I have a confession to make.
Lately, I haven’t been walking my talk.
I’ve been advising my fertility clients to exercise to reclaim their energy and feel better in their bodies. I’ve been writing here at B-Method about how important it is to exercise to boost your fertility and your overall health, imploring you to incorporate more exercise into your life so that you’re in better shape for fertility treatment and can more likely achieve your dreams of pregnancy and motherhood.
But guess what. I haven’t exercised myself in at least a few months.
Way back in June, I wrote about fun, creative ways to sneak exercise into your day without realizing it. I had so much fun researching that article and was so inspired to exercise more. I pledged that I’d ride my bike more and run the stairs in the coming month. Two months later, I haven’t done a darn thing.
Happier Exercise Days: Finishing my first marathon. Look at me, I’m ahead of a bunch of guys!
I’ve shared with you before, exercise isn’t high on my list of favorite things to do. And sometimes it’s hard to find the time to do the things you actually enjoy (I love yoga and haven’t made it to a yoga class in months), much less the things you don’t like as much. When I’m able to motivate myself to exercise, I always feel good afterwards, and am always glad I did it. I try to remember that good feeling when I’m trying to gear up to work out and honestly, it’s not always enough to get my butt to the gym.
I’m a health coach. Exercise is a cornerstone to optimal health. I’m a fertility coach. Exercise is essential for optimal fertility, especially if your fertility is compromised (as mine is). Experts recommend that if you’re trying to conceive, you get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 5 days a week. That’s not much. So why is it so hard?
So in addition to feeling badly about not exercising, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud in my career. Why haven’t I been able to channel my inspiration from writing my article 2 months ago into actual action? How can I possibly help others if I’m not following my own advice?
I have the same reasons for not exercising that you might have. I have too many other things to do. I don’t have the time. I’m overwhelmed by all the things I have going on in my life. Taking care of my toddler son is kicking my butt enough.
But I’m at the danger zone now. It’s the end of a summer of parties, cookouts, ice cream and yummy margaritas, and I’m feeling the effects. I need to do something, now.
If you’re also feeling badly about falling off the wagon on exercise (or eating healthily, or practicing self-care, or insert-whatever-your-goal-was here), here are some tips to help you get back on track. I’m going to do these too – really, I am! In fact, I’ve already started.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve spent a good amount of time this summer beating myself up for not staying in shape. For “letting myself go.” That voice in your head that tells you you’ve screwed up can be loud and deadly. Here’s what to do the next time that voice rears her ugly head in your mind: listen to what she has to say, take a deep breath, then say to her: “Thank you for your input. I’m doing the best I can, and while I may have stumbled a little recently, I’m getting back on track now.”
- Try to get to the real “why”. Let’s face it. Not having the time, having a toddler who zaps all my energy, having too many other things to do – they’re all excuses. We all have the same 24 hours every day, and lots of people manage to fit in their exercise, their healthy eating, and their self-care along with all of their other obligations.
Chances are, since exercising isn’t my favorite thing in the world, I probably wouldn’t be doing it enough even if I had free time 24/7. That’s not the real reason why I’m not doing it. I’m probably not doing it because I’m not motivated to. Knowing this helps me weed through the excuses and the procrastination and address the real problem, lack of motivation. And lack of motivation I can work on through the following tips.
- Seek out reinforcements. It could be that you need someone to hold you accountable for the thing you want to do. Maybe exercising with a friend, where you set a date and time to work out together, will help keep you motivated. Maybe trying one new healthy recipe a week with your husband will help put you back on the path to clean eating. Maybe working with a fertility coach (ahem) can help you with your self-care.
For the first time ever, I’ve decided I need help working out, for somebody to hold me accountable for exercise, and tomorrow I have an appointment with a personal trainer! (I’ll let you know how it goes).
- Put it in your calendar now. The reality is, things aren’t real until they’re scheduled. In your phone. In your google calendar. If you want to exercise more, put in your calendar exactly when you’ll do it. If you want to eat better, put in your calendar exactly when you’re going to go shopping for healthy foods, and when you’re going to plan out and cook your healthy meals for the week. If you want to practice more self-care, schedule a massage (seriously – call for an appointment now!) and put it in your calendar. If it will do your soul good to have more quality time with your besties, get in touch with them, book a time, and put it on your calendar.
My husband and I are working on our family calendar for the autumn now, and I’m blocking out three times a week for him to watch our son, so I can work out.
It’s so much easier to keep an appointment if you have one scheduled than if you don’t!
- Remember the taste of victory. I might not enjoy exercising, but I sure do feel good when it’s over. And not just because it’s over. I feel healthy, invincible and at the top of my game. I feel alive. On the other hand, when I’ve sat around the house eating popcorn and watching TV, I don’t feel so alive. I feel sluggish, lazy and like a sack of potatoes. Which feeling is going to help get me through the other demands and stresses of my life? So if you’re debating between exercising or not, or eating that chocolate cake or the apple, think about how you feel at the end of either scenario, and chances are you’ll make the right choice.
I’ll keep you posted on how my efforts in exercising go this autumn. And I’d love to hear about what you’re working on! Leave a comment below.
We’re all in this together,
[Originally posted at B Fit, B Fertile on 8/25/16]