I Don’t Glisten: I Sweat

Good morning all! So today I want to discuss exercise, specifically  the first few weeks back. For those of you who flirt with an exercise routine but can’t make the long-term committment, you know that first week well.

So many people, books, and movies talk about how great they feel from exercising. It’s definitely exhilarating, but it can also be draining. I find that first couple weeks can oftentimes be physically distressing and mentally frustrating. Then, I wonder why I don’t feel all the amazing benefits everyone is talking about.

If you want to see a couple of guys really suffer through diet and exercise watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I really appreciated their honesty about the process and their determination to get through the hard parts. It’s inspirational!

via IMBD

Another inspiration for renewing my relationship with exercise was Erin’s post and your comments. Around the same time I also read a post from Oh She Glows about using a workout log. If you have time, check it out. She is encouraging and the workout log really helped me. You can read mine at the link below.

exercise log 11.7-11.13.11

Basically, I felt proud and motivated during the first half of the week. In the second half, I felt exhausted and sore. In retrospect, I probably wasn’t eating enough calories or protein. So this week I’m focusing on increasing my healthy food intake. You may also notice my workouts are short, usually 25-30 minutes with an hour-long walk on Saturday. I believe it’s okay to take it easy on your body and your schedule when you’re starting a new exercise routine. Right now, 30 minutes is all I can make time (and energy) for in my life.

Just one more thing to keep in mind for the inexperienced exerciser: unlike in the movies and commercials, working out is not pretty. I’ve known several athletic people and always kind of thought, “Gross.” To be honest, this aspect of exercise used to really bother me. I didn’t want to get all sweaty, smelly and gross in front of other people. My face turns a deep, dark red when I run and I used to see myself in the mirror and be so embarrassed. Why? I blame TV 😉

Recently, I just stopped caring about what other people think of me at the gym. I sweat, I smell, I breathe heavy, get red-faced and even grunt sometimes. I am in my world and suddenly no one else exists there. So if you’re new to the exercise routine I urge you to let it all hang out at the gym, the sidewalk, or wherever you are. The important thing is you’re doing it!

What keeps you from a long-term relationship with exercise? Or if you have one, what motivates you?

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4 comments

  1. I’ve always enjoyed walking for exercise, and the first time I got fit and lost a bunch of weight, that was the main way I did it — I walked 1 1/2 miles every day and ate a lot better. It wasn’t a lot, but it was sustainable for me.

    Life changed, my habits & schedule changed, I got out of shape and gained a lot of the weight back. I still walk when I can and weather permits, but now I’ve realized that exercise classes are what works for me. Making the financial commitment *and* having a scheduled time to be there and people who expect me — I know if I joined a gym and didn’t sign up for classes, I would be full of excuses.

    I’m still working on the eating thing again (having a husband and disposable income = more temptation to eat out) but I’m getting there, and in any case, regular exercise is just plain good for me. So I don’t see myself giving up classes any time soon.

    1. I’ve always liked walking outside better than anything else too. I’m glad you found a positive routine in classes. I’ve always been a little intimidated by exercise classes. It’s probably related to my fear of other people’s judgement. I’m trying to get over that though. One of my exercise goals is to take a class from start to finish. Do you have any recommendations for a good class to try? I know they depend on the instructor etc. but is there something you really enjoy? Thanks again for your feedback!

      1. It really depends on what you like to do. I have a lot of friends who really like Zumba; I tried a class and it wasn’t really my thing. I’m not very graceful. But if you like to dance, you might like it.

        I like classes that combine strength and cardio, makes my workout feel more balanced. Right now I’m in a kickboxing class that also uses weights. I also really liked spin, but that definitely depends on the teacher and to an extent the equipment they’re using.

        My overall recommendation would be to see if you can try a class or two out before you commit to it. Many places will let you do that (or buy a one-day pass or something). I’ve found most people are not looking at anyone except the instructor — so just stand in the back and don’t worry about anyone else 🙂

  2. […] of my personal training involves a nutritional component, so after my workout today, Carla and I sat down together and had a long conversation about my history with food, my […]

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