I think I have done a fairly good job of making it clear that a major goal for me this year is to work on my weight and overall health. I’m taking baby steps through this process and have spent the whole month of January making sure I am setting up good habits for long term weight loss.
I always struggle in one area of my weight loss goals, and it’s with the exercise part. Exercise has always been a frustrating goal for me. The excuses started popping up left and right:
My back hurts
My feet hurt
I’m injured (although it was true)
I went shopping so all of that walking counts. Doesn’t it? 😉
My exercise bike has clothes all over it. (*ahem* that one was true too.)
Ok, I’m sure you get the point and I’m also pretty sure I now sound like a whiney punk. That’s ok, sometimes I am a whiney punk.
When I talked about being morbidly obese and how it makes me feel, I talked about being an athlete and how strong it made me feel. I LOVED lifting weights and being able to push myself hard. I loved the competition of it and even more when I was on the winning side of sports teams. I knew how to ignore the pain, shake it off and push through it because it was part of being an athlete. If you weren’t dripping with sweat, you weren’t trying hard enough. I LOVED playing sports.
So, why now, as an adult am I having such a hard time getting back to exercise?
I have been doing some serious soul searching on it the last month as I work through these changes and feelings. I bought a Fitbit Charge to actually see how often I am moving. Let’s be real about it, I work a desk job and then I go home and blog. I don’t spend a lot of time moving. It’s the truth. Yes, SOME of my time on my butt does involve back pain. When it hurts, it HURTS, and unless you’ve had a back injury, you can’t begin to imagine how much it effects every single movement in your body. (and the back pain is already better with the minimal amount of weight loss I have achieved!)
But, if I am completely honest with myself, I think there are two main reasons I find exercise frustrating.
I think the competitive side of sports is what would make me push through. Other people were counting on you to be your best, be strong, suck it up and you did it because you didn’t want to let your team down. There was also a drive to prove yourself, to your team, your coach, your parents, and even random strangers in the stands.
And now, there is no team. It’s just me, holding myself accountable to me. That’s pretty damn scary. In fact, it’s terrifying. It’s especially terrifying knowing that if you don’t fix it, if I don’t make the changes, I’ll end up 6 feet under. Yeah, that’s pretty damn terrifying.
Exercise Was Punishment
Ahhh, gym class. I never minded it because I enjoyed sports. But the coaches, oh the coaches. Let me tell you a little thing about coaches, especially in a school setting. Make a mistake? Do some pushups. Someone has a smart mouth? RUN. Struggle learning a technique? Run in intervals. Don’t want to stay in the right position in Volleyball? Do the invisible chair for the rest of class. Having problems with anything else, or for any other random reason? RUN some more!
Do you see a pattern here? Coach doesn’t like something=Punishment. Is it any wonder at all that I HATE RUNNING? Why WHY WHHHHYYYY do we do this to children?
We wonder why people don’t exercise, and I can tell you for me, it’s because the back of my brain equates running to punishment. How different my views might just be if a coach spent time teaching us to run to enjoy it instead of using it as punishment. Could you imagine being sent outside in the spring, and actually have a coach teach you to run with joy? To feel the wind, to get to the point where you truly don’t even focus on the run, but you do it because YOU CAN?
I know somewhere inside I need to find my joy with exercise. I haven’t found it yet, but with some determination and a little patience, perhaps I will find something I can do that doesn’t make me hate the idea of working out.
What exercises are your favorite? Do you find joy in exercise at all?by