Why Can't I Get Motivated to Exercise?
I am seriously beginning to regret my decision to join Curves. I haven’t walked through the doors to work out in two months, and my cell phone rings several times a week with one of the circuit coaches calling to ask where I am. In my head, my excuses for not going are clear and concise: it’s too hot outside to exercise; I have too much work to leave the house; I have a throbbing headache after dealing with clients all day; I’ll go tomorrow morning, after I’ve rested tonight and regained my energy.
When I actually speak these excuses out loud, however, they sound… lame. The truth is, I don’t want to exercise because I don’t like it. It was great when I first started, probably because it was new. Very quickly, though, I realized I am not the type of woman to receive gratification from exercise. While I was on the circuit, I felt resentful because it seemed like I was deliberately punishing my body against my will. Then I’d begin to think I could be spending my time much more wisely, writing articles or returning phone calls or whatever.
Once your mind starts to close itself against exercise, it doesn’t matter what your body needs or wants. The last time I left Curves after a workout, I didn’t feel even an ounce of satisfaction. I just wanted to get home, take off my shoes, take a shower, and plop on the couch.
This isn't to say that Curves isn't a great gym for overweight women. The workout facility is based on nurturing the client and being compassionate about every woman's unique situation. This sort of foundation is absolutely essential to building and maintaining a healthy body image. I know the coaches call me because they care and genuinely want to see me lose weight and be more confident. For me, the trouble is that exercise requires effort, time, and dedication. At this point in my life – going through a divorce, struggling to pay bills, and trying to find my niche in writing – I don’t want to commit to going to intense physical activity four or five times a week.
Exercise can feel like punishment to the body, especially for individuals who are overweight because we're not used to doing physical work. It takes time to see results, which for someone like me is incredibly difficult. I have no patience and want to see immediate results produced by little effort.
Deep down, my disdain isn’t for Curves, but for myself because I’m the one who allowed this weight gain to get as far as it has. I could’ve tried to stop it years ago, but I didn’t. Instead, I took the easy way out and just kept eating, a problem that really gained momentum when my ex-husband began to have his first affair. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but I substituted food for love. I was waitressing at this time, and I’d go home on my breaks, eat an entire bag of Frito-Lay chips with French onion dip, and go back to work. Definitely not the healthiest lifestyle I could’ve chosen.
Since then, my habits have changed dramatically, but I’m still struggling to lose the weight I gained. I know I need to get back to Curves, if for no other reason than that I’m paying for the membership. Maybe, just maybe, if I could find some motivation and stick with it, I’d see the results I so desperately crave. Then the exercise and hard work would be worth it.