Fitness Friday :: What I Tell Myself When I Don’t Want to Exercise (which is most of the time)
You don’t feel like exercising today. I get it. Neither do I. If I am lying comfortably in my bed or lounging comfortably on my couch, I need an outside force to get my booty up and moving.
A body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force. ~Newton’s First Law of Motion~
Most of the time, the most effective outside force is the sound of my own voice commanding my booty to move.
If you were a fly on my wall (Or an ant crawling across my desk. Or a mouse in my pantry.)
(Yes, I currently have ants in my office and a mouse in my pantry.)
(Which I cannot catch.)
(Even though we have set a trap, and we have a cat)
(We have affectionately named the mouse “Pantry.”)
(I have yet to name the ants.)
Anyway, if you were a critter, in my home, with ears, who could understand English, and you heard me talking to myself to get my booty up and moving, here are some of the things you might hear.
1. “Just 10 minutes” Sometimes I promise myself that if I invest just 10 minutes into a workout, I will allow myself to walk away at the end of that 10 minutes, guilt-free. It’s a rare day when I stop after 10 minutes. Mostly, once I get started, I feel great and want to finish strong.
2. “Something is better than nothing” Thanks to a host of misinterpreted, outdated research, we have the idea that unless we exercise with full intensity for 30 or 60+ minutes, exercise is pointless. That is ridiculous. That’s like saying, “If I can’t get my recommended 5-13 servings of fruits and veggies a day, I’m not going to eat them at all.” The truth is, God created the human body to move. Every system, every cell, works more efficiently with regular movement. If your goal is over-all physical health, all movement is beneficial, whether you are pushing through an intense weight-training program or strolling through your neighborhood. (Unless you are ill or injured or doing something incredibly stupid that could make you ill or injured.)
3. “Exercise is a free and effective antidepressant” Long winter, anyone?
4. “If I workout today, I can take tomorrow off” I aim to workout 4 to 6 days per week. That means I have 1 to 3 rest days. At the beginning of the week, I look at my schedule and determine what days work best for exercise and what days work best for rest, and I plan accordingly. If I come up to a scheduled exercise day but don’t feel like doing it, sometimes just looking ahead to see that I have a scheduled rest day coming up is enough to get me over the hump.
5. “If I don’t work out today, I won’t be able to exercise for (fill-in-the-blank) more days” My weeks get busy, just like yours. Some days, I’d have to move heaven and earth to fit in a work out. Even a short one. If I see I have a few days in a row coming up where I CAN’T workout, it’s often enough motivation to push through today.
6. “I never regret working out.” It’s true. The sweaty, heart-pumping, endorphin-releasing activity ALWAYS leaves me feeling energized and thankful I stuck it out. Always. Without exception. Funny how quickly I forget this when I’d rather take a nap.
7. “Remember my goals.” Setting meaningful fitness goals helps me see the value in the daily work out. Sometimes my goals are weight-related. Sometimes my goals involve completing a program. Always, my goals include fighting bad genetics and setting a good example for my kids. When I remember it really is not about working out today, but achieving something over my lifetime, it helps me get off my booty.
8. “Remember my clothes.” So, here’s the thing: I’m officially at that age where unless I pay attention every day to what I eat and how much I move, I can’t get my pants over my hips. And it happens quickly. Like, over days. And, as much as I love me some yoga pants (which cover a multitude of sins) I also like cute jeans. And they get too tight when I skip too many workouts. It’s just the way it is.
9. “Adultery Repellant.” I don’t know about your spouse, but mine works in a giant hospital system alongside cute, young, thin women who happen to shower, style their hair and apply make-up daily. Sure, he made a covenant with me, and I trust him to keep it regardless of my muscle tone. But if I have the ability to stay fit and attractive, why wouldn’t I, for his sake? Yeah, I know it’s not very feminist of me…but I love my husband enough to take good care of my appearance. Yes, for him. It’s mostly for me, but also for him.
Speaking of repellant, I’ve got some ants to spray. I’m not even kidding. I wish I were. And then I need to work out. And, no, I do not feel like it. But I’m going anyway. And then, I’m going to reward my efforts with some cute new jeans.
Q4U: What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
Linking up with Jill Conyers today…coincidentally, she’s talking about motivation, too,
answering the question,
I am sipping coffee and reading blogs (yours, of course! 😉 I would love to sit here for the next hour doing just this, but lo and behold, the day will get so busy, so need to get a run in now. Just another 10 minutes……
Thanks for the motivation! And I feel your pain with mouse and ant troubles – I really, really do! (We named our pantry mouse “Cheddar”;)
I have to admit, getting up from the computer is the hardest thing for me to do. There’s just always one more thing I want to do. Hope you got your run in before the day got crazy.
I can’t even believe it but I want to workout today. And I don’t even have my usual Friday appointment (Good Friday Y’all). But I am trying to psych myself up to not wimp out at the gym today. It’s so easy to wimp out without my trainer standing over my shoulder saying ‘I don’t care if you don’t like box squats with the bar (or the death march, or mountain climbers, or those stupid awful knee drives – those are the worst!) you have 4 more….then 2 more sets of 10 after that! So I want to workout, but I kind of want to just stroll on the treadmill, do some easy stuff, then sit on the massage chair for 30 mins. But I also don’t want to do that. Really. Cause then I won’t be all sweaty and happy after. So I’m going to do a great workout. I’ve decided!
But I am NOT going to do those stupid knee drives! 🙂
Working out with a trainer is a great motivator! They make you work out WAY harder than you would on your own. That’s why I want to be one when I grow up. Except it requires me to actually read some books and learn some material. Dang it.
I get up early to work out so when I get up then I expect myself to follow through. I tell myself either you work out or you are not doing anything else. I also at times will allow myself a 15 min workout and quit but most of the time if I start then I go for 20 to 40 minutes. I do think doing 4 minute Tabata exercises have a great benefit. I am ok doing 12 minutes of that and calling it a good workout. I remind myself how good I feel when I finish.
I used to get up early to exercise before my kids were in school. But now it works out best for me to exercise after they leave for school. I loved those early morning drives to the gym in the dark and home before Jon left for work. Feels like a different life-time, it was so long ago…
I don’t know about Tabata. I need to check that out.
I really like your tips!!! I also totally agree with #9. I have always thought that we should do things for us, but also keep in mind others and I don’t think there is anything wrong with improving ones self with others opinions in mind. I am not married, but I want to stay fit for me, but also just in case I meet that totally cute guy:)
You are so pretty, you probably have the guys lining up for you. 🙂
Remembering my goals is a great motivator for me. When I wonder if I really need to run another long run, I remember my upcoming marathon.
OMG #8 is so creeping up on me! How the heck did that happen? When I try to talk myself out of working out I remind myself of how I will feel if I don’t compared to how I will feel if I do and how long the regret will last. Working out wins almost every time
I always enjoy your writing style Sandy.
I am big on the “just 10 minutes or just one mile” and usually by the time I get that far I am able to convince myself it is good and I can do more 🙂
i wake every morning M-Sat at 5am to workout so you can imagine the internal struggle i have with dragging my butt out of bed!
so what i do is:
1) the minute i start to think those things (“ugh, i don’t want to exercise!”) i get up and get moving so that my brain doesn’t have enough time to convince my body and
2) remember that the beginning is always the hardest; that in 3 mintues after i’ve brushed my teeth and started putting on my workout clothes, i’ll be awake and kicking some ass.
it never fails 🙂