If you know me well then you know I don’t go to the gym to exercise, I go to watch T.V.
Let’s be honest. The feeling better and the staying healthy things are some sweet side benefits, for sure, but they don’t inspire me most of the time. Although mindless T.V. isn’t so inspiring either, it gets me through the initial, “I want to go home and eat chips” stage, distracting me until the happy exercise bugs bite and I’m actually enjoying myself.
The other day I watched Family Feud. (Oh, Steve Harvey, you’re so amusing.) While I do enjoy the occasional history channel show, or a rerun of the Lord of the RIngs, (or, more recently, the Olympics), I generally enjoy watching the Food Network. Ironic? Perhaps. I learn new things and get ideas for what I want to try at home. To me, healthy living is so much more than calories in, calories out. It’s about getting inspired about beautiful food and eating with a loving heart. It’s tricking my mind into thinking that it is comfortable when really I’m pushing my body to do something challenging. It’s about honoring my body through consistent care.
If you know me that you also know that I value being productive, so this whole run/step/glide while doing nothing doesn’t work so well for me. It helps me to be either intentionally thinking about something or be distracted. One thought about the intentional thinking: This can be really powerful, too. Your body is in motion so you can visualize moving away from self-destructive habits, let go of negative thought patterns, or reinforce a positive mantra step after step, using the rhythm of your movement to build a new you. Sometimes I even listen to a awesome set of audio clearings by a gifted healer. But, that isn’t for me everyday. Sometimes I just need to zone out, press pause. In this case, my strategy is to distract my mind to let my body just be.
Group classes are great too, because they often have music and the positive social pressure to focus b/c other people are around. Intense workouts in groups are amazing – b/c all that STUFF I’m thinking about just can’t run on autopilot – it needs to go on pause because I need all my focus.
Whatever it takes to get there, do it, b/c it is so awesome when you do exercise. And, your body totally deserves it. Don’t you want to be around for your grandkids? Exercise isn’t your habit? Just go for 15 minutes and build from there. You can handle 15 minutes. You can.
The last thing you must know is that while watching T.V. at the gym, I generally tear up at most things, usually the commercials. The insurance ones make me tear up the most! I find comfort in knowing that I look quite silly, so hopefully I’m making someone feel better about themselves!
Hiking is another thing I do to be active, and I don’t even need to trick myself into it! Can you see the Golden Gate in the background?
I’m going to keep doing what works to keep myself healthy and happy, even if my strategies include trickery, television and looking silly. How about you?
MAKE IT REAL: What do you do to keep healthy? Do you enjoy being active? If not, what could you gain if you added it to your life?