Rediscovering my exercise mojo

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Permalink

I have a problem… (well, okay I actually have many, but this post is about one in particular): I think I’ve lost my exercise mojo.

It’s been a long (LONG time) since I’ve been super-fit, but even just six weeks ago I had a good little routine going. In fact, I (occasionally) worried that four gym sessions a week were insufficient or that I should be pushing myself more; but was mostly happy with my regime given my history which ranges from anorexia and over-exercising; to obesity and no exercise.

Nowadays I’m more into group fitness classes than exercising alone. A year ago I joined a gym after a long not-exercising hiatus and the gym in question was everything I believe one should be: it was handy (to work or home – work in my case); it had classes that interested me (Zumba, Pump classes and so forth); AND it was cheap.

I wanted to develop a sustainable fitness program: something that I enjoyed and would commit to doing with minimal angst. In retrospect, I realise that I needed a routine. Each day at work, a little diary reminder would pop up on my screen around lunchtime: “Zumba in 15 minutes,” it would tell me. And I’d grab my stuff and head downstairs. Exercise and the gym had become part of my life.

I lost access to the gym when I finished work about six weeks ago but in my new more zen-like approach to life I decided to cut myself some slack while I packed and moved. And then I became sick with bronchitis in the midst of the move and was incapable of ANY exercise. But still…. the new zen-like me (?!?!) was mostly fine about my housebound and bedridden state.

“No worries,” I thought, “It’s spring here and I’ll soon be up early walking along the beachfront every day.”

I also planned to join a gym on commencement of my new life. “All will soon be well in the world,” I told myself. In fact I even did some research and decided on the gym I was keen to join.

And yet… here I am: just over a week into my new life. I’m (mostly) unpacked. But, unfortunately I’m not (*ahem*) leaping out of bed and enthusiastically walking along the esplanade at the crack of dawn each morning as planned.

I have been on a few walks, but it’s been a struggle. And as for the gym… I sent off a tentative query but little else.

In my last post I talked about the pressure I was putting on myself to look to the future. It was also about starting my ‘new life’ and expectations I had.

Being hamstrung about my professional future is one thing, but I can’t understand my antipathy towards the gym. I LOVED my Pump (weights) and dance classes at my old gym. I never thought twice about going. And yet… here I am. Delaying the inevitable.

I’ve been single my entire adult life, so turning up to things alone isn’t a problem. So while I’d like to blame shyness (a problem for some when starting something new), sadly I cannot.

Perhaps I’m slightly apprehensive about starting from scratch: having to suss out the best instructors, get to know the staff and so forth. I must confess I AM somewhat embarrassed that my fitness will have suffered a lot over these past couple of months and I’m less-fit than I’ve been over the last year.  And because I worry so much about what people think I suspect I’ll feel the need to justify my lack of fitness to others. (They’ll roll their eyes and think, “Sure you used to be fitter…..”)

just fucking do itOr perhaps I’m just being apathetic and lazy. Quite frankly, it’s easy to just sit back and keep plotting and planning and defer the doing. (Long term followers of my blog will recall this lovely quote – to the right!)

I do know I need to bite the bullet and just GO to a class (god-dammit!). I’m sure once I’m there (although I may be huffing and puffing) it’ll be like riding a bike and I’ll wonder why it took me so long to get back there. But… somehow I first need to find the strength to get off my butt, re-pop that gym-going cherry and rediscover my exercise mojo.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar?
Any suggestions to get myself there? (Other than JUST F*CKING DO IT?!!)

  • Eating as a Path to Yoga
    November 7, 2012

    Girl, I hear you. I think you should cut yourself from slack, and give yourself some grace. You literally just moved there. You are going through a lot emotionally. Give yourself a break.


    I think going to the gym will be good, too. You will meet people from your area. You can enjoy classes again. (I’m a group exerciser, too.)

    Maybe just go to the gym and get a schedule and go home. (Even if you already have one.)

    Be good to yourself.

    • Debbish
      November 8, 2012

      Thanks for that. I KNOW that exercising will make me feel better. Aside from the endorphins and stuff… just that sense of accomplishment that I did what I said I was going to (harping back onto that last goal-setting post!).


  • Char
    November 8, 2012

    For years I put off joining a running club because of various excuses that seemed perfectly valid at the time. Then after two years I joined one and have kicked myself ever since that I didn’t join it earlier.

    I can empathise with your procrastination but when it comes down to it there’s no one else who can do it but you. I think it just comes down to ‘Just Do IT!!’ If you want to do it, and you do, you just have to walk out the door and into the gym. Finding our the best instructors can be an adventure and it’ll give you something to blog about.

