Oh the delight of exercising. You get in a groove and you feel GREAT! AMAZING! ON TOP OF THE WOR…..oh crap I’m sick. Nothing can stop us in our tracks faster than a cold and flu combo that hits the entire family.
Welcome to Monday, the day I wish to tell you grand tales of my exercising! I want to announce more weight loss and advanced health! Today I want to sleep, but before I do, let’s talk about breaks in motivation.
Exercise is a habit. It feels good, maybe not before, or during, or after but overall it feels good in the mind to spend time nurturing the body. Whether it is family craziness, cold weather, illness or any number of reasons the habit is stalled, once you stop for a bit, it’s hard to get back up and going. The longer you go without going, the more your muscles concave to the shape of the couch. Your body says “stay here in the warmth. Don’t make me go in there!”. Your mind says “stay here in the warmth. Don’t make me go in there!” Your body and mind will try to trick you. Warm and comfy is nice. So how do we overcome these tricks?
For me, I have been using big picture philosophy. I have lost 140 lbs thus far (yes 140, not 130 140 woot woot!) Any length of time away from the gym will make it harder to keep up maintenance and further losses. I am focused not just for me, but because I know I am inspiring others and being an excellent role model to my kids. I use big picture thoughts to help motivate.
When big picture philosophy is not enough, I use a simple phrase: “Suck it up”. I don’t mean to undermine the complexities of motivation, and while this phrase may seem negative, it is true. So what I don’t want to exercise? Suck it up. I don’t want to do dishes? Suck it up. I feel sad because I miss my grandparents? Don’t suck it up. Feel the emotions (feel don’t eat the emotions!) and move forward gently. There are times to be gentle with ourselves and time to be tough, and whenever my body/mind is trying to trick me into making progress for my health, I just tell them to “suck it up” and get my butt back into gear.
The larger discussion of when to suck it up and when to be gentle will be discussed in my next book, “It Doesn’t Suck” (with Abby Hagyard Publishing) but for now, just know that our bodies do need to rest when sick and there are times when life gets too busy we fail to exercise, but it is important to keep the exercise absence short. When you are better and are able to organize life, then get out there and do it. There is NO reason not to. None. Anything else is just fooling ourselves!
So yeh, today I don’t want to exercise and I am pretty sure they’d throw me out of the gym coughing like this. But tomorrow is a new day and I guarantee I will not jump out of bed saying “yes, YES, YES, THANK GOD YES I GET TO EXERCISE AGAIN”, but I will say to myself “okay, I may not want to go but it’s good for me, so suck it up buttercup and get out there”.
Let’s all get out there, move our bodies and as always, also floss.