everyone is supposed to be exercising all the time

I grew up really healthy. It was weird, at the time. My mom grew her own vegetables and I was forever picking basil for pesto. We got meat from a friend’s family, who raised and butchered cows, and everything else (blocks of mozzarella, knobby carob treats, the occasional bagel chip, palak paneer) came by truck from an organic co-op. We didn’t eat sugar, we didn’t eat processed foods. Store- bought milk seemed pretty special at the time. Once, when I spilled it, I cried over spilled milk.

I mean, we were just a weird family. My mom is a La Leche League leader and there was always a circle of nursing women sitting around, with cloth slings, in my living room, or at the park, or wherever we were, eating chunks of watermelon in the summer, eating carrot sticks always, but not from the bag.

(like, this was going on EVERYWHERE. source)

We were super weird—homeschooling/unschooling, liberal Jews who didn’t watch TV. Not at all. No TV.

“Do you even have a microwave?” the kids at Hebrew School asked me.

I burst out laughing. Of COURSE. Who doesn’t have a microwave? Are you kidding me? What am I, Amish?

In retrospect, it was a fair question.

Now that I’m all grown up and living in Brooklyn, it turns out that everyone wants to be like my mom. Well, not totally. I mean, they’re not gonna go so far as to give birth in an inflatable tub in the living room and not send their kids to school, of course. But they want to eat like her. It is totally, epically uncool to not care about what you are putting in your body. They want to exercise all the time.

I rebelled by eating a lot of junk food in college and never, ever exercising (I’m a badass). My whole family exercises. My dad and brothers lift weights for hours every day, my mom used to, and now she does tons of yoga and pilates. I am the only one who doesn’t do anything. I have been known to flaunt doughnuts.

(i mean, look at it, it’s gorgeous! source)

But I find myself drifting backward into the future, trying to remember to always make vegetables, joining a CSA to force myself to make vegetables, spending extra money on grassfed meat even though it’s so much more expensive that it pisses me off. The one thing I’m not doing is exercising. I’m not. I’m not exercising at all. And I should be. Because that is what conscientious people who respect their bodies do. That is what healthy people do. They do yoga. They go running. They go running and then do yoga. They get off their goddamn asses and do SOMETHING about their heart rate. Sex doesn’t count. Does it count? Should I do it more aerobically? How? I pace when I’m on the phone. That should count for something. Once every three or four days, I do a deep bend, all the way over, to almost touch my toes. It’s like yoga, except it only takes about five seconds and I’m not actually touching my toes, because I actually can’t touch my toes.

 

(look at them all, just sitting in judgment…source)

I have a bad relationship with exercise. I feel like it’s this club of awesome people that I’m not a part of. It’s this thing everyone can agree on, but I’m still standing on the outside, unable to let myself in. The thing is, no matter how guilty I feel about it, and how convinced I am that the world is right and I am basically an accomplice to my own murder, standing by as the carbs do their worst, I have never been able to motivate myself to work out. Except when I did it to lose weight.

I’m going to just go ahead and admit this here: I signed up for New York Sports Club and got a few sessions with a personal trainer right before my wedding.

“Why are you here? What can I help you with?” she asked at our first session, a few minutes before I was panting myself to death on my back on the grimy floor. And I meant to say, “To improve my heart rate and build physical stamina,” or something. But what came out was, “My arms are fat.” That is what came out of my mouth. And I said it in a joking tone, but she knew I was serious.

“Ok!” she said, and we got started.

How embarrassing. I was trying to accept my arms, at the same time. Because I was going to wear this frustratingly sleeveless wedding gown and stuff, and I had to be able to deal. And I was writing about body image already, so I felt I owed it to myself and my twenty-five readers to not be a huge hypocrite. And there I was in this alien world of the gym, right before my wedding, like five trillion other brides who are desperate to lose a few pounds before the big, eternally recorded day.

When I’ve run on a treadmill, the whole time I’ve been thinking, “Just burn a few more calories! Just a few more! Do you want to be ugly? Do you want your belly to jiggle? KEEP RUNNING YOU GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT LARDPOT!” It quickly brings out the worst in me. Like there’s a sadistic model scout camped out in the gland that produces exercise hormones and she comes catapulting out when I move too quickly for too long. Also, I figured out that after ten minutes on the treadmill I’d negated maybe one spoonful of that ice cream I’d eaten earlier, which triggered intense disillusionment. What am I supposed to do, only eat one friggin’ spoonful?

(what is this, some kind of sick joke? source)

I don’t really think that there’s something horribly, monstrously wrong with doing a good thing for the wrong reasons. Like, if you accidentally gave too much to charity, or if you worked with some inner city kids to impress a girl or something. And I don’t think that losing weight is always a bad goal. There is nothing inherently wrong with trying to lose weight. It’s not even necessarily terrible and damaged and disordered to lose weight when you feel ugly because you think you’re too heavy, and then feel better when you’re thinner. These things are not so simple. And hey, I got a nose job to make my face prettier because I felt bad about the way it looked. I’m not judging.

But I also personally don’t want to spend a lot of time doing things for the sole purpose of trying to look better, because I think the pursuit of looking better can be a trap that you get stuck in. Or a whirlpool, where you spin around and around forever, always swimming, but never swimming out.

And so I don’t want to exercise just because I think it’ll make me look better, and also I am a disgusting wimp, and given the option, I would do all of my work from the chaise section of the couch, with a fluffy blanket over my legs and a pumpkin latte immediately accessible. It might be mostly that, really, but I’m going to make this about principles, because then I can like myself more and feel proud and subversive while I’m drinking my latte.

The NYT just had a piece about exercise and how we need to reframe it or something, so that it’s not about all of these things we think it’s about, but instead it’s about feeling good in the moment. I don’t know if I can trick my brain like that. My brain is like, “Ha! Psych! It’s really about burning calories! Gotcha!” My brain sometimes thinks it’s clever.

(source)

But I figure that now that I’m cooking vegetables in addition to eating doughnuts, and now that I occasionally find myself craving watermelon chunks, I can probably also figure out a way to move my body a little bit. Not to get all radically healthy or anything. Not to do impressive stretches or touch my own, ever-elusive toes. But to acknowledge that I believe that exercise is a good thing. That my mom, obnoxiously, was probably right again. TV has done nothing but distract me, and made me feel like watching stories instead of telling them, ever since I turned it on. Damn, I’m just too old to rebel.

