Monday, January 23, 2012

The Alternative to Exercise

As perfectly acceptable for calorie burning as it is to spend an hour on the elliptical machine, it sure is unfulfilling. But, on days when it is 32 degrees outside and I can't bring myself to bundle up my baby and make him sit in a stroller for an hour so I can go running, that's what I am left with. It's cool, because the exercise must happen. The alternative (having two pairs of pants that fit) is unacceptable to me.

I much prefer intense workouts when I can sweat buckets and defy physics and really feel myself work and grow stronger. But, for now I workout at home, and that's okay. The exercise must happen. The alternative (the heart disease, high cholesterol, and increased stress that will find me if I don't) is unacceptable to me.

I don't have one of those naturally lean, muscular bodies that most fitness pros sport. Mine is much more...baroque. 
What my body would look like if left to its own devices.
Except I would not be a man.
So, I have to count every calorie and then sweat them out in order to control my very stubborn will-not-be-contained waistline. So I do it, every single day, because the exercise must happen. The alternative (not being able to breathe when I bend over to tie my shoelaces) is unacceptable to me. 

Which brings me to the issue of the day: finding time to exercise. Last week I made the point that I simply make the time, but I realize that's sometimes easier said than done. 

I mean, I have stuff to do! Waiting around for the baby to take a nap so I can get on the elliptical means that I don't spend that time writing, working, or doing other productive things. But the exercise must happen. The alternative, as you know, is unacceptable to me.

So I don't do other things so I can exercise. I do my strength training and yoga before anyone else wakes up. I have the flexibility to go running in the morning now because I work from home, but when I worked in an office I did it at lunch. I go to bed early so I can accommodate a morning workout, and when I exercised at lunch I did my errands and visited with friends at other times. It was inconvenient sometimes, but I did it anyway. I made the time.

So, yeah, getting on the elliptical machine for an hour is not how I want to spend my time. I'd rather sit at my desk and look at pretty things on Pinterest. But the alternative, a life living in the body I used to inhabit, which was rife with fatigue, stress, and frustration, not to mention three sizes larger, is simply




That is why I make the time.

Get out there and get healthy! You can make the time. The alternative is just unacceptable!


Ellen said...

Your repetition of the phrase "unacceptable to me" reminded me of the Vicomte de Valmont when he ended his affair with Madame de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons: "it is beyond my control."

However, your post proves that choosing when to exercise is NOT "beyond my control." :-)

Healthy Heather said...

Love that! You're completely right Ellen, thanks for connecting the dots like that!