Thursday, October 27, 2011

But I Don't Want to Exercise!

It is far more difficult to eat healthily once it stops being nice and warm outside, I find. All year, I’ve been working to try to lose weight and minimize how much ‘bad food’ I eat. I’ve done well so far this year. When you have a mission to lose a certain amount of weight, that mission must be completed- at least in my case.

By the time summer came around, I’d hit my ‘goal’ weight and decided to keep going. It was easy during the summer because it’s hot outside and fresh veggies are plentiful. It’s easy to want a salad when the sun is shining and the ingredients are fresh.

However, now it’s autumn and the fresh vegetables are less fresh. The stores and markets are full of root vegetables and hearty ingredients. When it’s cold and rainy outside, it’s hard to want something light and healthy. It’s much more comforting to settle down with a bowl of beef stew or a nice warming soup.

The problem with this is that beef stew and nice warming soups while not unhealthy are not as light in calories or fat as summer foods. Also, I find that I’m hungrier when it’s cold. This is probably not really the case. It’s probably more that there’s more sitting around and less activity going on than there is in the summer months when I’m constantly outside doing something.

I suppose the answer is that I should start actually exercising rather than using normal every day activities to exercise. This way I wouldn’t have to worry so much about what I’m eating. It’s an easy solution in theory and one many of my friends have incorporated. It’s just that…well, honestly, I don’t like exercising. There, I said it. Once I start doing it and get into a routine, it’s not so bad. I even convince myself that I like it. It feels good. I know it gets the endorphins going. Yet, it’s so easy to…stop. I know the saying goes that it takes 21 days to form a habit and 3 days to break one. I think this is absolutely true. Which is why whenever I start exercising, it’s easy to stop.

For me, it’s a question of time. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become far less patient with wasting my time. It’s in short supply. When you work 9 hours a day, every moment is precious. I am not a Monkeypants who doesn’t need sleep. I need my sleep badly. I have two dogs. They don’t understand why their mother is leaping around in front of the TV breathing heavily and is all red in the face. I’ve tried doing an exercise video in front of them and it results in them trying to join in which, while cute, is not terribly helpful.

I could gate them in the kitchen but, well, I’m softhearted and I feel bad doing that unless necessary.

I could go to the gym but between trying to get back into writing, having an uncertain workday (I never know what time I’m going to get to leave) and liking to cook something decent for dinner….there’s the time factor. I could do it before work but…I’ll have to talk myself into that.

It would probably be easier if I had a buddy to exercise with rather than alone. I might be inclined to do it but, as I’ve pathetically mentioned, I don’t have many friends here because all my friends are elsewhere. It’s hard to meet female friends.

So, for now, until I come up with an exercise resolution, I’ll keep trying to eat less. It’s really just an issue of self-control. I figure that if I stay at my goal weight, I’m ok…anything above and an exercise routine WILL be enforced.

I’m actually quite good at enforcing rules upon myself. It sounds a little odd but I do have rather good self-control. It’s why I can sit in my office with a bucket of candy and just watch as everyone else in the office eats it or I can go out to lunch for a working lunch and make sure I don’t order the pizza that looks so tempting and I order a nice light bowl of soup and a salad instead. I am the consumer who reads the nutrition label. I might splurge once in a while but, well, I try not to on a regular basis.

It’s just a little harder in the cooler months of the year when comfort food is calling and I would rather eat a nice bowl of hot stew than a salad. However, the good thing is that I still like salad and even though I’d rather have the stew, I know when to eat the salad instead and, even if I don’t, I’ll just contemplate finding time to exercise and that salad is more appealing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t exercise. I walk the pups a lot. I do a lot of work outside and I do on occasion use my ab roller. According to my calorie count software program, I actually burn as many calories on an average weekend doing my normal activities as I would if I did cardio. My last doctor’s visit rule me very healthy with a low BP and everything so, for now, I’m good.

And, yes, this is really my way of justifying the guilt I feel by not having a regular exercise program. But I will think about it.

After all, thinking is exercise for the brain, isn’t it?

Happy Friday- have a great weekend!

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