Me: “I only work out when I feel like it.”
Them: “pssht. If you only work out when you feel like it you’ll never work out.”
Me: “ I do workout. When I feel like it.”
Them: “I workout a lot because I like to eat.”
Me: “I like to eat.”
Them: “but I like to eat a lot of pasta and sweets.”
Me: “me too.”
Them: “but that’s why I workout. So I can eat a lot of that stuff.”
Me: “I eat whatever I want whenever I want.”
Them: “But if you don’t workout and you eat whatever you want whenever you want you’ll get fat!”
Me: “that’s not my experience and not what research supports.”
Them: “well you’ll never lose weight that way.”
Me: “I’m not trying to lose weight.”
Them: look at me up and down trying to be conspicuous.
Them: “Well, you’ll never make any progress if you don’t workout consistently.”
Me: “I’m not trying to make progress.”
Them: “well then why do you workout?”
Me: “because I feel like it.”
Them: “how often?”
Me: “Sometimes a few times a week. Sometimes a few times a month.”
Them: “but if it’s not to lose weight and not to make progress why do you even workout? I hate working out and if I didn’t have to I’d sit on the couch all day eating ice cream!”
Me: “I only workout when I feel Like it- when I’ll enjoy it so it’s not a chore. It’s a thing I always look forward to. I never have to talk myself into it. I’m glad both when I am on my way and when I’m done. To me, that’s really taking care of myself. There’s no self hatred tied to my workouts. No berating. No winning or losing. It makes me better without making me worse. I don’t spend hours dreading, talking myself into, or thinking about working out. I have no goal other than feeling good.”
Them: “I only feel good after I workout, or I feel so much better after I work out.
Me: “yeah. I remember feeling that way too. For me, it in part led to a massive mental breakdown because it wasn’t authentic self-care. I was doing something because somebody else told me it was what would make feel better.
I was a double session gym goer- I went every morning and every evening. I spun. I stepped. I lifted. I sweat my ass off. I was a size 6 always trying to be more fit. I always felt good after. But I was there to make my body pleasing to others, not because it was in my best interest. That took a toll. Now I’m fat. When I workout I lift weights causally and walk.
I still fight the demons that try to push me to do what others think is my self care. Fortunately, I found my worth internally and learned how to really take care of my self and now, I’ve never felt better, happier, or more content. I’ve also never been healthier.”
Them: “Wow. I guess I never thought of it that way.”
Them: “No wonder she’s fat.”
Either response is okay. Either way it does not change that I have stopped working out as a from of self-hatred and started working out as a form of self-love, when I feel like it.