It Only Makes Sense, When You Think About It

I have never been someone who exercises. Oh sure, when I was a kid I would ride my bike around town or go swimming and the like, but I grew into a pretty sendentary adult. I’ve always been more of a mental individual than a physical one, more artistic than athletic. I’ve always liked to read and write, to play piano and guitar, and to indulge in movies and video games. I did not play sports, I never got into anything like track or gymnastics, and I absolutely loathed physical education. I just never enjoyed any of it, and even the stuff I did get into had downsides. I became a cheerleader for a while in high school, but while I enjoyed the actual routines, I hated the fitness program portion that went with it. I was into Tae Kwon Do for a couple of years and I loved the training, but I hated the warm-ups and forms and the running at the beginning of each class.

Especially, especially, I hated the running. I’ve always hated running because I’ve always been bad at it. My legs get sore so quickly, I could never seem to be able to control my breathing, and I’ve always found it just dreadfully boring. I have had people around me telling me for years that if I want to get into shape I should run, but I could just never convince myself to do it. I’ve tried a number of times, but it always came to the same conclusion: “It’s too hard, I’m no good at it, and I hate it!”

Then I tried the Zombies! Run! 5k Training app. Yes, I know, I’ve already written about this before, but this is not a shameless plug. Just hear me out. I tried the app out partly because I was trying to figure out how to work some exercise into my day, but mostly because it sounded so interesting and different. Train to run by running from imaginary zombies? Hmm. Neat. So I gave it a whirl. I didn’t honestly expect to become hooked. I am now obsessed with this program. I long to hear more of the story, I’m motivated by the playful characters urging me on, and I feel genuinely proud of myself whenever I finish a run. I’ve done other exercise programs that made me feel good about myself at the end of the workout (P90X comes to mind), but this is the first time I can ever recall being excited to start the exercise. I’ve been practically leaping out of bed in the morning, I’m actually disappointed when the run is over, and I’ve been skipping the program-designated days off because I want to keep going. Let that sink in. The program is telling me to take a day off and I’m saying, “Screw that, give me more!”

This all confirms what I’ve been hearing for years; that is, the trick is to find something you enjoy doing. Exercise feels like a chore because we force ourselves to do things that are easily defined as “fitness” moves, like weight lifting for instance. But for every gym buff who lives for the free weights, there are a hundred more people thinking up every excuse in the book to not go to the gym because weight training makes them miserable. For every dedicated marathon runner there are dozens of people who spend their entire workout fantasizing about breaking a leg so they don’t have to run anymore. For every enlightened yogi there is a veritable army of agitated people with zero balance two deep breaths away from strangling their instructor with the yoga mat because it’s just not working for them.

You’ll never exercise if the very thought of the exercise makes you cringe. You’ll just keep making excuses, or you’ll phone it in, and afterward you’ll feel bad for not making the effort.

So find something you truly enjoy. It doesn’t have to be “traditional” exercise; it just has to be something physical that you enjoy enough to keep doing it. It could be swimming at the local pool, golfing with a friend, walking a friend’s dog, learning how to pole dance (they have classes for that now!), joining a gentlemen’s hockey team, tending your own garden, or any number of other possibilities. Find something you enjoy doing, do it often, and you will see results.

Myself, I may not have experienced any significant weight loss (yet!) on the Zombies! Run! program, but I have reduced my average pace from a 20-minute mile to a 14-minute mile in just two weeks, which is something I’m sure I never would have accomplished had I not found this app.

What kind of fitness programs have you tried? Have they worked for you? Do you enjoy your workouts? Please share!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 7

Tuesday, Tuesday, wherefore art thou, Tuesday?

Oh crap, you’re right here? God dammit, I’ve gotta learn how to pay more attention to time passing.

