I’m Into Fitness – Fittin’ This Cookie in my Mouth

A row of treadmills on a hardwood floor in front of floor to ceiling windows

I try to set goals for a new year. Sometimes I reach them, sometimes I don’t. But I want to get fit. Really, I do. I think about it every day.

Some mornings I wake up and think, the first thing I’m going to do is spend 30 minutes on the treadmill. I am! I tell myself I’m going there now. Then I pad downstairs, say good morning to Derek who’s always up before I am, and head to the kitchen to rustle up some breakfast and coffee.

Every. Time.

I do use the treadmill but it’s sporadic. We also have my Mom’s exercise bike in the basement. A lot of good it’s doing us there among the cobwebs and low ceiling.

I grew up in a rather sedentary household. Regular exercise wasn’t part of our family dynamic. But let’s face it, I’m way past the age when I can blame anything on the way I was raised.

There’s a wonderful fitness motivator on Instagram who could whip my ass into shape if I’d let her. But I’ve quit so many gyms and classes over the years, I don’t want to agree to work with her only to have to join the witness protection program when I don’t feel like doing it anymore.

I know I need to be in better shape, say, more like a carrot than an eggplant. It’s clear to me that regular exercise staves off all sorts of maladies. Scientific facts about exercise have permeated my brain. So, what’s my problem? This isn’t pandemic-related. It’s been a lifelong issue.

The only time I stuck to any sort of regular workout routine was when I would go with Erin Davis to the Rogers gym. I rely on the buddy system. It meant more to me to spend time with Erin and keep a promise than to skip out on getting sweaty. Accountability is a big part of what works for me. But I can’t be accountable to just anyone. Even paying for my accountability isn’t always enough.

I have arthritis in my knees but it’s not unbearable. Stairs and any sort of climbing hurts but I can handle walking. If I could, I’d walk somewhere every day. During the 8 months we lived in Wallaceburg, I walked a lot. It’s a walkable town. Out here in the country, there’s nowhere to walk. We live on a gravel road and it would take half a day to walk around the block. The fields surrounding us are furrowed and either quicksand-like mud or moon-surface rocks. The only people who walk across fields are farmers, hunters, or zombies.

When I’m on the treadmill, I can read a book. When I’m outside, I’d love to wear earbuds and listen to music or an audiobook but – and this is no joke – my earholes are too small! Seriously. No earbuds will stay in them. My audiologist has to use infant-sized probes when she tests my hearing. I suppose I could invest in headphones. Another excuse bites the dust.

What’s it going to take to motivate me? I don’t want to be soft in the middle or risking my health. I don’t know the answer but I hope someone does. A new year is coming and a fresh start is always possible.

And as soon as I finish this paragraph I’m getting on the treadmill for real this time. Seriously. Thirty minutes with Mary Trump’s book to keep me company. After all, I’m my own boss and I have given myself the time off work to do it. So, there’s really no excuse.

PS. I did it! Could publicly shaming myself be the solution?

14 thoughts on “I’m Into Fitness – Fittin’ This Cookie in my Mouth”

  1. Oh, I miss those days together in the gym. Honestly, it’s a struggle – especially in inclement weather – but if you just had a dog to walk…or MISS SUGAR! Talk to her about that, would ya? (Sending big hugs – xo – E.)

  2. I feel for you and understand 100%
    There is always tomorrow. Two broken wrists in 2019, January the left and March the right while walking my dog has scared me into no walking in the winter.
    One day……

  3. It’s almost as if I wrote this blog post! Maybe you need to create a virtual fitness group that makes people accountable. I’ll be your first member!!

    There are apps that you can share between friends to keep you accountable (or so my teenagers tell me when they’re doing their school work and competing for “points” with their friends).

    A back injury 2 years ago has made exercise tough but there is always some sort of adaptation that can be made to get a butt moving!!

    1. You’re right. Maybe I’ll look into the apps the kids are using! I don’t think I can run a virtual fitness group, though. But I should join one! Thanks, Dara.

  4. Great post Lisa! I got scared straight back in July 2019 by my doctor when for the first time in my life, I actually had a bad physical and he was concerned. That was my pivotal taking my health for granted tipping point.

    At that moment, I decided my path to success was to figure out what I liked and try to do it every day. I have arthritis in my knee after 7 surgeries, and it’s actually gotten better with all of the exercise and better diet and weight loss.

    30 minutes a day every day is doable and optimal, and I think finding the right way to make yourself accountable to do it for a month and then seeing the results a month from now to motivate yourself to keep doing it will be the key to success.

  5. Suzanne Newington

    Hey Lisa! I have been here…honest. At the beginning of the pandemic I would even go so far as to lie to myself that I was doing enough exercise to get by and “stay fit”. New Flash – I was not. Not even close. I had lost my accountability with the team and coaches when the gyms closed and life got crazy with working form home and taking night courses. I was working very long hours and attempting to take workout breaks mid-day to re-energize myself. My schedule was a mess, and so was I. One Sunday afternoon, Jeff and I went to Sarnia and ate fries under the brige…it was this event that made me realize I needed to make a change and it was going to take sheer will power to get it started. While enjoying our fries in the shade and watching ships roll by I saw a very large woman lumbering along in search of a garbage can to throw away her fry trash… I’m sure she’s a lovely woman. But the image of her has stayed with me. The very next morning, and every work day morning since I’ve been up at 5am for a workout. I won’t lie to you, the first several weeks were VERY HARD to do. Soon it got much easier and I was waking up before my alarm. When that hour is over I’m energized for the day. And I sleep very soundly at night.

    Sorry, there’s no magic to it…just gotta do it!
    As for headphones for outside, at least in colder temps – there are headbands with wireless headphones sewn in that you can bluetooth to your phone. They sit on your ear, not in your ear! I got them on Amazon, they are advertised as a “Sleep Band” but works for outside too. 🙂

  6. As someone who when working in downtown Toronto attended the fitness club daily and now works out at home the key factors I’ve found that keep me going are: Self motivation and this is the hardest challenge; effective time management, set a time each or every other day and stick too it; keep your goals basic I.E. I’m going to get on the treadmill 3 times each week for 30 minutes. Focus on the participation and not the outcome. Also, consider bone induction headphones which sit in front of the ear and transmit sound via your cheek bone to the inner ear. Slow and steady is the key for it allows you to make it part of your daily routine. Best of luck.

  7. Catching up on your blog posts and again this one is speaking to me. I am the same, when I’m at my office I think when I get home I’m going to exercise….I get home and sit on the couch. In the fall my niece introduced me to StepBet app and that sure got me motivated to walk. Then I made the excuse that I couldn’t do it in the winter because it’s too miserable here to walk everyday and I’m too busy. Ha. I’m going to sign up again for StepBet again and get my feet moving.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *