Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Acts of bravery

I've spent large chunks of this year doing some of the things I'm really good at:

1. Pretending to be an ostrich. La-la-la, I'm OK, everything's good, I'll be back to proper any kind of training in a few days weeks. And my food isn't so bad... I'll eat well tomorrow. Pass me the cake! Tighter clothes? Meh. That's just fluid, it'll be gone in a day or two.

2. Making excuses. I can't train upper body because my shoulder hurts, my arms hurt, my neck is screwed. I can't do cardio today because the weather is bad. (Spin bike? What spin bike?) There's nothing in the fridge for lunch. I'll just have to buy whatever...

3. Avoiding facing up to any problems. Yeah, blah, blah, blah, you get the idea.

So after many fits and starts and a lot of stumbles, I found myself in a bit of a mess. My cardio fitness sucks. My strength has dwindled - If I can do five pushups in a row, I'm doing well (yes, the shoulder and arms have a lot to do with that, but they're not the whole reason). And of course, there's a bit of extra fat clinging to all the places I'd prefer it not to be.

It's been a rough year alright, for a lot of reasons, but it didn't have to impact on my strength, fitness and physique anywhere near this much. I simply took the path of least resistance and let it happen. I made a decision by not making any decisions, if you know what I mean. Those kind of default decisions, where inaction really is a choice, and the result doesn't need a crystal ball to foretell, are pretty common. And they're usually prompted by fear, even if you can't actually name the source of that fear.

I'm very lucky to have a lot of support from Bike Boy, who hates to see me unhappy, and has tried time and again to help with suggestions (for which he usually got his head bitten off), by cooking healthy meals for me when I'd probably have ordered pizza, and just being there with love a-plenty. He also knows when I'm bullshitting, and cares enough to call me on it.

So after a tearful conversation last week, when he countered all my arguments with "Those are just excuses and you know it", or "What would you tell a client in the same position?", I've done some thinking and mapped a way out of this fear-fuelled cycle of stopping and starting and basically remaining in the same nasty place.

I realised that I actually don't like training at home. Huh. How did it take me this long to figure that out? I don't mind the odd spin workout, and once it's not freezing and pissing rain, I'll be happy to get outdoors too, but for weight training, I much prefer to go to a gym. So I invested in a new gym membership - and so far, so good. It's been a pretty humbling experience to step out in public and do the kind of training I'm restricted to at the moment, but I just plug in my iPod, look straight ahead and do it anyway.

There's some other stuff I'm implementing too, but rolling out of bed early and being at the gym as they open is a much bigger step than I ever thought it could be. Feels good though.

The first steps really are always the hardest. Even when you've done them before.


Magda said...


I reckon I'd give you a good run for your money for the gold medal in starting and stopping a health/fitness/weight loss goal. You're very lucky that your hubby is so supportive. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom (tears and a painful heart to heart) before we can bounce back up again. Wishing that you bounce high and strong.



Kathryn said...

I think training at home is like working from home - a lot better in theory than practice. It's a lot more convenient and easy but I think walking into a gym triggers that "I'm here to workout" part of your brain whereas being at home doesn't.

LizN said...

Enjoy that gym! Don't worry I've travelled down the line of least resistance and it didn't do me any good either - so looking forward to moving forward with you :)


Kek said...

Well, I know I'm not alone, and I know I can get over this hurdle. Hell, it's not even a hurdle, it's just a speed hump. ;)

Shauna said...

Good on you Kek... here's to moving forward... you rule :)

Kathleen said...

At least you realized what you were doing and confronted yourself and your denial head-on. At least you joined a gym and started doing what needs to be done. Good for you! Recognizing your behavior and making steps to change it is always the most difficult part.

Sara said...

Good on you! I've headed back to the gym too, although I've heard it can be kind of scary in there if an aftershock hits (upstairs and constructed of some shock absorbing stuff that wiggles like crazy). I'm actually enjoying classes. Spin, yoga, zumba, pilates, 'yogalates' and doing some bodyweight stuff - haven't picked up a weight in months and am enjoying the lack of stiffness and pain in neck and shoulders that used to be my constant companion.

yublocka said...

First step is def. the hardest. And you know what, you've done it once and you can and have done it again. Good on you!!!

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