I hate exercise.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I really do.

Well, maybe not exercise itself. It's more true to say that I absolutely hate the idea of exercising. No matter what it is - and in these now almost 10 years since I began my transformation, trust me, I've tried EVERYTHING - I dread it.

In fact, the mere thought of having to change and get into my exercise gear and do whatever I have planned for the day triggers a deep response of loathing from my over involved brain. "You're going to run? Why bother?" it asks, "Go sit on the couch until this feeling passes!"

"We have a deep water aquafit class tonight? Is that the one where she makes you do barrel rolls and you DO them? Seriously - there's wine at home - let's skip it."

"Yoga? Again? ugh - all that stretching and breathing and stuff - can't we just get a burger?"

On and on - my brain tells me constantly that I hate exercise and shouldn't be bothered to do it. It always offers excuses and reasons and options that don't involve sweat or a change of clothes.

It becomes especially obnoxious just before one of our big back packing or canoe trips. "That pack is heavy - you're going to hate carrying it for 6 days. You know there are mountains in Yosemite... right?"

"5 days on paddling? Are you %^$#ing kidding me?"

In fact, the dread of the inevitable exertion is so powerful that I make myslef unbearable to be around. My poor husband doesn't get it - after 30 years, he's stopped trying to figure me out. I've stopped trying to figure myself out. Because, once I'm actually doing the exercise, I feel pretty good and, when it's done? I feel like a million dollars. So I know that, despite the dread and the mental strain of fighting the anti-exercise gremlin who lives in my head, I know something else.

I know I cannot, in any way, maintain this 85lb loss into my mid-50's without it. I cannot live the active, healthy, fit lifestyle I crave without it. I cannot wear my sexy jeans and tight pencil skirts without it. I cannot maintain my health without it. I cannot fight off the rampant cardiovascular disease that plagues my family without it. I cannot manage my menopause without it. No matter how much I hate it - absolutely hate it - I cannot live without it.

So - yes - I've said it. I hate exercise. But, since it is as necessary to my life as taking my medications (I'm not nuts about THAT either) and other nasty things, it doesn't matter whether I like it or not. I don't have to want to do it - I just have to do it.

So - I do it - plan for it, pay for the classes for it, buy the clothes for it, skip some fun stuff because of it, and just do it. No excuses allowed. I put on my shoes and run. I get up at 6:15AM and go to the pool. I do my strength training and my yoga and my cycling.

I really hate the thought of exercise but exercise really, really loves me.

Running along the Niagara Parkway on a gorgeous May morning. See, brain? That wasn't so bad!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    1559 days ago
    Great blog! So glad I read it.
    2565 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13026971
    2930 days ago
    I feel 25 mins yoga at night is a waste of time, but then I remind myself that tossing and turning for hours on end is more of a waste of time, so the 25 mins beforehand is a good investment!
    2931 days ago
  • SUNSHINE20113
    I'm reading a book about Kenyan runners and in one paragraph the authors states that he only understands why he runs AFTER he's been for the run! So even the professionals struggle with it!
    2933 days ago
    I feel the same way about running! I think I actually hate running. I dread every part of it except the cool down walk at the end! But I know it's the main reason I've been maintaining too!

    I love to walk & hike and actually enjoy making the time to do this. Running, not so much! But at least 3 times a week I drag myself to the trail to run at least 2 miles (I'm shooting for 3+ again).
    2933 days ago
    It is amazing how much better a workout can be in hindsight rather than in anticipation!
    2933 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12162103
    Enjoy taking care of your beautiful God given body. Walking is a simple & necessary part of life. Enjoy I emoticon emoticon
    It's even more fun with a pal, ie a family member.
    2935 days ago
    I let my Comfortable and Unmotivated Self win too often. I need to find a strategy for boosting my Fit &Active Self so that it wins the dialogue inside my head instead.
    Thanks for the insightful blog!!
    2936 days ago
    Somehow it's hard to believe that someone who has so MUCH exercise in her life could really have such a hard time getting herself to do it.