So I’ve started walking more. New Yorkers are famous for their walking habits, but I’m expanding on mine. I’m purposefully going to the grocery store two neighborhoods away. I am getting off the subway earlier (or I was, when it was running, before the apocalypse) and walking ten or twenty extra blocks to my destination. I am trying to learn Brooklyn better. I am exploring.

And as I walk, I am not usually thinking about burning calories, because walking feels so normal. And even though I should probably be jogging and my doctor said forty-five minutes of aerobic activity at least four times a week, I like it.

It’s calming. Nothing yogic. It’s just nice to see what’s out there.

*  *  *

Do you exercise? What do you do?

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel when the sun finally comes out. I’m alive! Also, I successfully plunged the toilet. It’s pretty high stakes stuff– if you do it wrong, it might be devastating.

P.S. Is “lardpot” even an expression? I don’t know where that came from. But in happier news:

Here’s a fabulous short hair pic from a reader named Kathleen. She wrote a great post with a great title about cutting her hair here. And I am pretty excited that I got quoted in it :-)

Her unroast: Today, I like how much I look like my mom

 

66 Comments »

Kate on November 2nd 2012 in beauty, body, exercise, food, life, new york

66 Responses to “everyone is supposed to be exercising all the time”

  1. Samantha Angela responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    If I don’t exercise I feel like shit.
    I exercise after work before coming home because otherwise I’m this crabby, snappy, mean person. It’s weird but true.

    Endorphins. Best. High. Ever.

  2. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I wonder if I’d have a different personality if I exercised. Maybe I’m just this snappy and crabby and mean because I don’t… :-)

  3. Melanie responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I loathe traditional gyms. I had a really bad relationship with exercise until I joined an alternative gym here in town that focused on weights, body weight, resistance, and stuff you could do at home if you just bought a few simple things. I spent the money to hire a one on one trainer for several months, learned proper form, and now I use that training to work out at home. I do cardio two days a week and weightlifting two days a week. I don’t do it to lose weight or to try and look a certain way. I do it because I’m 38 and I need to stay healthy. I am not having kids or getting married so I need to be self-sufficient as long as possible. Being a bigger gal, I realize that it is tougher as I’m getting older with the aches and not recovering as fast from injury.

    I also eat really healthy. I don’t mind how much extra grass fed beef is. I just eat less of it, which I think is a good idea anyways. Tonight I’m having ribeyes. They cost about 17 bucks a piece which is kind of nuts. But I only eat them once a month so I’m okay with it.

    Today I got a dozen doughnuts for work and of course had one. I’m not an all or nothing type of person. I’m all about treats, as long as you eat them like treats and not regularly.

    I also find my insomnia issues are much lessened when I work out regularly. When I skip a week or two I am a grumpypants.

  4. D responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I play roller derby and I occasionally lift weights, but I got into it more because I am a competitive person and it is fun than because I wanted to be healthy. I’m naturally a person who wants to move around though, I did a lot of swing dancing before derby happened. But I see nothing wrong with not exercising. If you are happy, that is the important thing. Walking and exploration are really fun! I need to do more of that.

  5. Daphne responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    I’ve gone in serious circles about exercise. 10 years ago I ran a marathon. Then my life fell apart and I haven’t done much since. My brother and dad are, literally, Olympic-caliber athletes (they both went to Olympic trials for pole-vaulting) so it’s not like I have high standards for myself or anything (hear the sarcasm?). I’m just now getting back to a place where I can consider maybe walking one or two nights a week, maybe doing yoga once on the weekends or something. Nothing too crazy. It’s always tempting to go all crazy on it, because that’s the only way it’s worthwhile, right? Not just because it’s sorta fun and feels good and then you sleep better. Oh no, we all have to prove something to everybody else (who really cares?!?). I like your approach: more veggies, a bit more walking. See what happens.

  6. Erin Lee responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I’ve given up on exercise for weightloss. I’ve been “exercising for weightloss” to look “prettier” for 13 years, and I’ve totally given up. But this isn’t all because I’m frustrated at the scale, or because I just don’t give two shits anymore, or because I’m trying to accept my body as it is. There are so many other motivations for losing weight, and for the last 13 years it has always been to “look prettier.” But suddenly within the last year, it’s all changed. My one-big-motivation for “losing weight” has completely altered.
    It started with just wanting to be healthier. I think I /should/ be able to run a mile easily. Just one. It’s really not all that far, and if I can do it in 12 minutes, that’s good. I’m outdoorsy, what if my husband or friend hurts themselves and I need to run for help? Being able to run a mile would certainly help. What if you’re being chased by a mugger? Running for even a half mile would probably help a great deal in that case (I have an odd, ridiculous severe fear of being chased by anything). I would also like to be able to do one pull up. What if I fall off a ladder, a roof, a dock, a boat (not unlikely, I am in fisheries)? One single pull up could make a difference between life and death.
    So, that’s what I started thinking. I don’t need to lose weight and be thin, I just need to be fit enough to save myself if need be.
    And then I got married. And now my grad school is coming to completion (thank God) and that means life will really /start/ for me. Which means having kids. And if I hope to have kids, I need my body to be in the best shape possible. Weightloss difficulty, PCOS, insulin resistance, infertility – these are all wrapped up together, and to make TTC easier on my husband and I, I need to lose a few pounds. So now I have another new motivation.
    It’s weird how my motivations for exercise and weightloss have changed, especially recently.
    But one thing I realize and am confident in: I’m not going back to ‘exercise to lose weight to be pretty’ ever again. I AM pretty. And the people who matter think so, too. I don’t need to drop 50 in order to convince myself or anyone else, anymore.

  7. Another Melanie responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    I seem to be unable to casually exercise.

    If I tell myself I’m “working out,” and I specifically devote time (daily/every other day/whatever) to it, then I tend to get kind of obsessed. This causes me to got through cycles of working out like CRAZY, burning out, and then doing exactly zero physical activity (I’m currently in the zero physical activity phase).

