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Lack of Exercise Motivation

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Lack of Exercise Motivation

Hi Chicks,
From reading posts all over this site, it's clear to me how impoortant exercise is to both weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Added muscle increases metabolism and firms the flab, and cardio burns all those extra calories and fat. Doing both will lower blood pressure, improve cholerterol, bs, and the like; I KNOW all this. BUT - I'm having the hardest time getting my butt out the door and to the gym. When I do it, I feel great and also proud of myself, but I just can't seem to to it often enough to make that real difference in my body and weight. Always seem to find something else that I Have to do at home (making dinner or whatever) that pre-empts the trip to the gym. Do any of you have tips on how to self-motivate yourselves to get to the gym or exercise class on a regular basis? I would appreciate any tricks or advice that you can give to get my butt in gear.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:42 AM   #2
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I am right with you there. One thing works for me and that is routine. I try to hop on the treadmill right after I walk through the door during the week. I might not do the full workout everyday but at least I am getting done some.
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I noticed that I didn't even think about getting changed and hopping on until I got off 30 minutes later. I was stunned.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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Web, learning to stick to exercise has been a long struggle for me. I am ADD and get easily distracted, so I have to do everything I can to stay on task.

First, the exercise has to be something that I dearly love. I mean LOVE! If I don't love it that much, I won't keep doing it. Even when I do love it that much, I still have days when I skip it. But I LOVE Pilates and I do it at least three times a week, but shoot for five times a week. I enjoy walking, but I can't seem to get myself out there. I really enjoy weight training, but still, have the same issues with that.

Second, I do my very best to remove all obstacles from getting to exercise. My Pilates classes are at 9:15 in the morning, so I won't be in danger of sleeping late. I make sure I have enough clean workout clothes in the closet so that's what I wear when I get out of the shower. I get my socks and shoes on at the beginning of the day so I don't have to get lazy about that later and choose not to go. Because when it comes to exercise, I am my own worst enemy!

And finally, I make sure to have a good support system. I have people who check on me to make sure I stay on task with my goals. I write my blog, I track my food and exercise, I have an excellent personal trainer, and I've got my son working out with me now.

With all that going for me, I still have days when I skip working out. And I suffer for it, because I am so cranky and achy when I don't exercise. I have to mentally choose to take care of myself first.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebWoman View Post
Do any of you have tips on how to self-motivate yourselves to get to the gym or exercise class on a regular basis? I would appreciate any tricks or advice that you can give to get my butt in gear.
Since I live in a pretty rural area and the nearest gym is a good 30 minute drive, I have a treadmill at home. To make sure I use it on a daily basis I have taped a picture pre WLS. The treadmill is in my living room so I can't fail to see it. Just the thought of going back to looking like that picture is motivation enough.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:19 PM   #5
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This has been and continues to be a huge challenge for me. Georgia, I am AD(H)D also, and I just cannot seem to develop the consistency I know is necessary. In addition to all the reasons already mentioned by the OP, I also know how good a consistent daily workout would be for my brain!

I love to dance. I have been taking belly dance classes since 1996, performing with various groups since 2004. I co-facilitate the Philadelphia Branch of Public Urban Ritual Experiment, a group that takes dancing into the streets. I hardly ever miss a class or practice, but I cannot seem to figure out a way to motivate myself to practice at home. This is even more important now that I am helping to teach others.

I have designated half of my living room as my dance space. I have a huge dresser with a mirror on one wall and another mirror on the opposite wall. I have my mp2 player with my music set up with speakers. All I need to do is turn on the music and DANCE! But I don't.

Georgia, your example is inspiring. As a fellow ADDer I understand the need to love the exercise you chose. And I love this dance I do. I think for me because I also struggle with several chronic illnesses, and have had setbacks over the years in my health and dance progress, there is a tension between the sick me and the well me when it comes to exercise. That sick me self image sometimes takes over when the well me should be dancing.

I need a way to be accountable.

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Old 04-22-2011, 07:08 PM   #6
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Hello!

I pretty much agree with all of the answers but again, there is always the psychological piece of the puzzle-why do we NOT do what we know feels good, helps us, and is necessary to lose weight, especially when we have the time and aren't tired? For me it is no longer about how I look but my future health, so I am less tempted now and it's easier to stay on track knowing how I allowed my self to get derailed in the past. Knowing that we have a challenge before us is at least part of the battle! Fear of success, I think, or fear that we may fail ourselves in some other way, AGAIN. It is hard to train ourselves to stop our fears from limiting us. Plus we know that we may have along road to travel and we live in a society that has trained us to look for the "quick fix".
Just take a deep breath, think on your success so far, a try to at least do some moderate weight training to keep your muscle if possible. You will snap back and be okay!
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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I agree that insisting on it being part of your routine helps...like we go to the gym first thing 3 x week...Monday, Wed, Friday...it's just what we do and we do it before we get involved in anything else. The other thing is having someone to go with you helps a lot...for me that's my dh but a friend or someone would be great too. Just helps to have someone to chat with while you exercise. I love to walk the track (or even better) with someone and walk along talking...if you are a little bit short of breath, making it slightly hard to talk you know you're walking at a just right speed. Having someone with you just makes it more fun. Only trouble with my dh is he prefers to listen to music when exercising, not talking with me.

Tamsin - I agree it is difficult to know why we don't do things we know we need to do! For me it is too often over snacking in the evenings. I know I will be sorry in the morning, but that doesn't always stop me. I'm finally just recently getting to a point where I'm concerned enough about my health that I'm doing much better, but even now I can just forget all that sometimes. Looking better was not enough of a motivator for me, and I was even is sort of denial about my diabetes for a long time.

