Monday, December 15, 2008

Reasons to Avoid Exercising

I find that I am adept at finding reasons to avoid exercising. I remember watching a commercial where a woman dressed in leotards got out her exercise ball and weights. Then in the next frame she was lying on the floor with her feet propped on the ball, talking on the phone. There was a caption that went something like this:
"30% of people intending to exercise find a reason not to."
I scoffed at this commercial. Where was the self control? The discipline? The motivation? I think I was in denial.

I don't scoff anymore. In fact, I have begun directing those same questions at myself when, as I prod myself toward my weights, my mind, oh so easily, produces a reason NOT to use them.
Here are some of the reasons I give myself:

In the past I have gotten out of bed early to exercise before the kids wake up (best way to do it!).
Reason #1: Sleep is very important to one's health.
In a physical education class I took in college, I specifically remember the instructor stressing these three points: sleep, diet, and exercise. In that order.

So if I sleep until Adam wakes me up, we launch into the whirlwind of getting kids ready for school, packing lunches, fixing breakfast, etc. When we return home from dropping Dallin and Caleb off at school, that should be prime exercising time. Exercise, shower, go pick up Dallin from preschool. Right?
Reason #2: Exercising takes away from time with my children.

Well, where does that leave Adam for all that time? I'll tell you where it leaves him. On the couch in front of the TV. What kind of a selfish mother would sit her child in front of the TV to spend time for herself?

One great solution for my troubles is to push Adam and Dallin in the stroller and walk Caleb to school.
Reason #3: It's chilly.
(Yes, I know we live in one of the warmest climates in the US. You have permission to scoff).
Reason #4: We don't have time.
The kids are taking a long time to eat breakfast. Someone is sleeping late (see Reason #1 above). I forgot, until the moment we are leaving, to pack Caleb a lunch, etc.

What if I could justify reason #2 and I did my exercising during Adam's nap, while Dallin plays educational computer games?
Reason #5: I like to be showered and dressed in the a.m. preferably with either my hair done or my makeup on.

When I exercise I usually a)sweat enough to require a shower afterwards, and b)perform exercises that require me to wear non-restrictive clothing, aka sweats or stretch pants.

Okay then, I'll exercise around 9:00 p.m. after the kids are in bed.
Reason #6: I am exhausted.

I've had a full day. I've cleaned up mess after mess, paid bills, changed diapers, stood in line at the post office, baked cookies, played Buzz Lightyear vs. Emperor Zurg, pushed kids in the swing, mopped my floors, gone visiting teaching, made dinner, helped with homework, bathed bouncy kids, and read bedtime stories.
Reason #7: This is my only time to myself.

Reason #8: This is my time to spend with my husband.

Let's say that the planets align and the rational part of my mind will not fully accept these reasons. Actually, having put them to words many of them seem a little silly (what's wrong with showering at 2:30 in the afternoon?)
Doubt not, somewhere it will come out that:
Reason #9: I'm feeling under the weather.
I can't breathe out of my nose. My chest is congested. I have a headache.

Or, finally, if all other reasons fail,
Reason #10: I'd rather be sitting at my computer.


Alicia Dabney said...

Ha ha!! I have to admit, I go through many of those excuses.

Jayci said...

Hey Anna! I came across your blog through Alicia's. Just so you know, I have those days, too. So many excuses, so little discipline! It sounds like you workout at home? I have to go to the gym (right after work!) or I simply won't work out. I can come up with too many excuses at home! Good to see you!