So… this morning, my boss asked me the same question she asks me every morning, “Did you work out today?”
Mmmm about that… So at the beginning of the year I told her that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to “exercise more”. I purposefully left it vague. That way there would be no room for failure! Winning! I mean I pretty much exercised a grand total of 2 hours in the year 2015 (okay this is an exaggeration, I probably did more than that, maybe like 3 hours), SO anything over that, is considered a win.
But it’s true… I really DO want to exercise more. I mean for goodness sakes I’m a dietitian. I’m not allowed to get fat. I mean… who’s gonna trust a fat dietitian??
I get it. Physical activity is important. My job is pretty sedentary. Unless I’m walking through the kitchen trying to find something to eat or walking to a patient’s room to tell them what to eat, I pretty much sit in front of a computer screen all dang day. But at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is work out. My body just goes into autopilot once I step through the front door of my house: unbutton pants, find a plate of food, and put on an episode of 30 Rock. I know it’s wrong, but why does it feel so right??
Don’t get me wrong, I love physical activity. I just HATE exercise. Like I love doing stuff like sports, swimming, rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, etc. But going to the gym or running or yoga, just all sound so dreadful. Like seriously soul killing.
I just recently read this book called, “The Power of Habit” (really good read, I highly recommend it!). In the book, the author talks about how some habits are more important than others. He calls these habits “keystone habits”. Basically these keystone habits, when possessed, overflow into other aspects of your life, and cause you to develop other good habits in a sort of chain reaction. In the book, they specifically use the example of exercise. The author explains that people who exercise regularly are generally healthier people. They usually have a good diet, have less stress, have more energy, and are generally more productive at work and life in general. In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”
Yeah… nope, still don’t want to exercise.
I swear there are like reverse keystone habits. Like the bizarro version of exercise. I have that! I guess we could call it fat-assery (yes, this is my scientific term… that I made up). I have a habit for fat-assery. And it’s a reverse keystone habit, in which it overflows into other aspects of my life and causes me to develop other bad habits in a sort of chain reaction. Because I hate exercise, I don’t exercise, so I don’t have energy at work. I muscle through my day and by the time I get home I’m exhausted. And since I already gave up on my diet at breakfast, why NOT order a pizza and watch a movie til I fall asleep on the couch? Then I wake up and do the whole thing alllll over again the next day. It’s a sickness I’m telling you. Someone help me!
The book also discusses willpower. Which I always find myself lacking. In the book they did this cookie study in which they had two groups. They sat each person at a table with a plate of cookies and a plate of radishes. To one group, they told them they were allowed to eat the cookies, but not the radishes. To the second group, they told them that they were allowed to eat the radishes, but not the cookies. After, they ate their respective snacks, they challenged them with thought provoking puzzles. And to no one’s surprise the group that had the radishes gave up on the puzzles significantly quicker than the cookie group. That’s because the radish group exerted more willpower in not eating the cookies, that they had less leftover for the puzzles. Basically what they’re saying is… Willpower is a finite resource. That is why sometimes you can come home after work and feel motivated to work out, where as sometimes you come home after work and just want to go to bed by 7pm.
Luckily willpower is also kinda like a muscle. It can be strengthened with persistence and training. But unfortunately. Just like exercise. It’s a long arduous process, that seems to never end. So basically what they’re saying is… I need to exercise my willpower in order to create a habit of exercise. Wait, I have to exercise the habit of exercising? What the heck? How did I end up with double exercise??
Ugh… I hate exercise so much. My arch nemesis. The bane of my existence. Oh exercise you heartless wench. One of these days I shall defeat you. And when that day comes, I will give you an endorphin filled hug and as I pull you close, I’ll whisper softly in your ear, “I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want…you to remember…the one man who beat you” and I hope it looks something like this.
And I hope I’m Batman. Seriously though… defeating my unadulterated loathing of exercise feels kinda a lot like trying to beat Superman in a fight. Where’s the kryptonite at though??
So the daily struggle continues. And I’m not gonna lie… I’m totally losing. When my boss asked me if I worked out this morning I responded saying, “Nope… didn’t work out… but I did buy my tickets to the LA cookie convention!” She just shook her head at me and said, “That’s a thing? Um I feel like you’re regressing…” to which I rebutted, “No!! I’ll have you know, I watched a ten minute workout video the other day” “Yeah? How was it?” “Ummm… It looked really fun… Okay so I didn’t actually do it. I literally just watched it… in bed… the whole 10 minutes” She didn’t say anything and just gave me that “Really, Katrina?” look that everyone in my life has seemed to perfect. “But hey! At least now I know what I’m getting into. And I proved to myself that I actually DO have time to work out. I mean if I have time to watch the videos” “I guess that’s a step…” “SEE! Progress!! Aren’t you proud of me?” “Sure…”
And that’s how you do it ladies and gentlemen. One day at a time.
P.S. Sorry I’ve been slacking on the blogs lately. I keep having ideas, but get too lazy to write. But I am working on some stuff, I promise… For ALLLLL of my avid readers (that’s sarcasm, by the way)
Posts to look forward to (in no particular order):
I Think I’m In Love With Elon Musk
Ailene’s Flash Mob Proposal: The Best Worst Friends Anybody Could Ever Have
Perfectly Awkward Valentine’s Day Cards