Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Love/Hate of Exercise

This is how it happened:

Hubby: I need to exercise more. My current workout schedule is not doing enough.

Me (far too smug for my own good): I is exercise already! ROAR!

Hubby: Yes, and you look hot too. I want to be just like you.

Me: *preens*

Cameo of hubby's dad: Hey, son, check out this new exercise program your stepmother and I are doing.

Hubby: Hey, Audrey, check out this new exercise program my dad is doing. *Hint, hint.*

Me: Exercise with company in the evening instead of exercising alone during the day? This proposition... IS ACCEPTABLE.

(Events may or may not have transpired in precisely this manner.)

So last week we started our new workout program. Now I've done lots of different kinds of exercise. Growing up I did ballet for years and years. I've tried both home exercise programs and working out regularly at the gym, and I've been pretty successful with all the different regimens I've attempted.

But no matter how many different kinds of exercise I do, or how many muscles I build, every time I start a new workout I find muscles I never knew existed. And by “find” I mean “yikes, that aaaaaaches.”

The funny thing this time is that I did a very bad job of predicting which muscles would be sore. I was certain my abs would be protesting, and if not those then surely my arms. But my calf muscles? Never would have guessed, especially after all the jogging and biking I've done.

Well anyway, doing this new program got me thinking about all the things I love and hate about exercise. Here are a few:

-I love the idea of improving my body.
-I hate how long it takes to build muscles or even to drop a single pound.

-I love the feeling of being in shape and having a healthy metabolism.
-I hate that staying in shape requires continued maintenance with no hope of ever being finished.

-I love discarding all the clothes that are now too baggy for me.
-I hate that my body shape will always be quirky and difficult to find clothes for no matter what weight I am.

-I love the feeling of slightly sore muscles that means I got a good workout.
-I hate overworking my muscles by accident.

-I love being able to tell the doctor that I exercise several hours a week and know that I'm not fudging the truth even a little bit.
-I hate that exercising means those hours can't go toward doing something else instead.

But most of all I love that I've developed the habit of doing something really positive for myself.

How do you feel about exercise? And do you have this kind of love/hate relationship with anything in your life?


  1. "-I hate that staying in shape requires continued maintenance with no hope of ever being finished."

    One friend of mine once said, "The real secret is you can't think of something as a 'diet'. Because when you do, there's a part of your brain that thinks, 'When I reach the goal, I can stop' and then you'll go back to the habits that got you where you are in the first place. You need to change your lifestyle to healthier habits."

  2. That's a really good point. It's a little depressing sometimes to think that the changes have to be long-term, but eventually they become habits and then they aren't so bad.

  3. Exercise has been such an integral part of my life for such a loooooooong time that I don't see it as "exercise." Just like the need to wake up in the morning or eat for sustenance - so is exercise for me. I've never hated it as it improves my life like nothing else can. It brings me happiness, health, vitality. All good stuff.

    How's that for overly-dramatic dialog? ;)

  4. It's encouraging to hear actually. Maybe I'll feel like that one day.

  5. I hate that almost everything requires such discipline (writing, work, eating healthy, exercising, finances, children, maintaining the house & car, etc.). I want some of those things to be effortless.

  6. Does moving heavy boxes count as exercise? Because I have been doing a lot of that. Up stairs. And down stairs. Third floor in each building.

    If that doesn't count, I'm also trying to bike more, now that I am close enough to work to bike. I'm determined to make a habit of it to a) save gas, and b) pump up my minuscule muscles. I'm sorely disappointed, however, that even days after doing so much heavy lifting and bike rides, my muscles are as puny as ever. How long does it take these things to get stronger?

    If I were a video game character, I'd have leveled by now. I mean, sheesh. :P

  7. I think someone could devote an entire blog to "if life were like a video game..." How is the moving going?