Is Exercise Really the “E-word”?

I would love to be one of those people that exercises AND LOVES IT!  I’d even love to be one of those people that exercises and doesn’t mind doing it.  I’ve wondered all my life why I consider exercise the “e-word.”  I just don’t get it, I’ve pretty much always been able to do something that I consider difficult when I put my mind to it.  Not exercise.  Oh, I’ve tried calling it other names, such as “walking” – “dog walking” – “joining a bowling league” – “taking tennis lessons” – “water aerobics class” – all of these I’ve tried on a daily basis, but other than the water aerobics for us older folk, I have not been able to stick with anything for any length of time.  I can’t tell you how many gym memberships I’ve paid for over my adult life that were hardly used.  I’ve purchased stationary bicycles and they became clothes hangers.  I bought the pedometer to count my steps while walking, thinking that would be fun.  I’ve done it all, but if I’m honest, I despise exercise.  I’ve never been good at sports or actually anything that takes any sort of athletic ability.  In grade school, when it was P.E. time, I would immediately start cleaning out my desk (which made my teachers happy) and I would either miss it altogether or be very late.  When I did manage to get to P.E. class, I was the one that was picked dead last to be on a team. Needless to say, I’ve lived a very sedentary life style.  I’m not sure which came first, did I actually have no athletic ability which made me believe it, or did I believe that I had no athletic ability therefore creating that for myself.  I truly think it was the latter.

Why am I writing about this?  Well, it’s time to try again.  Actually, it’s been time to try again for a very long time.  I’m exceptionally good at making excuses.  It’s too cold out, it’s too hot out, it’s raining, I don’t have time, my body hurts today, etc., etc., etc.  The new me doesn’t like excuse making any longer.  I have made incredible life changes in the past three years.  I’m now a positive thinker! I think in terms of “YES I CAN!”  One of my new favorite affirmations is that I no longer fight for my limitations. The only limitations I have are the ones that I put on myself.

I have posted earlier that I have had some health challenges in the past that had left me in chronic pain.  I am so grateful that I am not in that condition any longer.  I’m enjoying and loving life like never before.  I feel great most of the time AND I want to keep it that way.  Hence, it’s time to quit the sedentary lifestyle.  It’s time to put the kabosh on the excuses.  It doesn’t matter that hubby enjoys television, it doesn’t mean I have to sit there with him (another famous excuse.)  It doesn’t matter that it is freezing outside today.  Time to make a commitment to myself for better health and a longer life.  YES I CAN!

In my previous attempts I would set myself up to fail by making a very strict exercise program to follow.  This time will be different. First of all, I don’t think of failure in that way anymore.  I will only fail if I don’t even try.  I’ve come to believe that this whole exercise regime should be a process for me.  I want to understand my negative feelings about exercise.  Perhaps if I learn what is going on I can turn it around.  I know that I have to work up to a consistent length of time.

I’m going to commit to making some changes that I believe I can do.  That way I’ll have some successes right from the start and I’ll want to go further.

1.   I’m going to quit looking for the closest parking space, and perhaps park far away.

2.   I’m going to start walking the dogs more often.  I have been using the cold and rainy weather as an excuse lately.

3.   Even though I’d like to walk for 30 minutes, I know I will not do that at first – so I am going to commit to walking at 5 minute intervals at least twice a day.  I wanted to say 3 times a day, but I’m just not there yet.

4.   I am going to use positive affirmations to help me change my attitude about exercising like:

I am feeling the wonderful effects of exercise on my body.  I feel fantastic!

I love the feeling of purpose I have while exercising.

I am feeling healthier and healthier with each step I take.

5.   I am going to blog about my progress to keep myself accountable.

6.   I am going to pay special attention to see what kind of excuses I might make and examine how I am feeling at the time. I want to know what sort of beliefs I have been attached to about exercise and see what I can do to change them.

This is what I am able to commit to at this time.  I expect as time goes on I will be able to make a greater commitment.

I welcome any suggestions!   I need input.  How have you managed to change an old unhealthy belief?  I have been able to change certain thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve me. This is a tough one for me.  Thanks for your help.

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4 Comments

  1. I think it’s great that you are wanting to get started on a plan again. It’s never too late!

    Reply
  2. Another one where we share something in common! Especially about our early lives – I was always last to be picked too and believed I was no good at ‘physical things’!

    From experience. . .
    I know that at first every fiber of my being will resist the idea of exerciseand my mind will come up with the most amazing excuses! 🙂

    but. . .then – if I start really small (as you said) just 5 minutes a day for the first day, increase to 6 the next and so on before long I am doing the minimum daily exercise for good heart health – 12 minutes (that’s all) you can go further of course but it is a good initial goal.

    All the while I am exercising I am repeating positive life enhancing things almost like a mantra to keep me in rhythm – then before I know it, I am really enjoying it and the way I feel when I am finished, blood pumping, alive!

    It then crosses over from ‘oh no, do I have to!’ to something that I know from experience that even if I don’t want to begin, by the time I am finished I will feel wonderful.

    Another thing. . . don’t think to much about it or it makes it a big deal – just make it a habit and do it!

    Hope this helps – I am going to take my advice. . . as soon as I have had another cup of tea! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ellen Beeton

     /  March 17, 2010

    Thank you both so much for your comments, yes, it’s never too late to start!

    Susannah, maybe we were separated at birth!!! Thanks for the encouragement. I did walk after I blogged yesterday for the first time, granted it was only five minutes, but that’s five minutes I wouldn’t have done the day before.

    I’m almost looking forward to walking today, almost!

    Reply
  4. Ellen
    This is great. As I read this post I looked around me to see if you were there because so much is similiar to my story. I have started a little walking thing, thanks to Elaine on GiST, and hope to stick with it and grow to ….. I will be watching you.

    Reply

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