(For the record, just because I felt this way about my own goals does not mean that I think someone else who is trying to lose weight or inches is doing these things. Like I said, it's complicated. Under scrutiny, it probably doesn't even make sense, but that doesn't mean it wasn't negatively impacting my ability to work out. I was pretty thoroughly in my own head.)
Since then, I've been running. It started with a lot of walking and a little running, and now it's a lot of running and a little walking. I'm also lifting weights. The running is going well, and I've promised to run a 5k in June and a 10k in October.
So what happened? How did I go from not being able to stay motivated without psychoanalyzing myself into paralysis to signing up for a 10k? I found some other reasons to work out that have nothing to do with weight loss and body size.
1. My Daughter Sees Me Enjoying Exercise- Growing up, I had no positive images of people working out. I didn't really interact with people who worked out for health's sake on a regular basis. In my mind, working out was something you forced yourself to do, usually so you could look better, often temporarily.
I'm measuring my goals with the use of a pedometer (I don't usually do plugs for products, but I'm using FitBug and I really, really like this program). I run over my lunch break and consciously try to take some extra steps during the day so that I get to 10,000. Sometimes, when I get home, I'm short. In these cases, I walk around the house or jog in place to get the steps I need.
My daughter thinks this is hilarious, and she's started stepping with me. She swings her arms and stomps her feet and laughs and laughs. I also just bought a jogging stroller. She loves getting to ride while I jog, and she's excited to go to the park where we run around and fall in the grass.
My husband is also a regular exerciser. He takes boxing classes and runs on the treadmill. She sees this, and loves to carry around his boxing gloves.
|"I work out."|
2. Running Forces Me to Slow Down- Not physically. That would be silly. In case you couldn't tell by the rant about how I was inside my own head at the top of this post, I tend to overanalyze things. I don't do it on purpose; it's just part of who I am.
But not when I'm running.
This doesn't mean I don't think when I'm running. I do. I think about all kinds of things. But the focus it takes to run means that I can't ever quite get into that over analytical groove. I have to think about the surface or just under the surface of things. It's nice, and it often means that I think pretty positive thoughts (or even pretty, positive thoughts) because I can't get into that hypercritical space.
3. I Am Upping My Chances of Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse- I've been watching The Walking Dead (only Season 1! Don't ruin it!). Those people run! A lot! When the zombies come, my over analysis of pop culture might be helpful, but only if I survive long enough to get to some kind of camp or lab or something.
Seriously, though. I'm stronger. I feel more capable. I can carry heavier things and walk longer distances. I feel better.
I'm excited about finding a mental place that makes working out a habitual part of my life. At the end of the day, though, I still feel a little like Miriam from Femamom, who said this about rejoining Weight Watchers:
At WW last week, I stood at the scales, surrounded by other women. While we waited to be weighed in, we shed sweaters, socks, coats, jewelry, wedding rings and hats. I looked down at the flickering number and winced. I was there for my health (and a bit for my vanity). In the past, vanity led the way and health was a footnote. But I’ve maturedYep. I've definitely tilted the scales (see what I did there) toward health, but there's still a bit of vanity hanging on.
What about you? What motivates you to work out? What doesn't motivate you to work out?