Exercise! - Not "buying into" exercise




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TappingPeony
07-30-2008, 02:08 PM
What can I do to buy into exercise? What changes an unmotivated, bad attitude about it? When you see little result, if any, what makes it worth the effort? I can't seem to make exercising fit my life and with so little result, why bother? It's like making a motivator for my ADHD child work more than 3 days. I am frustrated running in circles with this trying to get something that works. 10 weeks here, maintaining: losing and regaining the same few pounds, even doing the 50 mile July challenge here didn't make a difference. I even accomplished that goal, and then some, and it did no good. What kind of motivation is that? It's one more stressful thing I don't want to do, one more thing to add clutter to the chaos. Where do I start, to find a way to exercise that accomplishes SOMETHING, ANYTHING for me? I had hoped that this would be part of my routine by now, before school starts again. School starts in a week, so now there is the big scheduling overhaul for that. Maybe I am just not important enough to fit me into the schedule. What do I need to do this? I think I keep circling my own same questions, so I can't find any new answers.

Throw me some questions to think about, ladies. Maybe that will help.


luckymommy
07-30-2008, 02:56 PM
Look, I know what you mean about adding one more thing to the chaos. I hope the following doesn't sound too hars, but it's just a little tough love. ;)

I have two boys, one of whom is very stubborn and the other one has adhd, Asperger's and some other issues. Life is very chaotic. He has to be on a strict diet that is gluten free, casein free, soy free, and the list goes on. It's difficult...feels impossible sometimes, but I do it.

Same goes for the workouts. It's not convenient and takes a lot of juggling. I sometimes leave my boys with friends and use that time to workout. Sometimes, I go at night when hubby gets home from work. Sometimes, I do it at home. I just squeeze it in there. Of course if you're not seeing results, it's hard to justify. First, excercise is good for more than weight loss. It helps your heart, your other organs to function better (assuming that you're eating right). It helps with elevation of mood too (depression, anxiety, etc.).

But, there's the weight loss and to be honest, I doubt I'd do it if I didn't need to lose weight. You need to figure out why you weren't getting results. Were you eating your calories burned? Sometimes people justify eating more due to exercise, but that's counter-productive.

Have you tried HIIT? That's High Intensity Interval Training. It tends to burn 3 times as much fat as regular workouts. There's info on here about it if your'e interested. Did you lift weights? Cardio burns calories, yes. However, the weights will increase your muscle mass and burn calories while you rest.

Finally, it's important to keep active aside from the workouts. If you take your son to the park, play ball with him or climb the structure with him, or at least stand. KWIM?

Also, did you measure your body? In the first few months of working out, we sometimes retain more water as our body tries to repair the mucle fibers, but we might lose inches and not lbs. Just a thought.

Ok, I hope you're not mad. I say all this because I was in your shoes. I KNOW how it is to not feel like working out. But, what's the alternative? A sedentary lifestyle? That leads to heart disease and a bunch of other problems.

Again, I really hope I haven't offended you here. I just want to offer my support and hugs and hope you will give it another go. Don't think of it as just for weight loss. Think of it as part of your life.

Take care.

mandalinn82
07-30-2008, 03:08 PM
There are two things that make me buy into exercise:

http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongfitness/a/exercise_life_e.htm

and

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/168/14/1550


greeneggsandtam
07-30-2008, 03:12 PM
Hi Tapping;
First off :hug:
It sounds like you are so frustrated. I understand that feeling. Boy howdy do I understand that feeling.
I was a sedentary adult for about 15 years. Just about nothing short of running from something life threatening could have motivated me.
When I changed my eating habits, I thought it would be a good idea to join a gym. (To add to my new lifestyle.) And frankly it's just not for me most days. I can't be arsed to get there week after week. I would go for a week and then not go back for a month. I know moving my body is something I need to do though.
I took up playing (old ) ladies (slow)soccer and I love it. Beyond love. I'm not great at it but the point is that I found something that I like to do that just gets me out and moving.
Maybe you could check out a leisure guide in your area if you have them, or go to a YWCA or YMCA and see what they have for programming and classes. I always get super excited and motivated at the thought of new stuff to do. I also finally realized that this wasn't something that I would do for two months and then look great and then my life would change. I really thought the weight would just melt off in a really short time. Not so. It's such a slow process. It's a commitment but a really really good one. Keep trying!
Now I am rambling so I will quit. I hope this will be of some help to you. Have a lovely summer.
Tam

Kitegirl24
07-30-2008, 03:16 PM
Well luckymommy put it nicely; I'm just gonna put it out there -

You ask, "What changes an unmotivated, bad attitude about exercise?"

