Monday, August 14, 2006

Get On With It Already

I'm going to try this new thing where I attempt to get up early and arrive at work at 8:30. I know, it is madness really. I was quite spoiled at my last job where we basically included lunch into our 8 hour day. This job, like most other jobs, you've got to factor that 30 minutes out of your work hours. So if I go in at 9, I leave at 5:30. No thanks. I'm going to ease my way into an early work day. This week it is an 8:30 arrival time. Next week, I might shoot for 8. It all depends the exercise regime. Will I be a pre-work walker or an after-work swimmer or a weekend yoga-er or all of the above?

The problem with me and exercise is that I, well, I don't do it. I know the benefits. I vaguely remember the euphoric feeling post-work out. I need to taste the endorphins to remind me that it is something I shouldn't ever not be doing. And yet, when lacking sleep, busy with chores, visiting my adorable nephew and hanging out with friends, it is easy for me to say "later" and "later" ends up being months and then I am wallowing in body self-loathing.

Body self-loathing is such an energy drain. I hate being in that state of mind... which honestly, I can probably count on one hand the number of years I haven't been consumed with such a lame and debilitating pastime. And 4 of those years were prior to turning five. For some people, thinness comes naturally and to those people I say: Bugger off. Kidding! Really, I am kidding. I envy you because if you exercise, it is probably more for health than for vanity. It is a lot easier to get around in the world if you fit what society deems an acceptable body size.

I've had this conversation with a bajillion people. Thin, fat, dumpy, lumpy, content, consumed, health freak, vegan and carnivore. For the most part, we are all trying to figure it out. We're all wanting to be accepted. I think for me, the acceptance I seek the most is self-acceptance. If I could wake up and not have my first thought be "I'm fat," that would be a most excellent day. If I could go shopping and not have to buy something with an X on the size tag, that'd be a most excellent day. If I could not second guess anyone who tells me I am beautiful because in my head I counter "too bad I am fat," that would be a most excellent day.

I moved to Seattle for a change of perspective. I think it's about time I tackle this one. Enough with the hiding. Tell me, what motivates you to make change? How do you find inspiration to exercise?

18 comments:

Karl said...

Ah, yes...the too bads. I know them well. I've got to get my butt in gear with the exercising, too. Too bad I'm a lazy sluggard.

Mrs. Ca said...

Honestly I have horrible reasons to exercise currently. Those reasons are 1)I'm the maid of honor in a wedding in less than two weeks and I want to look good, and 2)I pay way too much for my gym, so I'd better not waste it. Usually it's so I look good though. My typical reason is vanity, pure and simple.

anne said...

I am in the same exercise spot. Man, I want to. But golly, I'm not likely to. I don't have a membership, but I want one. I don't eat right, but I want to. Will I? It's almost past bathing suit season, so there's no motivation there. Ugh. healthy, shmealthy.

I will if you do.

sandra said...

My motivation to change comes from not wanting to hide behind feeling bad about my body, and the fact that (this is so cheesy, but what the hell) I'm not going to be the person I want to be until I get past that crap. The other half is that I want to be a good self-esteem example for my niece and (hypothetical) children -- and I can't be that until I take care of myself.

But god, being lazy and eating poorly is so much more fun.

kapgar said...

Katie and I have been using the "we're going to be in my brother's wedding next June and we want to be dead sexy for it." That's our motivation. We're still working on the working out thing now. But we've been better, overall.

Bone said...

My motivation often comes from having dates.

It motivates me to clean my apartment and go running regularly.

I think some of us, maybe all of us, tend to see ourselves for our faults and weaknesses. But I think other people tend to see the good things about us.

Alison said...

My motivation for exercising was the 40 pounds I put on during 2005. Neil's "Bloggers with Biceps" challenge helped me get started.

I wasn't fat before, but now I'm pushing it. What I HATE is that back then, at my normal weight, I thought I was fat. But then I've had body image issues since my sister called me "fat butt" (I was nine), and those continued with a husband who had no trouble telling me that my belly had gotten bigger. ("Have you seen yourself?" he'd say).

Now I live with someone who loves me no matter what. He is happy that I have started exercising, because he wants me to be healthy.

