March 12, 2011

Motivation...and a review

I've been ruminating this week about motivation.  What motivates me to get up off the couch and move?  Or sew, or knit, or create, or.. even clean?

I started going to Kaerobics in January because I knew I needed to start moving, that I wasn't dealing with my life stress well,  and I needed some social motivation to exercise.  My oldest, who was my gym buddy, went to university.  I stopped going to the gym.  I knew I needed to do something active.  Kaerobics is my social exercise time; I get to hang around with my god-son, and my husbands bff and his wife.  It is my chance to go out and socialize, after running around like a fool and sweating my brains out in a fun way.  I am learning; I am having fun, and I like it. 

Yesterday was the First day of March break, and I decided I was going to be lazy, sit around, watch tv and drink a glass of wine instead of going to Kaerobics.  I wanted to leave school early for once, not sit around until it was time to go to class on the last day before March break. This morning, my body is explaining to me pretty clearly that I need to get up off the couch and move.  Other times I've missed class, I've been sick, and didn't want to infect anyone.  This time--I can tell that I needed to get up and move and my body is whining. It wants some motion and some go.  That, my friends, is new.  I have energy, and my body wants exercise.  

A friend at work mentioned the Body for Life challenge, where people take a challenge and totally change their bodies in 12 weeks; the pictures are pretty amazing.  I found a copy of Body for Life for Women at the bookstore last night on the clearance shelf.  She wants to do it again.

The challenge seriously tempts me. The whole book reminds me very much of the No Excuses Work Out System,  which I already own but do not used consistently.  12 week challenges, do interval based exercise combined with weights, change your diet.  Yep.  All in NEWO. Personal training component--available in NEWO (at a cost).   I've got NEWO.  I know it will work for me if I do it.  My current excuse is that I don't have a heart rate monitor (yes, it is an excuse.  Probably one that I will change today).  So why am I looking at another system instead of using the one I have? 

I seriously think I'm being ineffective with NEWO because I don't have a target goal and the personal motivation that will keep me focused for the short time.  There is nothing wrong with NEWO; I know it will work in the long run.  In fact, I intend to stay with it for the long term. The issue is with me and my own personal motivation for the short term.  The Body-for-life for Women book actually expressed this really well for me, in the form of questions.  What is going to be my pm motivator?  What will get me to the gym on that really bad day when I feel like going home and having diet coke and potato chips for supper? How am I going to deal with my toxic stress?

In the past, I've exercised to deal with the stress of change.  I exercised a lot after going to University and being transferred to a new school.  Exercise helped me tremendously at that point.  It dealt with my depression, and left me able to cope, and my body liked being a size 6-8.  It felt good.  I've been dealing with serious toxic stress in the last four years. On top of dealing with developing life threatening allergies and physical limitations and chronic pain, well--you get the picture-- my oldest has left home, I'm working at a brand new school, and I'm dealing with chronic pain. I'm not trying to make excuses.  This is my reality.  But, I need to do something to change how I'm dealing with my reality because I don't like the flabby body I've got right now.  If I can change my body to be something I like to hang around with in 12 weeks, then I am going to seriously think about it.  And, I know from the last time I went through this kind of thing in University, once my body gets to that nice space, it likes to stay there.  So, 12 weeks means June, and I can stay focused for 12 weeks. 

My personal challenge has to do with the diet.  Most of the diets suggested in these exercise programs fail me.  I am anaphylactically allergic to low fat foods (fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, nuts) along with melons and mangoes.  Almost every protein supplement depends on eggs or albumin produced from eggs, nuts or fish components to be effective.  All of the above will kill me, which rules out the 'supplement portion' of the body for life challenge, I think.  I have to check ingredients to be certain.  I can only eat red meat.  So, I can't just take a diet program that uses low fat as the basis of change in diet and use it.  NEWO was no exception.  But both of them suggest water, which I am trying to do consistently.  Healthy balanced portions, more veggies, more frequent meals.  So, it will take some thinking and planning to get this to work for me. 

So working through some of my reasons for starting to focus on changing my body. 

Why do I want to exercise?  What do I want out of the whole thing?
  • To avoid the wheel chair, and the high blood pressure medication in the long run.
  • To have some personal balance in my life, and develop some stress resiliance.
  • To feel better. 
  • To like what I see in the mirror.  
Going a little deeper:
  • I want to be around for my kids in 30 years, not in a wheel chair, but up and playing with my grandbabies.  
  • I want to be able to play pick-up basket ball and soccer this year.  My hips hurt today, which means that the exercise is making a difference, because they didn't hurt last week.  I want to be able to run without huffing or hurting myself.  I want to not hurt when I lift a full size basket ball.  I want to make the baskets, not struggle to lift the ball.
  • I want to look good, not jiggly or fat, in a fairy costume in June when Faeryfest comes around.  Enough said. 
Going a little deeper:  Kaerobics has made me realize that I am worth spending time on, and I am worth spending time with.  I am worth taking care of, so I can take care.