    I need to find more ways to just work it into my everyday life like you are, without calling it a workout. I actually have started taking the stairs when I go to class (6 flights, 4 days a week), but I’m still out of breath by the top, so I don’t think I’m seeing any results from that. :\

  8. SolariC responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I too used to think about exercise occasionally; then I’d curl up in a tighter ball in my comfy chair and go right on reading. However, secretly in the back of my mind, I always knew I should probably do something active, just to stay healthy. The problem was I didn’t enjoy any exercise once I stopped dancing at age 14.

    Then, much like you, I got into walking, and that was good – but lately my schedule hasn’t really allowed for long walks. So I decided on Pilates. And well…it turns out I enjoy it as much as dance. I’m not doing it to lose weight, because personally I find that no amount of exercise really decreases weight, but I’ve definitely noticed improvement in muscle tone, energy levels and flexibility since I started. It’s awesome. I like having a capable body!

    So in other words…I think once you find a form of exercise that you like, you’ll be able to stick to it. Until then, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The couch is a pretty nice place to be, especially with a yummy latte, and guilt is a poor motivator for anything. Exercise only if it’s fun – that’s my motto.

  9. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    @D
    Roller derby! I’m immediately thinking of several movies. How’d you get into that?

  10. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    @Daphne
    Your family sounds really interesting. Is your mom athletic, too?
    I think exercise sometimes seems all or nothing to me, too. The times I’ve decided to commit to it, I’ve been like “I’m going to do this EVERY SINGLE DAY.” But that never actually happens. And then there’s the guilt.

  11. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    @Erin Lee
    I think it’s awesome that your motivation has changed. Don’t let it change back. There are so many good reasons to exercise, like you said– they’re better reasons than the ones about looking prettier. I wonder if it’s easier to enjoy exercise when you already feel you look good. Have you noticed that?

  12. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    @Another Melanie
    I get out of breath from stairs, too. I think we should just keep on doing it and eventually it’ll be easier. One of the reasons why working out is so stressful for me is that I expect some magical change to happen, immediately.

  13. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    @SolariC
    Well put!

  14. Carolyn responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I think the trick for me sticking with fitness is exercising without leaving home and without disrupting my laying around time for too long. I am epically lazy and work from home; so I pretty much live in PJs all week long.

    I’ve recently discovered rips of Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred & yoga meltdown on YouTube and have so far been able to do that – at least she doesn’t make me scream at the tv like whomever the perky annoying blonde with all those exercise vhs tapes in the late 90s did (denise austin, maybe? hate that beyotch with a passion).

    I’ve also found a bodyweight workout that takes less than 30 minutes I’m liking from the Nerd Fitness blog for days when my arms are destroyed from the yoga or weeks when the hurricane hits and I’m cold and I’m lazy and I don’t want to.

    Before this spate of exercise, I ballooned up 2 sizes from the best weight i’ve ever been at. I got to that weight/size by cutting out bacon, cheese & fries; eating a crapload of whole grains and vegetables; and working out with the Nintendo Wii for half an hour 5x a week (Wii fit to be exact – me and the Zumba game have a mutual hatred for each other and the Xbox fitness thing tried to kill me and destroy my knees). The Wii is great – it’s judgmental, passive-aggressive, and a really great workout for lazy people in zero kind of shape. I totally kind of miss it, but my body just can’t dump the pounds like that any more – I already eat healthy, and I now have a little bit of muscle for the first time in my entire life.

  15. Sorcha responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I don’t like exercise. Everyone in my family is into sports and exercise in a BIG way (brother played volleyball at national level for crying out loud!) and eh, I used to do yoga and run until I wrecked my back so now I use that as my excuse (though in truth, it would probably get better if I did do some exercise…).

    As an aside…I’m getting married in 5.5 weeks and it’s a running joke with the Big Guy and I that we’re not dieting/working out. The guys he works with seem to think that it CRAZY he’s allowed to eat take-out food when they’re on the road and I don’t send him off with a little pack of salad. His answer? “Dude, you should see the way she eats cheeseburgers…”

  16. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    @Sorcha
    LOL!!

  17. Rapunzel responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I exercised in college, and it wasn’t bad. I went to the YMCA gym and I would swim laps. Well, they were sort of laps. I doggie-paddled as fast and hard as I could up and down the pool for a mile. So it wasn’t the breast-stroke or butterfly, but it still got me a workout and I loved it. Then I’d do resistance training. I often tried to avoid the treadmill and NEVER did the elliptical, because I detest those things. I felt good, because I would go to class and I would go to the gym. It was easier then, and I felt healthier too.

    I haven’t been to a gym since then. It’s been four years since I lived in a town that actually had a gym, and now that I’m in a town with one again, I definitely don’t go to it even though I torment myself about how I should all the time. But it doesn’t have a pool! Actually, there are TWO gyms in my town, and neither has a pool. So the whole $420 or $444 per year memberships are completely/utterly/absolutely NOT worth it to me, if they don’t even have a pool. I would never go!

    I kidded myself into spending HUNDREDS of dollars last winter and buying myself a treadmill. I don’t like it and I don’t use it. The belt slips and I’m afraid of falling and hurting myself too. Hubby did the same thing with himself the year before and got an elliptical. They are probably my most loathed exercise machines. Why did I do that? I should sell it and get a bike. I might bike, if I had one.

    I never truly liked exercise. I’ve never been good at it. And it was all always to lose weight, which never, ever, ever happened. I worked my ass off the winter before my wedding and I didn’t lose a pound. I might’ve been “healthier,” but hell if I care about that when my wedding photos make me look like a whale in a wedding dress!

    So I’m at a standstill right now when it comes to exercise. I keep telling myself that when I get a new job that doesn’t require me to stand all day and make me hate life in general, that I’ll be happier and have more energy to actually devote to an effort at healthfulness and exercise. Someday….

  18. Emily Wenstrom responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    When we were kids my mom made all three of us do two things: We all had to play a peewee sport, and we all had to learn to play piano.

    At the time they both seemed pretty arbitrary. Neither was actually unenjoyable though, and long after I quit piano in middle school (after over six years of practice) I played flute, sang in the church choir, and to this day carry an understanding and appreciation for music I know I would not have without that experience. Just learning to read music has been incredibly useful.

