Home Friday 5 Friday 5: 5 Things I Say To Myself To Get My Butt Off The Couch

Friday 5: 5 Things I Say To Myself To Get My Butt Off The Couch

by Erika Nicole Kendall

If there’s one misconception that people have about me, it’s this concept of “easy.” It’s “easy” for me to just get up and work out. It’s easy for me to tear myself away from something important and engaging so that I can go exercise. Surely, it’s easy for me to get my tail in gear for all this running, right?

Y’all have no idea.

This is exactly how I look right now… with a laptop on my lap.

There are some days where, if I could watch, I’m almost certain I’d see an invisible hand carrying me – by my collar – off the couch, dropping me into my kicks and then lifting me, by my collar again, and throwing me off the front door.

In other words? Some days, I might go, but I don’t go without a fight. I go kicking and screaming.

But how do I get out the door anyway? Even when you don’t want to do it, what mechanisms do I use to do “it” anyway?

1) I have a few choice words with myself. Sometimes, those choice words sound an awful lot like “Look, if you don’t get your lazy ass up off your bed and into your kicks, I’m going to make you regret it.” (Sometimes, I use far more curse words than that. I’m the child of a Marine. I can’t help it.)

This is actually quite effective. Because we all know what happens when you skimp on the working out – it becomes that much harder the next time you try to get up to go do it, which then can result in losing the progress you’ve made thus far – we all know what would be done to make us “regret it.” Um… thanks, but no thanks.

2) I remind myself of my goals, and ask myself whether or not skipping the day’s workout will help me achieve my goals for that day. Everyone’s goals are different… but skipping a workout has ramifications that extend beyond actual fat loss. At least, for me, every time I skip, it becomes that much easier to skip… and can easily result in a week of “Nah, I’m good.” I’m like Hall and Oates to the foolishness, man. I can’t go for that.

3) I remind myself that my work out time is my time… my me time… and just like my family deserves my time, so do I. You know why today’s blog is so late? I went up to my daughter’s school at 7:30AM to 1) help the principal, 2) sit in on a parenting forum, 3) help develop the PTA’s first event for the school year, 4) help her teachers in her classroom do some menial tasks that needed to be taken care of for the new year, 5) meet with the principal and get his insight on the schedule for the school year, and finally head home to my puppies, who were clearly devoid of attention… as evidenced by my being pounced on once I walked through the door.

As much as I do for everyone, I’ll be damned if I don’t do even just a little bit for myself. If that little bit is yoga, then it’s my yoga practice. If it’s taking Kyli to the Kids’ Club so that I can get my lift on, so be it. If I have to get up a little early to grab the puppies and head out for a run, so be it. But seeing as how I take awfully good care of the ones I love, let me love myself and take care of me, too. (This, of course, means Ed has to do more work, but he does it… after some minor groaning.)

4) I compare how I feel now to how I feel after I’ve completed my workout. Tell the truth: I’m not the only person who feels a little more accomplished, walks with her head a little higher… back, a little straighter… chest, a little more puffed out after a workout in comparison to before. I feel like I could successfully leap a brownstone after a workout, instead of before, when I barely feel like I could tilt my head back far enough to see the top of one.

I think about how I feel after my workouts to how I feel now, sitting on the couch, and then I ask myself, “Don’t I want to feel better?” The answer is, most certainly, yes.

5) I don’t give myself the opportunity to rationalize why I shouldn’t go out. Usually, a “why am I even still sitting here?” will fly out of my mouth and, before I can even respond, I just get up. Sometimes, I even get a half-syllable out, but then I stop myself. If I’ve brought myself to the point where I know I could be working out right now… any answer to the question “so, why am I still sitting here?” is, more often than not, an excuse. And, really, excuses are tools of laziness, used to build monuments of people whose backsides are shaped like the couch they couldn’t lift themselves off of… and I’m not here for that.

Obviously, I’m being very tongue-in-cheek, here, but learning to work out regularly has been a challenge in commitment, and has taught me a lot about the term. You have to give when you don’t want to give. You have to shift and adapt when staying stagnant is most comfortable. You have to move even when it isn’t most advantageous to you and, most of all, you have to get up and do the work even when you feel like you don’t want to do it. You’re committed to your goal, right? Then commit to doing what it takes to get you there.

That being said… let me go unroll my yoga mat.

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Emi October 13, 2012 - 9:19 PM

Oh my gosh! you are truly an inspiration! I almost cried when I saw your pictures. I’ve been struggling so hard to lose weight, especially being middle eastern (we eat lots of bread 🙁 ) and when I saw your pictures I was in tears. You are truly an inspiration to all, good for you, you look GORGEOUS!
Once I saw this post I pulled up my gym work out sched and am going in tomorrow! thank you so much!

Bunny October 14, 2012 - 7:07 AM

Very useful! Thanks for sharing. I am going to try your ideas on myself!

Kimmi October 14, 2012 - 1:47 PM

Nicole thankyou i need this.

Marisa October 15, 2012 - 4:15 PM

This is much appreciated & sooo fitting for me! My one day skip has turned into 3 WEEKS. I stretched & did some yoga this morning & aim to do circuit training tomorrow. I too will use these for myself!

Shellie October 15, 2012 - 5:20 PM

I’m definitely #2 and #4. There have been a couple of days when I am genuinely exhausted from life and need the rest. There are also days when I say “let me go home and take a nap” and end up watching t.v. or talking on the phone and then still making myself go to the gym at 8 or 9 at night because I “wasted” my nap time. And I always, always, always feel better after a workout. Even if I’m drenched in sweat with nappy hair and have to crawl to my car, lol.

Stefanie November 23, 2012 - 12:33 PM

I saw this at just the right time. getting dressed now- no excuses!

KelliZee August 19, 2013 - 5:30 PM

This post is brilliant. It is so nice to hear that you also struggle. I hear people say “I don’t feel right if I skip a day of exercise.” I find if I take a day off, just like you said, it turns into more days and less motivation really dang fast.

I work out hard six days a week and people around me comment “well, you’re able to work out regularly because you like it.” Oh, Honey, no.

So many days each week I sit here at my desk and talk myself right out of working out. I make a bunch of excuses to myself about why I should just skip working out and go home after work to do whatever piddly little chore my brain has come up with or why I should just rest or why just taking one day off won’t hurt anything.

This is usually followed by bargaining with myself saying “I’ll work out an extra day this week or do an hour extra tomorrow.” Pfft…we all know how THAT turns out, right?

As time to go home draws nearer, my rational side kicks in and I tell myself that I really don’t have any “good” reason for skipping my workout. I think about how far I’ve come and how hard it was to get here. Those two things usually get me moving. Finally, failing all else, I always remember that while I will ALWAYS regret the days I skip a workout, I will NEVER regret the days that I don’t.

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