New debilitating migraines?

Things drastically declined this year with my health, and I became a couch potato for the first time since my teens and before scoliosis surgery.

Any form of physical activity became nearly impossible, even cleaning the house sent me over the edge.

A few months ago, I could tell my body was finally healing. This healing was due to enough time passing from certain exposures, a daily inhaler, and lifestyle changes.

That finally gave me hope and courage. I felt like I was in charge of my body again at last! I can't fully explain the feeling, but I felt ”normal” again. My brain, skin, lungs, and every cell in my body transformed. It felt as if someone turned the switch back ON, despite the long battle.

This year taught me a lot.

A true realization of what a GIFT exercising is. What a gift BREATHING fully is. The true gift of health. My mindset shifted. It wasn't about the numbers or the fact that I had gained weight. I wanted to live again. I wanted to find myself again.

I wanted to be simply HEALTHY on every level and knew being completely sedentary wasn't the key to health, nor happiness.

It clicked, again.

What a privilege it is to move our bodies, for those who are fortunate enough to do so, especially without pain and discomfort.

A true gift that should not be wasted.

I had doubts and reservations, but I also felt determination I hadn't felt in years. I mustered up enough courage to go on a walk. My first walk of 2020, and it was a nice mild November. I had two legs and was ready to use them.

At that breaking point, I had nothing to lose. I felt like I was already dying internally and things couldn’t get much worse. If I needed to go to the ER again, I was ready for anything at that moment of pure desperation. I simply had enough.

Within minutes I was smiling. I went slow and steady, but accomplished my mission with flying colors, without the need for my rescue inhaler. I was anxious but knew I had tools at my fingertips if needed.

Since last week, I have moved my body little by little (almost) daily with my Tone It Up app. I stopped a few times, but never gave up. I listened to my body and went with what I felt like doing each day. FYI- I love barre workouts! All the TIU workouts are short yet effective, and completed them WITHOUT getting out of breath! (and definitely without an asthma attack!) What a miracle, I thought.

Hello, confidence!

It's been a rocky journey, but I KNOW I am doing all the right things. I am listening to my body, focusing on my nutrition, and clearly showing signs of improvement.

The scale has yet to budge, but that will come with time.

I've done it before and will do it again.

I even produced sweat! (Which rarely happens, and is GREAT for detox!)

For those who haven't been active due to health issues, or ANY reason for that matter and are ready mentally and physically:

  • Take the plunge and just start!

  • Start small.

  • Do low impact workouts.

  • Find something that brings JOY.

  • Do 5 minutes, then 8, working up slow and steady.

  • Stop if a break is needed. It's perfectly necessary to listen to our bodies!

  • Momentum takes time.

  • Eliminate negativity, increase positive self-talk and affirmations. Creating a healthy mindset is EVERYTHING!

  • The more we move, the easier it will get.

  • Don't obsess, enjoy the ride.

  • Focus on the MANY health benefits, create a bigger reason aside from appearance. That is the KEY to healthy sustainability. Mind + body + soul!

  • LOVE YOUR BODY, no matter what!

  • Remember, it will be worth it.

We can do it!


Kimberly Ann


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