    The same goes for the sports. My siblings and I all started with peewee soccer. It may be true that I spent most of my time picking dandelions on the field, and that even when I quit soccer in second grade I was still foggy on the rules, but it set me up for life. I went on to play softball. And swim team. And track. And field hockey. It set me up year-round to make the tracks, fields and gyms places I was fairly comfortable. Eventually I even got pretty good at them. I got used to the pains and rewards of pushing myself hard, and came to recognize that burn in my muscles and lungs as good things.

    Thank GOD for my mother. I still run 4-6 times a week. At times I’ve focused more on losing weight or training for speed, but mainly I just know that I’m in better health, physically and mentally, when I exercise regularly, and I’ve come to appreciate it.

    Now of course, as you testify here, this can be taken to extremes. My mom only made sure to expose us to these different things, and then let us make our own informed decisions from there. And we ate a TON of junk food :-)

    I think you’re right, it comes down to mentality. I really have come ot love running because I’m able to have a low-key attitude about it. Given that you burn about 100 calories per mile, I can set a goal like 4 miles, know I’ll burn roughly 400 calories, and then do what I want with it. On an off day I might walk good portions of it, or on a good day I’ll run it with sprint intervals. But regardless I can be satisfied knowing I’ve done something good for myself and how I got there doesn’t matter so much.

    And the more I run with this kind of attitude, the more I WANT to run.

  19. Emily responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    If I lived like you, Kate, I would feel like absolute crap. You obviously don’t, and that’s great. We all have to do what works best for us. Processed foods are like poison for my body and I feel it. Being sedentary is also a poison-like feeling for me. Exercise is my way of both making sure I have energy and that I am able to relax and sleep at night; healthy food makes me able to get up the next morning and actually function. This is what works for me. Do you. It’ll all work out (no pun intended).

  20. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    @Emily
    But see, I have this feeling that if I was more like you, my life would be SO much better.

    That might be in part because people are always like, “Your life will be SO much better when you exercise!”

  21. melissa responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I don’t exercise at all… I think there is potential there (for instance, I can enjoy choreographed dancing, and there are a few sports I enjoyed in high school), but the motivation is none.

    I mean… negative reasons, like feeling guilty or fat, are incredibly demotivating. It’s easy to just say “screw it, I don’t care” and then eat away the sorrow. So that doesn’t work.

    I get that people go for the it-makes-you-feel-good positive reinforcement thing, but I never really felt good after exercise. Like… at all. I find all it does is give me an excuse to eat more junk.

    “Fun” might work, but then it would have to be fun. Riding a bike uphill or anytime it’s cold/windy is so incredibly not fun. Neither is playing a dancing game alone. Without the actual dancing game. On youtube. Like a poor weirdo.

  22. Caitlin responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I’ve given up on weight loss after discovering HAES, but I exercise for the future. Last year, my grandfather had to call me to come pick my grandmother up off the fall because she had fallen and couldn’t get up, nor could he help her get up. I exercise to prevent frailty. Currently that includes 1 hour with a personal trainer and 1 – 2 hours of Zumba per week. I can see progress too! Before, the idea of doing a push-up was laughable. Now I can do 3 push-ups (knee ones, but still).

  23. Caitlin responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    And by the fall I mean the floor.

  24. andrea @ my kinda perfect responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    6 weeks ago i joined a gym. and let me tell you, i loathe working out.

    but, that’s what got me to almost 100lbs overweight. and i’m not saying my goal is to lose that 100lbs, but my unhealthy lifestyle was a clear path to becoming significantly overweight.

    the gym i joined isn’t a chain, it’s owned by two fitness professionals (one i went to high school with) who genuinely care about the success of their clients. the biggest thing that i learned during my consultation about exercise vs. activities is that if you like doing it, it’s an activity, but if it isn’t enjoyable, it’s exercise. and that is oh-so-true.

    after 6 weeks, i’m not enjoying exercising any more than i did on day one (which i’d put at less than zero on a scale of one to ten). but, i feel satisfied when my workout is complete and i know i did something good for my body, my health, and my future. and i only have to work out 3-4 times per week…so it’s not that bad…

  25. meg responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    we didn’t have a microwave ;) or a vcr/dvd player, for that matter. i think we got them when i was in early high school. we had a tv with no remote (it had a button for each channel and a knob for the volume) until around the same time.

    i realllly like walking. i also really like yoga, but mainly because it doesn’t feel like exercise to me. it feels like a good therapy session. i belonged to a gym, briefly, but quit because i felt too much pressure to exercise all the time. i guess i go in phases with exercise, but the main theme tends to be that i like doing things that don’t really seem like exercise.

  26. Kate responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    @meg
    You AMISH person! :p
    I really need to do yoga with you sometime.

  27. S. McCarty responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    LOL, I was homeschooled as well (my parents started in the 70s when people were still going to jail for it). We occasionally had a TV that lived in the closet most of the time. However, we didn’t have a microwave until I was about 13-14 when a relative gave us a used one. My mother made us go hide in another room whenever it was operating because she thought it would irradiate us. My brother put aluminum foil in the microwave at his workplace one time and everyone was mystified that he didn’t know not to do that. I can’t tell you how many times I burnt stuff because I thought the microwave because I thought foods needed the same amount of time to ‘cook’ as in a toaster oven. We also didn’t have a dishwasher until I was older and I didn’t know that it took different detergent and you couldn’t use dishwashing soap in it…oops!

  28. Heavy responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    A while back I read something somewhere that said, always take the smallest step possible towards a goal and I found that super helpful as I started to get more active over the past year. I’m generally pretty sedentary by nature but there are things I enjoy doing and I do those. I like going for walks, I like swimming (even though I’m a terrible swimmer and I generally appear to be drowning) and I love to dance. I tried running for a while and hated it and it made me not want to be active so I stopped doing it. I started out just saying all I had to do was 15 minutes and then eventually I really got to enjoy walking for 90 minutes at a time. I think doing what you enjoy doing and trying not to even frame it as “exercise” might help.

    Exercise and dieting has become the religion of our time and it’s just as oppressive as a lot of other forms of religion can be/have been. I try to think of it as just moving my body every day (or every other day at the moment) and the more I do it, the more I enjoy it. Also, cheapest form of therapy ever!