YOU. You are the only one who can change your attitude, and go to the gym. No one else will do it for you. Being "motivated" isn't some elusive trait that only thin people possess, it's something that comes from commitment. You have to commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle; otherwise, as soon as you hit a roadblock you'll just give up. I know you "don't want to do it," but sometimes we have to do things we DON'T want in order to get what we DO want. That's life....and the longer you wait, the harder it gets.

First of all, I think it would be helpful for you to sit down while you are making up your schedule and write, in permanent pen :lol: the days you WILL work out - it is an appointment with yourself that you can't miss. When you break a promise to yourself to go to the gym, it's like telling yourself, "I'm not worth keeping a promise to. I don't really matter." Is that how you want to treat yourself? As a mother, I am sure that a lot of times you probably put your kids before you. Well, how can you put them first if YOU'RE not around to begin with? What I'm saying is, if you are out of shape and don't have the energy to be there for your family, they are going to suffer as well as you.

OK, tough love aside - as difficult as it may seem now, exercising and eating healthy is completely possible to do. You just need to find what works for you. Whether it is swimming, jogging, biking, playing sports, doing yoga - the list goes on and on - I'm sure you can find something that you enjoy doing. It might take some time to settle into a routine, but I know you can do it! Just remember that everyone slips up sometimes; I don't think ONE person at 3FC got to where they are today without at least ONE mistake along the way. The important thing is that you don't stop trying.

Good luck!! :)

Megan1982
07-30-2008, 03:18 PM
Hi TappingPeony,

No one in my family is an athlete by genetics or nature, nor am I. I knew exercise was good for me, though, because everyone says so. When I lost weight I started by power walking outside, since I wasn't a gym member and didn't have exercise equipment. I worked my way up in distance, gradually increased in speed. I read about how weight training is supposed to be good for you so I bought some 5 lb dumbbells and did some exercises at home from a women's weight training book I found in a clearance bin. I now go to the gym and weight lift and do moderate to high intensity cardio, and lead a pretty active lifestyle, but it took a long time to get here.

The point of my long-winded story is that I built up exercising gradually. I'm not sure what expectations you have about exercising, but "exercising" doesn't mean you have to immediately go do benchpress 100 lbs at the gym or sprint at Olympic speed. It can be taking yourself, or your kid or dog (if they are agreeable ;)) for a walk, or bike ride, around the neighborhood, or find a friend (or co-worker) to go with so you will have someone to chat with. Even just spending some time with the family outside can lead to more activity, if you have a yard or a park. Try some kind of "alternative" exercise like a dance class, kayaking, anything where your body is moving around. Try different things until you find one you enjoy.

You wrote: "When you see little result, if any, what makes it worth the effort?" What type of exercise have you been doing, how often, to get so "little result"? I wonder about this statement because every single instance I've ever heard of where people's body is not changing from exercise is due to food (or hormonal imbalances, abnormal thyroid function, but that's less common), e.g. they start exercising, but then end up eating more b/c they're hungrier from the exercise, or something like that. I'm not sure what your typical food intake is, or if you're using some type of food plan to lose weight, but I really believe that coupled with the right amounts and types of food exercise will aid weight loss.

Exercise also isn't just for weight loss. Think about all of the benefits to your cardiovascular system, your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels, your overall health. Strength training can help bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis and all sorts of problems later in life. There are countless scientific studies chronicling these benefits.

