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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Me? Athletic?

I was never athletic. I never really had the opportunity to try thought. I grew up in NYC and my parents were always fearful that I'd get hit by a car or kidnapped, so playing outside was rarely an option. They did enroll me in dance class and I went once per week and enjoyed it very much. We moved to Florida when I was 13 and by that time, I was set in my ways and didn't really want to make much of an effort to move.

I hated PE class with a passion. In middle school I actually had my mother write me a blanket gym note excusing me from dressing out and participating in activities because of severe periods. Lucky for me, my PE teacher took my word for it, and I'd sit out of class approximately 2 weeks per month. Instead of running or playing various sports, I'd read or do homework. I know it doesn't sound great, but for me, it was so much better than actually moving.

A few years ago, I joined the YMCA in my town and started exercising in an effort to alleviate stress. I would go a few times per week, but my food intake was so out of control at that time that the exercise didn't make much of an impact on losing weight, but at least I was moving and enjoying it. When I decided to really get serious about weight loss and lifestyle change, I started going to the Y 4-5 times per week and I found that I enjoyed it. I actually started to look forward to it because of the way it made me feel about myself. I started to feel really proud of my progress, my abilities and the encourage I would receive from the wonderful people in my group exercise classes.

I found that I had a passion for indoor cycling, or RPM. I chose to take it because a friend of mine from graduate school, Lili, used to take it in Miami and absolutely raved about it. She shed over 50 lbs just by attending classes and I figured that if she could do it, I had a fighting chance. I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was. Class is held in a small, dark room with fantastic music blaring and its during that 45 minute class that I completely shut my mind down and just feel my body moving. I feel the muscles working and I push myself as hard as I can. When my wrists sweat, I know it's been a good ride.

I found that after a few months of spinning, I still had energy after class, so I started doing weights, then I added running. Then I mixed it up and started a few other classes. Months later, I have some muscle tone, cardiac endurance and some significant strength. I was speaking with a friend of mine recently and she referred to me as being athletic. I laughed and was like, 'what?" but then I thought about it, and it hit me. I AM ATHLETIC!

II'm doing things never would have imagined and it feels so wonderful. I smile all the time because I'm so proud of myself. I was that kid who would make sure I was absent on the day we had the presidential physical fitness test at school and here I am running circles around my former self. It feels AMAZING.

Miracles do happen. Sometimes you have to prompt them and move them along, but they do happen.

Start moving. It will make you feel so good. Start out at 10 minutes a day for 1 day. Then try it again tomorrow. After a week increase to 15 minutes. Increase by 5 minutes every week until you get to 1 hour. Then see how you feel.

You can do it. You are worth it.

Bee healthy, bee happy.

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