  29. Sheryl responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    I’m on and off with the exercise. I do sometimes get a little carried away and push myself too hard (unhealthy hard) when I’m in an “on” phase, but what I really want is to find some middle ground.

    I’m currently in an off phase, and while I don’t miss the time that exercise took from my day or pushing myself to the point of exhaustion, I do miss the way I felt during a workout and when I’ve been reguarly exercising.

  30. Farida responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    My family was just like yours almost everything is natural but with exception of homeschooling and no t.v

    but the thing is you don’t have to exercise all the time , I hate the treadmill too , its boring! but the problem the life style we live these days(a lot of sugar, and Minimum moving!)

    I think sometimes we need to lose weight not for the sake of beauty but because being healthy is really feels good and makes you doing more activities , and you will be more energetic

    I’m a dietitian but loves loves your posts :) ))

  31. Becky PB responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    @Another Melanie
    I’ve been living on the 6th floor of an apartment building with no elevator for the last two months. Everyday I go up those stairs at least once. A few times a week I go up those stairs with heavy bags of groceries or laundry, or worse yet, wet laundry. I’m still out of breath by the top. I guess I don’t really have a point to this, just saying I can commiserate with you. When I first moved in I thought for sure by the second month there’d be some improvement, but nope, not yet. We’ll see how it goes after I’ve been here for a year.

  32. Beth {Southern Bluestocking} responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    “telling stories instead of watching them” is incredibly well put. I’ll be thinking that the next time I prop myself in front of the tv (or pick up another novel) instead of working on my own stuff.

    And as to exercise: I also hate the idea of a traditional gym. I don’t like what it does to me–how much have I burned now? and now? and am I skinnier yet? and why not? But I found a small kickboxing studio for women that I absolutely loved, and never looked back. Fabulous. Heart rate up, stress relief, ‘allowed’ to be aggressive–one of the best things I’ve ever done. So maybe try that–the focus was on doing something WITH your body, not doing something TO your body. And that was quite a lovely distinction.

  33. Anna responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I’m a fairly active person, but I definitely have my lazy phases. Sometimes I don’t want to go for a run outside or make the effort to go to a yoga class. Sometimes I get off work and just want to stay in and watch a show on TV. To counter that I will jog in place or do jumping jacks for 10 – 15 minutes while watching a television show. Then I’ll do situps for 5 – 10 minutes.

    Yes, those situps usually end up with me laying on the floor watching TV, but it gets me moving a little bit. I started doing this when I read an article somewhere about how you burn less calories when sitting in front of a TV than when you are sleeping. If I make a habit of doing that whenever I turn on the TV I’ve found it is harder for me to sit in front of the television and keeps me motivated to stay active.

    My downfall of laziness? Books. When I find a great book all I want to do is sit around with a cup of tea and read. But at least I’m exercising my brain!

  34. Blake responded on 02 Nov 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    I work out to manage my anxiety and depression. I wish I didn’t need to exercise to deal with it, but I do. It beats being on antidepressants and staying up all night which is what I’ve done in certain periods of my life. I’m not even thin but I work out every day. I just know it makes me feel alive and awake. If I miss a day I feel crappy. Writing also makes me feel great, so maybe your writing is your exercise Kate. Writing is also a release. And walking is great exercise. I was in great shape when I lived in NYC and walked everywhere. I miss it!

  35. Jane responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 12:26 am #

    I walk a lot (more than an hour most days), and I did enjoy doing yoga years ago, before the kids (now there just isn’t the time) but what I have recently taken up is an actual sport – badminton. I was really, really not sporty as a kid; I couldn’t take the being-worse-in-an-obviously-comparable-way-than-every-other-person aspect to it. My husband, who is tall and pretty well built (if I do say so myself) though not super competitive, did play sport as a kid, and continued past school. He told me years ago that sport, as a voluntary, amateur pursuit for grown ups had a completely different vibe to junior sport; that it was mostly social, and that people were grateful to you for turning up, because they needed other people for the games to happen. I guess I believed him, I mean, why would he lie? But I certainly wasn’t in any hurry to jump back into that particular frying pan. Well, this year I saw an ad in a local paper for a women’s badminton club which contained the magical words ‘free creche’. So I went and gave it a try. It is genuinely fun! I enjoy myself. I also run around and raise my heart rate one morning a week. It is weird, in a good way, to be challenging a deeply entrenched negative aspect of my self-image (i.e. that I can’t play sport). It is great to realise that even now, in my forties, I am learning new ways to be myself.

  36. zoe responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 12:39 am #

    exercise has grown really weird associations (i.e: boring, militant, not fun). some people develop really lovely relationships with working out and that’s awesome but a lot more people end up resenting exercise as something they “should do”. we all know how awful something is when it feels like a “should” as opposed to a “want”. the thing is, regular movement is actually a beautiful blessing. we simply get tricked into believing the only “proper” way to work out is going to the gym, or on long resentful runs (i’m guilty of this). it took me way, way too long to realize exercise could mean things like hiking, rock climbing, hooping, dancing, walking, and yoga-ing (and NOT seven mile runs seven days a week). actually liking what i did with my body physically changed my life. movement became something i wanted to do because it was fun again, not compulsive and painfully regimented.

    honestly, i wish i read more articles in magazines like, “six ways to find what movement you and your body love” instead of articles like “six ways to torture yourself into a body that’s not your natural state of being”.

  37. Claire Allison responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 1:16 am #

    I hate the gym because I hate being around the people who exercise and are really fit. They get competitive. You can see them judging you.

    A few years ago I discovered that the YMCA in one of the cities I was living in was full of the oddest assortment of people- we’d get the seniors, that chronically unfit, the overweight, and some people that were just weird and defied convention. These were my people. I loved going to Zumba with the 98 pound Indian man who wore a sweat band, or being in the pool around the old Mediterranean men who rubbed their bellies and called the fat “abs”. My aerobics class full of geriatrics and people recovering from heart attacks was hilarious, especially since the instructor (a fiercely muscled woman) would yell at me the most to ‘work it’ and the others would laugh at me because I was the young one. Occasionally, a young fit male with abs and muscles would dive into the pool, splash a lot, make a big show of working out, and then trot off like a proud pony, but we mostly just ignored him.