    Thanks for writing this - and showing us how.

    2936 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    emoticon blog and wonderful maintaining

    I never thought I would say I like exercising but it does make us feel so good doesn't it

    emoticon for sharing
    2936 days ago
    I was smiling reading your blog. Sounds like you can both feel yourself from inside, but also look at yourself from the outside, like a camera. I think this can be very valuable to learn from your experiences.

    As for myself, I started to enjoy exercise over time. At the beginning, I had big resistance, similar to what you write, but somehow, it changed, and now I really like exercise. I also discovered there are forms, that I never tried before, and now, it turns out, I like it. However, I don't really call exercise now, it's more like riding my bike, and exploring some new paths, or having some me time while running.
    2936 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    emoticon You are an inspiration!!!! emoticon emoticon
    2936 days ago
    Congrats on the weigth loss. What a great picture! I'm with you, the thought of changing, warming up, getting sweaty, cooling down, stretching and showering just makes me want to find the remote and a snack.

    I usually like it when I'm done but before... I have to keep telling myself, "Nothing worth having it ever easy." Some of my better workouts came when I didn't feel like it and said 'I'm just doing 10 minutes" and I end up getting into it and doing 40 minutes.

    I like what you said, "I don't have to want to do it, I just have to do it". That's a bumper sticker baby! Keep it up. You are a great example to follow!

    2937 days ago
    Great blog! Wonderful maintenance accomplishment! Hey, I know you say you've tried everything, but have you tried run-walk-run Galloway style?? I know many people who didn't like running, but love the intervals. Might be worth a try. In my town the camaraderie of the group help lots of people get into it who otherwise would not. Good of you to go for it whether you dread it or not, but wouldn't it be great if you could find fitness activities you love??! Yes, there are times I dread it, but most of the time I look forward to it. Hope some day you'll be in that category, but if not, just keep on. You are doing an amazing job!!!
    2937 days ago
    Amen, Sister, I hate exercise, too! At least before I do it, as you said. I can't recall actually regretting a fitness session after it was over, but getting started? Ugh! Double ugh!

    I loved NellJones's response of wanting exertion to produce a result, but I hate "weeding, carting mulch around in wheelbarrows, moving furniture to vacuum, taking stuff out of closets and putting it back, getting up on the roof to clean gutters" even more than I hate exercise, so it's time to put on my shoes and hit the trail.
    emoticon emoticon
    2937 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1047846
    Great blog ! You've said what a lot of us feel. We exercise because we feel we must, not because we love it.

    Congrats on the 85 pounds gone !
    2937 days ago
    Hi hate exercise too! I like playing a game. I like jumping rope. I like dodge ball. I like to be involved. I like basket ball. I like tennis. I like taking a walk. Best wishes, Linda from bean town
    2937 days ago
    I hate exercise, too. Back when I lost my weight at WW we never even TALKED about exercise, it was food only, so that is how I see weight control. However I am very active, and prefer activities that show a result. Weeding, carting mulch around in wheelbarrows, moving furniture to vacuum, taking stuff out of closets and putting it back, getting up on the roof to clean gutters, it is all hard, physical work. But at least I have something to show for it and don't have to pay someone else to do it.
    2937 days ago
    Loved this blog! This is EXACTLY why I need the SparkTeams, challenges, trackers & every other piece of motivation I can find! Exercise is the key for me to lose & keep it off.
    2937 days ago
    Great blog. I have similar mental dialogues before exercising..yet like you I know that I will not maintain this weight loss without exercise. It simply will not happen. You have done a wonderful job of transforming your life. You are very inspirational. I also always feel better after I exercise. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to go for another walk,

    2937 days ago
    Oh crap, I guess that means I really DO need to exercise more....

    I hate that dreaded activity! Give me painting! Give me gardening! Give me kayaking. Give me walking! Even housecleaning! But not those dreaded exercises!

    So, in a humourous way you have lead me to the's up to me to drink.

