Let me tell you what the face of exercise REALLY looks like.
Exercise is sweaty, hot, and sometimes painful.
Exercise is hard. Hard to start. Hard to maintain.
Exercise requires determination and sacrifice. Let's face it. It's much easier to roll over in bed and press the snooze alarm than to get up and exercise.
THIS is what exercise looks like when you are done.
A sweaty mess--NOT some barely perspiring fashion model.
Not to mention that, GOOD FREAKING LUCK finding those cute workout clothes at your local sporting goods store when you are above size 14.
I wear MEN's t-shirts (why are women's so clingy?)
and baggy yoga pants or MEN's sweats, (again-women's sweat pants are too clingy) my hair pulled back in a ponytail. I wear a sweat shirt after I'm done because you get cold fast when you are a soaking wet sweaty mess and it's winter.
(Is that why they call them sweat shirts?-I never thought about that before.)
Do I look like I could just go towel off and go to work? NO.
I started this blog several years back in an attempt to lose weight by dieting.
My cholesterol was high. I was up there weight wise. I thought a blog would keep me on the straight and narrow. It didn't and I changed the course of the blog.
Over the years, I gained more weight and became VERY out of shape.
I HAD to get in shape darned fast for that winter camping trip with my Boy Scout's. It was held at the High Adventure camp at Northern Tier in the boundary waters area of northern Minnesota.
I started. I got stronger. I didn't lose weight.
I didn't care.
That was NOT my goal.
My goal was to NOT DIE.
It can get to be -40* F in northern Minnesota in the dead of winter. We were going to be outside all day, and some of us all night, for 4 1/2 days. I needed to be able to snowshoe and cross country ski, and hike in HUGE snowboots and 3 layers of clothes, and survive it without having a coronary. Oh, and I needed to be able to get up off the ground when I fell. And I knew that I would fall.
As I was sweating and stretching and in pain, somewhere along the line, I realized, I LIKED getting stronger. I didn't care so much about the weight anymore. I wanted to get STRONG. I became euphoric when I was able to do the number of body weight squats and lunges in the routine I was doing. I cried (yup, for real) when I was able to do incline pushups on the stairs instead of the wall.
My husband noticed I was getting muscles in my arms and back and shoulders and quads. I started being able to make it up 6 flights of stairs without dying at the hospital.
So what is the secret to keeping up with an exercise plan?
1: You need a serious goal, like not dying on a camping trip.
2: You need a plan. I found Nerd Fitness Academy and used it's stepwise plan to increase my strength. I SERIOUSLY don't care if I can't do all the numbers and reps and exercises. I just do what I can and don't get discouraged.
3: Don't get discouraged. This. Is. Not. A. Race. My goal is to be able to do a real push up by October (it's now February-and I've been at it 4 months already)
4: Find a support group--NOT to compete against, but to SUPPORT you. To tell you that you are amazing and fabulous and who gives a flying fig what you look like when you sweat but to say "Holy CRUDCAKES! You did THAT today? AMAZING! RAWR!"
5: Go slow. Don't overdo it. Don't get hurt. If you get hurt, you won't likely start up again.
6: Keep a log of your exercise and diet. Seriously. I do it on Google Docs. I don't share it or show it to anyone. I do it to keep myself honest. Do I count calories right now? No. Do I count points? No. Am I trying to eat more healthily? YES. I bring lunch from home, try to avoid fast food and processed food. I try to eat fruit and veggies. I try to watch my salt.
7: You are not perfect so don't expect it of yourself. If you mess up, you mess up. Just start all over again the next day and don't feel guilty. Seriously. Guilt doesn't help. Just try again. AND again. AND again. And again.
It's like quitting smoking. Mark Twain said it was the easiest thing he ever did. He did it THOUSANDS of time.
SO, remember, exercise is a messy, sweaty, smelly, endeavor and will make you feel better.
Do it for yourself, not for someone else. Don't expect to look like some fashion model. Just do it to feel better and get stronger.