I am one of those people who need to exercise. If I don’t workout regularly, I feel sluggish in every way: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Listening to Shawn Anchor (happiness researcher, author and speaker), I realized a great truth in something he said: Exercise is important, because it provides proof for ourselves that working hard will give us results.
“15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day. It’s the equivalent of taking an anti-depressant for the first six months, but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate over the next two years.” (Washington Post)
15 minutes! Just 15. You can do this! Make a plan. Anything cardiovascular: a jog, jumping rope or trampoline, bicycling, rollerskating (my favorite)…get out there and get moving!
I’ve noticed that I have been using guilt to motivate myself to exercise. It didn’t dawn on me until recently that this could be different.
The moment I wake up, I feel a bit of dread and (sub-consciously) give myself permission to feel good only AFTER I work out. But can I train myself to look forward to working out?
When I spoke about this to friends and family, most responded with, “Of course, that’s the only way it canbe when it comes to doing tasks what we don’t enjoy!” However, I suspect it’s not the only way…
Changing my motivation to a more positive approach would also help me with willpower in general. If I positively anticipate training, then I utilize no willpower, which is a limited source. I can then apply willpower to that piece of cake in front of me.
I have been doing Jillian Michael’s workouts for the past seven years or so.
A friend of mine introduced me to her DVDs and I’ve been hooked ever since. At 48, I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and it just takes 30 minutes a day. (Do I sound like an infomercial or what?)
In my youth, I exercised to look good. Now, I workout to be strong.
When I feel strong physically, I am stronger mentally and spiritually.
I take care of my health for my loved ones, too. I want to be active for as long as possible and I want to model good living. Yesterday, my 15 year old daughter said, “Mom, when I’m your age, I hope I look like you.”
My daughter gave me not one – but TWO – compliments today. Usually, she snottily asks me what happened to my hair, or why am I wearing “those ugly shoes,” or she offers to help me with my very sad eyebrows.
But today, she:
asked to wear one of my shirts to school tomorrow (!) and
asked me why I wear big shorts when I have such nice legs (!)
I know this appearance thing is a phase. I try to not get irked too much when I see her taking her 99th selfie or when she practices her smile and picture poses over and over again. But I worry when I see old men ogling at her at the grocery store. She’s fourteen! I want to scream at them. My friend does scream that at dirty old men who look at her step daughter that way. Maybe we all need to scream it.
Another friend of mine (who has been through numerous miscarriages and a stillbirth), told me she turned to her husband the other day and asked,
“Remember when I just worried about being pretty?”
I exercise every day. I used to workout in order to look good. Now, I do it to FEEL good. Having daughters, I am keenly aware that they are watching me. Telling them that being strong is one thing, but showing them is entirely another.