Working Out: Reject the Path of Patronization

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Yeah, I know, it’s been a long day. Perhaps you woke up late for work, made a mad dash to get the children ready for school, barely having enough time to get a shower yourself. You pack your lunch quickly, singing your own praises for purchasing those frozen entrees, as you throw one in your bag with some healthy snacks. You grab a bagel thin and some low fat cream cheese, your purse (and in my case, book bag) and you rush out the door. Maybe you work late in the evenings, or you have after work activities at church or clubs. Perhaps, you go to school in the evening like I do. Regardless, you’ve put in a full day, you missed working out that morning (or maybe you don’t workout regularly). It’s 9pm – how are you going to get motivated to get on that treadmill or do that DVD for another half an hour???

I’ll tell you how. Change your mindset! Rather than looking at your workout as just another difficult, hum drum activity that must be done before your day is finished; think of it as some “you” time.  

Tonight, as I was walking out of class, I started down the path of patronization. It was only for a split second, but I did it. You know the path, you know the words.

“You’re tired. You’ve put in a full day. Go ahead, you can skip it. It’s ok. You earned it today. You can always do it tomorrow.”

Immediately I stopped and decided I needed a boost. I plugged my HTC Hero (love this phone, highly recommend it) in my car’s stereo, browsed to Rhapsody and cranked up Lady Gaga on the drive home. It made me want to dance! As I ate my fiber bar (snack after class) I could feel myself wanting to move. By the time I arrived home I couldn’t wait to get my workout clothes on and get on the treadmill, and that’s exactly what I did.

Change is something that doesn’t come easy. It takes constant effort to bust through old habits and create new ones. Negative speak can be your worst enemy. I try to keep a few things in mind for when I fall into this type of rut.

  1. Working out FEELS GOOD! I have never felt as good as I do about five minutes after my workout. My body feels relaxed, endorphins are flowing and I feel as though I can take on anything!
  2. A half hour (or an hour on good days) to myself is an absolute treat! Nothing is more isolating, lending more time for reflection, than putting in a pair of ear buds and just jogging. It’s time to think, reflect and plan. 
  3. It’s a vent of emotions. I can let the music set the tone and air out some pretty hardcore emotions with each foot as it hits the belt of the treadmill. What an amazing release of stress to just let it pour out of your body as you push harder and harder and how wonderful it feels after releasing all that anxiety, fear, anger or sadness.
  4. It can be fun! Yes, that’s right, I said it, FUN. I never, in my life, found physical exertion fun. I hated Physical Education. I never played sports. I remember hating the walk home my sophomore year of high school. However, I have a new found appreciation for exercise. Sometimes, I imagine I’m dancing, other times, running a marathon. At the end, I turn on an epic WIN song and feel like I truly am the champion!
  5. I remind myself of my end goal. Without exercise, I will not get to where I want to go. I will not achieve the healthy, fit, thin me I so desire. 

Perhaps you have your own list. What motivates you to get that workout in, even on the days you feel like you’ve done all you can do?


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