    Then I went back to University, tried to go to the health centre and found myself surrounded by aggressive men who swore at me when they swam into my lane in the pool. As for the zumba class… well, you couldn’t pay me to be around that many lululemon clad-freshmen.

    If I could find another gym full of my people, I would be a happy person.

  38. BJ responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 5:13 am #

    I’m trying to get back into lifting weights regularly. It’s hard, because there’s always that Nightmare Revisit switch in my brain that trips whenever someone looks at me weird (which is all the time), I get hungry enough to notice, and when I’m exerting myself in any way.

  39. Kae responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Wow, there’s a lot of food for thought in this post – first of all, I’m loving the reader pic, this lady looks fab!

    I grew up eating reeaaally healthy as well – everything wholegrain (white flour was basically the antichrist), lots of vegetables, the whole shebang – we didn’t have a TV either (AND we didn’t have a microwave!)
    Exercising – I love it, and very much got into a particular sport, but had a nasty injury and had to stop. I got out of the habit and didn’t really do anything, until one day, I read an article in Glamour (I think) – ‘Your body, but better – in five minutes a day’ – and one of the suggestions was doing 10 squats per day – ‘you’ll notice a difference in about two weeks – thighs, belly, bum’ and I started doing that. The only thing I actually noticed was that it was getting easier after a while, then I did it twice a day, then added some situps – and then suddenly, I started running again, doing dance workouts, etc, and now I’m loving the whole exercise thing again. Often, during the day, I’m secretly waiting for that one hour in the evening where I switch my brain off, my iPod on and my feet hit the pavement – I feel more centered and energized afterwards…

  40. Liz responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 8:19 am #

    I found the couch to 5k program on my phone to be especally helpful; I was able to actually start and maintain a running program without being sore. It has you run in incriments, and I can listen to music and just run when it tells me to. Now when I don’t feel like running I think to myself that I just have to plod along, and just barely run. But when I actually get out there I find it’s not so bad. Plus the dog needs to get out for a walk/run anyway :)

  41. Kande responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Not sure what everyone else said ( I am multitasking, catching up on blogs … while I make homemade cookies full of wholesome ingredients – plus a shitload of oil, sugar, and GMO-products YUM, ironic much? lol!

    Anyway. Like you I grew up with a health-freak Mom, I mean a health CONCIOUS Mom ;) Few store bought products, she owned a health food store, limited access to sugar and junk food. And as a result – I never learned willpower, portion control, or how to not go overboard when university released me into the world of fast food, pizza pockets, doughnuts, chips, pop, french fries etc. … I had moderate exercise (swimming to become a lifeguard, but grew up in a small town so much less impressive skills than city kids with lots of competition) and one time in university I dieted to a crazy low weight due to stress. I also did two years of karate which I stuck to because I enjoed my peers. But otherwise am no athlete, hat group sports as have no coordination and thought I was awful at running.

    During the years of post-graduation, marriage, and having two kids, I joined gyms on and off, usually making excuses to not go, and boight a treadmill that collected dust for two years.

    Then one day, I realized (among other things) that I was setting a bad example for my kids; that health only matters when you are young. So- joined a run club on a whim. And to my surprise – not only did I enjoy it, but was good at it! Not at first. Not every week. But for the most part it is an activity I actually enjoy and love my peer support – which are the main keys to exercise I think. As a wise man once said – if you exercise to lose weight, and then you lose weight – then what? So you better enjoy what you do!

    And as for food – I don’t ban treats, we talk about calories, portion control, healthy choices – and why it is ok to eat calorie laden cookies without a side portion of guilt :)

  42. Lisa responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 10:57 am #

    I stopped forcing myself to exercise years ago when I discovered that it was much more fun to incorporate walking into my day. I’ve never felt better because it doesn’t feel like some ongoing annoying commitment. I don’t enjoy committing to exercise, it feels forced. I just walk everywhere and I feel great. I don’t like gyms or any type of classes. People just need to move a little. Even dancing in your apartment is way more fun than running on a treadmill! Right? :)

  43. Sarah S responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    The notion of staying active and moving for enjoyment, NOT to burn calories, has been a core struggle in my eating disorder recovery. I totally get the sweat-induced “high” readers are mentioning in their comments; for me, though (and many, many others out there), exercise became my drug of choice. I would cancel plans with friends just to get my workout in (and was praised for my discipline and energy… little did anyone know…). I would try to find a way to burn more calories every waking moment. Ugh. Whereas exercise can be a really healthy coping mechanism for most, my obsession with it (temporarily) destroyed my health.

    I looked awful, too. One of my best friends (a guy I had a disastrous dating relationship with several years ago, no less) told me, “If you were trying to lose weight to look better, you missed the exit.” For some reason THAT comment, more than any other from my close girlfriends, helped strengthen my resolve to cut back on exercise (instead of just casually promising to eat more).

    As I become more educated on eating disorders and recovery, I’ve discovered that there’s quite the debate going on to figure out whether over-exercising is a compulsion or addiction (from personal experience I say a little of both). Regardless, the stats of obsessive exercisers relapsing into their eating disorders is staggering — 50-80%. I’ve put WAY to much effort and money into this to exercise myself back to my eating disorder.

    Now I try to do a lot of what you do, Kate — I walk places as often as I can. I do fun stuff with my body like horseback riding, pole fitness (a total riot for a klutz like me), and Zumba (once again, a hoot — I can’t shake a thing to save my life). Sure, I still go for the occasional run, but now I try to let my body dictate what it wants to do instead of the eating disorder. I can admit that I HATE lifting weights, no matter how good it is for me (BORING). As much as I’d love to start boxing again, jump on a stairmaster with a trashy magazine, or train for a distance race (all things I used to do all-out, all the time), it’s simply too dangerous for a neurotic, recovering anorexic. :)

    Thanks for addressing this topic.

  44. Franca responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I didn’t have a microwave growing up, my parents thought they caused cancer. They were also very hippie ecological in most other ways, homemade bread and muesli, no tv, no plastic toys, as few vaccinations as possible etc. They still don’t have a microwave, although interestingly they have given up on the growing vegetables in the garden thing and actually somewhat came out at the other end when me and my sister left home. I also don’t have a microwave now, not because I think there’s anything wrong with them, but I just never wanted one enough to buy one. Everything I would use the microwave for tastes nicer made in the oven or a pan.

