Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Fitness Path is HARD

How can we make a conscious effort to get fit? What, exactly does it take for us to take the first step and keep stepping on a regular basis?

I have to wonder if the answers lie within each of us, individually. I mean, what works for one might not work for another. But it's still good to know what others are doing- just in case something sparks that fire within us to get up and get started. And then, keep going.

I've tried many, many (manymanymanymanymany) different ways to get started on a fitness path consistently for the last 3.5 years (inconsistently before that). I've only recently discovered something that I have been able to stick with.

I remember clearly the days of excuses.

  • I don't have time (I wouldn't want exercising getting in the way of watching television of sitting on my duff with the computer)
  • I'm tired (of course you are dummy, you're sitting on your duff all day)
  • I can't afford the gym membership (and, apparently, you can't afford the free stuff like walking either)
  • I'm busy with the kids (no you're not, the kids are all grown up--and, even if they were still little, it would be great for them to see you working out and maybe even doing it with you)
  • I'm working (not 24/7 you aren't, fit it in)
  • I don't want to (guess that's what will go on your tombstone)
  • I'm surrounded by unsupportive people (so what, do you seriously let the attitude and opinion of others influence what you do/say/feel/believe?)
  • The weather is too hot/cold/rainy/windy/etc (so do it inside, duh)
  • I don't have anything to wear (right, like you don't have any clothes that you can sweat in)
The list of excuses went on and on and on and on... 

There are a gazillion excuses out there for NOT getting started. We all have them. We all use them. Of all the  excuses though, MOTIVATION (or lack thereof) is the big mama. 

No one, not one single soul, can motivate us to get fit other than ourselves. It takes self motivation. That's my take anyway. 

I've begun because a friend was doing it and looking great. It didn't take.
I've begun because a special event was forthcoming and I wanted to look good. It didn't take.
I've begun because I didn't want to be fat anymore. It didn't take.
I've begun because I wanted to enjoy going places and doing things. It didn't take. 
I've begun because I wanted people to think I was really awesome working out at my age. It didn't take.
I've begun out of boredom. It didn't take. 
I've begun because of how I looked in pictures It didn't take.

Blahblahblahblah. Some of you have probably heard it all before as well. 

I've started and stopped so many times I ought to be darn fit by now! I am more fit now than I have been in YEARS. AGES. EONS. Since college probably. Undergrad because in grad school, I partied A LOT. 

I've got a library full of DVDs and VHSs---yep, I've been at this whole start/stop thing since we used VHSs. I've worked out inside and outside. I've gone to the gym (yuck) and to classes (double yuck). I've bought the treadmill and I've bought the cute workout clothes (yes, they come in large, lard ass sizes). I've probably done about all there is to do. Including Richard Simmons Dancin' to the Oldies. 

So what finally happened that put me on the fitness track to stay? 

I think it was when I decided I wanted to get fit just to be fit and not to lose weight. And to do it for myself and no one else. 

I also stopped stressing over it. I just decided I was going to do it. I think it also helped to find something that I could commit too with relative ease --the Synergy plan. 

I thought the running was going to do it for me but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get my breathing to cooperate. I know it's still a problem because I'm still trying every so often and the breathing is still an issue. 

After committing to the Synergy plan for 8 weeks (well, 7 actually because I got sick that last week) I noticed a HUGE increase in my fitness level. When I started back three weeks later (I hate being sick) my fitness was at an all time high. Which was odd because I thought I'd have to start all over again.

I'm still working out daily. I walk Tucker every single morning for at least one mile and, on the weekday afternoons, I alternate between Sprint 8/weights and plyometrics/stretching.

This plan is working for me because--
  • it's doable
  • it doesn't take a long time
  • I don't have to leave home
  • it's FREE
  • I enjoy it
  • I'm sticking with it
  • I've gone down two sizes since I started it
So, yes. It took me starting and stopping for years before I found something I can stick with for longer than a  few weeks. And yes, I still think how far along I would be had I not gone through all that starting and stopping. 

I guess it was all necessary- though I can't see it right now. Other than my motivation was WRONG. And then there were the times it was MISSING. All that led to where I am now- my body is used to the working out and it craves it. I doubt I could stop if I wanted to. Luckily, I don't want to. 

Not right now anyway.

What gets you motivated and keeps you that way where fitness is concerned?


  1. Congratulations. What keeps me motivated is the fear of not being able to take care of myself. I don't want to have to rely on someone to wipe my butt and shower me, so I have to keep moving, no matter what kind of a day I have.

  2. living- What a great point! I think if I keep that in the front of my mind, I'll not stop again either!

  3. I googled Synergy exercises to see what the program consisted of; I can see why it is doable and I can see why it works, like it so obviously has worked for you! Good job for sticking with it, despite being sick, and for dropping the 2 sizes!! We've been back to the gym (we were walking but I just couldn't leave Koda home alone) so we went back to the gym a week later and have worked out for 4 weeks in a row, Monday through Friday, which is a record for us in recent days. I totally do like how I feel with working out, less tired during the day, sleeping better at night. That motivation is going to help me continue on in the days ahead!


  4. Well done you!
    So happy that you've found something that works for YOU!
    What motivates me is the thoughts of being unfit; I just hate it. Walking, alternated with running (during the walk) is my way, and doing it alone is the only way I can guarantee I'll keep doing it. I find walks with friends more enjoyable but less reliable, and if I get used to only going with someone, then hey don't go, I'm stranded.
    Dropped 2 dress sizes, WOW!

  5. AMEN~~ And anyone who tells you its easy is LYING!!! Or just plain crazy!!!
    It sure does help to have something you enjoy!

  6. I think I'm one of the lucky or crazy few who actually likes to exercise,but I think the trick for me was starting when I was very young. I've been in sports my whole life and when I skip a day I can definitely feel it, I get grumpy and anxious. Good thing I don't skip too often. It's great that you finally found something you like. There's no better feeling than the one you have after you're done working out. :)

  7. You know that I walk my dogs daily & workout's just FOR ME because I enjoy it & what it does for me along with how it makes me look and feel. However, when I began Tai Chi, it was for other reasons. Now, I've found that the addition of Tai Chi has given me as much physically as mentally!!...:)JP

  8. What an awesome post! I am so glad you found something that works for you.

    I am not allowed to work out due to a back problem (very long story) BUT, I am allowed to swim, actually my Doctor explained it is one of the best things for the body. I hate swimming. You have to go somewhere, you have to get WET,which means,hair and makeup issues for me, because we know I enjoy wearing makeup. I do walk my dog four times a day but pretty soon my doctor is going to say STOP or else.
    Anyway. I don't fight weight but I have flab and I want to be fit,so I am gonna have to swim,yuck. You are right, No excuses. I have the time and access.
    Oh, and I wish my cousin could read this. He has had one heart attack and two strokes. He has gained all his weight back,started smoking again and said,"I just don't have time to work out, I work 12 to 14 hour days, and who has time to cook healthy." He is a walking time bomb!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

Design by Imagination Designs
Illustration by MerryLittleDoodle
Background by CinnamonDove