Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weight Loss Update - Workout When?

I read something interesting The Happiness Project on blog today: In Stop Being Bored By Your Daily Routine the writer observed that “it’s often easier for me to do something every day than it is to do somedays” and notes that if she only does something a few times a week she winds up arguing with herself when it will get done. This is exactly my problem with exercise. If I tell myself I’m going to do it four days a week I wind up pushing it back or juggling it around when really, like work or brushing my teeth, I should attempt to incorporate it into an everyday thing so that it becomes routine.

My recent two week trial, the one I failed last week, has shown me that exercise is the missing key for me right now. I struggle with my eating (if you know me you know this as well as I know that nacho cheese is delicious on everything) but I’m doing a bit better with it right now (more on that to follow in another post). I have to find a solution to incorporating exercise into my life and since nothing has worked before it is time to explore new options.

Ignoring the fact that I can’t find the motivation to exercise, that most days I am in too much pain to do it, and that my evil inner voice says things like “you’re doing it wrong”, “you aren’t going to lose weight that way” and “what is the point?” the main issue with exercise is that I haven’t incorporated it into my scheduled routine. If it is something I do every day, or on a schedule, then it will be easier for me to stick to the time and just do it already. I’ve been muddling over the exercise issue for almost a year now. How/when do I fit in regular workouts around my work, eat, sleep, bathe, see boyfriend, try to be social, see family, schedule?

I am a morning person so that would be the best time for me to fit it in but I can’t get over the mental hurdle of waking up at 4AM to do this. I’m already up at 5:30AM on weekdays for work and on alternating sleep-over nights I doubt my significant other would love it if I got out of bed even earlier. As it is I’m waking him up almost two full hours earlier than he needs to wake up which is damaging his sleep schedule. M, W, and F I have set strength rehab for two hours after work which are also the current date days with the boy, so I have to rule out running to the gym afterwards (providing that I somehow magically found the energy to do so, but we’ll ignore that for now). Tuesdays and Thursdays after work alternate other appointments: chiropractor, regular doctor, therapist, and my attempts at a social life with friend time. And I’ll be honest: Sometimes on Tuesdays and Thursdays all I look forward to is crawling home, taking a handful of muscle relaxers and passing out at 5:00 in the afternoon. I’m in pain most of the time and I can’t take muscle relaxers if I expect to function, hence, it is like a quiet restorative vacation to pass out mid afternoon in a pile of drool, even if it means my laundry stacks up and the only thing I have in my cupboards is expired alka seltzer and some questionable lentils.

Saturday or Sunday all day I have to hide. I have to do nothing. I have to lie on my couch or bed, devoid of thought or action, for many many hours. I know that this isn’t the best coping skill but it is the only way I’m able to manage my depression and social exhaustion. It is a relief, actually, to have figured this out because now I can be productive at least 5 days a week, maybe 6, whereas before I could barely function the majority of the time. I’m not kidding when I say I must do absolutely nothing: I can’t even schedule a work out or I get panicky and angry and resentful at having to do something. No cleaning, grocery shopping, blogging, socializing, nothing can be done on this day. I’ve learned through trial and error that I must curl up in a ball and sortof enter a stimulus and though free environment for a full 24 hours. Which leaves me with what, exactly? A promise to workout on Saturday, if I’m lucky?

Not good.

I’ve also toyed with pushing my work schedule back an hour so that I have that extra hour in the morning to get fit. I’m torn because I love being one of the first people in and since I’m at my mental peak in the AM I feel more productive. But really, what does it come down to? Do I spend my productive time working out in the AM because that is what is important to me or do I again try to fit in workouts after work which has been a glaring failure?

After writing this all out I think I’ll attempt pushing my schedule back to work out in the morning. I may not like being at work that late but why don’t I just try it? If I don’t like it or if it doesn’t work out I can always switch back.

Yes. I think I shall try it. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I keep trying to go to the gym a few times a week after work but that never happens. I need to make exercise part of my routine so that it gets done daily and I’m not arguing with myself over when to do it.

I’m going to email my boss right now. And the significant other; I hope he can sleep through me grunting and panting in the other room while he tries to get in the last two hours of his sleep.


sallyacious said...

It sounds like you've worked out a useful solution. Fitting exercise into an already packed schedule is so difficult. Good luck.

My tactic is to walk to campus whenever time allows, rather than driving my ass all over the place. It's about 2 1/2 miles, so it's a decent hike. And once I'm there, I have no choice but to walk home, because that's where the car is. So I get about an hour of cardio in on those days.

I miss the gym in the town I left to come here. It had a steam room and a jaccuzi in the women's dressing room. The lure of those two post-workout treats got me into the gym and through tough workouts on many, many days I would otherwise have skipped it.

The CEO said...

Precisely what Sallyacious said. If you can't/won't go to the gym, walk everyday for an hour at a brisk pace. Sower with the bf when he wakes up and he won't mind any sleep interruption and you might use it as a goal.