Finding Exercise You Enjoy

Did you have a nice Valentine’s Day? Mine was very exciting–I worked until 7pm and then Dan and I went grocery shopping! We are taking a trip this weekend which was originally planned back in December to be a celebration for our birthdays (his is in December, mine is in April, so we figured we’d take a mini-vacation in between–more details to come in Friday’s post) and it just so happened to fall the weekend after Valentine’s Day, so we’re pretending that’s what it’s for :). I don’t care at all about Valentine’s Day, though I do appreciate any excuse to take a trip!

I’m finally feeling back to normal! I mentioned last week and the week before that I was feeling down/like a raging sugar seeking beast because of my hormones. They finally seem to have leveled off, so I’m once again finding it easy to eat healthy things and not snack out of boredom. One of these days I’ll do a post about my struggles with overeating in general, because it’s something that I mention frequently (particularly when I’m PMSing!) but have never addressed properly.
Our fridge was pretty bare the past couple of days, so I am very happy to have it stocked up with tons of vegetables that I have to eat before they go bad this weekend. I am craving cold, crispy vegetables like crazy, which is really strange for me. Generally I crave things like bread, so this round of cravings is most welcome.

So far this week I’m on a good track for exercise! On Monday I did No More Trouble Zones, and yesterday I did 30 Day Shred level 2. I was kind of dreading it because I remember HATING level 2 and thinking that it was actually more challenging than level 3, but this time around it wasn’t as bad as I remember. Maybe that’s because it’s not as hard as NMTZ. I’m planning to do 30DS again today, and I’m still shooting for doing a workout DVD each weekday.
I seem to have really overcome a mental barrier to exercise. I was exercising a ton last year, but when we moved to New Paltz I never really established a routine so my exercising dropped off to nothing. One thing holding me back was that I felt an obligation to run, but I just really didn’t want to. Once I gave myself permission to stop running, exercise slowly became something I look forward to again. I spent about a month just walking a lot, and then I felt compelled to incorporate more challenging workouts. I’m now much closer now to where I was in the first half of last year than in the last half with regards to frequency of exercise, and I’m really happy about that.
The biggest lesson I learned is that it is really important to find exercise you enjoy. I know this is pretty obvious, but I think it’s easy to get stuck in a box with exercise. I started running 2 years ago, but my heart was never in it, so I struggled to find motivation. When I was in the habit of exercising most days, I overcame my lack of motivation, but as soon as I fell out of the habit, I found it impossible to pick it back up again. I was stuck with this idea that exercise=running so I just did nothing, promising myself that I’d go for a run tomorrow. Meanwhile, my seasonal depression was kicking my ass and I was finding it harder and harder to stick to a healthy diet.
Once I ditched the idea that I had to run and started walking every day, I started feeling better. My mood was greatly improved within a week (Dan noticed right away) and it was easier to eat healthy things. Now I still walk nearly every day, and I’m also really motivated to do more, whether it’s time on my elliptical or a Jillian Michaels DVD. Maybe someday I’ll pick running back up, but whatever exercise I’m doing on a regular basis, I just want to make sure it’s something I look forward to!

Speaking of exercise, I’d better get to it! I have TONS of homework to do this week, so I’ve got to sneak in my workout before I run out of time to finish some of it before class today!

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