    This has been a very microwave focused comment. Re exercise I’m also not keen on virtually all forms but it is very important to me to be fit and to be able to move flexibly and run for the bus. Mainly walking everywhere, actually running for the bus and the occasional yoga session do the job.

  45. Erin Lee responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    @Kate,
    Actually, what helped me keep at the gym is the “No judgement zone” at Planet Fitness.. cheesy, but it works! I DON’T feel judged there. Heck, I’ve seen all sorts of people, even old people with walkers! And although I literally haven’t dropped any weight on the scale, I /feel/ better, and that is serious motivation to me keeping at it. I can see/feel a substantial decrease in my [cardio] ability if I take a whole week off. Which is fine – I just have to work back up to it.
    Honestly, Andrew and I just completed a 5k+ mud run obstacle course today. IT WAS A BLAST. When else do you get the opportunity/excuse to crawl through mud and run through an obstacle course? It’s so FUN! And I’ve never had the nerve/gall/confidence to enter myself in 5k’s before. Now I know what I’m missing.
    I totally agree that getting going at the beginning is the hardest part. If you feel awful, you’ll continue to feel awful for [probably] at least a couple months of exercising – which is too long for some people to endure and unfortunately they lose focus/confidence if they don’t /SEE/ immediate results. I’m trying to focus on how I FEEL, instead. Physically, and emotionally. :)

  46. Dane responded on 03 Nov 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    I’m really lucky in that I live in a cycling-friendly city and I’m mechanically-inclined enough to really love my job as a bike mechanic. It’s been a long time since I intentionally “worked-out” but because my job is physical (it involves carrying heavy boxes up 3 flights of stairs fairly regularly) and I live close enough to most of my favourite places to bike or walk there, I stay in fairly good shape. I think this is the kind of reframing of exercise that article was talking about- where it’s not so much intentional calorie-burning as simply what you need to do to do your job or get yourself somewhere. I realize that it’s not that easy for everyone, and I’m also lucky to be young and in good shape and able-bodied.

  47. bethany actually responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 4:12 am #

    I don’t like the idea of exercise, but I do love how I feel when I work out. I feel stronger and more energetic. I find myself making multiple trips up- and downstairs in our house, just for the joy of racing up and down the steps. I sleep better and I am less moody.

    Lately, in the evening after I put the toddler to bed, I’ve been using the elliptical while I watch a 45-minute TV show (I’m working my way through Stargate SG-1 for the first time; it’s surprisingly good). It’s not ideal, because it’s an hour of the time I used to spend with my husband, and it means I’m elevating my heart rate at 9pm, which makes it even harder for my night-owl self to go to bed at a reasonable hour (2am is reasonable, right?)…but it’s SO MUCH BETTER than not working out at all.

  48. Kate responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    @bethany actually
    I’ve been meaning to try Stargate… I still have never watched it and it seems like my kind of thing. I think I’d be more likely to exercise if I could watch something I liked during.

  49. Kate responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    @Dane
    Your life sounds seriously cool.

  50. Kate responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Also, funny how many people didn’t have a microwave growing up!! I should’ve been hanging out with you guys. I would’ve been like, “Well, MY house is very technologically advanced.” No, I probably would’ve just felt more comfortable!

  51. Alex responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    lardpot is a term, my mean voice uses similar terms sometimes…One time I was being so mean to myself with my icky choice of words when I was in the depths of an eating/over exercising disorder and I had the realization that I would never let anyone else bully me like that…I stood in front of a full length mirror while the dialogue ran in my head and I made myself not turn away from the tears I saw in my reflection…tears caused by my awfulness, words that I would never use on anyone but me…and it brought me to my knees, literally! I wish I could say that from that moment on the monster disappeared, it didn’t but it was an important step in becoming more aware of the nasty things that happen in my head…a year later and that angst seems farther away even though I am heavier, the voice is quieter and I am more content with a softer body…I can’t even imagine what least year’s me would have to say for herself…maybe she would say sorry, cause I am lovely in all of my various shapes and sizes…

  52. Kjerstin responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I don’t exercise. Because when I decide that I’m going to start exercising and become a Person Who Exercises, I never do, because I hate exercising. And then I feel terrible about myself. So I just don’t bother with even the intention. Lazy? Perhaps. But life’s pleasanter this way.

  53. San D responded on 04 Nov 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    The long and the short of it is this: exercising is good for the body and soul, but needs to be interesting and engaging enough for the body and soul to sustain doing it. I exercise reluctantly but necessarily because the long and the short of it is this: I will eventually have the title of “caregiver”, and I want to be strong enough to do the moniker justice.

  54. Marie responded on 05 Nov 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Kate,

    I love this post! I have a voice that wakes up and starts yelling awful things much like yours when I’m on a treadmill. Actually, I have been anti-exercise for most of my life and I find the treadmill and gyms depressing (the idea of running and running and not going anywhere…) I began doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu non-competitively six months ago and it has completely changed my life. Admittedly, I started doing it to lose weight, but it’s become so much more than that. For me now it’s about discipline, social interaction, stamina, and strength. It’s very easy to forget that you’re actually getting a workout because you’re focused on learning new techniques and perfecting your old ones. It has been by far the best form of exercise for me (and I’ve tried everything from boot camp to ballet to zumba to wii fit) and has turned me into a fitness junkie. My exercise regimen has expanded a bit through the academy I go to and I also train Muay Thai boxing and do some yoga on my own to help with my training. I am at the point where if I don’t exercise I feel horrible and falling in love with exercise has helped a lot of other areas of my life :) I recommend trying Jiu Jitsu if you’re looking for something new.

  55. D responded on 05 Nov 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    I didn’t see that you responded to my comment! Sadly, I have no cool story, I got into derby through facebook stalking another derby girl, and forcing myself to try it. Slightly embarrassing, but it is the truth!

  56. sid responded on 06 Nov 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I totally agree with angela!
    I really try not to be all pissy and stuff when I don’t exercise (specifically, run) but it’s hard when I am used to running 6 days a week! With running, I feel the fresh air and the good pain–it’s just hard to live without for me.
    I also eat a LOT more on days when I do not run, so I am even pissier afterwards.
    Thank god, my genetics, the universe,or whatever that I can even run at all, though! I am so thankful that I can use my legs at all–I have to remind myself this frequently, though.