    • Debbish
      November 8, 2012

      Char, you reminded me that when I joined my previous gym (August / Sept 11?) it gave me heaps of blogging fodder. I completely fell in love with one of the classes on offer (faux Zumba) and the fabulous instructor who played a pivotal role in helping me feel better about myself!


  • Julia
    November 8, 2012

    You could give yourself a non-food reward if you go to the gym, or you could say that you will go and if you don’t like it you can leave after 10 minutes. Or tell yourself you can’t do something else until you go to the gym.

    Maybe one of those will work?!

    • Debbish
      November 8, 2012

      Great ideas Julia…. (although chocolate as a reward would be very… rewarding…)

  • Miz
    November 9, 2012

    wellll Im no help and I am 🙂
    I havent lost my mojo but these days ONE HUNDRED PERCENT because I know if I did–Id never refind it.

    so Im just doing a little each day and calling it exercise and Id imagine you are too!
    I run around like a mad woman cleaning, packing, whining 🙂 and Im deeming it fitness.

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    November 10, 2012

    I’m a bit with Char on this one – you will just have to “do it”, not f****** do it, because that creates negative energy but get up and do something, as long as it’s not running. I googled the gym near you – looks like it’s got some good things in it! And good classes!

    • Debbish
      November 11, 2012

      Yes Liz, there’ll be an updated post today cos I DID go to the gym. Had a issue or two though…. Alas. But yay! Although my going wasn’t entirely my doing!


  • Rebecca
    November 11, 2012

    I just have to fake it until I make it, I find the more I regularly exercise the more I want to do it.

    Or to lay on the emotional blackmail, do it for me because I can’t exercise for at least another 8 weeks…

    • Debbish
      November 11, 2012

      Oh Rebecca, you mean thing! But yes… I will. And I know how much you’ve been enjoying exercising lately!

  • I ❤ 2 Eat
    November 11, 2012

    I can empathize with many of the things you mentioned: starting at a new gym, having just moved, and the feeling of others thinking “Sure you used to be fitter.” Here are some things I’ve tried to do to keep myself from dwelling on the above, and maybe they will help you, too, after a long period of inactivity.

    – Just start with some squats and crunches in the morning, right after you wake up. But first warm up the sleepy muscles by marching in place. 🙂 The whole thing shouldn’t take more than 5-7 minutes, and you’ve exercised before you’ve even really woken up. After a week of this, add another exercise (tricep dips?) if you haven’t already joined the gym and started your regular routine.

    – Keep your abs engaged as you go about doing your normal things around the house or wherever. You have to think about it at first, but after a while this passive exercise becomes a habit.

    – Once you join a gym, go to a class or work out on the elliptical the same day. You’ve accomplished the hardest part.

    • Debbish
      November 11, 2012

      Great ideas! Thanks for that. I love the ‘keeping my abs engaged during the day’ and I’m doing that now as I’m sitting here typing! I used to do tricep dips as I got into my bath each night (it was the perfect width). There’s certainly no reason I can’t follow your suggestions every day. As you say, every little bit helps and I hate to think how much abdominal strength I’ve lost in 2mths!

      Thanks for commenting and visiting!

  • Marion
    November 13, 2012

    Hi Deb! I just read your 4 last posts. Where did the mojo go? You were sick! You moved! You have to get a new gym! Your whole routine was upset. I really don’t know anyone whose fitness is top priority with all of that. I often feel unmotivated after being sick (and getting weaker during that time period). There is nothing less motivational that getting back to gym and feeling like a weak punk. But…there invariably comes a point where I get a renewed spirit. I appreciate my fitness more when I just got done losing (some of) it from not using it. But the renewed spirit doesn’t start until after a few weeks in the gym being disappointingly substandard. I wish I could tell you it wasn’t like that. 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Debbish
      November 13, 2012

      Very true Marion. I went to a Zumba class yesterday which targeted ‘older’ people and it was certainly the case but I LOVED that they were all there having a go. Of course many were quite fit etc.

      I had no problem with the steps (the dance moves are rarely my problem) and my fitness wasn’t overly tested (because of the sort of class it was), but I definitely worked up a HUGE sweat and had a great workout.

      Although the music frustrated me a bit (obviously suited the usual clientele) I decided it was a good way to get back into exercise without feeling too depressed at my lack of fitness.

      (There was another woman my age-ish and a couple of others who were perhaps there with their carers.)

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