December 15, 2010

Putting Myself First, or Second, well maybe -- No First!

I have struggled for the past year with developing an exercise plan that will meet my needs.  The reality is that I need to spend more time exercising than the 30 minutes, 5 days a week routine that I have been doing.  I need an hour a day to exercise.  Now, I hate to exercise but I also know that for the sake of my health, I must exercise.  I try to do things that I like to do such as working out on my Treadclimber and watching t.v. while I am doing it.  On the days that the weather is good I go for long walks outside.  I had been doing this 5 days a week and then lifting weights the other 2 days.

I now realize that I have to increase the intensity of my workouts.  Prevention now is far easier than having a problem down the road.  In other words, I need a more aggressive workout and will add some pilates, yoga and other exercises to my daily routine.   I also need to have a better attitude about exercise and quit treating it like a punishment.

So, in between the responsibilities of taking care of home and family, I need to schedule a fitness program and make this time a priority.  But, it isn't without problems.  I absolutely hate to exercise and have to force myself.  If I wait too long in my day, I will make enough excuses and it won't happen.

How many of you hate to exercise like me?  How do you get motivated to do something that you dislike?  Well, here is my motivation - jeans that have grown a little too snug.  How about this for motivation?  Losing a little weight and preventing gaining weight over the winter time and toning up so that by the time summer arrives I can wear those capris and shorts without my midsection bulging over the top. 

Now, I don't have a lot of weight to lose.  I am only talking about 5 to 7 lbs.  I know that there are people that have a lot of weight to lose and it is disheartening for them to read that I only need to lose around 5 lbs.  But that 5 lbs. represents the possibility of gaining another 5 lbs. in 2011 and perhaps another 5 lbs. in 2012.  I can see a snowball  effect happening here.  In fact, here is my weight over the past 4 years:  In 2006 I was 139 lbs.; in 2007 I went up to 145 lbs. and then lost 10 lbs. and was 135 lbs. on my son's wedding day in July of 2007.  In 2008 my weight crept up to 138 lbs., in 2009 my weight crept up to 141 lbs. and now I am around 145 lbs. 

Each year that goes by, it is a struggle and will continue to be a struggle. 

Again, for women that have a lot of weight to lose it may seem that I am a whiner.  But, think about it - the trend is that I am putting on a few lbs. with each year and I don't want that trend to continue.

For me weight gain goes like this:  "Oh I put on 2 lbs., well that's not too bad for my body frame."  Then about 1 year later "Oh, I put on 3 lbs., well that's not too bad for my age" and so on.  I have given in to negative thinking.

I have heard some comments over the past week by people who have told me that this is part of aging and that I am middle aged, approaching menopause and along with a thyroid problem (although it is being treated with medication), I should just come to the reality check that I will be putting on weight and I should accept it. 

I refuse to give in to this type of thought process.  Perhaps there is some truth in that statement, but not doing anything and giving up is completely ridiculous. 

Yes, with age our bodies change. I am now waxing facial hair, not just my eyebrows.  My hair is thinning some and yes, there are those pesky gray hairs.  I have lower back pain and I have some signs of menopause, but just because I have the signs of aging, does not mean that I am dead or to quote a phrase from Spamalot "I am not dead yet." 

To me exercising and cutting back on portions and trying to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables means that I will be healthier and feel better, physically and mentally.  By exercising and being active I will have a better outlook on life.  It goes without saying that people that work out handle life better.  I may still gain some weight over the years, but it may not be as much as I would have gained by not doing anything at all.

What does exercising have to do with living a frugal lifestyle?  When you exercise and take care of yourself, you feel better and you are healthier.  You'll also save money by not having to go to the doctor because you are sick and not feeling well.  Another benefit is for mental health.  Let's face it, we are in the dark and dingy winter months and although I do not suffer from depression, I can certainly have my share of "blue" days in the winter months.  Exercising does give you a better outlook.  It's just simply making the time and doing it.

So, today I am putting myself first by exercising and watching the amount of food I eat.  It may mean that some days I won't get all the laundry done or that dinner may be a little late or that perhaps the house will stay cluttered a little while longer, but if I don't make a priority of putting myself first, who will? 

I think we all need to sit down in the next day or so and look at our lives and find a way to put ourselves first a little more.  It is foreign to me and at times, it feels kind of selfish.  But in the end I know that I will be happier and healthier and that is the best gift I can give to myself.


Maureen said...

I have bigggg weight issues, I would have to be the heaviest I,ve been in years and it,s very uncomfortable and unhealthy. But my head is,nt in a dieting or exercise place just now, and so I am eating like the proverbial.

Martha said...


The only way an exercise plan, or reducing the amount of food you eat will work, you must be ready to make that change. If you aren't ready, it will be torture.

I know that for a fact.


Tami L said...

I totally understand the two or three pounds a year weight gain. Mine started about the time I turned thirty and I was to busy with my family to think to much about it. Now I am 49 and 45 to 50 pounds over weight. Time to put myself first on the list thanks for the post makes me feel like I'm not alone in this.