  57. tanner responded on 06 Nov 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Kate, I’m with you on the exercise thing. I can’t stand it. Occassionally I’ll blow the dust off my mom’s 90s Denise Austin VHS tape (yes, I have a VCR) and wipe the cobwebs off my 5lb weights, but I hate doing it. I mean, I feel better once I’ve done it, but revving myself up to do it is quite a task. When people ask me if I exercise my response is always, No, but I walk a lot. People judge you when you say you don’t excerise. They give me a look like I’ve just said puppies are ugly or something. Or people tell me, oh you don’t need to you’re thin. Looking thin has nothing to do with exerceise. Being thin does not mean you’re fit. I am not fit. I can’t run a block without panting. But whatever. I’ll bust out the Denise Austin again. My Jillian Michaels DVDs are too hard…

  58. mayberry responded on 07 Nov 2012 at 4:24 am #

    First off, great article! Secondly, great representation of an alternative view to my own :) I’m kind of an exercise nut, but not to be `skinny` – more that I can’t handle not exercising! I’m kind of manic/hyperactive, and find that when I don’t exercise I tend to end up bouncing off the walls ( and driving my boyfriend nuts in the process) I also find that exercise helps regulate my moods – I am more relaxed and less anxious when I regularly train :)

    I also find that exercise helps with my own body image – instead of viewing myself in terms of what I look like, I instead view myself in terms of function – can I run this far, be this flexible, master this technique? And have that body satisfaction come from inside myself for my abilities, rather than just my appearance to others and myself :)

    It does help to find something that you love – running for me is like moving meditation, helping me to chill out, whilst judo is a technical, physical and mental challenge – oodles of concentration and coordination required, whilst at the same time being completely mindless and reflexive. Plus its kind of awesome to smash someone 30 kilos heavier than you clear across the dojo! :)

    It also makes me really sad that people ( particularly women, with our myriad of body issues-sad face-) seem to view exercise as unpleasant or hard work or `payment` for being able to eat as you want, rather than just revelling in what our bodies are capable of doing, and just how far you can excel and push yourself if you enjoy what you’re doing – kind of similar to sex – our bodies can bring us so much pleasure, which can be gained from exercise as well :)

  59. Allyson responded on 08 Nov 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    I’m a bit of an exercise freak, and I get seriously cranky if I go awhile without doing anything. I think it’s easier to get into if you’re looking to accomplish a goal not related to weight, such as a race or a martial art. I signed up for my first triathlon a few years ago, and the high I felt when I finished had me hooked. I just did my first marathon, and trained with a group from a local running store, and I found it a great way to meet new, interesting people, and keep me motivated. And crossing that finish line made it all worth it.

    I also do the occasional bootcamp or kettle ball class. I love being able to feel myself get stronger. When I move up to a higher weight, or need less assistance with a pull-up (my goal is to one day manage at least one pull-up without any assistance from one of those machines), I feel so accomplished, like I can take on the world.

    Other people I know need to be learning some sort of skill in order to enjoy working out. My husband is really into martial arts and kickboxing, and I have several friends into roller derby, so maybe something like that would be of more interest to you.

  60. bailey responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 11:30 am #

    i love to exercise, but sometimes i do it out of ED habits. http://www.justsayyes.org/topics/self-image-media-influences/

  61. Eat the Damn Cake » One of those days…where you end up with a lot of cow blood on the floor and your cat might be dead responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    [...] I was really happy the other day. I had all this sudden energy, maybe in part because I’ve been walking every day, like a champ. (To the guy who commented arrogantly under one of my old posts that I have the wrong attitude [...]

  62. Eat the Damn Cake » the only one eating all of the doughnut holes (a story about choosing a career) responded on 04 Dec 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    [...] have to understand, I grew up without sugar. I am a child of the oppressive whole foods movement. A child of [...]

  63. Eat the Damn Cake » things that people apparently do responded on 02 Jan 2013 at 9:12 am #

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  64. Lena responded on 19 Jan 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    I’ve had a terrible relationship with exercise ever since people decided it had to mean WORK. Until junior high I was on every school sports team and in every intermural (which, according to my fancy felt bars, meant something like 20 clubs in different seasons of the year). When we got to junior high there were no sports ‘for fun’, if you wanted to sign up for one you had to go to at least six hours of strange after-hours training sessions in which you just did exercise and they considered it practice. I don’t want to do that. I WANT TO PLAY SPORTS! (If anyone was wondering, this competitive ‘sports are war’ sort of attitude is why no kids in school want to play them.)

    But I haven’t.

    I’m in the last stretch of college, and looking forward to a time when I won’t have so much work to do that anything remotely fun feels like slacking off. I know there’s a lot of work involved in living on your own, but I’d like to think that without a job, homework, school, and the somewhat more limited chores involved in living in residence, I’ll be able to fit in a community sports group or time with longtime-friend-soon-to-be-roomate when I move out.

  65. Sarah G responded on 05 Mar 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    I hate exercise. I despise it actually. It doesn’t make me feel better, even after I’ve done it for several months–I almost always feel awful for hours after working out. And formal exercise such as a class or a gym? Forget it. . .I start having all of these memories of early elementary school PE where we had an AWFUL coach and I had undiagnosed exercise and allergy induced asthma so I always felt like I was dying.

    I refuse to work out. I had a membership at a gym because I wanted to lose weight (when in reality, I lost weight eating intuitively w/o working out). I forced myself to go and I’d force myself on the bike or elliptical, telling myself all the reasons I should be there and counting every calorie I burned. I was miserable every single second of it.

    I’m not opposed to moving my body–I love a night dancing with friends or playing with a hula hoop. But I’m very opposed to anything I see as exercise with an end goal. Maybe I need to reframe it and see it as something other than a way to lose weight, but I’m not there yet.

  66. Sallie responded on 26 Jun 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I workout at home …. I try for 3-4 days a week, and I HAVE to do it as soon as I get home. Once I sit down and relax, I can never seem to get back up to exercise. I usually shoot for 30-45 mins a day.