Stepping into the Past

Instead of exercising at my usual joint today, I decided to be eco (a- hem) ,wallet smart instead and opt for the rec center.  I  have to admit, I was more than a little nervous at first.  For starters I haven’t stepped foot inside of this place in over 7 months.  I had no idea what to expect, and if the place had changed at all or not.  Plus, I was worried about what other people might think when they saw me.  The last time I left that place I was at my lowest weight ever and an exercise freak.  I was pretty sure I would be turning some heads with the new weight-gain and all.

I was also afraid they might throw me out.

Anyways, I eventually mustered up the courage and walked inside. 

It was like stepping in a time machine.  Not a thing had changed about the place.  The same people were working at the front desk, the locker rooms remained the same, and the old familiar smell of the center wafted through the air.  Even the guy with the black beanie who I found extremely annoying because he constantly walks by the room every 5 minutes to catch up on “the game” was there.  And yes, he did walk back and forth just like always.  Ugh…so annoying.

  I immediately hopped on one of the ellipticals in the cardio room (the only room, I might add that had seen any change) and began pounding away at my workout.

I’m not gonna lie.  The instant I started exercising I was overcome with some very strong, very powerful emotional feelings.  That rec center holds so many memories for me. 

Pain. 

Struggling.

Desperation. 

Hopelessness. 

Fear.

 I remember day after day I would trudge into that room,  dreading the workout ahead of me but still slogging through it all the same. 

Countless calories were burned off in that room.  Pounds melted away from my alread extremely-famished body.  I incurred my first and still prevelant knee injury in that room. My premature arthritis started in that room.  I was always in that room, a slave to my eating disorder and my exercise addiction day after day.  I killed myself there.

At one point whilst ellipticaling, I was so overwhelmed with the pain of those memories I just wanted to take off and run.  I can’t believe how far gone I was then and I never ever want to go back there.  Nothing was worth the pain I caused myself there.  Nothing.

My workout today ended up being pretty invigorating though.  I marveled at how quickly I can pound out a 60 minute workout and at how strong and energized I felt.  It didn’t feel like the workout was never-ending as it often did 7 months prior.  I even indulged in a little weight training and was pleasantly surprised to find that I can lift at least 20 pounds more than I could earlier in the year.  I also couldn’t help but…well…smile at my reflection in the mirror, and (dare I say it) EMBRACE my new body.

I kinda felt sexy too 🙂

So what did I learn today?

Well, for one I learned that in the case of extreme snow it is better to spend a mere $4.50 on rec center fees than it is to drive 30 minutes on the highway just to get to MY gym.  I do love my gym but sometimes I just gotta be smart.

I also learned that I have truly come a long way in my recovery.

  I learned about the pain I went through and the journey it took me to get to where I am now. 

 I learned how much God really does love me, and how He saved me from death. 

I learned that I absolutely do not regret cutting back on my exercise time.  I still can’t believe the “norm” used to be over 2 hours.  Craziness.

I learned that I really do love exercise, when it is at an acceptable not crazy-out-of-control level.  One hour and 45 minutes today felt good.  It felt blissful.  It felt like just enough.  Three hours felt like torture. 

I learned that even though I have my “fat” days, my extremely “fat” days, my “I-hate-everything-about-my-body-days,” and my “I-really-just-want-to-be-skinny-again” days,  I never want to be back in my eating disorder again.

Overall, I’m glad that I stepped back in time today because it gave me a new appreciation for my recovery process and a newfound hope for my future.

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