Why I Workout


Before October of last year, I’d never set foot in a gym. And I was obnoxiously very proud of that fact. The idea of row upon row of shiny, fit people running on treadmills made me smirk knowing that I had never participated in such mindless, rote activities.

What I snob, I was! So judgey! A mindset that 100% came from being intimidated by the idea of a gym.

I knew that working out was a good thing, but the thought of those clanky and complicated looking weight machines and intimidating, sweaty people in spandex made me uncomfortable. So even though I’ve been horribly out of shape for years, I never gave the gym a second thought.

But, like nearly everything in my life, things have changed since learning to live with endometriosis. After my first surgery two years ago, I spent half a year still feeling like my body had to knit itself back together. After that, I did a bit of tentative tai chi and yoga, but was really scared to do anything else.

Being afraid of my body because of both my endo and the subsequent surgeries, is not something I ever thought would happen. It’s strange to feel so uncertain of your body. Cath and I trained for 13 years to be ballet dancers. As a dancer, your body is your instrument and you feel you have absolute control over it — put in enough hours of practice and training and you know exactly how to make your body move how you want it and withstand exacting and punishing positions.

But even with this new fear, endo is actually what also propelled me to the gym. I wanted to feel strong again and in control of my body (as much as possible with a capricious, poorly-understood chronic disease). I’d also learned that working out would help keep my hormones leveled out better (women with endo usually have too much estrogen).

So even though the idea of spending an hour with the whirring treadmills and clanking weights of a gym doesn’t make me jump out of bed in the morning, I feel so lucky to get to do it! Since October I’ve felt so much better (thanks, endorphins, you are the bestest!) and my body has more muscle than its had in nearly a decade. I do get some pain in my pelvis once in a while if I go too hard, but I try to listen to what my body needs and pull back when I need to.

I’m still a newbie at working out (which sounds kind of ridiculous at 31 years old), but I plan to make this part of my life. Working out for me will never be about loosing weight or gaining muscle (thought I’m so glad those both happen), but to stay healthy and hopefully keep kicking the endo monster in the butt as often as possible. Getting stronger is a good motivator, but the thing that motivates me most, and also makes it hard to do, is having endometriosis.

So I spend way more time than I ever thought I would googling new workouts to try and half of my instagram feed is fitness gurus that keep me inspired on those days (most days if I’ve being honest ;)) when I don’t feel like working out.

This is all to let you know that you’ll be hearing more fitness-y related things on this blog. Which is weird because I think one of the many reasons why I never wanted to go to a gym was because I felt like there was a smugness about people who worked out. Again, that’s my judgey-ness coming through. But I don’t want you guys to think I’m ever posting pics of myself in the gym because I feel smug. It’s all to foster a holistic approach to staying healthy, whether you are working through health problems too or just want to be a bit more healthy.

Phew! Sorry for that lengthy babble. I promise to keep my next posts short and sweet! There’s just a lot of baggage I carry around with working out, and I wanted to let you guys know about it before I just started posting about fitness and health-related things.

I’d love to hear what you guys do or if you’ve had gym-ophobia too.

x Lar

15 thoughts on “Why I Workout”

  1. I’ll be following this with interest! I have had a car accident (and subsequent healing) and a fractured ankle (and that healing) so I’m still not back to fully working out. A workout that has helped me after both of those because it puts my body in alignment and helps me gain strength is http://t-tapp.com/ One 15 minute workout (called Basic Workout Plus or BWO+ on the site) and I feel great for at least 36 hours. I combine that with walking and a water fitness class a couple times a week. I too want to feel in control of my bodyenough of this feeling of apprehension – like my former injuries can keep me from working out!

    1. Hi Sunny

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I’m so sorry to hear about your car accident, but I’m so glad you are healing well. I’ll definitely check out t-tapp. Thanks so much for sending the link along.
      I hope you start feeling less apprehension and can keep working toward your goals!


  2. Your shifting mindset about the gym echoes mine in every way! Except I lack the discipline to get myself to a yoga class or the gym regularly, even though I know exercise gives me so much more energy and makes me sleep better. This year I signed up for a Bar Method membership after trying a class and realizing how out of shape I was and it’s really made a difference, having to go to a class and having an instructor push you to your limits.

    1. Haha! Lisa I lack the discipline to go to the gym during the week for sure — I usually end up working out at home during the week and then at the gym during the weekends when I have a bit more time and am not so tired from work. Cath is trying the Bar Method too and I can’t wait to hear how you both get on!


  3. You’ll have no problem finding ways to stay active in Seattle! So much to do here for exercise. I’ve found a great place to do training and bootcamps that has helped me get used to exercising regularly. It’s a struggle but it’s so worth it!

  4. I so admire how much you’ve done for your body – seriously! I don’t care if that’s motivated by fear or discipline, it’s still impressive.

    I’ve kind of fallen off the workout wagon – never really got back on after my surgery. This post has re-energized me to get back into it. Pure Barre is about to open in Decatur, so I’m going to take a page out of Lisa’s book and do some barre working out! And I want to start up with yoga again.

    Can’t wait to hear more fitness-y things and hopefully in the next few months I’ll have something to add to the subject ;p

    xoxo, Cath

    1. Hi Kitcath!

      You know it took me more than a year to get to the point where I felt like I could really work out. I’m so glad your surgery wasn’t nearly as traumatic, so I know you will bounce back quicker. But even with that said, don’t be too hard on yourself. Surgery, even not super massive surgery, is traumatic on your body (and your mind!).

      I still don’t think I could do boot campy things (and maybe that’s just a limiting belief — but I’m just not there yet). So I’ll let you know what I do that seems to help but not totally traumatise my body ;D


  5. This is inspiring. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with working out. I used to love running, but now it doesn’t appeal, but I love the way it makes me feel. I’ve been drawn to trying cross-fit since I like the results people get, but I am such an introvert that I am intimidated by the group classes and the athletic types. None of this is helping me in the long-run, though. Good for you for getting in there even though you didn’t want to.

    1. Hi Deserae

      I’m an introvert too, so I totally understand! I even get slightly overwhelmed at the gym if I go during a really busy period and there are tons of people around. I usually tend to work out at home during the week and I find that works really well for me. During the weekend the gym is quieter and I don’t get as distracted.


  6. I’m so excited to hear this! I’ve hated gyms ever since high school, and after years of grueling basketball workouts during high school, once I got to college I only ran if something was chasing me. I finally became so out of shape and unhealthy and I realized I needed to do something about it and decided to get a fitbit and attend a yoga class. I fell in love with yoga (of the iyengar variety – intense but such a thrill!) and walking for cardio instead of running. Low impact for lower-back issues, and I’ve made a 180 in my lifestyle. I wish you continued success with your journey and can’t wait to hear more about it!


    1. Hi Natalie

      You only ran if someone was chasing you — hehehe! I totally feel the same!

      I haven’t tried iyengar yoga, but I love yoga too and so glad you found it.

      Your I80 lifestyle change is so inspiring and totally keeping me motivated!


  7. You perfectly articulated exactly how I feel about gyms! It has always, always been a phobia of mine. I have never worked out and every year I put “exercise” on my resolutions list. I would love to hear more about how you overcame that fear and what exercises were good for a workout newbie. xoxo

    1. Hi Kristen

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I will definitely let you know how I worked through my gym phobia and the workouts I do at home during the week (I prefer the quietness of home during busy gym hours). And I hope it will help you!


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