I often forget that the most important benefit of exercise for me is the feeling of accomplishment it brings. That feeling of accomplishment is motivating. It actually makes me feel mentally stronger which automatically gives me more inner strength to avoid sugar and other things I don’t need to eat. When you think about exercise, you usually only think about the physical benefits such as burning calories or toning. Neither of these are the main reason I need to exercise.
I need to exercise because it reminds me that I can do hard things.
I often believe that I simply can’t go to the gym. Or even put a DVD in. I often believe that I can’t even make it around the block.
But it’s always been hard for me (even in my most unmotivated and lazy moments) to believe that I can’t do 30 seconds. Or that I can’t at the very least make it to the mailbox.
Even I can’t rationalize that one away.
I have tried numerous times to get back on track. I’ve tried going back to the gym. I’ve tried going back to daily Leslie Sansone walking videos. I’ve tried going back to walking in the neighborhood. I’ve even tried going back to group classes. Nothing will keep me motivated for long. I am not consistent. And I always quit. It’s not even a conscious decision anymore. Somehow I just wake up and realize another month went by with no progress.
I was talking to my brother not long ago when he said “Go small or go home”. A concept I continue to forget. So I told him I was thinking about going back to counting mailboxes. It seemed ridiculous because I can physically do more. But as I said in a previous post, I DON’T. And that’s all that really matters.
If you CAN do more but DON’T—
Then it’s no different from someone who WANTS to do more but CAN’T.
You both end up in the same place.
And I’m tired of going nowhere.
I’m ready to go SOMEWHERE. Even if I have to go back to counting mailboxes because I’m mentally too weak to get my butt in gear.
So as dumb as this may sound–I’m doing it. And I have to admit, I’m feeling better about myself than I have in quite awhile. It seems silly I know but I’d rather say I’ve walked to the mailbox than I did nothing at all. I’d rather say I walked to two mailboxes than another day of nothing at all. If I do this enough times maybe I’ll retrain my brain to stop settling for nothing every day. Maybe I’ll remember what it was like to struggle to that mailbox. And I’ll remember once again that I CAN reach for my goals.
Here’s a conversation I had with my brother that helped me decide to commit to this goal
So whether this method is out of necessity because you’re physically incapable of doing more OR if it’s simply because you’re unmotivated—evidence seems to suggest it works regardless. I already know this but I continually must be reminded because my default button tells me it’s not enough!
Ironically, we read the story of the Tortoise and the Hare in one of my classes today!! You know this was for a long time my favorite story. I really identified with the Tortoise. And I believed in the power of embracing that mentality. But when this popped up in one of my classes, I thought to myself….PERFECT TIMING!
Today I was reminded once again that the turtle wins!
I’m using an app called Strides where I set a 30 day streak to go one additional mailbox every day.
Here is my streak so far.
I have come to the conclusion, though, that I have two problems. One is frequency–not exercising often enough. The other issue is consistency–not being consistent with WHEN I exercise. I am still struggling to find a good rhythm for this given the new job I started 6 months ago and the hours I keep. I do have as a goal, though, to become consistent not just with how often I do this but with WHEN I do this. I really don’t think I can train my brain to get more automatic with exercise if I don’t do it at a consistent time every day.
So the goal is to find a consistent time and to add one additional mailbox every day.
Lucky for me, some of my neighbors’ mailboxes are side by side which means I can walk the same distance two days in a row.
See?? I’m always looking for the cheat!!! But it’s “legal”! It’s the next mailbox. So it counts! :))
I used Mapmywalk when I first started and I’ve gone back to that.
(So if you’re my friend on there you now know why it seems like my app is broken because I’m only logging a few steps a day
To further prove how long it’s been since I’ve done any consistent exercise—my neighbor came out and asked me today if everything was ok!
He was totally confused with why I was walking around outside. He asked me if I needed a ride somewhere!
So until we meet again…happy mailbox counting!