Psych Yourself Up to Workout ~

It’s Guest Post Day at the WordCount Blogathon.

Today’s post comes from guest blogger Diana Smith Busby who writes about becoming a mid-life runner so I was pretty sure she would have some great words of advice and motivation.  Turns out I was right.  Thanks Diana for sharing this great post!

Sometimes the first step is the hardest.

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“Just do it”, they say, but it’s not always that easy.

For many, just the thought of getting outdoors to workout is crippling. You can think of a million things that need to be completed instead of doing the one thing that could make a difference in your own life, like taking a walk, or even going for a jog.

You tell yourself, “I’m not a marathon runner, why do I need to walk outdoors where everyone will see me and make fun of me?” “I need to rest, I have a sinus headache.” “I don’t feel like getting out today, I’ll walk twice as far tomorrow.” “It’s too hot, too cold, too far, too everything.”

As an educator I see this mentality all the time. When a student sees an assignment that is going to require a couple days of work, they simply shut down and refuse to work. At first it seems the student is being defiant; however, after some questioning and coaxing, it’s easier to understand that the student is overwhelmed with the thought that the task is too difficult. She doesn’t see a way to break the assignment into manageable steps, so rather than doing something that is beyond her ability, she simply accepts that she will receive a zero on the assignment. She feels bad for not completing the assignment, but not as bad as she thinks she will feel if her attempt results in failure. running2nothing-is-so-hard-henry-ford

Just as I help my students break assignments into manageable tasks, I’m here to help you break down the process of getting outdoors to workout. “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. Start with small steps to get you moving toward the door and down the road.

Below are some suggestions for getting out the door and on to the road of fitness.

STEP 1:

Get dressed. That’s it. Just putting on your workout clothes makes it harder to say no to exercise. Keep your shoes and other workout clothing in a convenient spot, where you will see them every time you pass by. Put them on first thing in the morning if you are a morning workout person. If you have a job that prevents you from working out in the morning, have them sitting out and ready for you after you get off work. Just put them on and lace up your jogging shoes.

STEP 2:

Step outside. After you have on your workout clothes and shoes, step out the front door. Take a look around; enjoy the sounds of the birds, watch the squirrels race around, playing tag. Don’t talk to yourself about all the things that need to be done inside the house or around the yard. Concentrate on enjoying the sounds of nature.

Step 3:

Walk to the street:

After a few minutes of standing on the porch or stoop, walk out to the street. Again, don’t try to rationalize about all the other things you could be doing. Just walk to the curb.

Step 4:

Just go for it:

Since you’re at the curb, you might as well walk/jog down to the corner and back. At this point, your mind is probably saying, “We got this far, we might as well go all the way.” You may even be a little excited that you convinced yourself to make it to the mailbox, so a 30 minute workout will be a breeze.

Step 5:

Congratulate yourself:

You did it! You beat the monster that prevents you from doing the things that make you happy. Reward yourself for your accomplishment. My reward is usually a protein smoothie. When I have completed a workout and added nutrition to my reward, the feeling of confidence these actions brings stays with me throughout the day.

Other tips for staying motivated:

Check out ~ 101 Kick-Butts from Runners World

Take things one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have completed that three mile walk or jog. You’ll wonder what was holding you back in the first place. Use this technique on other areas that hold you back. If you have a stack of laundry waiting to be washed, just think about one load at a time, start the water, pour in the detergent, load the clothes, transfer clothes to dryer, start the next load, fold the dry clothes…etc. Break it down into its parts to make it seem more manageable.

To your health!

Diana

Diana blogs about running, staying active, and living the dream at www.dianabusby.com. She and her husband live a double life: two kids, two grandkids, two cars, two cats, and two dogs. She writes for regional and national magazines, newsletters, and online sources.

Total Failure? I think Not! ~

Back in the middle of August, after way too many months of procrastination and good intentions that never got me making any real progress, I watched a TED talk about doing something new for 31 days.  I decided to use this as my motivator to get myself back in the gym.   A place where everybody used to know my name and now all the faces were new.  I committed publicly in this blog post.

