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.


  1. I sympathise completely, I hate having to do stuff to a program. But on the other hand, routine is a very powerful motivator in itself. I've been getting quite lax with the Wii Fit lately, and my weight is climbing back up - I've gained half a kilo in the past two weeks, which is not the way I want to be progressing at all.

  2. I'm a HUGE fan (not in the physical-presence sense) of routine, so I fully understand it for many, many things. Hopefully, doing something every day will be enough of a routine for my newly-hatched exercise plan to work.

  3. Ach! This is, or was, exactly my problem, until my very good friend agreed to help me out. I've decided it's OK if she is the boss of me (only partially) and she always makes sure to mix things up. Then I get to be the boss of her sometimes and edit her writing.

    Good luck, my friend!

  4. I'd be all for a friend being the boss of me if they could whip my ass (or waist, as it were) into shape faster than me being the boss of me could...