I am wondering how you stay motivated to exercise. I know, from reading your posts you seem to really enjoy exercising, saying it’s "me" time. Did you always enjoy exercising? I have been exercising for a long time now–sometimes I am more committed than others–but I can never say it’s fun! My idea of “me” time is to put my nose in a good book. Choosing to exercise over choosing to read (or do other things) is always a struggle for me and I can’t honestly imagine being excited about choosing exercise time over reading time! Any suggestions? Thanks!
Hi Sandy! Thanks for your question.
This is an interesting subject for me as I didn’t always enjoy exercise. Actually, I hated it. I mean, I didn’t mind a nice walk but the thought of getting in the car, going to the gym and taking a 45 minute spinning class was not even on my radar for a “good time” (I actually do this now and it still floors me.)
Let me start at the beginning. When I embarked on this weight loss journey, I didn’t want to exercise, I didn’t have a gym membership and I had no formal workout routines. I knew if I started one it wouldn’t be long before I quit. Then I’d get angry at myself for not having the motivation to continue. Then I’d get depressed. Then eat more. Then… you know where this is going.
Why did I know all this? Well, let’s just say, practice. That little cycle started in college and continued for years. I’d work out for about 2 days, if that, hate it, never go back and successfully get depressed which always lead to more food.
So when I started Weight Watchers June 2005 I was determined NOT to workout. I wanted to prove to myself that I could lose weight without spending hours at the gym. My thought process simple, if the weight was going to come off it was going to come off in a way I can live with forever. That was the only way. I didn’t want to sign myself up for 5 day a week workouts just to maintain a number on the scale. No, this time was going to be different and it was.
Now, before you get all crazy or excited, just because I wasn’t “working out” doesn’t mean I wasn’t active. I even wrote a few posts about staying active and getting exercise in without needing a gym. My personal favorite is an old journal entry of mine entitled Gym Shmym, Who Needs ‘Em? Recently I wrote my newer 10 Stay Active Tips! And the oldest entry I have talking about exercising lists my activities while losing and talks about a New Years workout resolution which I ironically didn’t keep.
It wasn’t until last August I got a real itch to start formally working out. I was already maintaining for a year and half and I really needed to set more goals for myself. So I looked into a “Y” membership and I started a page to track my workout progress (side note, this desperately needs to be updated.)
In 2 months, I was hooked and even wrote about my transformation of becoming a gym rat. I don’t know if was just the right time for me being so busy with the toddler and work that the gym gave me a haven away from it all. Or if deep down I was always a gym rat but lacked the motivation because I was chubby and out of shape in the past. Whatever it was, I can honestly say, overall, I do enjoy it now. Yeah, there are some days I don’t want to go and I definitely am not a cardio girl but I know I’m doing something good for my body and soul and that seems to be enough to keep me going. That, and an hour with my ipod with no distractions!
See, I’m a ‘music girl’. SO that works for me. Since you are a ‘book girl’, my suggestion for you is to bring the book! Nothing says you can’t ride the reclined bike while completely absorbed in a good read. Plus noting beats killing two birds with one stone! ;~P
So I hope that helps a little bit and I’m sorry for all the links to old posts, but as I began to answer you I remembered all my writings discussing exercise. It’s so strange for me to go back and read my own thoughts from two years ago and “hear” the old me. Thanks again for the question. It really gave me a chance to look at my own personal workout history. Which I find somewhat amusing. Some of them gave me a good chuckle down memory lane.
Thanks again! Hope that helps!
P.S. Does anyone else have advice for Sandy?