I’ve put a sticky note on my desk with this written on it:
MY EXERCISE GOAL:
1. Take time for me: breathe, be positive, relax.
I’ve decided to think about working out in a different way (and although I bet a ton of you have already gotten to this place, I’ve just started to get there): working out should be a time for me and only me. It should be my meditation, my time to relax, my time to think things through, and most importantly, my time to breathe.
Since I was in eight grade I’ve thought of exercise as a chore, a job, a task not for me, but for everyone else who was telling me to “lose weight, get thin, be happy later.” At the time I was in a program called “Shapedown” with my parents, in which we talked about weight, health issues, and familial issues that could lead to unhealthy habits. It made you set goals to meet; goals like how many hours of TV you’d watch a week, how many hours of exercise you’d do, how many dinners you’d eat together at the dinner table as a family, etc. Looking back on it, it was pretty dumb. But it did institute a lot of changes in my family that made most of my family life even better. However, from day one my exercising was not for me: it was to meet the family goal.
I have never enjoyed working out. I’ve never liked treadmills. I have bad joints in my feet, toes, etc., and they act up when I walk/run. I’ve never liked sweating (still one of my biggest problems with working out. I sweat too much). I’ve always hated wearing tennis shoes, too. And socks. Gosh, do I hate socks.
So, in thinking about my program for the Individual Fitness class I’m taking (and really, in thinking about how to make physical activity a really good habit) I realized I had to find some way to make working out fun. It came to me when I decided to do “time management” as one of my journals for the class: my time, which can be so easily divided between classes, work, my thesis, and friends, is my most precious currency. And my demotivation to work out is often caused by my desire to use my time to “relax,” i.e. sit around and play on the internet.
So, smart old me decided to set a goal: make my exercise time into “me” time. That way, it will be something entirely selfish. It will be something for me to feel good. I already tend to make time for “me” time, but this will be better. And it will be MINE. And I am dreadfully protective of what is mine.
Hopefully, I’ll meet my goal. But I think it’s more of a mentality thing. And I am determined.