Saturday, June 29, 2013

Suggested Visualizations for Those Averse to Exercise

photo credit: alternatePhotography via photopin cc

There are some things you'll never hear me say when it's time to do what I've put off doing until I can't put it off anymore (besides dishes, laundry, beds, cleaning, emails, cooking...) 

When I wait up until almost midnight, and the day is almost gone and I keep hoping I'll just do it already and then comes the hour in which it can no longer remain not done.

The minutes go by and I sigh and reach for the running shoes and change into the non binding clothes, that wouldn't be so binding if I would just do it.

It's time to exercise.

I don't like to exercise. My children take sympathy and lend me their playlists, they keep me company, walk with me, tell me jokes while I'm on the dreadmill, face their dogs downward alongside me, but I don't like it. It's not fun, I have no energy, it takes up a HUGE chunk of time -- something I'm already way too short of.

But, but but but, if I don't do it, I don't like the way my thighs start to sound like butter being whipped in a bowl, I don't like how I can feel my stomach jiggle when I drive over potholes, I don't like how I can see my batwings in the periphery when I wave good-bye to my children when they leave in the morning.

There's also that small thing about staying alive to see my grandchildren.

And so, armed (ha!) with all these reasons, I drag my floppiness off the couch and go exercise.

It's not easy to motivate me and one tactic that has always worked as a fire under my butt, ever since I was a little girl, is fear. Scare tactics. Frighten me out of my skull, that's my love language.

I'm sharing with those of you today, anyone out there like me, who would rather scrape paint off the outside of a house while on a 9-foot ladder under a 95 degree noon day sun with only warm berry-flavored Gatorade to sip, my list of Powerful Imitation Tony Robbins-Like Fear Factor Visualizations to get that adipose on the active track.

This is what I think of when I don't want to just do it! **Print it out, put it up, carry it with you, commit it to memory:

  • 1.  I imagine what my body looks like if I were to see myself bare naked, running, in slow motion. Right? This'll have you moving in no time.

  • 2.  See yourself naked again, but this time standing on your head. Boom. You've just upped the dreadmill to 4mph.

  • 3.  Imagine what innocent bystanders would be subjected to if a sudden gust of summer wind blew your sweet new flirty skirt up while at the Friday morning farmer's market. You love people too much for this to assault their eyes, don't you? Now adding a 1.5 incline to dreadmill.

  • 4.  I don't want to see me miss a summer day not at the pool with my kids. It doesn't take much, and I don't ask for much. Just a few more planks in the morning, alternate sides, three minutes each. That's all we need.

  • 5.  See myself being okay wearing the tank tops of summer. I'm not seeing an image here with arms that look like rubber bands, just a little hoisting of the lunch lady flaps, and I'm good.

  • 6.  I want to keep seeing myself clutching my chest in front of my kids because I'm around to hear the sweet things they say to me, not because I need the new defibrillators our auxiliary fire department just purchased.

  • 7.  While I'm on my fifty minute of exercise with ten more to go, I see my heart beating and growing strong and suddenly, I know just what The Grinch felt when his heart grew three sizes that day.

  • 8.  I see my legs getting strong enough to still outlast my husband and the kids on our bike rides and this one is super important to me because I never want them to have to stop mid-trail and turn around and to shout "ya comin', mom?"

  • 9.  I like to see the BIG FIVE benefits of exercise flash before my eyes, lined up in bold black old-school capital letters. Look them up on google... they're tremendous.

  • 10. You won't look them up, will you. That's why I did it for you:

     1.) The force of blood pumping through your arteries and veins cleans out and dislodges fat. Picture it.
     2.) Heart pumping makes your heart, which is a muscle, get good and strong. See it flexing.
     3.) Exercise creates endorphins! Feel good hormones! Better than getting your Prozac doubled.
     4.) Physical activity uses up stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, and now they have      somewhere to go instead of running around your body shouting "where do we go? where do we go?" Believe me, you feel them when they're trapped inside.
     5.)  Burning an extra 100 calories a day loses 10 pounds of weight a year. Burning 200 calories a day is 20 pounds a year! 300 calories a day is 30 pounds a year! I like to play this game and go through the possibilities in my head up to 10,000 calories a day.

