I am full of good intentions. I intend to do a lot of things and it is amazing how many times I think about all the things that would be good for me to do, usually for my mental and physical health, and I make a plan to do these things and Bam… plan goes awry and I find myself doing other things and I avoid doing the thing that I know will be good for me.
I have pondered this many times, and can never come up with an adequate answer other than “I don’t wanna”… which is a cop-out, but that is how I feel at the time.
So why don’t I want to do these things? Why can I always find something else to do so that I don’t have to do them?
These are the questions I am trying to answer, and I am betting there are other people out there who have the same questions boiling around in their heads. When we know it would be good for us to do something, why do we avoid it like the plague?
Don’t get me wrong, when I do these things – working out, journaling, riding my bike, being in nature the list goes on, it always makes me feel GOOD. So why don’t I do these things naturally? Why can’t I prioritize those things that make me feel good over the other crap and nonsense that I do in their place like chores?
Here is a cliché… “What you resist, persists.” So why do I resist?
I am hoping that writing this blog post will help me figure that out, or at the very least, it will show those of you who are reading this post that you may not be the only person in the world who feels like this. Maybe, part of what holds me back is the whole “bettering yourself” philosophy. We are surrounded by messages about how to improve ourselves – to meet the standards that the media is pushing on us.
- Lose weight now…
- Eat this way, eat that way…
- Work out and get a Bikini Body…
- Meditate more – get in grip with your spirituality and the truth will set you free…
Enough, enough, enough.
Nope, I don’t think that is it entirely. I think I am tired of doing what everyone else says is best for me. I want to decide what is best for me, without the not so subliminal messages that barrage around us everywhere.
Here is what I know.
I love to hike in the woods, I love to ride my bike, I love to do Pilates. But here is the thing. I also really like to be cozy and nest too, so I find myself leaning more towards doing those things rather than moving my physical self in some way. I love cozying up on the couch with a great book and a cup of tea. I also like food, and to deprive myself of something I enjoy does not make me happy. I want to be happy. I don’t want to feel like I am doing something wrong by eating things that some people would deem unhealthy or couch-sitting with a book or watching Netflix.
So why is movement so hard to incorporate into my life? Is it laziness or do I not plan my schedule well enough to fit it in?
Here is the thing. I always feel so good when I have moved my body in some way. So why resist? I think I am mentally tired, and adding these things to my “to do” list feels daunting. Almost like adding chores to my already long list of stuff that I have to do. But when I am not feeling “tired” I am happy to do these things.
I read something last week online – and I wish I could remember where so I could give credit. It really resonated with me and I think the act of re-framing my situation is already helping me conquer this issue of mine about getting more physical. Here is why I want to move my body more.
“I do squats so that when I am 90 I can sit on the toilet without help”.
This struck a nerve. That’s it folks. I don’t want/need a skinny bikini body (I have never worn a bikini, so why would I start now?). I want to be healthy – mind, body and soul. What I love to do (see above list) helps me get exactly that.
My beautiful Mum suffered from Chronic Migraine for almost 20 years and it debilitated her health to the point that her physical body was weak. Her mind was strong and the very worst thing she heard from her doctor regarding a necessary surgery when diagnosed with lung cancer was “I don’t think you are strong enough to withstand the surgery.” Cue the water works. It was awful. Imagine being told you are not strong enough to undergo a surgery that could add time to your life?
I never want this to happen to me.
So I am changing up my thought process and it is leading into action. Here is what I started to do for two days back to back. I got up in the morning and I did some squats (see above quote) as well as some other active movement. And what played in my head was “I want to be able to sit on the toilet when I’m 90 without help”. My new mantra is “I want to have a strong, healthy body” – to hell with all the other “you must do’s” according to the media.
My plan of Action is to make the time first thing in the morning to move in some way – even if only for 15 minutes because for every 15 minutes I spend moving my body now, the stronger I will be as I get older and my ability to stay agile will increase. And who knows, that 15 minutes will probably lead to longer stints of activity, which is a win win. Basically I am setting this as a priority to me to start the day, then it is done and I can do the other things I love later on in the day and not find myself drained of energy and facing the “I don’t wanna’s”.
What is inspiring to me are the stories I have read of 90 year olds who are doing yoga, running marathons and whatever else. Not that I am going to run a marathon any time soon (not something I like to do), but it would be wonderful to feel strong the older I get, so I can do physical things – so that I am not wasting away sitting on a chair and unable to enjoy life in all of its glory and grandeur. I am going to focus on how I want to feel in my body and mind and nothing else. I want to feel Good and Strong.
How do you want to feel?