Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Exercise: It's not all or nothing. 

I have this friend who checks in with me every so often to do one of two things:

a. boast about how well she is doing with her weight loss

b. complain because she is a mess and will never lose any weight ever for her entire life and her world is falling apart and life isn't fair. It isn't, y'know, she looks at a cheeseburger and gets fat and it's just not right that other women can lose so much more easily than her and if she hadn't been sick last week or had that mysterious pain in her back, she would have gotten more done and why did her kids have to be so needy because it really took away from her workout time and life just is not fair and... it goes on and on and on... and on and on and on....

What she doesn't seem to realize, despite my repeated urging is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Living with a rigid diet and exercise routine is not something most people can maintain forever, and setting a daunting goal is only going to serve to frustrate you.  You have to walk before you can run and crawl before you can walk.

Each day, just stick something on your calendar that will get your blood pumping. It doesn't have to be hours upon hours spent at the gym; it can be as simple as playing basketball with your kids, taking a walk with a neighbor, or doing some weeding in your garden. Unintentional exercise counts just like intentional exercise does. It's all about movement and giving your body enough good for you food to keep you moving but not so much that you are overfull and sluggish. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Food is fuel for your body, not the enemy.

When you are ready, start adding in some intentional exercise. Head to the gym, even if you don't feel like it, and promise yourself  that you will complete 5 minutes of a workout. If after 5 minutes, you don't feel like continuing, go home. Almost without exception, once you have that first five minutes in, your body says "Hey, I can handle this, let's keep going..." 

This technique will work much better than starting off with a 6 days a week routine. And, if you can find something you love to do, you'll be even more apt to keep it up. And if when you get derailed, start over. Stop complaining about why you got off track. Just move forward.

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