As explained in my last post, I kind of hit rock bottom when it comes to feeling comfortable and healthy. It took a while to get there, and it’s not like I didn’t try to get things under control before, but I tend to lack two things when it comes to nutrition and exercise- self-control and motivation.
So, how have I worked on the motivation issue? Well, as a self-proclaimed gym hater, for the longest time it was finding things that weren’t boring. For me, that usually means falling back on an old stand-by, dance. I started dancing when I was two, and didn’t stop doing it regularly until I was about 22 or 23. I firmly believe this helped me stay fit and trim for a long time. It’s amazing what muscles you never knew were there pop up when dancing!
When my heart issues started to create some major life issues, I stopped dancing regularly, mostly because I was afraid it would kill me, or send me to the hospital (both very real possibilities). Once I got my ICD, I didn’t really have an excuse anymore, but fear and anxiety kept me back. I got out of shape, and it got even harder to get to dance class. That, and it costs money, which is not always plentiful.
In turn, my figure and my skills started to dwindle in ways I didn’t like, but was both too lazy and/or afraid to deal with it.
What turned things around, you ask?
This beautiful Labrador-Pointer rescue! She has a lot of energy, and when we rescued her from our local humane society two months ago, I knew she would need to exercise. Boy, was I right. What was awesome was that I no longer had an excuse NOT to get outside and get walking– she HAD to go out for walks. No more choice on my part. i had to get home from work and walk the dog, instead of sitting on the couch. This has been my biggest motivator- a big, beautiful dog. One of the best decisions I ever made, by far. She challenges me in ways I never expected.
With that said, everybody has to find what works for them. For me, it is my dog and the need to feel comfortable in my own skin again. Of course, now I’ve added things like the elliptical, strength training, and interval training to our twice-daily walks, but it was my pup who started giving me more confidence.
How about you? What motivates you to get moving regularly?