A little more than a month ago, I acquired a treadmill for free from my neighborhood’s Buy Nothing Network.
Which means I’ve had access to exercise equipment daily since… and because I have the goal to run circles around young people when I’m 90 years old, a daily habit has been of interest. Start now, they say, because it doesn’t sound like being fit gets easier as you get older.
Now you get to check out 7 observations I’ve had from working out for 49 days in a row:
- When you’re pushing hard for something – especially something that is physically (or in any way) challenging, what you say to yourself is going to be in alignment with how you normally talk to yourself. So pay attention to how you talk to yourself when you’re doing something easy.
- Emotional stuff from the past might come up when you’re pushing yourself. You get to combat any amount of shame or guilt you might have felt in the past around physical activity. Process it out of your body just like sweat. For me it was my [family member] telling me 15 years ago that I ran like Phoebe. And I had a partially inappropriate gym teacher who I gave power to when I was 14-17 years old. Both of those things have to be let go. Sweat it out. Stop allowing the past to give so much meaning over what you do now.
- Fat contains hormones and emotion. Burning fat releases hormones and emotions. Don’t be surprised by your body’s natural proclivity for letting go of those things. Drink lots of water.
- You can go harder and longer with a supportive voice than a bullying one. Mind how you speak to yourself. Only you can hear it, and if you’re trying to get to your goals via cruelty, you’re doing it wrong.
- You can trust your voice. It will tell you when you need to slow down. It will tell you when you can keep going. Both of these messages are safe and healthy. Listen. Injuring yourself won’t serve you any more than staying small every day will.
- Stack your habits. If you want to exercise in the morning, lay out your workout clothes the day before. Make it easy to get out of bed. Do one thing that leads to another. Find ways to make it more enjoyable. For me that means nourishing my joys – through reading or yarning while I walk. Of course, I can’t run as well with a book in my hand, so I keep a bag on the treadmill to stick my book in while I’m running.
- Speaking of running, give yourself goals that are only slightly higher than what you’ve already accomplished. So if I want to run, each week I add on only two more minutes of run time as a goal. If last week I was able to run for 5 non-consecutive minutes, this week I’ll aim for 7. I like to crush that goal early on in the week (like on Monday or Tuesday) so that “I can take it easy the rest of the week.” Even if taking it easy means I only ever run for 7 minutes during a workout that week. Usually I end up pushing myself past my goal, though. Life is to short to not keep seeing what else you’re capable of.
Changing who I believe myself to be has been an amazing journey – something I started back when I quit smoking in October of 2017. So much is different for me now, I don’t think I would even recognize myself.
And now I keep asking myself: “what more can I do?”
If you’ve got goals, tell me… what are you working toward? Also, consider liking my Facebook Page and subscribing to this blog so you receive updates when I publish the next blog post (top right corner of this blog).