Monday, August 24, 2009

I Hate Exercise

My first failure at an attempt to exercise came in high school.

My friend Aimee and I decided to go walking in the mornings before school. We started out great. It was helpful to have someone outside in the wee sma's of the morning to motivate me to get my sorry arse out of bed. I didn't want to stand her up.

Well, I'm not sure who stood up whom first, but I guess it was inevitable. We started missing more often than we would have liked, and after a while it got cold and we stopped doing it altogether.

The following 13-14 years have followed the same pattern. I commit myself to exercising. I make goals. I take baseline measurements. I make a log. I exercise.

Then I remember I hate exercising.

Then I stop exercising.

I don't think I've ever reached any of my exercising goals. Ever.

Part of my problem is that with my chronic health problems, I have overactive pain receptors in my brain. Basically that means that when I stub my toe it hurts me more and longer than when you stub your toe. My brain doesn't shut down the pain signal.

What that means for exercise is that it doesn't get easier. It continues to hurt. I do it for a few weeks, thinking that it'll get easier as I get in shape and my muscles get used to the new activity.

Well, that's never happened yet. I'm sure part of the problem is that I don't stick with it long enough. Don't get me wrong. I get stronger. I build endurance. I get more fit (marginally). But it doesn't get easier. I don't learn to like it.

And what's with the "endorphin rush" I've heard about? All I feel is dread, pain, and exhaustion when I work out. I don't feel any high when I'm done. I think all runners are masochistic. How can running possibly feel good, people?

When I'm done exercising I feel a grim sort of satisfaction. I feel like a martyr. I sacrificed my comfort to the gods of fitness, and there is a slim sort of achievement in that. But I never learn to look forward to my workouts.

Now that I'm about 7 weeks postpartum, I'm feeling the urge to get this baby fat off my jiggly tummy. So it begins again.

I've made goals. I've even started working on them.

If history repeats itself I'll fail miserably in about 3-4 weeks. Finding the time to exercise is likely going to be an excuse for why I stop since my children won't let me work out unless they are both asleep. They are rarely asleep at the same time.

I have a whole list of (what to me are valid) excuses.

This very blog post is of course showing my defeated mental state and has doomed me to failure before I've hardly begun.

So how do I change this about myself? Is it even possible? People change so infrequently, and when they do it is quite gradual.

The scriptures teach us that God gives us weaknesses on purpose that we may come to Him and overcome them. We are taught that our weaknesses may become our strengths. Hmm. It must be possible.

So here we go again.


Lissa said...

Sigh. I hear ya, sister. The worst part-- I'm married to an ultra-marathoner (30-50 mile runs through the mountains) and I can barely walk around the block. Life is funny sometimes.

I used to go to Curves and I LOVED it. It was easy, and a little bit fun. It didn't make the pain or the aftermath of more pain and exhaustion any easier to deal with, but I kept going. Perhaps you could set up a co-op and trade babysitting with another mom.

Emily said...

Amen to everything. Especially the stubbing the toe part.

We are HamakerLove! said...

Oh man, excersizing IS hard. I am afraid I do like to do it though. I love to walk with my friends and their babies(not likely to happen now that I have three), and I do get a huge rush after a serious taebo/kickboxing-like workout(mostly because it makes me get all my stress and anger out in those crazy kicks). Running is so hard, but it is a challenge and I am stubborn and love a challenge. I don't know. I am so tired all the time from my own chronic illnesses, and my muscles are so atrophied(sp?) that I am having to start really REALLY slow back into working out. I bought a rebounder that is special for super weak people(and especially for people with extremely weak knees and joints), and it is proving very successful so far. Maybe look up rebounding on the internet. It is meant to be done in super short spurts and is super efficient and effective. It gets all your cells moving, gets all that lymph working the toxins out. Anyways, my kids also love to climb and bounce on it too. SO we take turns.:) Good luck. I hate being fat. It is so superficial, but I don't care, it is the truth.

Gentrey said...

Here's a few suggestions to help motivate you:

1. A Miley Cyrus CD.

Hmmm...I suppose I don't have any other suggestions.

Jennifer said...

Well, the mere thought of going through natural child birth scares the granola out of me! In my mind if you can do that you can do amazing things physically. Maybe there is a hypno-exercising book out there!