What’s the hardest part about starting something new and possibly difficult? The steps you’ve already taken towards the starting point? Lining up and getting set to start? Or is it just taking that very first step into the unknown?
For me it was all of that and everything else. Anything that wasn’t even a problem became a massive obstacle. I put it there! I put it there to have a reason not to start and stay wallowing in self-pity. Why would I do that to myself? Because I was shit scared I might actually succeed at getting fit and healthy, and why shouldn’t I expect to succeed? I force myself to be the best I can at everything else. I am my own boss and have self-discipline in spades. I am a mother of three, a wife, a household manager, I operate two businesses . . . but I was also my own worst enemy. Mostly I juggle my responsibilities well, but show me an excuse to get out of exercise and I’m yours!
I used to loath exercise, which is pretty strange for a person who is busy and active most of the day. So I had to find something that I could do easily and I found running and squash.
But back to the getting started bit. Before any of this, I had to forgive myself. I had to stop judging myself (and others). I resolved to stop thinking about it and just pull on my runners and get going. I had to let go of all the reasons why my weight had piled on (mainly due to pregnancies and rewarding myself with food treats) and just mentally and physically move forward. There was a problem though, I was incredibly self-conscious. I imagined people laughing at me as they drove past my running efforts, cringed at the thought of someone else running up behind me and past me and I was certain that I looked stupid in my work out gear.
So since I didn’t think I was eligible to work out in public spaces I bought a second-hand treadmill. This is a great way to go since you can exercise in privacy until you feel more confident. Mine is still going strong after 3 years. It makes it easy and safe to work out at night or when it’s raining. It also reduces the realm of excuses.
I remember stepping onto the treadmill and walking begrudgingly. I was annoyed and I didn’t like ‘having’ to do it. After about 10 minutes I felt better. After 20 minutes I had to admit I felt good. This is the magic of movement. The more you move the better you feel. Confidence and all other feel good emotions follow naturally without much effort. After just a few days I started to look forward to exercise!
I joined my husband in our local squash competition about a year ago and loved it. However, I have found that my squash did not improve until my fitness did. So I started to combine treadmill running on alternative squash match days.
After a month of exercise and using a nutritional cleansing system I had shed nearly 20kg and I began to think I was ready for the outside world. I armed myself with a mantra of “at least I’m doing something about my health”. This kept my negativity at bay until my daily habit of exercise was firmly a part of my routine.
Tips for getting started with exercise:
- Just start commit to moving more each day
- Walking is a gentle option to start with
- Treadmills are a godsend
- Ignore negative thoughts or educate yourself on techniques to block them out
What’s stopping you from starting?