Midlife Mom

Navigating the teen years… and beyond

I have to exercise, right?

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I’m about to make a confession that will resonate with some of you and have others thinking I’ve got a major character flaw that revolves around laziness.

I am stuck in a rut — a rut I can’t seem to get out of even though intellectually, I know how to get out of it. And my guess is that many of you out there are going through the same thing — or have already and worked through it.

I’m referring specifically to exercise and incorporating it into my daily life. Of course, I know how important it is to take care of your body and stay fit. I’m editor of a women’s health magazine, after all. So I thought after doing this job for a while — and at this point it’s been two years — I would be fit and trim and feeling great.

Well… although I feel fine and am healthy, I’m not fit and trim. Sure, I’m able to hike and do some other activities I enjoy. But I’m not fit. I’m not actively engaged in testing my endurance or increasing my strength or getting rid of the body fat that is increasingly growing on me — and I don’t mean that in a good way!

And I use my schedule as an excuse, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not. Then I wonder, What’s wrong with me? Is there some reason I’m unable to commit to joining a gym (I use finances and time as the excuse here) or get on my treadmill (yes, I have one in my basement) at least five days a week, or incorporate exercise DVDs or some type of home workouts into my routine? Even sign up for a yoga class offered by the town rec department? Why is it that I can go out and spend $50 on an item of clothing but when it comes to spending money toward any type of fitness, I’m leery to part with the cash?

Maybe I need therapy!!

I’m thinking there are lots of you moms out there who can relate! Do I put dinner on the table or do I go out for a power walk or head to aerobics class? I’ve tried exercising in the morning before work, but this means getting up even earlier (I’m NOT a morning person) and although I can do it for a while, I’m never able to sustain it over the long haul. I’m afraid I’ve set a terrible example for my daughter. Talking about food, worrying about weight gain, at odds with my body image. And although she hopefully notices when I do exercise, I’m afraid I don’t do it regularly enough to make an impact on her. And it’s nearly too late — she’ll be in college in less than two years!

So I’m making this very public commitment to figure out what I need to do — and do it. After all, I’m a reasonably intelligent person who already knows the answer to this question. It’s just about trying to find something that works for me that I can keep up with over time. And I will use this blog to keep myself honest, offering periodic updates of my successes or failures.

Are you in the same boat? Let me know how you’re dealing with this issue in your life.

2 Responses

  1. kathy says:

    I can totally relate to your fitness woes!
    Until recently I would dabble in different forms of body movement, enjoying each one but having trouble sticking to them… I keep planning on joining a yoga class or dance fitness course but the days slip by and they become just another great intention. Recently though, with the change of seasons I was unhappy with my lack of pizzazz that the sunshine usually provides me. I reached back into my memory and knew that I felt my very best when I consistently walked daily. What began as a few times around`the track became the most important part of my day. That’s what I am striving for again these days, by simply walking each day and knowing that the the stronger I feel the more focus & commitment I’ll put into my fitness routine!

  2. Felice says:

    Hi! My advice would be to find a fitness event that you can participate in and set it as a goal that you have to work toward. For example, you could focus on running or walking a 5K 3 months (or some period of time) from now, make a flexible schedule of workouts and then, because you’ll have that end goal, you might stick with your workouts better.

    I signed up to run a half marathon that took place 5.5 months after my son was born. Knowing that I was committed to running it, I HAD to make time to get my runs in — whether my son woke up 5 times a night or not. So, maybe something similar could work for you!

    Good luck!