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Old 01-21-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Motivation for Exercise - Please help!

Diet vs Exercise...

I've read a ton of wonderful, supportive posts as people battle their issues with food, and I do find them helpful and informative. But I have to admit that I feel a bit alone in my own battle... which isn't diet so much as it is exercise.

Admittedly, I've eaten quite terribly over the past year, but most of my life I've been lucky enough to have never had any addiction to fast food or processed food, and knocking down the calories and eliminating the junk hasn't bothered me at all. If anything, I feel like I've gone through a detox the last few weeks and pretty much feel back to normal.

I'm eating 1,000-1,200 calories, and ensuring that everything I eat is healthy and organic. While I'm sure I'll have ups and downs, I'm not terribly worried about maintaining this. I'm not hungry at all, I'm much more energized and my body feels much better.

HOWEVER... I'm not here to say everything is perfect, either. It's just that my own problem isn't diet, but on motivating myself to get proper exercise.

Before the weight gain of the last 18 months or so, I always used jogging to keep my weight down and stay in shape. But now being this overweight, I've found it's just not an option at this point to dive back into that. I'm in terrible shape and it's physically too challenging for now. Also, the primary reason I gained weight was due to a couple serious back operations, and I guess I'm afraid of pushing too hard and injuring myself before I'm in better condition.

I realize there are plenty of things I can do and I've been introducing some light exercises to my days, which is helping. But I have a TERRIBLE time motivating myself for this, getting so easily frustrated with my body not cooperating!

I guess I wonder if there's anyone else here on this site like me, who primarily struggles with exercise and motivation to do so, rather than just the food issues.

I'd love your tips and ideas to handle this, if you have any good advice.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Congrats on deciding to get back to health.

I hope some of the "pros" on this forum come in to help you. My concern is for your calorie intake. I think it is too low. Where is your room to cut down as you start losing?

I was having the same type of motivation problems. I went to the library and got several different dvds. I tried a few and decided they were trying to give me a heart attack. I thought I'd be on medicare before some of the others finished. I finally found Walk Away The Pounds. I don't have to go outside if it is cold or rainy or dark. I can pop that puppy into the machine and have a 30 minute on up to an hour workout. I can adjust the intensity. I haven't been able to do it for about 2 weeks now and I miss it terribly. I have some sort of foot injury. It's better now. I can walk on it without limping.

I can understand why you don't want to jog right now. Workout videos may be the best suggestion I can give you right now.

Good luck and I hope you get some answers.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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I find that love songs make me want to work more. It makes me want to look good for my guy
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:07 PM   #4
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Hi cbmare. Thank you very much for your thoughts.

Workout tapes are a great idea and I've actually tried to get into some early-morning televised workouts. I've done it a few times, but haven't yet found anything I can stick to. But I suspect it's me more than the workouts... I've been lazy for so long, it's hard to snap out of it.

As for the calorie intake, I appreciate your thoughts and I realize it is low. However, I have no intention of making it even lower over time, but rather increasing it as my activity level increases and my energy needs are greater.

At this point I'm so sedentary (my job is 14-16 hours a day at a desk) that a balanced, 1,200 calories a day is more than enough. But as I find a way to introduce proper exercise into my life, I expect I'll need to increase it. It actually never occurred to me to consider going lower in the future. It's interesting to me that other people would do so. You think that's better?

But I have to say, at this point I feel quite full on the diet I'm on. The only time I wish I could intake more calories is when I look longingly at a nice bottle of red wine.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:08 PM   #5
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I am the opposite of you - I struggle with the food, the exercise.

If jogging seems like too much, start with walking. Or like Mare suggested exercise DVD's you can do at home. I think you will be pleased with what it does for your overall health. I think some weight training might be useful to you as well...but maybe start small. The key is finding something you like to do so that it is fun for you. Dancing, Wii, DDR, whatever. Just make a habit of moving at least 1/2 an hour maybe 5 days a week. Build your strength...you can do this!!

There is nothing like a little exercise to get your metabolism going. Speaking of metabolism - up your calories. You should not be going below 1200. You need more than that to get the basic nutrients your body needs. Add some exercise and try at least 1400 calories a day. You'll keep losing and be building habits to maintain your losses in a healthy way.

