I’ve always been very aware of my body.
Growing up, I was always the shortest. My parents, and most members of my extended family being quite short themselves, it seemed quite natural. But when I was about 7 years old, I went on holidays with my grandparents for 5 weeks in Portugal and when I got back, my mom could tell something was wrong. I did not grow an inch taller, I still had my baby belly and basically was a child in a baby-looking body. We went to oodles and oodles of doctors but kept hearing the same thing “it’s just because you and her dad are short”. Then when I was 10, we went for a check-up at a doctor who finally listened. He advised us to go see an endocrinologist and be tested for the Hashimoto disease.
After many tests, specialist runs, urine test, bone test, blood tests, days at the hospital and a lot of days off middle school the diagnostic was here. I had the Hashimoto disease, my thyroid had destroyed itself so I was on hypothyroidism which explained my shortness, my body not changing, my constant fatigue and so much more.
Ever since, I’ve always been very aware of my body and state of mind. I know I’m short (5’1) and people like to remind me of that, but I’m also (too) aware of how my body looks. After a few years of finding the right dosage for my – finally – growing and changing body, I started to understand how much it had impacted me and my well-being.
I started taking even more care of myself by going to the gym, eating well and being careful about my mental health.
Being healthy is a not being on a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not something constant and that will come overnight. It’s a process, a journey of finding balance and evolving in your needs, what feels right for you.
Today, I’m going to talk about the joy of movement.
I’m not a hyperactive person. I need my sleep, I need my rest and I need my time off. But for a year now, I’ve really realized that I need movement. I need physical activity everyday to feel good physically but most importantly mentally. I’ve joined a gym last October and enjoyed it from the start. I slept better, felt great and my anxiety levels decrease so much. It was the first time in 4 years that it was under control. I still get panicky at times, I still gets more anxious when I’m tired, but working out has been a way for me to decrease the pressure levels of my mind.
However, I don’t enjoy all types of workout. I don’t like intense cardio, I did it at the beginning because I knew it was good to lose more calories and when I was really stressed out it helped, but I don’t enjoy it.
So what I do is listen to my body and my mind and their needs. Do I want to feel strong? Weight-lifting and toning. Do I want to release pressure? Fast walking on the treadmill, go on a hike or swimming. Do I want to have some self-focus moment and really feel my body moving? Pilates or yoga. Do I need some active relaxing moment? Yoga or go for a walk.
And it works wonders. The key is not to force yourself, not to feel like you have to do a certain type of workout to be healthy or fit it or worse, follow a trend. Try different things, see what you enjoy, what works best for you and go from there.
It’s about having a positive relationship with your mind and body and that’s very personal.
It’s a journey, not a race nor a competition.