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Four fundamental exercise truths

Many years of yo-yo dieting haven’t been for naught. I have learned a few things about myself along the way.

Here are my four fundamental exercise truths:

  1. If I exercise, the food follows. And I don’t mean I eat a bunch afterwards. I mean, when I exercise, my eating gets in line with little additional effort. When I don’t exercise, I too much and I eat less healthy foods.
  2. I only do things I like to do. I hate exercise videos. Or anything involving exercising in front of a television. Or aerobics classes or pole dancing. I don’t last more than 3 days doing that kind of stuff. In fact, when I felt obligated to do that stuff because that was “how you exercised to lose weight,” I self-identified as a person who “hates exercise”. Since I declared independence from anything I hate doing exercise-wise, I LOVE exercise. My favorites are:
    1. Swimming — especially outside in the morning sun
    2. Walking — on a track with my iPod, listing to live shows of my favorite band of all time
    3. Biking — as commuting (I miss being close enough to bike to work, but I’m planning to invest in an Optibike soon, which will change that)
    4. Yoga — stress-relieving and centering, both absolute keys for me which warrant their own blog post in near future (stay tuned)
    5. Lifting weights — empowering and gratifying
  3. I get my core exercise in first during the day, and anything else is gravy. I’m busy. I need to get my core exercise in (for example, lift weights for 30 minutes and then walk for 45 to 60) in the morning. Whenever I think, oh, I’ll take a walk in the afternoon, life happens and exercise doesn’t. If I do find time to walk in the afternoon, that’s a bonus. But I have learned that I must commit time early to be consistent and to feel great for the rest of the day.
  4. If I’m not ready to go, it’s not going to happen. If I set my alarm for 5:30am to go for a walk — and I don’t have my clothes and keys and iPod ready — I have given myself an out. Here’s what my morning looks like when I’m unprepared: I snooze the alarm once or twice or three times. I think about how warm it is in bed. I wonder what to wear. Oh, yes, why don’t I throw in a load of laundry. I have to find my iPod. Maybe I’d better download the latest podcasts and sync them…. Oops, the kids are awake — too late! Maybe I’ll work in a walk later. (Yeah, right.)

Actions for today — add my committed daily exercise to my electronic calendar with reminders.

What are your exercise truths? Add a comment and let us know!

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Tue, August 12 2008 » Motivation, Persistence