Tricking myself into exercise

Fuck weight loss goals…
(tricking myself into exercising)

Today I exercised!
Please throw me a party.
I NEVER feel like doing any, and would much rather sit on the sofa….Netflix, glass of wine, you know?
So today I went to a body balance class for the 3rd week in a row….
Yes I said week, not day, don’t laugh.
Did I mention I work 3 days per week inside a gym….? Probably shouldn’t mention that….
I’ve never been naturally sporty, never enjoyed proper team sports, came last in all the school athletics and believe my grandma stopped taking me to the tennis club out of sheer embarrassment!
Despite this I always had a go… hitting the tennis ball against the wall over and over again, taking myself on runs, practicing athletics at lunch time, riding my bike, going to gymnastics, and as I got older joining a rowing crew and going to aerobics (yes if you’re thinking fluorescent lycra, you’d be right). From memory my parents NEVER made me do this stuff, I just wanted to…. And I dunno whether my drive came from the fact that TV was so boring, and a treat back then, not to mention no video games! Or because I always thought I was fat. (Looking back now at old photos, this was not true… but it’s what I thought.) Maybe it was just fun!

So what has happened?

Sitting here on the eve of my 43rd birthday, (on the sofa) broadening middle aged hips, Kids to be an example to and this idea that I want to live a BETTER second half, with them, for them… and I can’t get motivated for more than 2 days, can’t get my arse off the fucking sofa! Honestly!
(And I still think I’m fat… dammit, thought I’d be over that by now.)
But still no motivation.?!

I know all the reasons why I should exercise… I work at a gym, I see in person all the reasons why exercising is, you know, generally a good idea. Bouncy, fit, healthy, bendy, strong, people. I also know exactly why exercise helps with mental health. It causes the “release of endorphins, which relax us and make us feel good. Exercise can reduce your stress and anxiety, and can help you make new friends”. This is an actual quote from my book… you know that I wrote to help other people feel better about themselves! Oscar Wilde’s quote ‘I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself’ comes to mind….

I want this, but seemingly not enough to DO anything about it!?

So with all this, how have I managed to attend 3 weeks in row? Well I’ve tricked myself. I have created a time slot between swimming lessons that includes this particular class… If I don’t go, I’ll be sitting around at work doing nothing, probably complaining about work, so I might as well go.
And afterwards, even though I feel like my hips may collapse (literally) I feel better… WAY better.

After giving it 3 weeks I actually feel stronger, like I could actually DO that roll down to a plank from downward dog for one whole second, instead of falling directly onto my knee caps. I somehow feel more empowered, like I got this!
I am doing this for me, to get a bit stronger, healthier and if i’m lucky a bit more bendy. (And happier of course) During this class I am not thinking about work, my kids, whether we need milk… I am literally focused on a single point on the floor trying not to fall on my arse… and really hoping my knee caps stay where they should. Getting into my body, feeling it, knowing it and accepting where it’s at, and remembering how to treat it (me) better.

That body balance class is now part of my weekly routine, and a tool in my happiness tool belt.

In my adult life i’ve had periods where I’ve been really dedicated to exercise, and looking back on these, there are a couple of really powerful reasons why I stuck to it at the time, and also why it ended.

Firstly I did it with friends. Three of us decided to learn to run, actually it was 2 of us, and the third was our teacher (she was pretty frustrated I think). But then, once we’d completed our 5k I seem to remember they both went and got new jobs, (selfish!!!) and somehow we couldn’t fit it in anymore.

Secondly I had a goal. Those same friends, plus a few more dragged me into doing the moonwalk. It was AMAZING. A marathon walk through Edinburgh from midnight till 7am. We trained together, laughed with (at) each other and had the time of our lives… but once the goal was achieved we stopped. Probably should have set another goal….!?

And thirdly, It was simply part of the adventure. My hubby and I decided in all our wisdom to ride our push bikes up the West Coast of Australia, aiming to go from Margaret River to Broome. It was hard, emotional, educational, and one of the best things we have ever done. I have never felt so strong and happy, nor as free as I did on that trip. We didn’t make it all the way because we ran out of money, and had to stop and get jobs… In a pub, where we ate and drank all our good work away… This is probably not for everyone….


And the biggest secret… I’m pretty sure as a kid it was mostly just for fun…

Did you notice, none of those included a weight loss goal?
Fuck weight loss goals, let’s go out and have fun, dance, play, climb, ride, run, whatever you like!
And if you’re looking for diet and exercise advice… there is plenty of amazing advice out there… just don’t ask me…