I wasn’t blessed with good health. Or chiselled features, or washboard abs. Good general tone and muscular structure? Nope.
I got that family ass though.
That was my gift.
When it comes to staying healthy, I have to actually put the work in. How I wish I was one of those people who could do nothing and look and feel fabulous, but that is and will always remain nothing more than a pipe dream. When it comes to my health I know that simply eating healthily isn’t enough, I need to pair the eating well with exercise, yet when it comes to exercise I simply cannot motivate myself. My willpower is less than zero, I go through enormous amounts of effort planning a week of barely intense workouts…then fail miserably and give up halfway through the first week.
I’m kidding of course!
Halfway through the first minute would be more accurate.
I. Just. Can’t.
The only times I manage to consistently (and temporarily) stick to any kind of exercise routine is when it’s physiotherapist/doctor mandated. And even then, my motivation falls faster than the kettlebell from my hand after that very first swing which leaves my arm jelly-like. (Sidebar: You know what is a good motivator? When you’ve made excuses for weeks about why you’re unable to exercise, then you go to visit your cousin and she not-so-subtly side-eyes your belly as you stand up. Then at dinner, that same cousin is about to put an extra serving of something delicious on your plate, then not-so-subtly side-eyes your belly…again…and words like ‘salad’ and ‘low fat’ and ‘atkins’ start getting thrown about a little too casually. It’s as if she’s just met you and doesn’t know you’ll sleep-eat Krispy Kreme’s for a week to comfort yourself. But that’s another story).
It’s a struggle…but that doesn’t mean I don’t do it! I bitch and whinge all the way through, but it gets done. I’ve realised it’s just a case of finding little ways to trick myself into exercising before my brain can fully understand what’s happening and make me fall asleep. For example:
- I tell myself to do just 1 minute of something, or 10 of something (e.g. 1 minute of jumping jacks, or 10 squats), then I can quit. It’s such a tiny number, and small amount of time that even I can’t find an excuse not to do it. And of course, by the time I’ve completed my minute, or 10 of whatever I’m happy to keep going.
- I reward myself…with a sticker chart…like a small child!! It’s surprisingly effective! I want that gold star!! I love competition, especially with myself!
- I rope a friend in to hold me accountable: this is where having gym bunny friends helps. Especially the competitive ones who have a compulsive need to be in charge of other people’s lives and bark orders at them. (Thanks…I appreciate you…I think)
And it’s silly when you really think about it. Our bodies are designed to move, not be sedentary, and yet we fight exercise like it’s some evil thing out to get us. We avoid it like it’s bad for us, like it can do serious long-term damage if we partake in it. And we sit on our sofas with our junk food – which can do serious long-term damage – laughing at our idiot friends who are jogging in the rain. And then we say things to them like ‘I wish I were as fit as you, but it’s Saturday so…(shrug)…nap day’, and ‘where’d you get so much energy anyway? Was it from ass-sitting? Please confirm it was from ass-sitting?!
It’s never from ass-sitting.
My physiotherapist keeps telling me to ‘find an exercise you love, and then you’ll want to exercise’. But I am 100% certain that this is some kind of trick. I don’t know what she has to gain from this…but it’s a trick for sure. I really envy people who love the gym and say things like: ‘If it’s not hurting it’s not working’ because I promise, it’s always hurting and rarely ever working! I’ve come to realise that I’m probably never actually going to enjoy exercise. But I know I feel better afterwards, so I guess I’ll have to keep finding ways to stick to it.