Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Can, I Can't. Both Correct.

Negativity about my weight and "dieting" in general has been one of the biggest hurdles I've had to overcome. And honestly, I still struggle with it. I've become so consumed with "I Can'ts" lately that it's affected my (stagnating) workout program and my (iffy) eating plan. That's how it is with the can'ts: they fulfill themselves. You tell yourself enough times that you cannot do something, and after awhile you really believe it. It becomes your truth. And it becomes reality.

Now, I am not talking about real reasons one cannot do a particular thing. Obviously if you have a broken leg you can't go jogging. I am talking about stuff we *think* is insurmountable when in fact it is not.

Example: I can't take walks because I have a young child and no one to watch her. I can't leave her at home alone, I can't hire someone every night so I can walk. I can't have her walk WITH me because she walks very slowly and I cannot get my heart rate up, and she gets tired after a block or so anyway and whines to be carried. I don't like pushing her in a stroller. It bugs me. She doesn't like it. It's heavy and annoying. I want to walk by myself. So I just have to sit in the house and bemoan the fact that I *wish* I was out walking but I can't be.

Now, some of this is true. It's not just excuses. It's real roadblocks I've encountered as I tried to walk each day. I tried getting her a bike so she could bike while I walk, but she just isn't coordinated or strong enough to ride very fast or very long. It takes me FOREVER to go 3 houses down with her on a bike. Maybe next year, but for now, her biking is a learning experience only. Not exercise.

Yesterday I had enough. I really wanted to get out and walk. I decided to reframe things. I needed a new outlook. After all, lots of people with kids exercise. Even single moms. Heck, I know a lady who took her child and her newborn baby out in a stroller so she could JOG in the RAIN (with a rain cover for the stroller) just 2 months postpartum! Do you think this lady is fat? No. Do you think she'd be fat if she said, "ohhh, I have TWO children now, I just had a baby, it's raining, my husband is at work, I can't possibly exercise"? Maybe. Anyway, last night I decided to think differently.

I CAN do anything I want to do.
I CAN exercise with a child in tow.
It's just life.

I got out my nice walking stroller and stuck my daughter in there to walk. Then I noticed it had a flat tire. I put it away and got out the smaller junkier stroller and put her in that, and I walked. I didn't exactly have fun (attitude on THAT is a whole 'nother ballgame) and I didn't go as far as I wanted to, but I walked. It did bug me, but I walked. It wasn't ideal, but I walked. So guess what? I CAN take walks... anytime I want to. I DON'T need the perfect stroller, I DON'T need the perfect walking shoes, I DON'T need the perfect weather. I just CAN.

Circumstances do NOT have to be ideal to do what we need to do. My bike is sitting in my living room. I don't like having a huge piece of exercise equipment in my nice living room for all to see upon entering my home. It doesn't fit with my ideal of a nice living room. But it's there. Still, some days, I catch myself whining in my brain, "I can't bike. It's too hot. I don't want to bike in front of everyone. The only thing on TV is Sesame Street and I don't want to watch that while I bike. My kid will ask me for a drink or need help in the bathroom while I am biking and I'll have to stop." But guess what? None of that means anything. I burn the same calories on that bike at my ideal time with no one around while watching my favorite show as I burn when I am annoyed and watching Sesame Street and rolling my eyes with boredom and having to pause the timer every 10 minutes to go help a kid. I CAN, in fact, ride my bike every.single.day. IF I want to.

What's your excuse? Is it real, or are you just waiting for everything to be perfect and the moons to align and sunbeams from heaven to shine upon you before you do what it takes to lose the weight?

Sometimes, we just gotta step outside ourselves for a minute and reevaluate.

24 comments:

Vickie said...

I think that those of us that have kids/families think that they are hard to exercise around (as you mentioned) and those without think that they need families so they will have someone to join them for exercise. The grass is always greener.

katie ann said...

Ooh, excuses...me and excuses have a close relationship. I have been whining lately that I wish we had a treadmill, since it is so effing hot and humid (and it seems like there hasn't been a wind over 5 mph all summer here) all the time. If only I had a treadmill in my apartment, I would walk all the day long. Well, there is an apartment complex fitness center less than a minute's walk from my apartment, but it requires getting dressed (ugh) and going out in the heat for the walk (ugh) and then walking back up 4 flights of stairs when I'm done (ugh). Sometimes I can convince myself it's worth it, but not nearly often enough. Though just typing this out makes me feel better, and has me feeling all motivated. :) Perhaps writing out the excuses and looking them over for how silly some are is a good practice...

Leslie said...

I have no excuses, as the kids are grown and on their own. But get this...I can get into telling myself that it's okay to not exercise every day because I don't want to be obsessive with it. Then one day off becomes two, and very quickly "I don't wanna do it!" DOH!

