Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Plan is Hatched

I finally figured out why I never stick with any particular exercise regimen for more than a couple of weeks. It's not that I get bored, or that it's too hard or that I can't comprehend the health benefits. It's that I don't like being told what to do.

"You're not the boss of me!" was a byword growing up and one I'm still known to wail from time to time. I finally realize it's the "having to do a certain thing a certain way for a certain length of time" aspect of a program that I struggle with. Every time I'd think about wanting to shed these extra pounds or the horribly whiny way my lungs behave when asked to work through more than a single flight of stairs, I'd get psyched about the potential for positive results and off I'd go for a week or two. And then I'd quit.

I decided to take a new tack this time and scrap the "program" approach to exercising. I have given myself permission to do whatever I feel like whenever I feel like doing it, as long as I do something every day for at least twenty minutes. So far I've used the treadmill and that two-handled resistance band from some long-abandoned "order now!" program. I've done pilates with and without that metal circle thingy and used my yoga-for-weight-loss dvd. I've done sets with the 5-lb dumbbells while watching tv at night.

It's early in the game- I'm only in week #2- but the prognosis is good. I don't hate any of it. I might even say I kind of like it a little bit. My energy level is up. After one week I lost things measured in portions of pounds and parts of inches.

I'm sure I could get better results from a six-week program that progresses through a particular series of exercises at a specific pace, but not if I don't stick with it; history has repeatedly show that I don't.

With fingers crossed and hope springing eternal, I think there's a chance this might make a difference. I'll let you know in a month.