OPINION: How the exercise I still hate changed my life


The Heskett Center is home to a variety of sport facilities, fitness equipments, and classrooms to meet the physical health needs of the students that are attending WSU.

Before you sigh and ignore the rest of this column, I want to say that I’m not going to tell you that I love working out and that you should love it too – it sucks. I hate sweating, I hate running, I hate lifting weights, I hate 90% of it, but when I go to the gym in the morning, I have a good day. 

A study conducted at Northwestern University found that 60 percent of college students do not get enough physical activity. Exercising reduces your risk of deadly diseases like cancer and depression.

The “experts” that every health website quote all say that working out in the morning gives you a metabolism boost and a dopamine boost. I can’t really speak to that, because I am a writer and all I do is make bad jokes in a school newspaper. All I know is that if I want to have a good day, be alert, happy and productive, I should work out.

I started working out because I wanted to lose weight. I was deeply unhappy with the way that I looked and knew that working out would be the best way for me to lose weight. While that was why I started, and I am proud to say that I have lost weight, working out makes me feel healthy in more ways than one. 

I am more conscious of how my body feels and what it needs, and I no longer go multiple days without drinking water. I eat healthier than I used to because I don’t want to ruin all the hard work I did in my morning workout. 

But things didn’t start out that way. Working out because I wanted to lose weight made it impossible to enjoy the healthy feeling because all that mattered was the number on the scale or how my stomach looked. Being active should be a choice you make to be healthier and feel better, not as a tool to mask the unhealthy obsession with the way your body looks. 

I had to go to therapy to figure that out and it took a while to get there. Body positivity does not mean that you have to be happy with the way that you look. Body positivity means appreciating everything your body does for you and not forcing yourself to feel like shit because it doesn’t look the way you want. 

Every body is a good body. Every body helps you experience the things you love. 

I love my body. She may not look like a model, or even what I want her to look like yet, but she pets my dog and watches Game of Thrones and writes and reads and rants about politics. 

Exercise makes me feel healthy and happy. That’s why I work out. If you hate exercise, I am right there with you, but I love swimming and yoga. Use that YMCA membership no one asked for and try out a few classes, they are free. There are a plethora of classes and intramural sports programs to become a part of. You might just find the activity that makes you feel healthy and happy too.