{31 Days} Intentional Living – Day 18

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I’m not big on exercise – at all.  I don’t know what it is about exercising that I don’t like, but there it is.  Now, I have to say that I used to exercise a lot.  After college I wanted to get rid of the weight that I had put on while there, and so I worked out every day.  And I continued working out every day until about 6 months into my marriage, and then I stopped.

Why did I stop?  Well, I have a whole list of excuses, but my main one was that I was at my goal weight, and I didn’t need to exercise anymore.  Now, if I had continued to be intentional about my eating at that point there probably wouldn’t have been an issue.  However, when Matt and I got married, I worked in the city and took the train into the city early and arrived home late – so we went out to eat a lot.  Who really wants to cook dinner when they don’t get home until after 7?  Not I!

Then when we moved back to Maine I still didn’t exercise, and then I got pregnant with Emma, and then I was put on bed rest for the last couple of months.  Did I eat well?  Nope, it was my first pregnancy, so I ate everything that I could see 🙂  Now after 2 babies I am paying the price.  My eating is much better than it was 5 years ago, but my exercise is still pretty non-existent.  Sure we go for walks as frequently as possible – not so frequently now that it is seriously cold out and raining every day – but not that intentional exercise that I need.

This week I have made it a point to exercise every day, and it totally sucks.  I hate it honestly.  But, I know that I will feel better when I am healthy again.

Any good music you can share to keep me motivated while exercising?  Do you struggle to do it every day even though you know you should?  What is your favorite excuse?  Mine is that my kids are 2 and 4 and are absolutely insane to leave to their own devices for 45 minutes 🙂

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  1. I'll tell you what keeps me exercising or brings me back to it: a) I'm too cheap to buy new clothes so when they get snug I know it's time to increase my groove b) sweating is great therapy, seriously–it regulates my moods, gives me time to process thoughts, or allows me to zone out, and when I work-out outside I get to really engage with my community and natural settings. I unfortunately have a genetic make-up that equates to weight gain if I don't exercise even when I'm eating well and I'm incredibly motivated not to end up with many of the health issues that several of my family members have had so I work-out. I think intentionality would be beneficial though—if you take the time to really think through the work-outs, focus on your breathing, how your body & mind is responding, etc. Plus it's great modeling for the kiddos—one of things that I constantly reflect on these days is the fact that my dad ran a couple miles after work whenever he could until he couldn't due to knee surgery but it makes me happy to find myself following in his "footsteps" and I swear I never thought I'd be a runner. 🙂 Good music can be huge—but I seriously listen to everything and anything–sometimes slow stuff works for me, sometimes I listen to Christian music, sometimes its Alice in Chains–whatever seems to be the right setting for that day, whatever my mind needs. You can do this—I'm proud of you gal! Starting a new routine is hard, even when we know it's "good" for us!!

  2. If I can get outside for a walk, I feel better – physically and mentally. It's just when it gets down to under 50 degrees that I really loathe it. I do try to exercise 5 days a week and still hate it – it's a habit but honestly one that I feel is another chore. I can't imagine if I worked full time though – I don't know how I would get it all in. Music is a big motivator though!

  3. Lisa's advice is encouraging to me because I have the same problem you do! Part of the issue too is that we live in a little Sicilian town and so it's hard to get out with a stroller and go running or even walking (no sidewalks, very fast drivers, not safe to push a stroller in the street). I should be doing more exercise in my home, but… I'm not. :-/

    Maybe try some Pandora stations to see what really gets you going music-wise? It's free and fun to try different channels!

  4. Here's the thing I know about exercise. It's going to stink for the first 3 months. You'll hate it. BUT – if you can stick it out that long, at the 3 month mark something happens, and it starts getting more enjoyable, and it becomes a habit. 🙂 It's totally worth the sacrifices.

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