Progress in exercise is not just measured on the scale. Exercising can cause you to gain muscle, so the number on the scale might not go down, but your measurements might be. It might be easier to walk up the stairs, you might have more energy, etc. I think it's very important not to get too caught up in just seeing a change in your weight.

I particularly love the calming and stress-busting effect exercise has on me. A good workout seriously keeps my brain chemistry - whatever is going on up there - on an even keel. Even a quick walk at lunchtime when I'm having a bad day at work can lift my mood.

You also mentioned having trouble fitting exercise into your schedule, as "one more thing to add clutter to the chaos". Perhaps if you can set aside 30 min. first thing in the morning, even if it means getting up earlier, then you can get some exercise in before your responsibilities and "to-do's" for the day pile up.

Good luck!

Matilda08
07-30-2008, 03:23 PM
I know all about what your talking about!!!!!! I am a single mom to two children I work full time and my son is two years old. Its very hard but you have to decide how important it is to you. I dont go to a gym or anything. I started out walking during my fourty five min lunch brake. Take things one day at a time and as another poster said find out why you werent losing. Thats important. You have to MAKE time. After work somedays I dont feel like working out but if I do I take my childrent to the park or even for a walk. Things like this has helped me get to where I am at today. Dont give up find that inner strenght and will power know that you can accomplish your goal and you will!!!!!

Dont give up where there is a will there is a way!

PenChick
07-30-2008, 04:07 PM
I can so relate to your frustration. I am a lazy person. What changed in my life that really made me get going was that my mom passed away. She had always been on the chubby side until the 90's and she gained a lot of weight. She stayed at home so that didn't help any, but because of her weight gain, she got diabetes, high blood pressure, she had several blood clots, then hernias, then she got asthma, then her kidney's failed. If she had been active in some small way, i think a lot of those health issues would not have existed. It took her passing away for me to think of my future. I want to be able to play tag with my future kids and not say oh, im too tired or my knees hurt. I want to be able to enjoy life without the restrictions of my weight effecting me. I look back at my mom's life and i feel sorry that i or my siblings didnt do something to help her bounce back from her weight gain. My mom's weight didnt just effect her, it did to all of us kids (there's nine of us). My mom's passing made me realize that i dont want to end up like her and for my mom, i promised that i would lose the weight and be as healthy as i can be.

PhotoChick
07-30-2008, 05:49 PM
Echoing what everyone else said here.

One thing I noticed: I can't seem to make exercising fit my life and with so little result, why bother? This is a self fulfilling cycle. You don't want to make time for it, so you do it halfheartedly, so you don't see a result, so you don't make time for it. Rinse. Repeat. :)

You also say you completed a 50 mile challenge and it did nothing for you. I don't know what the 50 miles challenge is ... but I suspect that it probably did *something* ... just that you're in a funk where you want to see *more* and *now*.

I think if you go hang out onthe maintainer's forum and the exercise forum, you'll see that nearly everyone there has said that their weight loss didn't really take off until they added regular exercise. I'll be the first to say that when I started working out - and really being serious about it - is when I saw the best results in my body, both in my overall appearance and in losing the weight.

I also can tell you that when I take the time to work out, I simply feel better. I sleep better. I crave *good* foods instead of junk. I feel more energized when I'm awake. And although I dont' have kids, I do have a job that requires me to be physically active 1 or 2 days a week, interspersed with long periods of sitting in front of a computer. I've found that my active days are now sooooooo much easier - I don't come home from a job feeling like I want to die. And my computer days are easier to take because I know at some point I'm going to get up and move.

So two other things:

One: A person who I respect greatly once told me that you don't "find" time for the things that are important. You "make" time. So it's up to you to MAKE time to exercise.

Two: I post this a lot. The one thing that has made a huge difference for me is a change of mindset about exercise. For me it is no longer an option. It is a responsibility. Working out is now something I do because I'm a responsible adult: I pay my bills. I brush my teeth. I do laundry. I go get my car maintained. I get up in the morning and go to work. I do all of those things because I *have* to do them, even though sometimes I'd rather not. So I exercise for the same reason. It's no longer an option to not go to the gym. When I drive home from the office and I hit that exit on the freeway, there's no question of "should I go tonight". I take that exit and go to the gym in the same way I take the exit to my office in the morning - because it is something I have to do. Maybe that doesn't work for everyone ... but for me it helps a lot. And what's funny is that sometimes I find myself at the gym after a day at the office - and I don't even remember driving there. It's just that much a part of the routine now; leave the office, go to the gym. :)

Dunno if any of that helps, but hopefully some of it will.

