An ongoing dilemma

February 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Posted in running, yoga | Leave a comment
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As you may recall, I lists and schedules. I like making them up; sticking to them is more difficult (but, when I do, I feel good about myself).

As you may also recall, however, I find it inordinately difficult to fit exercise in my day. I always think, “if I were just more disciplined I would … get up early/ run during lunch/ work out after the baby goes to bed/ eat less.” If I could just stick to the rigorous, hypothetical daily schedules I invent for myself, I could make the time. I am not, however, disciplined, so it seems I’m destined for continuous self-flagellation. And I’m tired of it — something has to give.

Last week I decided it would be the scale. It went into hiding. But it’s hard not to be a bit OCD about weighing yourself. (My friend Nell told me that, after breaking down and buying a scale, even her husband took to weighing himself several times a day, often reporting to her how his weight fluctuated from hour to hour. See? I’m not alone.)

This week, I tried changing up my routine. Normally if I’m going to work out I need to do it first thing in the morning. But, of course, how hard is that in the cold, dark winter? So I planned to switch things up a bit: I’d get up early, still, but instead of running or going to yoga, I’d have a more leisurely shower, would cook breakfast for the baby, maybe send a few emails — and, I could also leave for work earlier (7:30ish) thus giving me a window to exercise at the end of the day. The result? No workouts yet — it’s Tuesday night, and while I could zip to the gym right now (at 7:30), I can tell you now that it’s not happening.

Remember how I joined the gym at work for lunchtime runs? Too stressful (you never know who may want to meet with you while you’re gone…) Other ideas: One work friend walks to and from the train every day. (I’m too wimpy to make the 40-minute-each-way walk. Plus, I’m always lugging my laptop back and forth…) Another friend, a full-time bond-trader with two kids, says she stays skinny basically because she’s too busy to eat during the workday (at least she admits it!) — she literally can’t leave the trading desk.

I know, I know, I should want to exercise for how it makes me feel. And it does make me feel good, but I seem to lack the ability to summon that knowledge on a consistent basis. I do manage to workout two or three times a week, and maybe I can learn to be satisfied with that — but that also might entail giving up my Starbucks-cheese-Starbucks-more cheese-red wine & crackers & cheese diet. (Did I mention my lack of discipline?) Somehow, I just have it in my head that I should be able to get in the five or six weekly workouts I used to (back in my low-metabolism/pre-baby days). Don’t let the fact that I’m running a half-marathon in early April fool you. Last year at this time I was upping my mileage to about 16-20 miles/week. Last week I got in 13. This week, I’ll be lucky if I do the same.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be so much an indulgence of self-pity and loathing as me trying to sort out my relationship with exercise and food while also working full-time and, of course, trying to spend my free time with my family and also sleeping sometimes. Maybe there is just no solution, but the Type A person in me can’t let go of the idea that if I were just more… something … I could do it.

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