Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Finding motivation

There are a number of things on my list of items that I find particularly difficult to motivate myself to do.

Chores fall into this category.  Laundry and cleaning are incredibly unmotivating when it's unseasonably hot outside.

But as a new year and a new decade of my life open up, I am often struck by how hard it is to get motivated to do things that will give me more energy and better motivation.

One of the biggest universal chores that my friends and I find it hard to motivate ourselves to do is exercise.  I say chore, and some of those who always had fun, athletic, bramble about the field childhoods don't know what I'm talking about.  While I didn't grow up drastically overweight, I did grow up clumsy.  I had flat feet that required orthotics and was moderately dyslexic.  This made all team sports the bane of my existence.

In junior high I sprained my ankles eight times in two years.

I sprained my hand doing shot put.

I dislocated my shoulder when I tripped on the sidewalk on the way home from art class in college.

I've had whiplash and hurt my low back lifting something too heavy at work.

I tore a piece of cartilage in my right knee in 2000 during a move.

In sum: I'm a mess.

So exercise always makes me weary, for I know that bad outcomes loom large. One wrong move, and I'm out of it.  Add allergies to the mix and I'm likely to have multiple coughing fits.

However, I now have two of my closest friends and I creating a support group.  Normally I hate recording my exercise, but for each other we now have a goal.  A movie or a light lunch or some treat at the end for a winner and as a trophy none other than the patron saint of lost causes, St. Jude.

We create a chart each month giving ourselves a point each day for the exercise we clock in, even if it's shorter than we would like.  We still did it.  It counts.

While I've never been one to like the whole physically exercising with other people thing (the emptier the gym was the better), there is something very comforting about having friends to share in your collective misery.  You can look at your friend's progress and say, "Okay.  She dragged herself out and did it.  I need to as well."

At the end of the month, we have our own little ceremony. We hand the St. Jude over, do a little acceptance speech, and have a hilarious moment in a restaurant.

Even though I haven't lost a ton of weight yet, and even though I've slacked off a few times, I find it much easier to get back to it, knowing that I've got others waiting to see my progress.  To cheer me on, and likewise I can cheer them on.

So really, it's not about magic formulas, or particular websites.  It's what works for you, drives you on, and keeps you motivated.

So whatever you are dragging your feet on tonight, know that it just takes a little help from your friends. A little motivation can go a long way.

1 comment:

  1. LMAO! Sorry to laugh at your physical faux pas... but you put them so hilariously! And you know I love that photo.

    I'm one of those people that actually like exercise given it isn't too hot and humid because I love the way it makes me feel. I sometimes have issues with motivation. I think if I were thinner, it might be easier for me to do and therefore I would do it more (this is just a theory of course). I'm also battling altitude issues which sort of make me feel like an asthmatic. But nonetheless, I need to get the motivation in order to get healthier/thinner. My trick is to visualize a specific event that I want to look really good for and envision myself looking smashing. I also make myself some sort of reward system. For every 10 lbs I get a new outfit or that coffee maker I really want. Anything will work that isn't food related. Which, of course, you (and I) have set into place. You have your movies, etc and I have my reward system, plus being accountable to you. :)