It’s been almost two months and well past the 31 days so I thought it would be fun (and humbling) for me to check in and let you know how it went down.  Some good.  Some not so much.  Oh, I started out full speed ahead.  Every afternoon after work I walked over to 24 Hr Fitness and right in through the big front door.  This was the piece that had been eluding my fitness routine for a while.  Walking IN the door.  I told myself it didn’t matter how long I stayed, I just had to go in and do something.  I went.  I stayed.  I worked out.  I loved it.  I loved myself for doing it!  All was good.  Day 1 was a success – days 2, 3 and on through 10 – all good.  Then I hit a bump in the road.   Work got in the way and I ran out of time.  Could I have gone at 7:30pm or 5:30am?  Yes.  Did it even cross my mind?  No it did not.  So, I missed a day.  But then I got right back to it.  The not so good news is that the rest of my 31 days went something like this… gym, gym, something else, gym, something else, gym, gym, and so on.  Adding them up, I did 20 days out of the 31 that I committed to.  I don’t pretend to know anything about baseball, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a very good batting average.

So, I missed the mark… a little.  I only beat myself up a tiny bit because the really good news is that I am still going to the gym regularly.  In fact, I’ve settled into a really good routine of Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.  We’ve been doing 6-8 mile hikes on these lovely Fall weekends but, now that the rains are back, I’ll probably add one more day to the gym.  Or not.

All in all.  I’m calling it a success and I’m glad I took the challenge.  I ended up right where I hoped to be.  As the hubs says – I’m cranking weights and pounding it on the treadmill – at the gym.

Climbing Back on the Wagon ~

I fell off the wagon about a year ago.  No dings, cuts or bruises, but it’s been painful nonetheless.  What wagon?  The gym wagon.  And, let me just say, it has been hard as hell getting back on.  Oh, I still walk an hour or so every day, but somehow I do not seem to be able to walk myself the three short blocks to the gym.  We were so close, my gym and I.  But our love affair has dimmed.  We’ve lost our spark.  I’ve cheated. I’ve been seeing others.  Yep, I had a fling with Jazzercise.  I’ve combed the listings for Parks and Rec.  I even flirted a little with the weights that sit patiently behind the door in my office.  None of these relationships stuck.  Maybe I’ve been looking for LUV in all the wrong places.  And now I’m watching the hubs build a steady love affair of his own with the gym.  My gym!   I feel a wee bit like the jilted lover and I do not like the feeling.  Not one bit.  Oh, I’ve got excuses…LOTS of them.  I work full time. I have social and philanthropic commitments.  I have to write my blog.   It’s hot.  I’m tired.  I’m bored.  My shoulder hurts.  Something else hurts.  The classes are full.  The list is endless.  And a complete load of horse puckey.

There’s more than a little irony working here as well.  You see, I’m the woman who started going to the gym seven years ago and loved it so much I studied for and became a personal fitness trainer.  I know better.  I’ve taught others how to get fit.  And still, I sit.     Watching my buffness slowly (thank God!) turn into mushness.  Waiting for some magic spark of energy.    Here’s what I now know for sure.  I’m pretty much all in or all out.  No halfway for me.  And lately, I’ve been all out.   Hubs always says “a body in motion stays in motion.  A body at rest …well you know.”   Every now and then the Old Guy nails it.

Fellow blogger, Andrea Mee Maurer,  posted a while back about Matt Cutts’ TED talk Try something new thing for 30 days.  Andrea was smitten with the idea and committed to blog every day for 30 days.  Love the idea. Loved every one of your posts.  Andrea, you and TED have inspired me!  I’m going to use the 30 day plan to get my butt back into the gym.  It’s not something new, but I’m going to use the next 30 days to re-acquaint myself with my triceps, biceps, lats, and quads.  Re-kindle my love of sweat.   Regain my passion for sore muscles. Remind myself what I loved about Yoga, Zumba, Lift and Sculpt in the first place.   Oh, I know it won’t be easy.  But it is time.   I guess I sat around long enough  that the I magic spark I was waiting for finally found me.  Don’t know.  Don’t care.  I’m going with it.

Day One starts tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes.