My Exercise Goal (Singular)

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.

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5 thoughts on “My Exercise Goal (Singular)

  1. I did a Shapedown program when I was about twelve, too. I weighed just over 200 lbs at the time. My older sister, who weighed maybe 150 and was 6″ taller than me, was also considered tubby enough to join in the program. That killed my motivation right there, because even if I managed to lose 50 pounds and grow 6 inches, I would still be considered too fat.

    I don’t remember learning anything useful. “Take small bites and don’t rush–food is much more enjoyable when eaten slowly!” I think this assumed all fat people are binge eaters.

    I actually gained about 12 pounds over the course of a 12-week program.

  2. i’m new to the FA thing. ^_^ but already it has changed how i look at many things in life.

    prior to this, exercise was a tool to *try* and shape my body. you know, work out for an hour so my jeans wouldn’t be so tight, or “burn off” that cupcake i ate. it was something to be endured, never enjoyed. that’s crappy motivation.

    now i look at exercise as something that’s *good* for my body. just as i will listen to music to nourish my soul, or read books for my mind, i need to move my body for my own health. (i have high blood pressure and one of the best things to get it down is exercise.)

    oh, as you were listing all the reasons you hate exercise, i was nodding along with you. i HATE sweating, i have poor joints, and i severely dislike socks. in fact, i’m barefoot right now. ^_^

    my workout consists of walking around a large room until i start to feel chafing or aches. (which can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes.) as i walk i use the time to clean my mind. sometimes i day dream/meditate. sometimes i do heavy delving into my thought processes. i’ve found some disturbing stuff in my brain that i would have never known i needed to deal with otherwise.

    anywho, that ramble is to say that i completely agree with you. exercise is like masturbation. it’s an incredibly personal thing and only YOU know what works for your body. and when done right, you feel great afterwards. ^_^

  3. “And socks. Gosh, do I hate socks.”

    Oh no KIDDING! I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I swear my absolute FAVORITE part of the day is getting home and ripping off shoes and socks to get down to my bare little piggies!

    That is why I LOVE that I’ve finally discovered both swimming and bellydance. No socks. Nevah evah. And while I might sweat with bellydance I sure don’t worry about it while swimming…usually cause I’m trying to swim fast enough to stay warm in the tepid gym pool waters 🙂 Congrats on such a self-positive exercise goal!!

  4. Pingback: Resolutions for the NOW* Year « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

  5. How I wish I could be as determined as you are! A very good read 🙂 Has inspired me to take some time off this rush rush life for myself. I can foresee this is going to help me get a lot of answers too 🙂

    Love

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