Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fitness for life?

Eric and I went out to lunch today.  I like to think of it as our ritual weekly sushi trip,  a way for me to get some fish in my diet.  On the way out to the car, we chatted about how one sedentary week sets you back about three to four weeks worth of fitness. He seemed slightly appalled (correct me if I'm wrong Eric) at the idea that to maintain a level of fitness, one essentially has to make a lifetime commitment to do so.

At the time, I was too hungry to construct a reasonable response to this. However I've been thinking about it since we got back from lunch and I've come up with a few thoughts:

It doesn't have to feel like a lifetime commitment.
When I first started working out as a way to lose weight, I felt that way. It seemed tedious and I only looked at it as a way to burn calories to shed the weight. At some point, it transcended its original purpose.  It became a part of me and not something I just did  as a means to an end. I exercise now because I find it truly enjoyable. A good workout leaves me feeling refreshed, happy and confident.

Try to discard preconceived notions.
Trying anything new can seem awful if you don't give it a fair chance from the beginning. It's a lot like how you felt about spinach (or brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.) when you were a kid.  You may have tried it once and you thought it was gross, so you vowed never to eat it again. Many years later as an adult, you decide to discard your preconceived notions, perhaps on a whim, and try spinach again. You find yourself shocked because you like it! Exercise can be a lot like that, you might have tried something once and gave up because you thought it was too difficult.

Positive thinking!!!
Apologies for the extra exclamation points but I cannot stress this point enough. If you don't think you can ever do something, you can't.  This was one of my largest mental blocks that I overcame in my pursuit of  health and fitness. I used to tell myself, "Sarah, there's no way you'll ever be able to run faster than a 12 minute mile or weigh less than 145 pounds, that's crazy."  One day, something clicked and I asked myself, "Why not? Why can't you do those things?"  I realized I couldn't answer that. I could do those things and more, the only thing stopping me was, well me.