Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update: 30 Day Exercise Challenge

Two weeks ago, I said I was going to exercise every day for the next 30 days. I know you are just quivering with anticipation. Did she do it? Did she lose momentum over Labor Day weekend? Did she sit on the couch and watch bad movies instead? And the answer is...
I have exercised for at least half an hour, every day, for the past two weeks. I know, this is only the halfway point, but still. I have exercised every day for two entire weeks. I am committed.

Do I enjoy it? No. Every time the way-too-cheerful guy at the gym wishes me a good workout, I want to kick him. But I still go. Partly because I swore I'd do it and partly because I'm trying to change the way I look at exercise. I've stopped trying to think of exercise as "fun".

Stay with me. The gym I go to, like most gyms, is covered with inspirational pictures of incredibly fit people climbing mountains and running marathons, with slogans like "Find your inner athelete".  The problem with that is I don't want to be an athelete. I just want to not be in a wheelchair when I'm in my seventies.

It's not like I haven't tried. I have taken part in a few of these endurance events over the years (the MS 150 bike ride, a half marathon, a century ride, competitive swimming) and to be completely honest, for me there was no glow of acheivement when I crossed the finish line. My thoughts were more along the lines of "Thank goodness that's over. Where are the showers?" (And can someone bring me a really big margarita?)
So I'm trying to mentally reframe exercise as the equivalent of flossing. You don't floss because it's fun, but  because you want to have teeth when you're older.  I find if I think of exercise as good hygiene and not something I'm expected to enjoy, I'm more likely to do it. 

It may not work for anybody else, but that is what gets me in the door. That and the thought of a big frosty drink afterwards (a girl's got to have some fun).

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