Hey, it's good you're nailing yourself about this and deciding to do what you can. Every little bit helps.

Melody said...

Wow, it's like you have been reading my mind and stealing all my excuses. Even down to the stupid recumbent bike in my family room! I think I can...I think I can...I think I can....

Love your blog. I just found it on daily dose of dieting. I really relate to your struggles! Thanks for the inspiration.

TeresaLynn said...

Nicely put! I can be full of excuses and reasons why "I can't." Lately, though, it's been more like "I don't want to." I suppose I've been being a bit more honest - admitting to myself that I'm in the mood to be done with the losing part of this and be on to the maintaining part. Trouble is...I still have a long way to go!

Thanks for the reminder that we can all do this. No need to wait for the clouds to part, etc.

rmslil said...

My doctor suggested gastric bypass twice and I told him both times that I do not need that because I can do it on my own yet every day I have some excuse why I did not eat right or exercise. I told him if I put my mind to it, I can do it and I know I can but I have been the lazy excuse girl.
Thanks for the post and the rethinking of what I really can do.

Tiffany said...

My favorite mantra right now...It doesn't matter.
I'm sore...It doesn't matter
I'm tired...It doesn't matter
No matter what, it's always easier to find a reason NOT to exercise or eat right. Congrats on your success & keep up the great work! It's a long tough road but being healthy is worth it.

Jodie said...

What a great post! I have twin girls and I've used the "it's too hard to walk with them in tow" excuse many times. I joined a gym with child care from 8 AM - 8PM and on weekends so I could not use them as an excuse. We have an elliptical and a bike at home, but for some reason I can't (scratch that - WON'T)do it at home.

Keep up the great work and posts.

Jodie - www.theoverweightlife.blogspot.com

Irene said...

Sometimes you make excuses and you dont even realize that you are making one, because you have made them all along...like for instances My hubby wanted me to go walk with him a few months back and I told him no it was to cold yes it was like 20 degrees but that doesnt mean I couldnt exercise which is what I ended up doing...NOTHING but there are other things I could have done instead of walking in the cold...
Love,
Irene

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Before I got serious about my weight loss, I used to use my 3 children as an excuse.

But when I got serious about losing 150 pounds I just either exercised early, or took them with me. It wasn't always easy, but they enjoyed it when they rode with me.

I had more excuses than you would have imagined. But when I really looked at them, as you point out, you can work around almost anything!

Friend of the Bear said...

Well done Lyn for having your walk and doing your biking today. Real achievement.

There are always going to be excuses but remember that it's when you do it when you don't want to do it that it really counts - and that might be every single time you go out for a walk or get on the bike - but that just means it's all the more important to do it and that it's really counting towards your healthier self and your weight loss.

Happy day :)
Bearfriend xx

Anonymous said...

Great post, and a great reminder. Good job on getting the walk in.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I wanna share this video w/ you. It's a nike commercial, but I find it extremely motivating when excuses start to creep up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Na6PhNvE3k

Tammy said...

These are the kinds of posts that I absolutely love. Spot on Lyn. Just awesome. :)

Tony said...

This crap happens to me all the time. Very irritating indeed.

screwdestiny said...

That's awesome that you went walking today! This post really hit home for me 'cause that sounds like something I could have written, only replace the walking with something else. And if that *had* been me, I probably would have gotten angry and said, "Screw it!" upon seeing that flat tire, so kudos to you for doing it anyway. I'm one of those people who likes things to be *just so*, so when they're aren't, it's very easy for me to throw out an excuse if I don't really want it.

Lonely said...

You are so right, excuses excuses, that's always been me. a lot of the time I find an excuse not to do something because I'm uncomfortable or scared to do that thing. But I'm trying to change that slowly as well.

Crys said...

Great post! You're so right. We all have our excuses. I'm single, no kids an I work for myself and I can still find every reason in the world not to make it to the gym. What's helped me the most is getting a partner to help with accountability. Sounds like you're on the right track!

Hanlie said...

Excellent post, Lyn!

Don't forget that when you push the stroller you're doing resistance exercise as well...

I've been guilty of waiting for the sun, moon and stars to align before getting back in the saddle regarding exercise too. And I have none of your impediments.

I will walk tomorrow!

Theresa said...

It is difficult yet necessary that we reframe our minds daily (sometimes more often)

"I am going to be victorious... not a victim today".

Keep up the fight..... you're worth the effort.

:)

Jessica said...

What about a wagon? My 3 year old hated his stroller, but loves the wagon and I still get my exercise in pulling that.

Kandra said...

Good for you! "That's how it is with the can'ts: they fulfill themselves." Cans fulfill themselves too ;) We just have to remember that!

antgirl said...

Kicking the 'I cant's' to the curb was half the battle, me thinks. :) You go!

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about getting your daughter one of those scooters they dont require a whole lot of cordination