Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No, It's Not Easy for Me Or How to Workout When You Really Don't Want To

I hear it over and over and over and over..."Oh, it's so easy for you. Look at you. You're so good at getting your workouts in and eating healthy. Must be nice."

Um, no. It's not easy for me. Never has been. What I have done is practice...and practice...and screw up...and get back on the horse...and backslide...and start over...

Until I've created a history of regular exercise and healthy eating that supports a healthy lifestyle.  BUT that doesn't mean I WANT to workout all the time. Take this morning, for example. It's cold here. Like, below freezing cold. I bundled up and headed out to my yurt because that's what I do every morning before the sun comes up, not because I was jumping for joy over the prospect.

I got the heaters going and then meditated (bundled up) until it was time to fix the kids' breakfast and take them to the bus stop.

THEN I had to force my butt back to the yurt and make myself workout.

Eventually, I took off the hat...then the coat...rolled out my yoga mat and got started. I had to practically pry my butt out from in front of the heater, but that's par for the course. It's not easy every day.

One thing that gives me the extra umpfff necessary? Knowing in a few minutes I will be feeling totally different. Why? Because I choose fun music for my yoga practice AND soon I will be sweating and breathing hard. I like that. Why? Well, because I feel good afterwards. I promise, if you get started your mindset will change faster than you might think.

Why am I so excited about this yoga practice? Let me tell you a secret to wanting to come back to your workouts: make it interesting. Why do I love yoga above all other forms of exercise? I'm always working on something. I have goals. I shake it up. Yoga stays interesting to me because I can never perfect it. It's not called yoga perfect. It's called yoga practice and I'm practicing different things all the time. Like this flying bird kriya thingy...

Before you know it, you're lying in savasana, wondering why you were so resistant in the first place.

I absolutely LOVE the feeling after a good workout. I love the way my body feels, how hungry I am, how energized I feel, and most of all, I feel good mentally. If just for a moment.

No, it's not easy for me, but I have learned how to stack the odds in my favor, that I'll actually get a workout in. First, I schedule my workout first thing Monday through Friday. If I get a workout in over the weekend, fine. If not, that's fine too.

Second, if I fail to workout one day, it's not the end of the world. I get on it the next morning first thing. I keep making the effort. I never schedule anything during workout time. Period. Do you schedule appointments when you sleep? of course not.

Third, I set a time limit for my workouts. 60 minutes tops. Usually more like 40 minutes. No exceptions. No excuses, unless its the weekend or I've given myself a special day to play around for as long as I like. Usually, though, I have too much going on for that.

Fourth, I choose workouts that are interesting to me. I'll try new workouts and keep a running list of the ones I really liked. Those are my go tos. I have goals. Whether its learning a new kriya (which can take years of practice, btw) or gaining muscle mass and definition. If you like to run, challenge yourself with distance or speed goals.

Last, I have learned that the rewards of working out FAR outweigh the rewards of sleeping in or sitting on my ass drinking another cup of coffee. Believe me when I say I've done it. I will slip on occasion and do it again. And I will not like the way I feel the rest of the day. I like those things, too, but if I don't workout, I will tend to be more irritable, tired, and anxious throughout the day.

That last lesson is a tough one to learn. It's taken me fifteen years of consistently working out to figure it out. So don't give up. Ever.

And here's my yoga playlist for today's practice...

What is your favorite excuse not to workout?

What's your favorite workout?

Namaste, my peeps.

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