We've talked about this before. I'm no gym rat. I know more Jims than gyms. Back in the day I knew how to power clean. Now I consider power cleaning the kitchen a workout. (amiright?!)
Since then I've been a member of the YMCA, twice, spent months trying to keep the healthy habit with Caeli, even yoga-ed pretty regularly until the gym I joined (just two weeks before this news) shut it's doors and I arrived in the parking lot to find the yoga instructor, inexplicably pushing a stroller and carrying a boom box, turning people away from the now empty building. Once Jenni and I attempted kick-boxing, which was actually an MMA fighter workout, not a get-your-aggression-out-while-wearing-a-cardigan class.
I don't want this to come across like a complaint or some self-loathing soliloquy about an ever-growing ass. There's nothing worse than reading about diets (Cavemen diets are a real thing?) and workouts (Jim ran 8 miles today. Uuuuughhhh. Way to make me feel bad, Jim). Telling people that I have thin parents who eat carbs and drink beers isn't the best way to open a health talk convo. I love cheese and beers and tacos and taking naps instead of walks, but I also love healthy hearts and strong arms.
What I'm trying to say is this: Healthy people are happier, more productive, and live longer, fuller lives. We all know this. It's science. Exercise and healthy eating are linked to all kinds of super things (less stress! strong legs! increased confidence!) that I want, more than that, things I crave in life. So knowing all this-- why the hell can't I hop on the gym wagon?
Let's face it, this resolution is one of the most popular, one of the hardest to keep, and one that I've talked about for years. There are apps that help you get fit and track your food. There are entire publications dedicated to running and yoga and archery and healthy food. So many tools that should make this easier than it has been for me. (You exercise junkies tell me that I'll be "addicted" if I just stick with it, oh yeah? I don't believe you. I think that's a lie we all tell ourselves so we keep sweating.)
I am trying to find my healthy balance in 2014 and as I take my baby steps to get there, I'll be keeping these three things in mind. A how-you on fitness.
1. Hotness is subjective. Healthy is not.
That's it. Hotness is in the eye of the beholder, but healthy, well LDL levels and heart disease and body composition are sciencey things a bit harder to negotiate. And PS-- this study tells us that if we eat better, we glow more. ALSO-- Exercisers have more confidence, which is always a bonus. Glowing, confident folks are so good looking.
2. Prioritizing is something you can do. You have to.
- In science there are real answers. So when Inc writer, Jessica Stillman tells me that if I want a life balance that working out could help, I pay attention. (This article was awesome as a whole.) Making time to work out will actually make making time for everything easier. A super complicated sentence with a simple message.
- Being a morning person makes the day more productive. Using each hour in my day with intent (and trying to use 8 of them for sleep) makes my to do list happy. In the AM I have no excuses and far less conflicts. Happy Hours don't usually happen in the morn. (If they do, please have a sit down with me. Tailgating for work isn't something I want to be into.)
- Self-talk matters. Try as I might, exercising never seems to make it to the top of my to do list. Then I get mad at my grown-up self for not doing something I know I must do. Then the cycle continues. Some good advice from Never Summer Fitness: "If you miss a workout, do not waste time beating yourself up about it; just get right back on track."
3. Showing up is half the battle.
- I love this notion that "the first step is getting to a fitness level where you no longer hate to exercise. And for that all you need is consistency." Thanks for the realistic advice, Summer Tomato.
- I wouldn't say I "hate" exercise, in fact I try to not hate many things, but the getting-in-shape part, otherwise known as the first 8 weeks of consistent gym-ing, is no fun at all. That's probably why I jump ship so quickly. Oprah tells me that I should "value initiation instead of endurance." If Oprah says it, it's true. But more than that-- she's reminding me that getting fit is a byproduct of showing up to the gym. Hear that, Nathan the trainer?
What advice do you have for a fledgling worker-outer?