Exercise: It’s all in the mind

Exercise: It's all in the mind

Because Li Yin finally got to posting our photos since the start of options till now, here’s a throwback to all the countless work out sessions and time we’ve spent in the gym and allow me to talk about exercise.

To me exercise hurts, real working out and pushing oneself to run further each time, stretch a little more this time and doing that extra crunch all takes more than just fitness. It takes will power. And will power for me, comes from motivations. So that pain, it’s all in the mind. Here’s why I exercise:

1 Fuels my confidence; there are things you can’t control and things you can, so if there’s anything you can control about your physical appearance that you may not be happy about it’s your size and strength. And the healthiest, most practical way to achieve that is exercise. I don’t think there’s anything about my appearance that gives me more confidence than my knowledge that behind whatever others see, is a fit body that has been exercising.

2 Distracts me from troubles; well most of the time at least. When I run it’s just me and my stamina, it’s a race against myself and I think about little besides what passes me by, what’s around me and I try to keep myself calm instead of allowing thoughts about what happened over the day trouble me and run through my mind. In that 45 minutes, it’s just my legs doing the work.

3 Helps me breathe; every time I go for a family run, my parents remind me to breathe because sometime when I was little I had asthma attacks after swimming or running or doing all sorts of nonsense. So when I exercise I am doubly conscious of my breath. And this consciousness runs beyond the breaths that I take, it keeps me conscious of the privilege that I have to be abled and fit.

Most of all I think I exercise because I can. The day I started exercising regularly was the day when I realised that the best protection from the pressure of feeling ‘not good enough’ as compared to everyone else in an all girls’ school full of beautiful people was to convince myself that I do what I can. So thanks for those who have continued to encourage my exercise regimes.

And once upon a time I felt like I had to be ashamed of exercising, that it was ridiculous like I was ‘trying too hard’; but today I’d like to celebrate and acknowledge those who have had the perserverance and willpower that exercise really takes to keep themselves fit, because they deserve credit for having worked for what they wanted while everyone talked about ‘being too fat’ or ‘wanting to be skinny’ but never did anything, but talk.


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