Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sustaining Healthy Habits

Google images

Well, here we are a few days into the New Year and I am finally getting my current act together. I say current as I seem to always be reinventing "my act." You know how it is, "The best laid plans of mice and men," as Steinbeck once said. They say (whomever they are) that a good song needs a great "hook line," something catchy and easily remembered...something that makes the song stick.

I think good habits must be that way. You have to know what does and does not work for you. After scrutinizing all aspects of exercise and what I stick to, walking is my best option for success. My struggle is making it my choice on a daily basis.

I am not a gym person, I am not an exercise equipment person, I am not a yoga person. I am just a person who wants to be more fit, with what the daily minimum requirement standards extract from me, and I want to enjoy what I am doing. I am not out to prove anything to myself or the world, not interested even slightly in a marathon, half-marathon, mini-marathon, nope...none of the above. Just want to get a little stronger, a little more flexible and work the heart ever so slightly more than the computer allows in a physical way.

I am also not into group exercising. I know, I am pretty particular. The reason I don't like it is I don't want someone else setting my pace or waiting for me to catch up with them. And I don't want a gab fest either. Remember this is tiring to an introvert, not energizing. (If you are interested in an excellent article, read about extroverts and introverts here:

I just want to do the job, get it done and use that time to contemplate, pray and plan my day, projects, etc. Sometimes I just want to ponder and listen to music and I do not want to have a set time scheduled with another person, so I am best on my own. I just need that flexibility.

So here is the problem that all those conditions seem to place on my doing it all the time. After awhile I lose interest or motivation and then it is so easy to let other things smother the desire to make it a consistent effort. I hate that I am that way, but I am. I want to be like Jim and just do it rain, shine, sweltering heat, wind, sleet or snow. Out he goes. No excuses, no internal conflict, he just goes! I want this kind of discipline in this area of my life but I am beginning to wonder if it will ever come. But I will never give up trying. My spirit is struggling to do what is right, but my flesh is my weakness.

One thing I think helps is to realize that exercise is exercise and it doesn't have to be a 'put your stylish jogging suit and special walking shoes and sweat like crazy before your shower' type of thing. Exercise is moving with a little more effort than just strolling along for a sustained period of 30, 45 0r 60 minutes a day. That is it. Why is this so dang hard? I hate that thing that pulls me in the opposite direction of what is smart and good and best for me, don't you?

So here is what I have come up with to make this new effort more fun I am taking my iPhone/camera with me and snapping at least one picture a day of something I find interesting along the way. The first day I went to the mall to walk and I found some funny photos. Here is one I found in a store front window.

The caption is:
Walking is not on sale, it is free!

A little kitschy but it's a mall after all.

So since the photo ops are a little scant in the mall, I thought perhaps a neighborhood walk would work. So the next day I got this: I walked with Jim in the neighborhood. Here is my photo.

Here is my caption:
Solitude deceptive in this photo,
a neighbor behind every bush wanting to chat.
Set new rules regarding spousal walking...
No cell phone conversations please.

I think today I will try the mall again. Less beautiful but more fruitful-Day 1

Lovely outside, covered virtually no ground, like maybe an eighth of a mile. Saw and chatted with nice people. Spent some fun moments with James, a big plus. Nice, but not on target. Day 2

Day 3 yet to be seen but in the works. Wish me luck. A thousand mile's journey starts with one step. Or, so they say! My hook...the pictures. Know thyself and carry on.


{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Happy New Year Sweet Bon....

Well, I'm impressed........I've been promising to get moving every year for at least the past fifteen. :-) Good for YOU! My hubby is really good at making the time and sticking to it too......I don't like my hair to get messed up and I'd rather do anything than sweat. :-)

Big huggies to you!


PS.......loved the country road photo.

Marie said...

Way to go on the walking Bonnie. I am not an exercise person either. I did enjoy a class that I was taking before Christmas, but finances won't allow me to do that now. Walking is probably about my speed at the moment and I don't get in near enough of that!! I wish I liked exercise, but alas . . . I DO NOT! That could be why I look the way I do! lol xxoo

Barbara said...

So now I know what you were talking about tonight when you mentioned the pictures...What a great idea! You go girl. I just had the boys move my stairmaster back into the house so that I could get moving. Check out my blog (yes, I reactivated it) to see what motivated me to start moving again after 3 1/2 years. Walking is still my favorite. You get to enjoy scenery, there is no pain, and to me it's the best exercise. Walk on!

Sister Susie said...

I know what you mean about habits. I so enjoyed my blogging habits until this glitch has happened. I'm working around it. I read Nellie's blog then send her an e-mail with my comments. She puts it on that way, (even though I can't read it, ha!) With my blog, I can read my comment section if I go to post, and click on the tab Comments." (I think that is really for deleting or reporting spam, but at least I can read it. What does Paul say, "Persevere!" I've been getting some exercise with my fingers, lol! I've been going through my files, purging and shredding from 7 years ago! I guess that's not really considered exercise, lol! I don't like to go to gyms. All I see are those guys trying to outdo one another with their muscles! I don't like anyone seeing me exercise unless it's walking (which my knee won't let me go far.) Feeding time for my animals puts me through a good walking time. With 4 dogs, 3 birds, 1 cat and animals in the wild; I'm kept pretty busy for 2 thirty minute periods a day. But, I guess that can't be comsidered exercise. I don't work up a heart rate! I think my best choice is to take my 4 dogs on their leashes. They will keep up the pace for me!
Love ya,

Caroline Craven said...

You know, I don't love to exercise, but I've done if for so long it has just become a ritual for me. I walk outside most of the time, except in the winter, then its the treadmill. Mostly I just like to get out and enjoy the sunshine. But even with all this, I still get into slumps - weeks at a time. Exercise is just exercise. It's something I have to do everyday, just like doing my hair and makeup (which I also hate doing) but for sue on the days I'm beyond lazy and just hang out in my jambes (which isn't often) those are the days someone drops by quite unexpectedly!!! Go figure. So I don't love to exercise and I don't love to do my hair and makeup, they both just take too much effort, but I do love how I feel when I'm done. Now there's some motivation. If all else fails, enjoy a cup of tea while reading an inspirational book or your scriptures - my new favorite ritual and this one I actually look forward to everyday.