Tag Archives: exercise

Learn to love yourself first

glass slipper

Throw away those glass slippers because running bare foot is more fun. This poster encapsulates my day. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in life is to always try to maintain balance. For me that involves a lot of things: part-time job/life/family (+ dog)/uni/get-togethers with friends/volunteering. Exercise is that one thing that always makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s because even though things feel like they are crashing down on me, exercise reinforces that I’m making progress, at least in one aspect of my life. And of course, I love the endorphin release. Who doesn’t? I’m on the road to reaching my goal weight. It’s gonna take some time, but I know I’ll get there, and that’s the most important thing. Today I went back to the gym after a long time of not going. I wouldn’t say that long, but long enough for me to feel the burn quicker than usual. I pretty much thought I could stop everything in my life, and just study, study, study. That way, I’d get better marks in my exams. Lesson learnt: you need a balance, or you’ll just burn yourself out. And that’s what happened, it’s all I thought about, and when the time came for the exam, I just became so fearful of failing that my nerves took over. It was the first time in my life I had a panic attack. It was intense. I’m glad I’ve been given a second chance to show ’em what I’ve got, so in 2 weeks I shall be sitting a supplementary exam. I’ll be prepared though and I know I’ll pass.

Anyway, back to my gym sesh, for those who do classes at the gym, I did Body Pump and Body Attack. Body Pump is awesome for muscle toning and strength. Body Attack is a full-on cardio workout, thats seems like bursts of energy accompanied with adrenaline-stimulating music. The last time I  did Body Attack was probably 2 years ago. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. I was an unco noob lost in a room full of women who knew their ‘thang’. I recall the instructor didn’t bother slowing down, and I told myself after, this is not for me. I’m glad I tried it out again though because it changed my perception about it. I even went to the front line and said to myself, “why not?” I managed to keep up with those in the front line, even though my ‘moves like Jagger’ weren’t as smooth as theres. All in all, I feel proud of myself for giving it a try again. That goes to say, don’t let one bad experience, keep you from trying it again.

For all those feminists out there, how cool is this poster? In this day and age, people are obsessed about the concept of falling in love. I’ve gone to the extent of removing all emotional breakup slash ‘I’m-just-so-in-love’ songs from my iPhone. I don’t need it. Reality check – love does not ‘cure’ anything. The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. You can choose to take control of your own life. You don’t need someone to reinforce that you are worthy of love because quite frankly, you can love yourself and that can be enough. If your being is happy, then that resonates through your thoughts. And as we know, the way you think (i.e. your mindset) influences your behaviour.

Yours truly, from a 21-year-old girl who is learning to take control of her life again.

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Fall seven times, stand up eight

I’m sitting here in my study room, my lectures notes, textbooks, highlighters and pens scattered on my desk. I think it’s human nature to lack motivation at times. As they say, life is a rollercoaster – filled with ups and downs. Or I could use the metaphor that makes everyone laugh, that is, life is like a rock – it’s hard. I really want to do well in my final exams this semester. I want to prove to myself, that I’m no quitter. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, just as long as you get up each time. Fall seven times, stand up eight times.

These 2 subjects I have final exams for are no ordinary subjects. They are subjects that I failed. It took me a long time to comprehend and accept that I failed not one, but two subjects. Sometimes, I would tell people, “I failed a subject”, ignoring to use the plural, ‘subjects’. Through time, I have learnt to accept that, “it’s ok”. Uni students have their fair share of failed subjects. Some just brush it off, without a care. While, others reflect on why they failed and learn how to conquer their weaknesses. I’d like to think I’m the later. For the longest time, I kept going back to that moment when I checked my final marks for that semester. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. In that moment, I think I had what you call a premature ventricular contraction, meaning my heart stopped for a moment. Ok, so I might be exaggerating just a little, but it felt like I had stopped breathing. My stomach dropped, and I felt like I was at my lowest. The word ‘fail’, followed by ‘fail’ again, just stuck to me. It was all I could think about for a while.

I used to dwell on the past a lot – you know those ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’ thoughts that linger in your mind. Those thoughts are a waste of time. “Don’t think too much,” I tell myself. I’m learning how to use those past experiences as motivators. For tomorrow is a new day. Look ahead. Keep trying, and most importantly, never give up.

To keep my sanity in the midst of exam preparation, I exercise. I managed to run 5 km in 47 min this evening, and each step I took made me feel stronger, more in control of my life. The best feeling is after an intense workout. It’s because I know I didn’t give up half way through the session, despite feeling like it was ‘death’. And secondly because I know I’m making progress to becoming a healthier me. While, I’m not at my ideal weight, I feel like all the hard work is paying off gradually because others have been telling me, “You look healthier” and “Have you lost weight?” It keeps me going! One day I know I’ll feel comfortable in my own skin when I’m trying on clothes whilst out shopping. I’ll feel confident in my own body. I can just picture the moment when I check the tag of a piece of clothing, and it’s in my ideal size. I’ll take it off the rack with a great big smile, knowing that I worked hard to get to that size. Success doesn’t happen over night. It’s a process.

As my favourite quote goes,
It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness – Seneca.

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