The idea of homeostasis arises from biology and the scientific realm. It is the body’s ability returning to a sense of normalcy and balance. Your body sweats in order to keep the body temperature at 98.6. Your body has white blood cells and antibodies to help bring your body back to normal when you get sick. As I write this, I think I have found my form of homeostasis with my health; body, mind, and spirit.
When COVID first hit, I was already struggling to figure out a workout routine. When I was in my last year of undergrad, I was working out consistently. I was working out 3-4 times a week and did various workouts. I felt as if there was no way of getting back to that when everything hit the fan. When stress and workload tripled, I didn’t even try to work out. I was working longer hours and had stress and fear of COVID. I didn’t notice the effects of this on my body until I was trying to help a client do his assessment with the psychiatric nurse. He was being asked to step on the scale, so I said I would go first. When I saw that number on the scale, I panicked. I was almost 20 pounds heavier than I was pre COVID. I was at my heaviest weight, sure I wasn’t the heaviest person in the world. But it felt like all the work I put into myself was gone. That I stopped caring for myself in order to care for others.
That was in October of 2020, and it was still months before I would actually find balance. I just knew something had to change at that moment. It was around this time when I was trying to figure out what I liked to do. I remembered how much I loved cycling, so I began researching what bikes would do well. I did end up going with the peloton. My boyfriend helped me purchase it and I saved up for weeks. I got it towards the end of November, I was consistently on it. Then the December holiday season rolled around, and I was working even more. So I fell off for a bit.
Come January, my friends and I were talking about doing more yoga. So we set up a discord and scheduled out virtual yoga. We began doing yoga 2x a week. This was the starting point of where I am now. It brought me consistency which is important to see any change and find balance. This was a good way to start finding my strength.
As I continued through this, a friend of mine was also trying to find a way to work out consistently. So we began running during March. I used to keep a consistent pace of 9:30 and could run for 2 miles. But I was struggling to do a mile at 13 minutes. It was very disheartening to see how much I stopped caring for myself. It was a battle in my mind, to get back into it you can do it and how could you stop? It took me a while to be kind and forgiving for myself. After all, we are still going through a pandemic. Yet, the running had to go on pause for finals season. Since then I’ve run about 2-3 times but I’m hoping to get back into running consistently.
Along with that, I have started going to the gym. I was always anxious about going to the gym. About messing up in front of others at the gym, about not knowing what to do. Yet, my same friend used to go all the time pre-pandemic. It was a little less nerve racking when I went with her. I still have anxieties because I’m not super strong or have good form. Or even know what to do in the gym. But I am going and that is what matters at the end of the day.
Since starting this journey, I now work out anywhere between 3-5 days a week. It has been about a month of this routine. That is why I have not been posting, I have been trying to rediscover my health. I have been trying to return to my homeostasis. Where I am working out, I am taking time out for myself, and I feel good. Sure the number on the scale is what kickstarted this but it is not the factor that I am chasing after. I am not chasing after a low number on the scale, I am looking for strength and to feel good. I want to have energy to move and be happy. Being a female, the number on the scale is going to fluctuate regardless of what I do. The scale is not a good measure of health. But how I feel in my skin matters, how strong I feel matters, how confident I am in myself matters.