Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wanting to Want to Exercise

Most days it's not too difficult to convince myself out of exercising. I'm really good at making excuses. Really good. There's the basic "I'm tired" excuse or "It hurts" of course. Then there is "I just spent two evenings away from home so I'm not going to spend another hour away from my family." I like the righteous excuse of "I'm going to wake up early to read my Bible instead of exercise." (Only problem is that I sleep instead of doing either.) Establishing a balanced exercise routine is really a battle for me.

Here are a few things I do to make it harder to turn down a workout:

1.          Put it on my calendar. When I have a scheduled class or even a training plan for a run, it's harder to back out. When things are written in as part of my agenda, I tend to do the responsible thing and do them. Exercise included.

2.          I don't shower first thing in the morning. Take this morning for example. Since my race two weeks ago, I had run one time for thirty minutes. This comes off of a thirteen week training program of running at least three times a week, sometimes for an hour or more. Excuses have gotten the better of my schedule and running took a back seat. Considering the fact that I still have running goals in my future, I needed to get a run in at some point today. Saying "no" to getting clean this morning inspired me to get the run in prior to lunch. I strapped my youngest into the jogging stroller, thanked God for the good weather and left a little early to pick my middle one up from Kindergarten. Run complete and Ande enjoyed the time outside. (I'm clean now and so thankful that my little one cooperates in this way.)

3.          Set goals. This one is hard for me to do. But, once I am able to convince myself of a goal, I find a plan and stick with it. (It helps that races usually cost money and give me a nice take home gift as well.) I too easily fall away from exercise when there isn't a goal in front of me.

4.          Ask God for help. I'm learning to ask God simply to give me a desire. Whether it is a desire to get to know Him more, obey Him, or make the right choice when it comes to the best for my life, I need to ask for help. "Please give me the desire to get out there and run today." "Help me not to make excuses." The end result is usually one I am happy with. I like that I can ask God simply to give me the desire. Once the desire is there, the rest seems to work itself out. (And when it doesn't, I ask Him for help there, too.)

5.          Enlist accountability partners. I am currently involved in a boot camp class through my church which has helped me to stay active. Signing up for races with friends keeps me accountable as well. I know if I don't show up, I'm going to hear about it. With running, I can't complete the mileage if I haven't been getting it in on my own. Soon boot camp will end and I need to set up another plan. Weight Watchers also helps in a big way with this area, too. Knowing I have to get on the scale every Saturday morning (to weigh in front of someone) inspires me to sweat a little bit during the week.

Exercise is still not my first desire. I'm getting there. If I see someone running on the road as I'm driving to accomplish my errands, I find myself wishing it was me. I like the way I feel after my muscles heal from boot camp. A healthy lifestyle is worth it. First, I have to convince myself to want to do it.

What do you do to ensure you get some exercise in?


  1. There are a very limited number of excuses I will accept from myself when it comes to not working out "I'm tired", "I don't feel like it", and "I don't wanna" are not in that list. Often times I have to act as both toddler an adult with myself. I go kicking and screaming into the bedroom and dress for exercise. Then I either head out the door or hit play on the DVD. The only wiggle room I really give myself on these days is effort level. If I am not feeling it I will tell myself we just have to go through the motions I don't have to give 100 or even 50%. I just have to get through it. It may even mean a shorter run. Something is often better than nothing at all and it builds the habit. I would say that 98% of the time I still give the 100% on those days "I don't feel like it".

    A famous running quote you have probably heard is "The toughest step in being a runner is the first one out the door".

  2. That's a great thought to keep in my mind. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I so very much appreciate your passion and generosity in doing boot camp as well as the running group and everything else. You and Steph are such a huge encouragement and inspiration. Thanks again!