Begin Now

Begin nowA New Year brings familiar goals of eating healthier and more exercise. It seems a lot of people have the same goals. How’s it working out for you? We are twelve days into the new year and I’m struggling. Every day that passes, I resolve to make a better plan for the next day.

For Christmas I got a fancy new blender—so now I’m acquiring a taste for green smoothies. Actually, they’re not too bad. Last week I went to a workshop put on by the “Green Smoothie Girl” herself, Robyn Openshaw. It was interesting, but my problem starts with my brain not my taste-buds, which work all too well. They enjoy everything! I drink the green smoothie and think, boy I’ve just done something really good for my health, I should treat myself to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They actually go well together, but it doesn’t help move the scale downward and is probably not recommended by the Robyn.

I admire people with good self-control. That’s what my goal should be for 2014—improve self-control. To resist treats and eat less would be an important habit to form while trying to lose weight. Another is exercise. In the morning, the alarm goes off early so I can exercise before I have to get Mark up. But my brain tells me, I’m tired and need an additional hour of sleep. The bright idea of exercise before going to bed at night comes to mind. Determined to exercise later, I turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

When evening rolls around, my brain prompts me to make dinner, clean the house and finish up some other project before bed. I always run out of energy before I’ve completed all the tasks I’d plan to do in a day. My brain reminds me how important sleep is. And another day has passed and I have avoided exercise again—unless there’s been snow to shovel on my walks and driveway . . . hopefully that counts as exercise.

Over the past several years I have bought several pieces of exercise equipment. From a treadmill to stationary bike, along with the smaller gadgets such as a thigh master, ball and weights just to name a few. Can you guess which month I purchased the equipment? Yes, January, the New Beginnings month.  I have a room that looks like a very small gym, but staying motivated to use it is a problem. This year, I resolved not to buy another piece of exercise equipment unless something breaks or wears out.

I do enjoy exercising, but my brain often tells me more important or more pressing things need to be done. When I actually do get to the exercise task, it feels like a mini-vacation, particularly when I can do it with a friend. An exercise partner definitely helps to move the task up on the daily priority list. But since the weather isn’t conducive for bike riding or walks right now, I need to find other ways to motivate myself. I don’t think I should wait until Spring before I start exercising again. Maybe reading a book while I’m on the stationary bike or treadmill will take me to another place.

I sit at a desk most of the day and evening, working on the computer. I’ve often thought if I had better coordination, I could have a desk top on my treadmill so I could walk and work at the same time. But I  don’t think my brain could handle that.

If you have any ideas that could help motivate me, I’d love to hear them. I need to reprogram my brain and improve my self-control!

I should end this article now and get on the treadmill.

Oh yeah, it’s Sunday, I’ve got to get ready for church! But there’s always tomorrow—another new beginning.

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4 thoughts on “Begin Now

  1. I’m no expert, but I will share what I have learned. I workout 6 days per week. The only way this happens is through planning, because as we all know willpower does not exist. Each week I look at my calendar for the next 7 days and write my workout on my schedule. Sometimes it is in the morning because I won’t have time at night; usually it is in the evening after work because I do not like to workout in the morning. I think of it as scheduling an appointment with myself. Each night I be sure I’ve let my husband know my schedule for the next day so he can plan his time.

    Exercise lifts my mood and gives me a sense of accomplishment in addition to all the physical benefits. I never “feel” like working out but I’m always glad I did!

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