Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

It’s The Little Things

I went for my run this morning. I so didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in bed where it was warm and soft. But yesterday, I announced my training schedule to the world here, and I figured I couldn’t blow it off the very next day. So I got up.

I was about 15 minutes late getting out the door and my 21-year-old son wasn’t home from work yet, so I had to let the dog out first. I looked at the clock on my way out thinking, “This is going to make me sooo late this morning.” But I went. It was foggy and cold, and my legs didn’t feel like moving. I walked a bit to warm up and picked it up to a jog. If I was going to make it to work on time, I had to get through this run in less than a half hour. I was only going 2.5 miles so I figured that shouldn’t be too hard. Still, I bargain with myself that I can walk when I need to (and I always walk some) but I did run more today than I did the last time. I keep pushing myself… an extra half a block, get around this corner or get to that tree, just push up this hill, you can make it to that purple car and then you can walk…and that seems to be working.

As I rounded the corner to go home, ugh, buses full of high school students. We live right by the high school. And it was time to run out the home stretch. I always try to run this last 1/4 mile a bit faster and I also didn’t want the high school kids thinking…look at that old lady trying to run, ha, ha, ha!, so I kicked it up.

That last quarter mile felt really good and as I approached home, my son got out of his car, home from work. He waited for me on the stoop.

“How was your run, mom?”

For some reason, that made me feel really good about myself. He was so matter of fact, like I’ve been doing this his whole life.

And in that moment, I became a “runner.”

“It was good. 2.5 miles in 25 minutes.”

It really is the little things that make this worthwhile.

Resistance Training

If you were expecting a post on strength training, this isn’t it. My thoughts today are more about “resistance” in general and why we resist the things that are good for us and don’t resist those things that we should. Are we hardwired to sabotage ourselves at every turn?

After a week of groaning and turning back over to go to sleep instead of going to the gym last week, I finally got back on track on Saturday. I could give a million excuses…I had a cold, allergies, it was raining…but mostly I just wanted to sleep. And the “feel good” exercise aftermath wasn’t enough to get me moving at 5:30 am.

But Saturday, even though it was still raining—even the weather is resisting here on Long Island—I got out of bed, threw on my workout clothes and went to the gym to go running…on the treadmill. Maybe that’s what got me out of bed? In the rain, I get to run on the treadmill. And unlike other runners who love the road, I love the treadmill, because I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something. Running on the road is still really hard for me, although little by little, I’m making progress. Maybe someday, I won’t like the treadmill anymore either, but I digress…

I had a really good 3.5-mile interval run on Saturday. Sunday, a beautiful but windy day, I went for a 3-mile walk. This morning, I went for a swim, which is my favorite exercise. I noticed though, in the beginning of each of these workouts, even though I’m motivated again, my body resists, my muscles groan and I contemplate just stopping and going home. Today, I thought the first six laps of my swim would kill me. My body felt like lead in the water and my arms felt like creaky wheels. Once warmed up, I swam my usual 800 meters, and I swam some of it good and hard and I was pumped when I got out of the pool.

But I wonder why the beginning of the workout is always so tough, because I’ve noticed that with everything that I do. The first minutes of a run, the first miles of a bike ride, the first set of any strength training exercise. Why do our bodies resist something that is so good for us?

And why when we are so resistant, physically and mentally sometimes, do the bad things in life have the opposite effect? I can’t, for example, resist a piece of chocolate cake. And that’s only going to make me feel like crap later on.

I guess the key is to keep my focus on the aftermath. When I get to the gym or hit the road and get my exercise in, my entire day goes better. And even though I resist getting out of bed and grumble through the beginning of my workouts, I know it will be worth it in the end. When I give in to the resistance, I usually regret it later.

On the other hand, that piece of chocolate cake is going to make me feel guilty and bloated, and even though I really, really want it, I need to resist that.

Embrace the good stuff. Resist the bad. Doesn’t sound too complicated. Then why is it so damned difficult?

Broke the 10-pound mark on Weight Watchers – WooHoo!

Walking Helped My Numbers on the scale go down!

Walking Helped My Numbers on the scale go down!

My daughter and I had weigh-in tonight for Weight Watchers. Last week, I vowed to kick that .6 gain to the curb and boy did I… the .6 gain and a couple of its cousins. I had a 3.4 pound weight loss this week bringing my total to 11 pounds.

My daughter (she’s 22) has lost another 1.4 pounds too, bringing her total to 8.8 pounds.

We’re very excited for ourselves and each other.

All this, and we’re eating the things we love and really having fun. After weigh-in tonight, Kate had Taco Bell and I had a huge piece of Sicilian pizza. We’re learning that we can still have whatever we want as long as we manage the rest our food intake carefully.

I watch all these Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem commercials and while that may work for some, I’m not a huge fan of being tied to such food limitations. For us, yes, eating healthy requires a food routine, but being able to decide to have a burger (made on the grill with cheese and sauteed mushrooms–and not on the microwave) or a sandwich instead of a frozen meal is so worth the time it takes to jot it down in my little book.

Weight Watchers is teaching me to exercise control over what I put in my mouth. And when I’ve lost the weight, I will have a whole new set of healthy eating habits so I can maintain my weight loss.

On those other plans, what happens when I stop eating their foods?

So what tipped the scales in my favor tonight? In addition to really staying in program this week, I walked five times! Threw on myiPod and went. Not only did it show on the scale, I feel great! Although I wished I could have danced down the block on a couple of songs.


Kate’s boyfriend and one of her other good friends commented on how good she’s looking these days. And she can now wear a pair of shorts that were too tight 6 weeks ago.

I just bought a skirt a size smaller than I was 6 weeks ago. And it was on sale to boot. How cool is that?

Keeping the Momentum Going

While I know I’ve only just begun my “fit” routine, this was a tough week to get anything accomplished. Between rainy mornings (I’ve been walking outside) , a crazy schedule and not sleeping well at night and therefore, not being about to get out of bed in the morning, I only walked 3 times this week.  Now I know this is better than nothing, but it is certainly less than what I’d hoped to accomplish. Plus, the walks just didn’t feel fun.

Plus, while I have been adding more fruit and veggies to my diet, I am still eating too much of the wrong things. I’m a stress eater, and there’s been a bit of stress lately.

It’s amazing to me too. I feel so good when I’m walking regularly and eating right. You’d think that would be enough to keep going. It’s just so much easier to get off track, and I’m not sure why that is. It’s happened to me over and over again.

So my question is “Does anyone out there have any advice for those days when exercising feels like torture?” How do you psyche yourself to get out there? And stay away from junk food??