When Exercise is Torture
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Today as I was pulling out of the gym’s parking lot, I had this thought: I would probably never like exercise, let alone love it!
Hey I’m not being negative, this is my reality. To get myself to exercise is still a huge challenge.
However, there is something positive I’ve noticed: I really like the way I feel afterward. Seriously, it’s like a fresh breeze blowing over my tired body. I feel as if I can take on anything, as if the big mountain of problems I had an hour ago, suddenly turned into the proverbial mole’s hill. I feel strong, I suddenly have more confidence and walk with and athletic bounce in my step. I don’t feel like eating anything either, but instead yearn for a glass of refreshing cool water, and I smile for no reason.
So is this enough to keep me exercising regularly? Not really. At this point in my life I am way too busy again. I have been talking to God about it. I still make time for Him every morning, but it is rushed and I don’t feel the peace that I so desperately need to stay on top of this eating disorder. I have not fallen back, but I have made a few nose dives, so to speak.
One of my main problems right now is that I have to figure out a new exercise routine. I was telling you how I have to find a new routine for every season in my life, and as it goes my season is changing once more. My little girl just turned 2 and she keeps me busy. I guess I forgot how tough it is to get enough sleep with a little one, let alone time with God, your husband, your friends and especially time to exercise. I started getting up at 6:30 in the morning, trying to beat her too it, and go to the gym. Just when I wasn’t hating it so much anymore, my husband announced that he had to start working earlier, so he needed to be out the door bright and early, along with all my other babysitters (teenagers:).
So here I was, once again, stuck. Now what do I do? Daytime is out of the question. In the mornings I have my hands full with home schooling and keeping a toddler busy without sticking her in front of the TV (well at least not for too long). In the afternoons I get some work in while she takes a nap and tend to the older children’s needs coming home from school. I can go at night of course, but I am absolutely exhausted in the evenings, and my husband and I need some time to interact and work on our online businesses.
I had an excuse to not exercise for a week while I was figuring this thing out. The week turned into a month, which turned into two months. (Remember in my course where I warned against breaking the cycle of consistency. It only takes three days in a row, believe me, I’ve seen this happen before)
So here I was, thick in my denial: I had absolutely no time to exercise and I felt extremely sorry for myself. The truth: There is always a way. If I’m out of ideas, God always have a few up his sleeve. There were times in my life when I was too sick to exercise, and even then I found solutions. So I thought I would ask. Low and behold, some ideas popped into my head. I might actually be able to hit the gym at night if I first lay down for a short rest. Also, I plugged out an old exercise video that I used to love and that has 10 minute sessions on. I figure somewhere during the day I could squeeze in a couple of 10 minute workouts without feeling too over whelmed.
Not that having ideas makes doing it any easier. I knew I had a few dreadful weeks in front of me, but I also knew I had to push through. I was feeling ill, nibbling on all sorts of things I had no business nibbling on and I felt more and more depressed every day. The writing was on the wall. It was time to JUST DO IT. So last week I did. I plugged out some note cards and wrote the truth on it. Here’s what I needed to hear AGAIN:
“I never feel like exercising, whether it’s morning or evening, summer or winter, but I am ALWAYS glad I did it!” Also
“I usually feel too tired to exercise, but not exercising makes this worse, not better. Exercise is a natural energizer!”
“It will be difficult before it feels like a benefit. I just have to push through the difficult faze of starting again. In a few weeks it will feel normal again and I will start to feel all the benefits!”
Did I just pull myself up by the bootstraps and got it together. You know better. It’s never that simple. No I struggled for a while, but I finally got to that “first day” where I did it again. It was horrible. I was so unfit again, it felt like I never exercised in my life and I hated it, but oh my goodness, the relief afterwards! And after day three, the lifting of the denial. I saw how I was using every excuse in the book to get out of this and stay on the couch the last months. After day seven I felt the lifting of despair and a flicker of excitement about life again. I especially felt the connection with my body. I was totally disconnecting, and in such a short time! When Yesterday, I went for a walk in the neighborhood instead of going to the gym. There’s a lot of hills where we live and it chewed up my legs, but I felt so alive! I experienced Autumn with all my senses, and I felt so close to God. I was crying out of sheer joy and relief that I was walking the journey again. For a minute there I fell back (more like two months) and I laid down listening to the enemy’s lies alright, but God helped me, as he did so many times before, and I got up. I’m still going. I’m not in the pit of despair, I feel joy flooding my life once again.
Actually this feeling is quite familiar to me. I also feel like this after I’ve prayed and had a good cry before the Lord about anything and everything. Lots of times I get up from my knees (or wherever) and I feel lighter, no more heavy burdens. Now I know this sounds like church talk, but in all honesty, I’ve tried every remedy I’ve heard of to release my stress and stop worrying about things, and I have yet to find one that works as well and as lasting as prayer. It works!
So in my very humble, non professional opinion, I am sure that exercise does for the body what prayer does for the soul. Let’s be honest: It’s never easy or even exciting to get yourself to do it, and most of the time you have to fend off the enemy and every obstacle known to man. Yet, if you just push through your own negative voices, the enemy’s lies, other people’s manipulation, and get yourself there… Joy awaits!
Don’t take my word for it, you try it ….
I devout a whole week in my 12 Week Online Program to exercise. I specifically talk about what to do if you simply hate to exercise or haven’t ever liked exercise. This week is meant to encourage you and give you tools to put this very important part of your life in order. To be free from eating disorder we have to learn to take care of ourselves and exercise is one of those areas that needs to be put back in it’s proper place. It shouldn’t be used as a method of weight control, but it shouldn’t be shun either. God made us to move.
You can get help for yourself or a loved one through my 12 Week Online Study Course. I’ve compiled this course from my own experience with food struggles, insight and understanding I’ve gained through counseling ladies in my support groups, Biblical principals, as well as material I’ve gathered by well-known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. This study is jam-packed with information, practical guide lines and honest testimonies.
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