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I want to work out, but I don’t actually want to exercise. So….

October 10th, 2011 5 Comments

A reader wrote me with this dilemma today, and honestly, I’m right there with her right now.

Staying active is doable, but enjoying it is what makes the work effective mentally and physically.

When I was in Mexico, I dragged myself to the gym and yoga.  I  sought out pole dancing in an attempt to get myself excited to exercise!  Of course I loved all of the activities once I got there.  (Not for the workout as much as the challenge to keep up with the instruction in Spanish. Ugh.)  Last week in Arizona, I even had to motivate to bike and hike in the gorgeous red rocky mountains of Sedona.  At that point I said to myself, I’m BURNED OUT.  Some of you caught on to that with the lack of workout videos.

So…what to do to reconnect with the high of exercise?  That’s a very good question.  I’ve found the answer is never the same. FORCING yourself to do something never works.  COMMITTING to a regimen is another story.

At this moment, committing to the gym is painful, and my workouts seem to be fruitless.  I don’t feel better when I leave the gym.

In an attempt to not go any deeper into this rut, I’m adjusting my mindset to not be so hard on myself.  Nothing positive can come from criticising the effort I do make to regain my fitness. So…..here’s what I’m doing:

  • Exercising an hour a day.  Usually if I can carve out that time, I’ll use it and a little more.
  • Finding classes to get me to the gym.
  • Focusing on my emotions in yoga, not the poses.
  • Eating whatever I want.
  • Reading The Spectrum by Dr. Dean Ornish

My thought is the minimal effort will maintain my current physique while I work to find whatever it is that will flip the switch in my mind to re-engage in my fitness regime.

As for my diet, it sucks at the moment.  My strategy on this front is to bread and sugar myself out until I run back to greens.  Terrible plan, terrible.  So I”m trying to eat fruits and veggies before I eat anything else.

What I’ve read of The Spectrum thus far agrees with my strategy, but I can tell Dr. Ornish would want me to be more aggressive with my approach on both the fitness and diet front.  I’m not far along in the book yet, so I won’t jump to conclusions.  Apparently he has a “scientifically proven program to fell better, live longer, lose weight, and gain health.”  It’s NOT a diet book, it’s about creating  a sustainable lifestyle that prevents disease.  I just found out that Dr. Ornish was one of the only people Steve Jobs wanted to see before he died.  He must have something helpful to say then, right?

You’ve now read my dark secret – I’m not an invincible fitness fanatic.  Just another person looking to maintain a healthy life :)

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  • I think we all go through this phase. So far I’ve been inactive (sitting on my butt all day!) for about a month and a half now because of a broken toe. And now that it is semi-healed (I can limp along), I can focus on upper body and core workouts but I just can’t find the motivation!

    • I DRAGGED myself to an 8:30am Chiseled class after going to bed at 3:30am because I knew it would make me feel better.

      I’m going to write a post for next week: How to be healthy even when you’re being lazy cookie monster. I’ve come up with some creative ideas actually!

  • Great job Mary!

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for sharing, Mary!

    I’m having trouble getting myself to the gym lately as well. Good to know even “workout goddesses” (yup, that’s how I think of you) struggle with this stuff too!

  • I have found that having a workout buddy really helps. My experience has yet to stand the test of time, but my friend and i have been going to yoga at 6 a.m. during the week days (and also try to fit in a class or two during the weekends, too) for the past two weeks. It’s convenient that we live in the same apartment building, so we drive there and back together, and banter along the way.