(Ed Note: Hey we’ve been nominated (thanks so much to whoever did that!) for a Best of Blog (B.O.B.) award. Isn’t that swell? We’re in the weight loss and fitness blog category alonside some fabulous bloggers. Voting takes place over the next couple of weeks, so if you want to be heard, head over to the B.O.B. site (link on left), check out all the cool blogs, and vote your conscience.)
I adore lethargy. I admire inertia. I love nothing better than a day spent in my jammies, never leaving my house, sitting or lounging, a fire in the fireplace, a dog at my feet, cat in my lap, reading, watching movies, knitting, staring. Above all, I love to stare and stare, compelled by non-compelling pastimes, drawn inexorably to the couch. Sitting with a laptop and Google-drifting through life is my idea of heaven. Learning much, doing little. Ordering up food and dry goods on Amazon. That’s me. Love it, love it, love it.
But to get and keep my health, I know I must first acknowledge the existence of my body, and then move it. I need to make it sweat every day. Good health is not consumable, injectable, or offered in pill form. I can’t maintain my health by eating or not eating anything in particular. I have to exercise. Have to.
I love the way I feel AFTER I’ve exercised, the loose, warm feeling of pushing my blood into all my parts, the way all the soreness and stiffness of being over 40 and inert just melt away after a good workout. I love the way I sleep when I exercise. I love the feeling of calm well-being that overcomes nearly any stress. I even like a good gym. Especially a good gym with hot showers.
When losing weight, my early morning mantra was “Feet On Floor.” And I trained myself to prepare perfectly for the gym the night before, put my clothes out, prepare my breakfast and vitamins in advance so that when the alarm went off, my feet hit the floor, and I was in a “chute,” propelling myself to the door almost before I could wake up and reason myself back into bed.
But three years later, my mind is playing new tricks on me. For months my inner demons have worked to convince me that I can get by on a lot less exercise. My body has responded by growing soft, saggy, puffy. My demons have lost the argument, but are still intent on winning the war. They remind me how pleasant it is to sleep in, hit the snooze alarm. How utterly delicious it is to climb back under the toasty comforter for another hour’s rest. It’s not natural to move about in the dark, they say.They remind me how sleep deprived Americans are, and that though I have gotten MY eight hours in, I should sleep longer in behalf of all those people who don’t get what they need. A kindness to them, extra sleep.
I am a maintainer. When I needed to lose 100 lbs., when I feared for my life, it was easier to force myself out of bed and through the door. Today I need to find new ways and reasons to move. And I the best one I have is the knowledge that if I honor my love of inertia before honoring my love of life, the weight will find me again. The more still I am, the bigger I’ll grow, the more sluggish my system will become. I need to earn my couch time through movement.
So that’s my focus this week. I’m working on changing my mind about inertia, seeing it as the reward, the carrot. Exercise has to sit between me and the couch. No exercise, no couch time. That’s all there is to it. If I don’t get to the gym in the morning, it’ll be a workout video before movies in the evening. And oh, it’s so much better to get it done in the morning. New year, new challenge, new rules.
And you? What’s stopping you from getting your daily exercise fix in? What stories are you telling yourself? What excuses need to be unraveled? Do yourself a huge favor and spend a little quiet time thinking through a new strategy for getting your movement in this week. Write it down. Earn your inertia.