January 15, 2013

How to finally kick your own ass into shape!

How are you doing with your resolution to start exercising?

I am in no way a health and fitness nut so I am not here to pretend that I am or lecture anyone on such things.

I do, however, want to share what has been my process in arriving at a place where I finally WANT to exercise and take better care of my health.

Maybe "arriving" is the wrong word. Considering all the temptations out there, and that I know I will give into them sometimes, it will continue to be a process.

One thing I know for sure is that making healthier choices has to be something YOU decide to do. No amount of anything besides your own motivation will make you do it. Further, I believe there is a moment when it simply clicks and you will finally see it through.


You have to be FED UP. You have to be sick and tired of how you feel or look or both. Just done with not being wherever it is you want to be physically.

I have this idea of what size clothing I should and shouldn't wear. In my mind I should never be any larger than a size 14, and I would prefer to be a 12 or 10. I honestly don't see myself being any smaller than that because I just am a curvy girl with large breasts and hips. Beyond that, I know that I am on the other side of looking and feeling good if I get up to a size 14.

You have to really want to make a change. Like, this is for real, different from other times. You feel it in your gut. It's not gonna happen if your heart isn't in it

For me, it is literally my HEART that's in it. You put my husband's health problems (including many with his heart) and that my dad has had a heart attack, not to mention that my uncle died from sudden cardiac arrest, all into a bowl, and I have the recipe to create fear for the health of my own heart. The cherry on top? Finding out my cholesterol is "marginally high".

It sucks, but it really helps if there's some key factors motivating you, such as a recent health screening, wanting to be healthier for your family, maybe even a recent health crisis.


You have to be honest with yourself about what form of exercise will work best for you.

Walking is my thing. I think it has naturally evolved as such due to my inability to drive. When we lived in the Bay Area I walked and used public transportation nearly every day. I stayed in pretty good shape doing so. That was California where it's sunny, or at least not raining, most of the time. I experience the exact opposite here in Washington. I got out of the habit of walking pretty quickly after moving to the Evergreen State, and my body has suffered for it.

But I still really enjoy walking so it is what I have gotten back into over the past several months. I'm not gonna lie, I am having to push myself to walk as fast as I once did, as well as figure out the right things to eat before exercising so I don't go all low blood sugar out in the middle of the street. Walking may not seem like a high impact exercise, but when you've gotten as out of shape as I have, it'll work.

I also like yoga, and from the small amount of it I've done, I am a firm believer in its benefits to the whole you, mind and body.

I've met people here online who love to run. Others who enjoy an elliptical, bicycle or Zumba. We each have to find what we will enjoy doing. If you hate the form of exercise, you're not going to do it regularly, therefor you're not going to lose any weight or feel healthier.

It is a pretty well known fact that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. You have to push through the early days in order to make exercise a true ROUTINE.

Don't you think I've tried before now to get back into walking? Of course I have! But the difference I discovered last summer is that I hadn't pushed on through for a month before I slacked off again.

When the Holidays (and winter) came I got real worried that all my effort at my walking routine would be ruined. It did slow down, but I got on my treadmill every day that I could, and then I found myself itching to get back to it more often once the new year hit.

I am now in a place where I truly want to exercise and know that I feel better when I do. I am pretty blown away by this.

Once you push through the hurdle of it being extra-ordinary, it becomes ordinary and just a part of your life.


I have hated that word over the years. I've never wanted to feel like I had to justify myself to anyone. But the thing is, it really does help. Not in an "answer to" way, but more of a "report to" way.

Not telling anyone of your intention to do something is another way to let yourself not do it. If you didn't tell anyone, they'll never know, hence no disappointment (or judgment). Except in yourself. Letting yourself down is really no better than letting someone else down.

I got involved with Chosen Choas' Run Blog Give last summer, and her Adopt-A-Pantry this fall. All those involved reported their mileage or days exercised to Jamie and she kept track of it on a spreadsheet. I'm not a runner, just a walker, so I didn't log as many miles as most of the other participants. But no one let me feel disappointed in myself for that. On the contrary, Jamie was a friendly cheerleader.

In my experience, accountability can actually translate to encouragement and support. For me, having someone to report to in the beginning is what helped me push past the 21 days I needed to form my new exercise habit. I'm not holding myself accountable to anyone right now, yet I'm still exercising.


I am a 38 year old woman who has grown, birthed and nursed two babies. I wasn't exercising at all for YEARS. Women's fat cells like to stay put. All that, and I still gotta eat. Therefor, weight loss is not proving easy for me.

Still, I know I am doing good things for my body and that keeps me trying. I'm not on a fad diet, I'm making lifestyle changes for the long-term. I feel good about that.

You need to have patience both with yourself and the process. There is no point in beating yourself up if you decide to eat a cookie, nor to throw in the towel on your exercise routine because you don't think you're seeing results fast enough. Just keep swimming. Hey, swimming is great exercise!

Bottom line (Ha ha - bottom):
  • Feel it
  • Choose it
  • Do it
  • Tell someone
  • Be patient

Do you have any tips or tricks to motivate yourself or others into healthy habits?

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