There’s no time like the present

October 15th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

(Note: This entire post was originally published August 2010, I’m reposting now as my blog has been hacked in a most annoying way, so that when I attempt to post links to some older articles onto Facebook,  advertisements for viagra show up instead of excerpts and pics from my blog. If anyone knows how to fix this , let me know! )

The photos above and at the end of this post are from a quick selfportrait photoshoot in my kitchen yesterday.  I’m 32 years old, and have two sons age 12 and 10.  While I’m a relatively content, marginally successful woman today, such has not always been the case (<— understatement). I’m in a warm, sharing sortof mood today. Hopefully the following words of advice will prove helpful to someone in some way.
Everyone make excuses.  For any number of things.  Making excuses and convincing yourself you can’t do something is usually easier than making personal challenges and tackling them head-on.  I’m terribly prone to procrastination myself, and know how annoyed I get with myself when I keep putting things off, for days, weeks, months even, until, in a manic fit, too irritated with myself to take it any more, I spring out of bed one morning and decide “all right missy, today you’re getting this shit done, all of it, no more excuses!”  and do my best to tackle all those things I’d been putting off, usually only remembering half of them by then.  Whatever. Point is, it’s not a productive way to live one’s life, seeing as you only get one, and  have no guarantee whatsoever how many theoretical “tomorrows” we have waiting patiently for us down the road.

Philosophical preamble aside, let me get to the point of todays post.
One of the most common things people make excuses about, and put off until tomorrow, next week, or next year (new years resolutions, anyone?)  is the matter of getting fit.  And from this point on, I am referring to otherwise healthy people, who are not disabled in any way, and have no true reason for avoiding exercise, other than not feeling like it.
I, personally, will never understand why the majority of people on this planet take their bodies for granted.  You get one, it remains with you for life, and when it fails, that’s it. You do not get a replacement.  Despite this very obvious fact,  many people spend more time and money working on their cars,  or collecting things to decorate their homes with, than tending to their own bodies.

Anyway, let me cut to the chase.  Fitness should not be a fad, a hobby or a vague idea at the back of ones head.  It should be a way of life.  Furthermore,  it should not be expensive, complicated, daunting or unattainable, and doesn’t have to be.
I suffered from severe depression from age 12-16. (I won’t go into details)  Then I decided to start running. Just a spur of the moment decision that changed my life.  It helped, a lot.  I got into weight-lifting at age 18, and that helped even more. I started reading fitness and bodybuilding magazines, realizing I could control the shape I was in.  This is the most important realization i’ve come across:  How i looked and felt was all up to me, not a preordained fate I had to accept.  And that’s probably something a lot of people don’t realize, or don’t want to think about because it means you have to get up and do something about it.

If you’re still reading, that probably means you’re one of those people who’ve always wanted to do something to change this,  but aren’t sure where to start.  To make things easier,  i’m going to simply point you in a few good directions, because i can’t possibly write down all i’ve learned in the 14 years since I decided to make fitness a #1 priority in my life.

(Chinups are awesome. I have a bar at home. If you can't do even one, start by hanging. Then use a chair and try hanging with your arms at 90°. Then try lifting yourself. Be patient. Can't recommend them enough for upper-body strenght and toning. I can now do 10-12 from a dead hang.)

Because I constantly seek out new approaches to keep from being bored, I’m always curious about “trends” that pop up and can usually tell after reading the first few lines of a sales-pitch if something is legit, or a bunch of nonsense designed to rob you of your money and time.  One of the things I decided to check out in depth was Mike Geary and his “Truth about Six-pack abs”  program,  (forcing myself first to look past the cheesy title and incredibly corny looking website).  Long story short, I bought his ebook, and give it my stamp of approval, even if it does play a little too much on the necessity of having ripped abs in order to appeal to the opposite sex.  ( I’m not in any partnership with this man,  I just benefited from his stuff, and am therefore mentioning it to others).  The book is crammed with necessary and simple information about nutrition and workouts, much of it stuff I already knew, and free of any mention of shortcuts or miracle cures which I know for a fact do not exist.

Now, after buying this ebook,  I’ve gotten regular emails with extra tidbits of information, tips and recipes, which is a nice bonus.  In one of his newsletters he mentioned another training program that had his stamp of approval, and I decided to check that out.  I ended up purchasing the Tactfit Commando program as well, which is largely based on bodyweight exercise alone, which is attractive to me since I want to work out at home sometimes to save time, and love learning new moves that just somehow never occurred to me.