Glad you found us!
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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savanahfloc -- Thanks! I'll keep that in a mind. But after 8 years of marriage, I'm not sure love songs do the trick anymore.

Although if he'd offer to do the dishes while humming romantic music for me, you might be onto something!
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:12 PM   #7
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Thanks, chick_in_the_hat. I tried to explain a bit more about my perspective on the calorie intake in a different post above. I certainly do intend to increase it as I get more active.

I'm glad I found y'all, too. And I really appreciate the supportive words.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:32 PM   #8
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savanahfloc - Love songs...LOL...I require something a little more active to get me going...maybe it's beacuse I've been married for 20 years.

lana1 - one other trick I use to get myself off the couch...I tell myself I'll only do a half a normal workout. Then, once I get going, I usually end up doing the whole thing because it feels good. It's getting off the couch that for me is the hardest part.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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You know, I don't think its rational to believe you're going to be super-motivated to exercise each and every day, especially at the beginning of a fitness regimen. The bottom line is that, ultimately, it doesn't matter if you're motivated or not...it simply must be done!

So maybe you need to tell yourself that, whether you want to or not, you WILL be exercising. If it isn't an option to not do it, then you'll do it!

After a while of making yourself do it, it really WILL start being fun...but if you want until you are 100% motivated each time to exercise, you'll never do it. Even now, when I'm addicted to exercise endorphins and generally love working out, it sometimes isn't what I want to do...but I still decide to just DO it.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:01 PM   #10
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what about a workout buddy? It helps me to have someone that I am accountable to. I know that those ladies are out there waiting for me and I have no hesitation of getting up and going. I used a trainer (if that is in the budget) for 4 years (through 2 pregnancies) this helped me build a habit of working out and I learned to enjoy it. One last thing I do is I filled my ipod with fast upbeat motivational music...you can't help but want to move. the exercise forum has a couple of threads of favorites. You think you feel good now, just wait until you get moving! Good Luck!
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:51 PM   #11
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Well, I've never liked exercise, and while I've had food issues to deal with, I was never a regular exerciser.

I just had to commit to it. I set myself goals of how many minutes a month I would exercise. I started with figuring I could handle 30 min of exercise 3-4 days a week (I had actually started exercising before then and worked up to 30 min). So, I made a commitment for about 400 min the first month. And I've gone up from there. Now I commit to working out about 5 days a month and usually set goals of at least 1000 min/month (this month is lower because of large work commitments).

So, as an exercise hater, I recommend, not motivation, but commitment...
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
I recommend, not motivation, but commitment
Amen to that. If I waited for motivation, well, I'd still be waiting. But I go and once I start I usually do my whole workout. I actually really enjoy weight lifting - once I'm at the gym and started.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:07 PM   #13
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Are you a competitive person? Perhaps challenging yourself to something specific will give you a sense of motivation and accountability. I have a goal of 500 miles this year- whether that be biking, walking, crawling, etc. It helps me to feel as if I'm working toward something specific.

If you can't jog- walk. Set a goal for a number of miles. Write it down. Write down how far you walked and how long it took you to do it. Over time, you'll find that your distances and/or times have improved, which is always a great feeling. It's also a good representation to know that you can do it.

I also have significant back issues, though no surgeries yet. I know how the pain is debilitating, but the fear of pain is even worse. Just take it slowly. Realize that strength training will help your back, so will losing weight. And don't let those issues become who you are.

You can do this!
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:08 PM   #14
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Your post hit home for me. It is much easier for me to keep my eating under control than it is to exercise routinely. So

I'm going to echo Heather. It isn't about motivation for me either. I treat myself as I would a child. Like mare, I love WATP videos. I also have videos for yoga, pilates, resistance bands, and aerobic dance. I have a weight machine and a Gazelle. I allow myself to chose WHAT form of exercise I will do each day. I do not give myself the option of IF I will exercise. So, if I really don't feel like walking, NP - I can dance instead.

I have slowly increased my DVD collection (half.com is a wonderful place). I really like DVDs because I don't have to think. I just follow along. I am not nearly as tempted to quit early like I am on a treadmill, the Gazelle, etc. For me - someone telling me what to do and when to do it, really keeps me on track.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I actually really enjoy weight lifting - once I'm at the gym and started.
Agreed! Putting on my shoes or getting to the gym is frequently the hardest part!
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