Enough is enough

I’m pretty susceptible to advertising. Like those fast food commercials, where the Coke is so fizzy and you can almost feel how cold it is? Ahhh. Or just about any Hallmark commercial will have me reaching for the tissue box before it’s over.

I also really have a thing for clever tag lines — especially ones that employ a play on words. For example: Kudos to whoever came up with the slogan for a mattress company: “Sleepy’s, for the rest of your life.”

Anyway … I’m sure you’re wondering, how does this relate to exercise and a healthy lifestyle?

I’m not a paid (or unpaid) spokesperson, nor do I have any special affinity for the company, but I think one of the most brilliant slogans ever is Nike’s “Just do it.”

traffic-lights-208253Just do it.

Simple. Actionable. Inspiring. Even motivating. All in three words.

And right now, lately, I could use a lot of the latter. I feel a little embarrassed to say this as a fitness instructor, but I have been severely lacking in the motivation (and, for that matter, willpower) department. Summer is usually the time when I’m shot out of a cannon, getting in lots of long walks, working in my yard for half the weekend, doing lots of biking, eating piles of fresh fruit and vegetables.

But I’ve been in a slump the past month or two. I’ve had countless arguments with myself about getting out of bed and going to the gym, or resisting too many sweet treats. Bed and treats have been winning. It’s so easy to get into a vicious cycle. Not exercising leaves me more fatigued, which makes me not feel like getting out of bed in the morning, which makes me feel like a slug, which makes me want to wallow … repeat.

Enough is enough.

Alarm goes off for gym time? Just do it.

Be more active? Just do it.

Choose veggies and hummus instead of potato chips? Just do it.

Take a lap around my office instead of checking Facebook? Just do it.

Mind over matter … here I go.

What’s your excuse?

shield-417826Even though I’m a walking coach and fitness instructor, I have trouble finding motivation to exercise sometimes. February was one of those times.

Oh, wait — it’s now March and I still feel the same way…

Usually, I exercise most mornings before work, and one or both days of the weekend. Every winter, though, I reach a certain point where I seem to throw in the towel. I just don’t want to go outdoors in the cold a single extra time. (You see, I hate winter and being cold.)

To go to the gym requires 5 extra times outdoors (#1 to start my car so it warms up, #2 to depart for the gym, #3 to go from car to gym, #4 to reverse that, and #5 from car to house). It all may sound ridiculous (and very repetitive to some of my Facebook friends), but it is what it is. It’s like I develop a physiological block.

If for some reason the block lifts, other weird rationalizations crop up. Last night, I debated going to the gym this morning. But then I thought about the weather forecast for the rest of the week: cold rain on Wednesday, snow on Thursday, cold and dry on Friday. A little voice inside said, Why bother going tomorrow if you won’t go again until Friday? Another voice responded, Yeah, that seems pointless. (I’m not crazy, I promise. Don’t you have voices that talk to you sometimes?)

My saving grace (except for the three weeks when bad weather canceled it) is the circuit class I teach one night a week, and the yoga class I’m taking thanks to a Groupon deal. At least that’s meant 2 days a week of working out, if nothing more. I have also gone to the gym on the past few Saturdays to put in 60-plus minutes on a cardio machine.

I love the energy and the high I get from working out. But when winter drags on, the promise of those feelings doesn’t usually win out over succumbing to my wish to avoid the cold.

Several of my friends keep inviting me to workweek step challenges on Fitbit. I have high praise for them, as they proudly get in their mileage in 13-degree weather, in the cold, even indoors around their house. But even the challenge is not enough to stir me to activity.

At least this winter I made it through January before this phase hit me. Last year, it came much earlier, and I spent January and February mainly in sloth mode.

We all have reasons and rationalizations that may keep us from making the healthiest choice, or the choice that we know will make us feel great when all is said and done. I guess part of the battle is recognizing them and acknowledging them. The other part of the battle is overcoming them, and I confess I’ve not been so successful on that front.

But tomorrow is another day. (Well, tomorrow is rainy and the next day is snowy … so I have my fingers crossed for Friday.)