It’s been a bit of a rough week, goal-wise, so let’s go ahead and get this over with, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

This week wasn’t as good as I was hoping, but better than past weeks have been. Of course, as I’ve mentioned before I never eat particularly well while at home, so that’s a nick in the ‘bad’ column, but on the ‘good’ side of things I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution. It’s a 90-day program something like P90X, but the videos are shorter and involves more cardio than the weight-training-heavy P90X. So far I’ve done two of the “Workout” videos (which are high-intensity interval training programs that intersperse cardio moves with weight moves), and one of the Cardio videos. All are much tougher than I was imagining. I had hoped to use the first week to do Jillian’s “Rev Your Metabolism” program, which is basically doing two videos a day instead of one for the first week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I managed it the first day, but on the second I only got five minutes into the second video and literally could not lift my legs anymore. I was really trying, I swear, but it just wasn’t happening. So I’ll continue on with the rest of the week as normal and maybe I’ll be able to manage the “Rev” plan on one of the consecutive weeks. Either way, I’m getting some exercise in, which is way more than I’ve been doing previously.

Editing Goal

I’m going to just go ahead and admit that I still haven’t done jack on this one. No excuses, no reasons, just good old fashioned “Nope. Haven’t done it.”

1,000,000 Words Goal

The only words I wrote this past week were for the blog (I’m trying to schedule ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about it for a little while), and those words totaled 3646. Not a great week, but still better than nothing. Hoping to do better this week, but I’ve got quite a few things to take care of at home before I head back out West next Tuesday, so we’ll just have to see, I guess.
And before I put this post to rest, a request:
Does anyone have any advice for potty training a toddler? I could really use some, seeing as we’re not getting anywhere. She comes to the bathroom with us (and even asks to go herself sometimes) and sits on her potty for a few minutes, but as yet she hasn’t done anything so I don’t think she’s really catching on so much as she’s just copying mommy and daddy. One more week until my husband is stuck doing this alone for two weeks straight, so any advice would be just lovely. 🙂

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 6

Excuse me for a moment while I get something out of the way:

*does a little song and dance* I’m going home today, I’m going home today~!

Okay, now that I’ve got that out, it looks like its time for another round of accountability. [whine] Do I have to? [/whine] Yes, yes I do. Shut up, me! Do better and you won’t dread these posts!

Health and Body Image Goal
I’m not really sure if I should report a good week or a bad week for this one. I didn’t eat particularly well (although I did have some pretty healthy breakfasts) but I ate less and I actually took it upon myself to get up early Sunday morning and squeeze in a P90X video. It was only one day yes, but I know it was a good one because I was too sore Monday morning to do another one. The plan is to check out some Jillian Michaels vids when I get home, so look forward to hearing about that venture.

Editing Goal
Remember two weeks ago when I said I was taking my manuscript out to work with me and that I would find the time to look at it at some point? Well I finally looked at it…last night…for about five minutes…while I was packing.

It’s not that I don’t want to get the damn thing edited, it’s just that I’m so thoroughly obsessed with the writing aspect that I’m having a really hard time convincing myself to go back over to editing. Writing is fun and joyful. Editing is pain and misery. Okay, some parts of writing are pain and misery too, but all of editing is pain and misery.

No excuse, I know. Feel free to flog me now. ~_~

1,000,000 Word Goal
It wasn’t an excellent week because work got really busy in the second half, but I still feel I did pretty decently, all things considered. I wrote a measly 404 words toward blogging, 4585 words toward my current work in progress, and another little grouping of 286 toward a new mini-project that might end up as a contest entry. So that’s a total of 5275 words for the week. Nothing to turn up your nose at!

As an add-on to this Tuesday post I would like to announce that I’m going to simplify my blogging “schedule” a bit. From now on I’m only going to blog through the weekdays and give myself the weekends off (unless there’s some specific reason I wish to blog on a particular weekend), and from now on Fridays will be Fiction Fragment Fridays. On this last day of the weekdays I will share a fragment of my written fiction, whether it be a drabble, part of one of my fanfictions, or a scene from my manuscript or current work in progress. It’s time to start sharing my actual work rather than just my personal thoughts and feelings. Look forward to it!