My husband has been exercising consistently since I've known him. When he would encourage me to join him, I would adamantly say,
I hate exercising!
Literally, I hated exercising. Here were some of my excuses... I don't like going to the gym. I never know what to do. I'm not that fat. I'll start on Monday. I don't have time. My knees are shot.
Six months ago, everything changed.
First, a little history... I was a cheerleader in college and very fit (see below). We were required to practice, go to the gym, and run several times a week. But then I graduated and it all stopped. Since then, I have gained one to two pounds over the last 20 years.
I've completed several intense workout programs, such as P90X, and gone through expensive gym memberships and trainers. During each program, I lost weight, gained muscle, and felt great. Until I gained the weight back, gained more weight, and have been 20 pounds overweight for about six years.
I had almost given up!
I did not commit to a get-thin-quick exercise program. I didn't have the emotional or physical energy to do anything extreme. IT JUST DOESN'T WORK. I did understand that I needed to do something, move more. Here are a few things I did.
One. I made a short-term realistic goal.
I committed to trying an exercise program for a short period of time, 12 weeks. Thinking about making small, realistic shifts was the key.
Two. I relied on discipline, not motivation.
If it was up to motivation, I would only exercise twice a month. You have to move even when you don't want to do it. It's like going to your dentist!
Three. I had accountability.
I worked out with my husband and followed a clear workout plan. You need to know ahead of time what you are doing. No guessing game or figuring out on the spot. Have a plan.
Four. I tweaked my exercise program and exercise routine as needed.
I auto-regulated my exercise when I wasn't at my optimal energy level. This means going at your own pace and dumbing-down the exercises as needed. After I completed my first 12-week goal, I replaced one day with a 3-mile run. Tweak the program as needed.
I'm still tweaking my exercise program every 12 weeks. I've found that I really enjoy HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts. HIIT allows for short, intense bouts of cardio exercises and a recovery period before moving on to the next exercise.
Now, I love to exercise. I enjoy moving every day. I have energy all week long, improved mobility and stamina, gained muscle, and look and feel great. Honestly, I don't know if I'll ever stop exercising anymore. Get moving!