.

Pink Geranium
07-30-2008, 06:09 PM
I am interested in the title of your message - not "buying into" exercise. I know a 12 Step phrase which has helped me overcome my doubts and keep going when I really don't want to - "Act as if you believe, and you will come to believe." (I don't know if I've gotten it exactly right or paraphrased, sorry, but this is the gist of it). Even if you don't think it will work, go through the actions of scheduling yourself, taking the time to pick exercise that makes sense for you and your capabilities, and then doing it no matter what. Act as if you are determined to make it work, even if you have doubts and fears and resentments about the whole thing, and you have a really good chance of doing it and seeing results.

I agree with everyone else - it takes commitment. No other way. Exercise does make a real difference in weight loss and in overall health - I am fighting diabetes and it has changed my overall health for the better as well as the weight loss. But, I also know it's a permanent part of my life if I want to stay healthy. I've really learned to love to exercise now that I am in better shape, and have found activities that I really enjoy, as others have said. This did not happen on day 1. It was acting as if I wanted to exercise and doing what a person would do if they wanted to be exercising that led to it.

Good luck, I am sure you can do it.

kaplods
07-30-2008, 06:40 PM
Why try to lose weight, when I look the same in the mirror today as I did yesterday?

Exercise and diet do not have instant, dramatic, "tada" results. They occur gradually, over time.

I didn't realize how much until I became disabled to the point that I couldn't walk up more than three stairs without severe pain, and washing my hair in the shower became painful.

I can do so much more than I could before, because of increased activity, but I can't tell you when that change happened, or in what increments, because I wasn't paying attention.

I couldn't buy into exercise either, but I could buy into physical therapy and play. Exercise doesn't seem to have a point, but it does. It increases health, strength, stamina, endurance.... but the changes don't come overnight, and sometimes you don't realize it unless you keep a record of what you can accomplish (then you get to see how much and how quickly you've made progress).

When I can't get into thinking of exercise as physical therapy (good for me), I sometimes can get into it by finding ways to play that happen to involve movement. Walking is a bore, but geocaching and letterboxing are recreational activities. Swimming is great exercise for me, because it's so fun I don't think of it as exercise, I think of it as having a good time.

So what kinds of things can you do for fun that require movement? Is there a physical goal that you might want to accomplish? I joined a Walking program at my local Easter Seals, and also at Family Circle magazine. I don't know if I'll make my goal, but it gives me something to shoot for. Making it a game, makes it fun for me, and making it fun makes it doable.

TappingPeony
07-30-2008, 09:54 PM
Wonderful things to think about, and I am grateful to all of you. The time had come, I think, to ask the questions. It is a cycle, and you sometimes need someone else to throw the questions at you in a different way so you can see something you are missing. And I will take it all, and hopefully work it out.

And, again, thanks!

Another CUBS fan! I have run into 2 today! How cool is that.

Ilene
07-30-2008, 11:49 PM
I don't like to brush my teeth, but I do it... I don't like to balance my check book, but I do it...I don't always like to exercise, but I do it! It's part of life, I've made it part of my routine. Start with baby steps and eventually it'll be a habit. Hang in there :hug:

MBN
07-31-2008, 03:15 PM
Maybe your expectations are unrealistic. Exercise is always hard, even for those who do it regularly. It's just that when we exercise a lot, we've learned to associate those strenuous feelings with something positive. But it's still hard for me -- hard to get going, hard to carve out that time, I huff & puff -- I've just learned to go and get it done anyway. I still get sweaty, I still get sore sometimes, and the results don't always come quickly. But, now the sweaty, tired feeling at the end actually feels good instead of bad. I do see results over time. And that's what ultimately keeps me going back for more.