The icing on the cake will be no longer needing clothes with an X on the tag.

This comment is really long. Sorry. I've been thinking about blogging about this issue for the past couple of days.

Claire said...

I'll go through phases of working out and then long hiatuses. Motivation is hard. I started feeling weak this summer, in part from old injuries, in part laziness. I've been gradually incorporating exercise into my day rather than adding work outs to it.

I'll stretch for 20-30 min while watching tv, so it's sort of like physical therapy time. I'll do leg curls while I floss or lifts while I wait for popcorn to pop. I find it easier to be consistent generally adopting a 'move more' attitude.

It's not the path of big, quick results, but it's becoming more of a daily or every other day type thing that doesn't feel like an encroachment on my time. And I can crouch down on my knees without pain for the first time in ages, so I'm feeling pretty stoked about this approach.

In time, maybe I'll add a more traditional workout to my day, but for now I'll just keep adding small things to it.

JustRun said...

I think different things motivate me depending on the day. Sometimes it's too nice a day to not get out. Sometimes it's because my jeans felt tight this morning. Recently though (like the past year and a half) it's been my motivation to only try to control the things I really can. In an effort to let other things go, I obsess a little more over the things I can actually change with effort.
It's not as ideal as it sounds though, as I also like to eat.

There are times when a good meal does as much for me as a good work out. So, I struggle too.

I'm nowhere near naturally thin and I never have been. I can remember being nine years old and sitting next to the other girls at summer camp and feeling like my thighs were fatter than theirs. My mother told me it was because I had muscular legs but it took me another ten years to actually start believing her. Somedays, I still don't believe it.

Sorry, I ramble. But I can identify. If all else fails you, obsess over it. That works well for me. :)

Becky said...

I don't like exercise either, but it's an easier change for me than trying to eat healthy (b/c I really despise healthy foods). Until I messed my knee up, I was on a roll and doing pretty well by imagining what I'd feel like when I lost what I wanted to...and not jiggling when I walked. I was at my lowest point in college (strangely) and I try to imagine myself looking that way again and fitting into pants that are two sizes down from what I can barely squeeze into. Or, knowing that when I go to a store that the pair of pants WILL fit. Can you tell by my long-winded comment that this has been bugging me lately? My knee is getting better, so I'm going to start again tonight.

snackiepoo said...

This is going to sound dumb as shit, but when I watch shows like Celebrity Fit Club or The Biggest Loser, I get all pumped up to work out a lot. What I do is make a routine that I know I can stick with rather than do what everyone else says I should. Yeah yeah, so the experts say get up early and work out in the morning...screw that; I am not a morning person therefore will never keep it up. I basically like to come home and work out while dinner is baking and rid myself of the day's sresses.

Also, you totally have to force yourself for at least three weeks then you start to crave it, oddly enough and hey, if you really have to force it, at least do yoga cause that is easy and it relaxes you.

I hope you get your groove, Stella ;0.

Kerry said...

I feel better when i exercise... AND I have some really cute clothes in size 8. If I dont fit in them, then I know its time to hit the gym hard and get back into them!

question girl said...

use adorable nephew for the armlifts - as he gets heavier, you will get stronger

inky said...

my entire inspiration comes from I know $31.35 is being deducted every month from my checking account. June 22nd I stupidly agreed to one year at Curves. So I force myself to go regardless if my body, mind and soul wants me to go. And then I do almost always feel really great by bedtime.

Nihilistic said...

It took me a long time to find a motivater. After I did, I have to say that it just then turned into a habit. I look forward to doing my run most of the time, but when I don't and don't want to, then I don't do it...I don't want it to feel like a punishment to myself. I think the way I feel after is my motivater now...I feel energized, I sleep better and I don't have that guilt looming over me for not doing it...haha

goldmoon said...

When I was working out regularly (pre-pregnancy, of course), I found the best way was to do it before work. When the alarm went off, I would tell myself, "Getting up now is the difference between being fat and skinny." Though that technically wasn't true, it always worked for me.

micah said...

why is doing what is inherently good for us so damn tough?

Anthony S. said...

The hope for milk chocolate Milano cookies.