One visualization I battled over sharing or not and finally decided what the heck, we're all family here.

Me in last year's swim suit -- if they made the skirt any longer on that thing it'd be a berka.
 * * 


  1. errr...visualizing myself running naked...
    now i need a therapist...which leaves less time
    for exercise...ha...ouch that asphalt is hot....ow...ok, stopping visualizing....stopping visualizing...

    the pool has saved me...swimming laps has been good exercise this summer...

    1. Swimming is good HOWEVER it's not helpful with osteoporosis. You need pounding and gravity for that. I just care about you, B. xo

  2. You are so skinny that if you burned 10,000 calories a day, you'd be nothing but a wet spot on the floor!

    (BTW, if there is supposed to be a photo, it didn't show up)

  3. I The biggest problem with running naked would be not having a sports bra. Ouch!

    Sometimes I enjoy exercise, sometimes not.. Mostly only if I can be outdoors, walking. But I'm a believer. It's got so many physical and mental health benefits and I push my patients all the time to get moving. I know I'll always be slower and weaker than my strong sons, but I want to be around and healthy for as long as possible.

  4. Thanks for the motivation! I find once I'm doing it I'm happy but getting to the gym or even making the time to go outside and take a walk can be a challenge. I will now think about exercise as a way to dislodge fat cells!! That is a good one!!

  5. "Scare tactics. Frighten me out of my skull, that's my love language." This is me.

    Although I know those five benefits in my mind, it was different to see them all grouped together like that.

    I need to make time for exercise, and then to actually do it!

  6. Hello, I came to your blog through a friend's and really enjoyed your style of writing. I really liked this post - I just started working-out myself and mostly because when I went back home for a funeral my aunt kept telling everyone how fat I had become. The good thing for me is that since I've started I've realized that I enjoy going to the gym and lifting weights. I will admit that I don't like doing cardio and hate running. I think it would be a bit too scary to do any of the visualizing for me.

    1. ANYTHING is an improvement over doing nothing and your aunt isn't very nice. I don't care if there was the duress of a funeral, still never nice to tell someone they're fat. Glad you came by, thank you!

  7. Where Prancercize has failed, this visualization has set me free. I'm ready to go.

    1. All we need is a start, Jennie. xo

  8. Dear Lord, flippy skirts and naked handstands....I'm having my coffee black tomorrow. This counts, right?

  9. Hi, Empress! It's Kristy from Pampers and Pinot - but now I am at Love and Blasphemy! I recently read in the O mag that simply visualizing yourself exercising has been correlated to losing weight. Isn't that something?!

    1. Hi! how are you??? I'll have to come by and check out your new digs. SOUNDS EXCITING. Thanks for checking in, hope all is well. xo

  10. First of all, I would have counted the paint scraping as exercise! Thank you for listing the FIVE THINGS! I was so relieved I didn't have to look for them! I might be ready!

  11. I recently got a dog and now I take him out for an hour walk downtown by the waterfront every morning. I wonder if the latte and croissant I have at the outdoor cafe after the walk cancel out the exercise.

    1. Only if you tell yourself they do. lalalala I didn't hear you. xo

  12. Plus..."Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands."

  13. I actually like the feeling of sore muscles. I am very disciplined about running but need to get back into yoga regularly and for sure weight/resistance training. That's uber important.
    As for swimwear, I think I could be totally comfortable parading around in a wet suit to my knees. Hell, I'd even do cartwheels in that thing.

  14. LOVE this post, Alexandra! It's like you read my mind - I have been thinking the same thing these last few weeks that we were traveling in Japan. I actually pulled up one of those stretchy capris, in a size M, and it wouldn't go past my knees!! I'm not overweight but I don't like that I'm much softer than I ever was, and I just *feel* matronly. Another thing that really made an internal shift in me was seeing my elderly in-laws. They're alive, but...I just want to be stronger and more able when I get to that age, because I became a mother late and so I need to live longer and better. I'll need to print this out and stick it up on my wall, next to naked photos of myself, ha ha. If you start a virtual exercise buddy program, I'll join ya :-)

  15. Oh, you are all so funny. I wish you lived near me SO YOU could get me to exercise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Exercise is the worst. Or is it when you injure yourself while exercising so you can't anymore?



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