Kassykid - You are looking really good! Congrats on your weightloss! Yes, I can imagine that picture would motivate you...good luck in maintainance. When I lost once I went back to old habits...had to learn for myself that you can't ever go back to eating like you did before.

BTW, another thing I do is incorporate exercise into everything I do. You know, take the stairs at the mall, park futher away and walk into the store that kind of thing but also around the house when I'm standing in the kitchen, in the bathroom or at the end of our sleigh bed, I do exercises. I march or jog around the house instead of just walking. I do aerobics during commercials, stretches while watching TV. I get emails from online magazines which often give me links to exercises online and I do them here in my office when I have time. None of these seems to help me with weightloss but I'm sure it keeps me more flexible and healthier. I'm 68 years old and I need all the help I can get! LOL
Sometimes I think I must look like a fool the way I prance and gallop around the house but I only do it when I'm alone or it's just my dh and I. ;-)
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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I keep my gym bag packed to make it easier to obey. I call buddies and ask them to go. If they don't want to, at least I've kinda made a commitment that I'm going.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:42 PM   #9
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My doctor told me that short bursts of activity were better than no activity.
I also find living in Florida challenging, as I am too old to do intense workouts in the heat. I look to housework, not dusting (wink), the stuff that gets me huffing and puffing. It seems to benefit both me and the house.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:04 PM   #10
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I do my workout at home. What I have found (in all areas of life) is that when I "need" to something, and think of it as a whole (like 30 minutes exercise, cleaning out the whole closet, do all required reading for a class), I dread it, put it off, and it just grows in my mind. I try (but don't always succeed) to tell myself I will just do a little bit. It helps me, once I start whatever, momentum kicks in, good feeling happen (rather than the self flagellation from procrastination).
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #11
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I live in a rural area and can't get to a gym. I have a mini-trampoline at home and bounce for maybe 10 minutes a day.

You might not believe me, but that bit of exercise greatly improved my stamina and leg strength. I used to go upstairs holding the banister, and now I run up easily. In the beginning I could hardly do 200 jumps and now that's ridiculously easy and I have to challenge myself more.

Trampoline is great for us older folk as it totally avoids impact on feet and joints--never hurts. Cheap to buy, easy to store, and safe.

I also dance around to the oldies--put on a CD and just let loose.

As for motivation, it takes so little time for trampolining while watching tv, or it's so much fun dancing, motivation is hardly an issue.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:43 PM   #12
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Why don't you think of an activity you would like to do?

For instance, I don't exercise at all right now and don't want to because I start building muscle and it stalls my weight loss. But that's me.

What I am going to do is when the weight comes off start using my rowing machine, not because I should and it's healthy but because I want to be able to ski again, or walk up the mountains here. I want to be stronger than my husband or at least keep up.

That's my motivation and I can't wait to get started again. I will be on those slopes this winter, might be late winter but winter for sure!

Doing it for health is way too boring for me and feels like a "Have to" and not a want to.

Exercise didn't become the fad it did today without a brilliant marketing scheme. My aunts and uncles on both sides of my family are in their 80s and 90s, in good health for their age, and never exercised a day in their lives.

I think it's a waste of time to beat yourself up and feel guilty about not doing something you don't want to do. I believe eating right and getting the nutrition the body needs to take care of itself is far more important than anything.

Best of luck!

Cheers!
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
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Here is what is working for me---cheap and easy. I just walk. It's a great time of the year for this, and I have loaded music on my Ipod Shuffle that makes me want to move (130 beats per minute). I roll out of bed, roll into clothes, and head out. I walk in my neighborhood for 30 minutes every day.

Anyone else collect workout music? Any other 130 BPM people?
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:34 AM   #14
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To Gracewriter: I agree that marketing has to do with the popularity of the exercise and diet industry. But you can say that about anything in this media age.

Our 80 and 90 year old aunts and uncles didn't need to exercise because their lives were VERY different from ours. Most of them worked long hard hours every single day. They didn't all have cars, so they walked. No fast food on every corner. They rarely ate meals anywhere but at home. Many didn't have clothes washers or dryers. I'm not saying that our lives should become more difficult and be like theirs, but we do have to account for the fact that they were 3 or 4 times as active as we are on any given day, and also ate a sensible diet with little or no processed food.

Society as a whole has become demanding. We want things and we want them now. We want to fix ourselves in the same quick manner, without effort if possible. So we are in credit card debt up to our collective eyeballs, have convenience stores on every other corner, fast food restaurants next door to each other, 24 hour department and grocery stores, and 2/3 of us are overweight or obese.

I think you are doing yourself a disservice by thinking that exercise will add muscle and slow down the weight loss process. You will add muscle, but muscle burns more calories than fat, so you boost your metabolism. Muscle also takes up less space than fat, so your body will become smaller, even if your weight temporarily stays the same. Most of us would be hard pressed to train at a level that would add so much muscle bulk that it would truly slow down our real weight loss.

To WebWoman: I joined a gym on the day I decided to lose weight. I went 3 times a week at first. Now I go every day. Some days I go at 6am before work and then after work for a particular class that I like. I think it gets easier with time and becomes part of your routine. It's just what you do. If it's important to you, you will find time to do it. Find a class you like and make friends in it - the social aspect of the gym is HUGE to me. I belong to a women's only gym and I find the support of my new friends and the staff to be very valuable. Make it a priority and you'll find time and effort spent are worth it.

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Old 07-15-2011, 03:29 PM   #15
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I stand and stare at my treadmill for a while thinking how much I dread getting on the thing. It stands in front of a 50 inch TV which makes it easier if theres a good movie or show on. I live in a small town here and when I finally dragged myself out for a walk outside around town people were always pulling over asking me if I wanted a lift. Thats way I have a treadmill now.

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