Sunday, July 07, 2013
Maybe this happens to you too: sometimes I don't realize what's going til it's over. One day recently, I had an epiphany during a workout - I've completed stage 1!
What's stage 1?
Among other things, stage 1 for me meant getting into good enough shape that I am now physically able to have a good workout. It's been years since I was able to do this, and I lied to myself the whole time. There was an injury that kept me from walking as much (and definitely no running) and I used that as an excuse to stop taking care of myself.
Regular exercise for me is at least 3 to 4 times per week, at least 40 to 60 minutes. When I start missing workouts, and then miss more, til it's only once a week at best, then that once-a-week workout is not fun. It's awkward, slow, self-conscious, hot, painful, boring ...
The real reason I didn't exercise is that it was hard. I wasn't just out of the habit, or out of shape. I was also lugging around extra pounds (which kept adding up to more pounds). Whenever I tried to exercise I felt like a blob. I got out of breath at a pace that others consider a stroll. I wanted to exercise, but when I did, I got tired and bummed out.
Stage 1 was all about confronting my excuses.
Too out of shape to go to the gym? Then walk at the mall on the way home from work. Just stay away from those pushy people at the kiosks!
Feet hurt? Then dig out the box of Tensoplast and wrap em.
Can't work out because hubby keeps scheduling things at workout time? Sit down and talk with him, figure it out. He's probably not thinking outside his bubble.
Can't work out because the kids need you? Honestly, do they really need you 24/7?
Don't have any exercise clothes that will fit? Then for gosh sakes, go to the store and try some on. It was painful but I did it, found some comfy workout bras at Target on sale. Found a 3-pack of 2x men's T shirts. Yeah it's embarassing to wear 2x mens. So what. Yeah it's expensive. So what, I'm worth it.
To get back up to a regular level, I had to nullify those excuses and slog through a lot of not-fun workouts. I'm still not entirely sure what all pulled me through, but I know SparkPeople had something to do with it.
Stage 1 for me meant:
- Getting into a routine of regular exercise that is not a punishment, that produces the mood-stabilizing effect I need, that makes me feel strong instead of weak
- Tracking my food every day (except for vacation!) to see exactly what I do to myself when I overeat
- Getting deep-down-dirty honest about my bad habits (still working on those)
- Committing to taking care of myself
- Committing to the long haul ahead
What's stage 2? I suspect it's mostly about the "long haul" but there's probably more to it. When it's over, I'll let you know.