Others have said this too, but you have to choose to make exercise a priority for all of the good reasons you already know in your head. You don't have to set lofty goals, just set little ones to start. Set aside that time, make it time for YOU that is sacrosanct. Exercise isn't the whole answer, but it sure is a big part of the answer, at least for me. Just don't expect big changes right away, the big changes come from a whole lot of little ones over time.

A brisk walk by yourself is just as good as a bubble bath for clearing your head and reducing stress, and it burns a whole lot more calories. :-)

krjpy
07-31-2008, 04:01 PM
If you are asking this question, you need to really look at what you are doing and why you are doing it.

This is all about you and what you are willing to do to get to where you want to be. I should have started exercising and changing my eating habits years ago. I tried several times, and failed ... I failed, because in the end, I wasn't truely commited. Not committed enough, because I believe that like being pregnant, you either are committed or you aren't committed. When you aren't truely commited, you tend to look for and grasp any excuse. You start to sabotage yourself, because you aren't ready for it.

Sometimes in life we just have to suck it up and do the things we don't want to do. Try this analogy: Would you let your child get away with not taking a bath for days, weeks, or even a month, just because he is busy or has other things to do? This is the same thing.

Good Luck!

TappingPeony
07-31-2008, 10:49 PM
Thank you all again. I am most grateful. More good questions to ask myself, and actually has calmed things down by giving me something positive to refocus on. This is good. Have a great day.:)

Iconised Ghost
08-01-2008, 04:55 AM
Hi TappingPeony
Im a little late to the conversation, but i thought i'd add my 2 pence anyway ;)

I used to be sooo unmotivated to work out. I just hated doing it for the sake of doing it. Whats the point in running day after day? its so boring. Well, i changed that. First I set myself an outrageous goal- to run a marathon. I found one in my area in November and mentally committed myself to it. Now I am, in my mind, a marathon runner. That means i need to train! This is motivating in itself. It also gives me a mental image of what i want to look like and be in a certain time period

Then i got a small notebook and in it i wrote down what i was going to do that week. So on Monday I might plan to run. Then i write down my goal for that run. So first, i dont have a goal except to last say 45 mins running/walking. This established my base line. Then each time i run i write down a goal and my progress. So one day i run 4km. The next time i run i aim to run 4.1km. These little increments are just challenging enough to get me going but not hard enough for me to give up.

And sometimes i dont reach my goal. Im tired. I didnt have a good lunch. Ive got other things on my mind that require time and attention. Thats ok, plans are supposed to be flexible. Having that goal at least gets me doing SOMETHING other than mooching around cursing myself for not working out.

I also give myself tiny rewards every time i work out. Sometimes this is just the cold shower and mental praise i give myself (i talk to my body parts haha, so i'll say things to myself in my head like "that was a good job legs! you worked so hard! Man that was cool!" it sounds dumb, but it works. We spend enough time beating ourselves up in our heads without thinking its dumb, so why not praise yourself). Sometimes thats not enough, so i might occasionally let myself have one square of chocolate when i get home. I've just about completely given up junk food, so thats a really good reward for me

Hope that helps somewhat!

txsqlchick
08-01-2008, 08:41 AM
Right now I'm not losing vast amounts of weight even though I'm working my guts out at the gym. I'm not discouraged though because I can feel my legs and butt firming up, my arms getting more toned, and I'm more energetic than I was when I started. I also am sleeping better. I also have a more positive attitude overall, which helps a lot! I have to work harder to get my heart rate up, and I think my resting heart rate has slowed down.

Those things alone make working out worth it for me and I know as I build lean muscle mass, my metabolism will speed up and the weight will come off particularly since I'm eating a low-calorie diet. I'm aiming for 1500 calories or less each day. I do need to change my diet since I think I'm getting too many carbs/not enough protein, but I'm burning twice as many calories as I take in each day. It will shift the weight in its own time.

Basically there are other benefits to working out besides straight weight loss. When you're in a plateau, just consider the multitude of benefits you get physically and mentally from working out and let those be your motivation while you work on breaking through the plateau.