Confessions of an Exercise Addict
Written by
Tess Hardwick
March 2011
Written by
Tess Hardwick
March 2011

I’m not athletic.  Ask anyone who knows me from my youth and they’ll tell you, yeah, she was more the book and theatre type.  True. 

But I’m also extremely vain. I went to acting school in Los Angeles, after all.  I won’t even start in about the permanent damage done to my psyche from attending college with the beautiful people when you’re one of the average people.

I’m also short.  My mother says if I were a car, I’d be the fuel-efficient model, meaning it takes few calories to keep this body well fed.  Struggling to keep weight off in my thirties, I took up exercise with a vengeance.  I found that I loved it.  Well, after the initial awful period.

Then I got pregnant.  Twice.  With both of them I was terribly nauseous for the first sixteen weeks.  The only thing that helped my nausea?  Yes, you guessed it. Eating.  Especially pasta, for some reason.  Besides the permanent damage my little darlings did to key parts of my body, it became a struggle to make time for exercise.  Between school holidays, illnesses, summer breaks – I mean isn’t there always something?  And after giving birth and endless sleepless nights, it was hard to get back in shape.

But I’ve made it a priority.  I use my precious writing time when my youngest is at preschool to attend exercise classes.  I let a lot of elements of self-care wane in order to take care of my family, but not exercise.

That said - I don’t have a movie star body by any stretch of the imagination.  I’m always trying to lose that last five pounds.  But there’s something about feeling strong and fit that is important to me.  I know it makes me a better mother, wife, even writer.

This was on my mind today because my older daughter woke up sick and couldn’t go to school.  Translation, I couldn’t go to my regular Thursday fitness classes– first Zumba and then a strength training class afterwards.

And it gave me a small feeling of panic.  Every time I miss one of my scheduled classes, I think, “I’ve strayed from my routine. I will fall back to my old habits. I MIGHT NEVER GO BACK AGAIN.”

I know it’s not logical.  But for anyone who knows how hard it is to get back into shape, perhaps you can relate?  Regardless, it is a real fear for me.  I do question, however, when a healthy habit becomes too much of a focus?  Is that an addiction?  Is it normal that it truly agitates me to miss a workout?

I’d think about this more, maybe even schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist, but I have to finish this post so I can do some pushups before lunch.  Just kidding.  Sort of.






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