So here’s the honest truth: I really don’t like to exercise. I never have and I kinda doubt I ever will. I actually loathe exercise. (However, if hell freezes over and I start to love exercise, I’ll be happy. I guess.)
You know how there are those lithe chicks who throw their hair up into a ponytail, put on exercise pants/capris (of course, with room to spare because they don’t come smaller than size zero) and workout for an hour (oh—just a little workout!) with hardly breaking a sweat? Then, they grab coffee with a friend while still wearing their workout clothes, but looking darn cute and still freshly coifed, and run to the grocery store before heading home. And, of course, they’re cheerful and perky the whole time.
Yeah, that’s so not me.
I sweat like a pig. Or a teenage boy playing baseball. (Not that there’s much difference.) I don’t make workout clothes look cute.* Exercise does not make me cheerful and perky. I throw my hair up into a ponytail and my frizz-prone hair looks like I was caught in a down pour…and that’s just after the exercise warm ups. I sweat in places where I didn’t know sweat glands existed. And, it’s obvious sweating. Roll-down-my-face-sweating. Not “glowing” or “glistening” or any other cutesy word. It’s full out, man-sized sweating. It’s gross.
They say that exercise should release some kind of hormone or chemical that makes you feel great! I don’t think I was born with that hormone/chemical.
I’m tired, crabby and hungry when I’m done exercising. (* When my middle teenaged child saw me in my new
sausage casing workout capris, he asked, “Holy cow, Mom! Did you, like, get skinny jeans?!?!”)
While I may not feel or look (or smell) good after I exercise, I AM proud of myself for actually doing it. Exercise is good for my health, regardless of how I feel about it. If I waited until I was “in the mood” to exercise, I’d never do it. Kinda like I have NEVER ONCE craved a salad or peas or carrots. If I waited until I was “in the mood” for veggies, they’d never pass these lips. (Although, in full disclosure, I do not and will not eat peas. I have my personal limits.)
So although I don’t like it, I AM exercising. And having accountability really helps. My friend Michelle and I got on this kick together as we are training for walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk For A Cure. (www.the3day.org) In Chicago. In August. (Did I mention I don’t like to exercise? Or sweat? Yeah.) Michelle is motivated and doing far more than and better than me. But, having her accountability and companionship has been motivating me to do more. She and I have some striking similarities. We both sweat A LOT. We don’t love and adore exercise. (Sometimes, on occasion, we even tend to whine about it. Occasionally and sometimes.) And, we’re not lithe ladies. (yet)
The quote, “A burden shared is a burden halved” and the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up”) are so true! A five-mile walk on my treadmill does not seem to fly-by as does a five-mile walk with Michelle. By doing a disliked discipline together, we are providing encouragement and help to each other. When I’m on the treadmill because the weather is too bad to be outside, the miles are easier to endure if I can distract myself from watching the minutes go by. I started with listening to music and talk radio, but found that my eyes needed to be OFF the mile and calorie counters. (Oh yay—all that work for burning off the 14 M&M’s.) Reading has proven to be a great distraction while on the treadmill. It almost makes me really want to hop on that conveyer belt going no-where just to read a few more chapters! Yes, it is pathetic to dangle that carrot in front of myself – but hey, it works! Pathetic or not, I need to use whatever is going to work
So what’s your dreaded thing that needs to get done? If you seek out accountability from someone who can share the burden, it WILL be easier to get going and stay going! Or, figure out what you can do to entice yourself—dangle a carrot for yourself! There are very creative solutions out there!
And if you know someone who is working on something fairly dreadful and frustrating (a diet, exercising, job searching…heck, parenting can be included), give them some encouragement to spur them on! You may not be able to physically walk five miles alongside someone, but a few positive, uplifting words can be just as effective.
Now to squeeze back into my “skinny jeans” because I have a book to finish!