You’ll notice i mentioned “buying” both of the afore mentioned programs.  They were both a lot cheaper than gym memberships and ended up being worthwhile.  Still, i know a lot of people won’t buy them.  Which brings me to the best fitness-related gem i’ve stumbled across in recent years:
For the second time on this blog i’m going to mention, and recommend  Bodyrock.tv.    This website was daunting at first.  Zuzana (the madly fit and curvaceous woman you’ll see as soon as you click on the link) annoyed the hell out of me with her boobs and her much-too-ripped abs,  but i forced myself to watch one video and instantly my preconceptions vanished.  I’d also heard that she used to be a porn actress or something, but honestly could not care less. This girl knows what she’s doing,  and generously shares, for free,  a near endless stream of varying workouts that can be done at home with a minumum of equipment.  These workouts kick ass.   They really, really do.   After a lazy summer of only working out 3-4 times a week max, I decided to get back into gear a couple weeks ago,  and have been employing  tips I’ve gathered from all three of these sources and focusing them into brutally intense, 20-30 minute workouts in the comfort of my living room. ( Some of the exercises I can’t do (not yet at least) and some I avoid because I damaged my lower-back weightlifting 6 years back and have to be careful not to trigger an attack which can cause me to limp around like an old woman for a few days until it gets better.  My point being, don’t let it stop you if you think it looks to hard from the get-go.  Just start at your own level and work from there)

Bottom line:   You don’t have to spend a fortune on new workout clothes, a gym membership,  or face the scary prospect of going into a gym and feeling inadequate (another common excuse I’m sure a lot of people make, which I understand very well).  As i mentioned above, I have a chin-up bar installed at home,  and own a set of 10kg adjustable dumbells and exercise ball as well.  All good stuff to have for variety, but to start you only need yourself.

Anyway, I hope this helps at least some people, since i went to the trouble of sitting here for an hour writing this all down ;)

Read 17 comments

17 comments for this post

Wow, I think this is exactly what I needed to hear! I was a fitness fanatic while I was single and in control of my life. Now I’m a mom of a toddler and even though I don’t exercise, I’ve never needed it more! Picking up a 25lb. child at awkward angles every day necessitates back strength. Thanks for the encouragement!

you’re welcome :)

Thank you! Gonna start working on myself, once again!

I’d love to help you fix your blog if still need it. You have my Email @.

Rebekka: Both your photography and your self-determination are inspiring, and — of course — there’s a direct relationship between the artisanship of your images and your ability to remain focused on a goal.

Keep taking great pictures. And keep working out, too. You’ll find that, especially as you get older, that your physical health will become your most valuable asset. By remaining fit, by remaining strong, you’ll easily be able to carry on with your art far, far into the future.

Thank you for the inspiring article and the links. Please keep posting about this if you find anything interestening.

Health is wealth ;)

it was indeed an inspiring article, but as you’ve said…all you need is to step up and start working out! btw, i’ve had the same reaction about Suzana but as you realised it too, she rocks ;) keep it positive!

although i am so lazy about work out but I enjoyed browsing your website and found it suitable for one of my clients which is an online printing company,to advertise on it.
In return I would be happy to compensate you for that.
Kind regards

Dear Rebecca,

where did you get the chin up bar? Do you maybe know the manufacturer? I had a look at amazon but there are only more clumsy / heavy versions available. I’d like to have one that is not a super big eye catcher in my flat.
I’d be really happy if you or anyone who reads this comment could provide some help. Thanks in advance!

My brother makes them. Let me know if you’d like more info, and what it would cost to ship one to you from Iceland.

Milana Katchalina wrote on December 2nd, 2011

it couldn´t be any better timing for just opening your blog and reading this! I am stragling with this problem for like all my life and it is right – why my home should be in a better “shape” than my own body! thanks a lot!
thanks for being such a inspiring person and I admire your work – and I mean it!!!
Take care,
Bestu kveðjur Milana

jennifer wrote on January 29th, 2012

This helped me – I am one of the lazy ones who just needs to start… or rather, ramp it up to get rid of the last of the baby weight. Status quo is no longer working! Thanks for sharing.

Mirko wrote on June 26th, 2012

Dear Rebekka,

you’re great and i’m working hard, I hate procrastination but at the same time procratination loves me. I guess my mind is the problem: takes pictures with my camera helping me to destroy some walls that separate me from my happiness but at the same time I think I must work on my body.
I’m 36 and i have 2 small kids, they need an example :)

I’m not sorry for my bad english i’ll improve it, no excuses :)

I love this post

Mirko

Just watched Zuzana’s video and it made me giggle a little at all the boobie shots. However, she made me want to get up and tug on some heavy stuff. Quite an inspiring site!

Love the post – and I’m enjoying your website.

Hei!
How are you? I wrote a reply to this post on june and now i’m happy to write that i worked hard with Boxe and Running so my mind is living another youth.
:)

Hi, I log on to your blog oon a regular basis.

Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!

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