1/5: Exercise

In my last post, I talked about the less obvious parts of weight loss as they relate to foundation work  -- namely, getting your head/heart ...

In my last post, I talked about the less obvious parts of weight loss as they relate to foundation work -- namely, getting your head/heart in the right place as a precursor to getting your body on board.  The next steps relate to the other parts of the pie (mmmmhmm pie) -- 1/5 exercise and 3/5 diet.  And it's really up to you (you know yourself best) to determine which to tackle next.  For purposes of my blog, I'm just going to talk about exercise next.

Exercise is a deeply personal thing.  Some people need to push their bodies hard and for other people, that doesn't quite work.  Some people (like me) are coming back from injuries and need to learn to trust their bodies.  Some people are working against a lifetime of equating exercise with punishment.  And some people are thrill-seeking endorphin-philes that want to push their mind and their body to some unnamed limit.  That's okay.  You don't need to judge yourself by what everyone else is doing.  Keep reading that last sentence until you hear the truth ringing in it:

You don't need to judge yourself by what everyone else is doing.

If the fear of being compared to everyone else is preventing you from exercising, then your head may not be in the right place about this. Until your head is in the right place, exercising will suck.  You will resist doing it, and if you do it, you'll hate it during and after.  Give yourself a break.  Your exercise is what it is.  Some days will be better than others (PRs!) and some days will not.  The point is that you're building a habit:

The habit of exercise is what's important than any individual exercise or workout. 

Start by doing the things that you love and the more confident you get doing those things, the more you may just want to branch out and see what else your body can do.  The great part is getting the without the self-effacing struggle.  You got there through evolution and faith (responding to the new environment you've created for yourself) versus persecuting yourself.  This will make all the difference, trust me. 

Once you get past the point of exercise being torture and it actually being a measure of what your body can do, start taking note of your stats.  Track your mile times (even if only walking), count sets and weight.  And look to make small improvements.  I'm always reminded about how my father said he stopped running because he didn't get the "runner's high" right away and how the "high" that my running friends get is sometimes improving by 10 seconds. 

In short -- do what works for you.  Just do it. 
And if it doesn't work for you, try something else. 
And if it does work, do it again.

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