    2937 days ago
    Well - good for you for getting out there and doing it - even though you hate the thought of it.

    but I'm so sorry you hate that part. wish I could give you some of my love and you could give me some of your determination.
    2937 days ago
    This post has made me smile, thank you.

    2937 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8634484
    I know exactly what you mean. The only thing that gets me doing is the small fact that exercise keeps my joints OK. Even a couple of days without exercise leaves me crippled with pain. As soon as I go back to my normal (dreaded) pattern, I'm almost pain free. So I suppose I also can say that exercise likes me. emoticon
    2937 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2937 days ago
    Accepting a necessary evil and staying committed to something that you dread so much must be really hard. That's why you deserve congratulations! Fighting this gremlin in your head is not an easy thing, I bet!
    Well done on making exercise part of your life and on maintaining your weight loss!
    Keep on Sparking and inspiring others!
    2937 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11169568
    The thought exercise is two fold, the feeling of dragging yourself to do it and the great feeling you know comes after. Not to mention the muscle tone that makes looking great in clothes a wonderful thing. Great work!
    2937 days ago
    Good! Great blog!! You get my vote and I'm so glad thats off your chest too. Geeeez imagine if you actually enjoyed any of it? There would be no stopping you @ anything!
    Thanks for sharing. Stay healthy wishes, emoticon
    2937 days ago
    It was so encouraging to me to read your blog and then all the comments of others who hate exercise also. I've been trying and trying to convince myself that I can learn to like exercise. Yes, sometimes I do like it. Sometimes I actually enjoy what I am able to do. BUT before I start it, when I'm just thinking about it, I'd rather not! So now I know and can accept that it is just something I do because it is good for me and because I also do not want to pack back on all the weight I've lost. emoticon
    2937 days ago
    Beautifully written and so honest...I'm going to share with my teams!
    2937 days ago
    That's how I feel about making salad.
    2937 days ago
    You are amazing. I love how exercise feels after. Exercise loves me too. I am not going back on those 35 lbs. I want muscles not fat.
    2937 days ago
    I have the same affliction as you - mental games to try avoiding workouts. I'm doing much better at ignoring those negative thoughts, and reading your blog let me know that I'm not alone with this goofy problem!
    2937 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3876543
    It's great that you do it anyway, and give your body what it needs! And that run looks gorgeous!!
    2937 days ago
    2937 days ago
    You are AWESOME! Great blog!
    2937 days ago
    I do have to agree--I don't like exercise but I love how I feel afterward and I love how I look because of it!
    2937 days ago
    2937 days ago
    Yup...I'm not so fond of paying my taxes but there are some things we just have to do!
    2939 days ago
    I'm with you. When I'm the right weight, exercise is just a job that leaves me cold beforehand but feeling great afterward. I hate exercise even MORE when I'm overweight, though.

    I'd rather hate it and do it and feel great afterward than hate it and avoid it and suffer the consequences to my health and weight. Thanks for letting me know, once again, that I'm not alone in these feelings.
    2947 days ago
    Totally with you. As I wrote recently (again) motivation for me is always after acquired -- after I do it.
    2947 days ago
    I'm right there with you on this! I wish I were one of those people who discovered their inner jock when they lost weight, but I still have a similar inner dialogue to yours whenever I have to get myself out the door for some exercise. At least we've got lots of positive motivators to keep us going, so here's to getting our workouts in even though we hate exercise!
    2947 days ago
  • KELPIE57
    Love it, you speak right to my gremlin too!
    2950 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4182099
    85lb loss!! Wow! Your before and after photos look amazing. Exercise definitely loves you.
    2951 days ago
    Thank you! Sometimes I feel like an imposter in here amongst all those who seems to love exercise. Me, I'd really much rather just be lazy and spend what little "spare" time I have relaxing. But you said it so well -- it's just one more thing that HAS to be done because I'm not going back to where I was 80 pounds ago, and I am going to fight the effects of aging as long and hard as I'm able!
    2951 days ago
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