Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear Future Unmotivated Self

This is your Motivated Self talking. I know that you're taking a vacation, and for that I am thankful. Feel free to extend that vacation longer, I know that you have had quite a busy year, undoing any progress that I have busted ass to accomplish. Kick back. Grab a beer. Put your feet up - hey, that's what you do best, right? That's what you'd like me to do.

In case you do decide to suddenly cut your trip short and walk back in like you never left - because, like a shiftless lover coming back to beg for a second chance, that's what you do - there are things I want you to remember:
  • You are worth it. Let me repeat that. YOU ARE WORTH IT. There is nothing that can't wait until you've treated your Self right with the movement and activity that you know our body craves. (Unless the house is on fire; then get out quickly, grab the dog, bike, and hard drive, and run around like an idiot outside the burning structure, and count that as exercise.)
  • It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you actually exercise when you're least motivated - first thing in the morning for both of us, right? - you become motivated, and feel great the entire day afterward. Put the workout clothes on and get started before you do anything (ok, maybe not before you pee). Don't give yourself time to make excuses. Excuses hang over your head and color your actions negatively for the rest of the day. You know as well as I do you have a tendency to work harder wasting time on excuses than at just working it out. If it makes you feel better, talk over your excuses with your Self, as you're getting your sweat on. See how trivial they sound then.
  • Don't you love that feeling? That feeling of checking that all-important task off the list, even before coffee and breakfast? Of burning off breakfast before you even eat it?
  • How great would it be, to walk into any clothing store and know, without a doubt, that they'll have the pretty clothes in your size. Whatever that size ends up being, if you continue to exercise and eat reasonably, it certainly won't be the the sparse selection of "hey, let's dress the fat girl funny!" stuff in the Plus Size section. Nope, you'll be able to walk up to every rack, plucking off size 10 pants and medium tops until the wheels on your poor Kohl's cart collapse from the strain. Better than your hips and knees collapsing from the strain of carrying around 60 extra lbs, any day!
  • Isn't it great to have a spring in our step going into the day? Money in our pocket because we're not spending it on tons of fake (but, admittedly, tasty) food that will only make us tired, achy, and bloated. Clothes that are fitting more loosely every day? Energy? Remember energy? And falling asleep at night moments after our head hits the pillow...
  • This is not just for today. This is for every day. This is for life. This is because you're going to be that 80 year-old riding her bike and playing tag with the grandkids; wrestling with German Shepherds and my 85 year old husband (who will still be a hottie!), nary a hip fracture in sight.

So, Unmotivated Self, sorry to say: If you decide to return, you will arrive at your former home and realize that the locks have been changed and the guard dogs are onto your scent. Try to return at your own peril.

Motivated Self is rockin' it! Motivated Self has realized there are some truths to making this a permanent lifestyle change:

  • Gotta have a plan. Your plan for summer may not be the same as your plan for winter. I found this out the hard way. Plan your workout, but also plan what you're going to be eating and when.
  • Get it done first. Before anything else. (This may not apply to you, but it does to me.)
  • Have workout clothes, down to socks and undies, set out the night before. Or have gym bag packed. Leave nothing to chance.
  • Something is better than nothing. Not every workout has to be perfect or better than the last. (Thank you, Susan Blech, for that. You have no idea how much this has changed my perspective.)
  • Go to bed early so there is no room for excuses in the morning.
  • Stop hitting snooze. It's not real sleep if you're anticipating that alarm every 5 minutes for an hour. You always feel better if you just get up and do it.

So, Unmotivated Self, as you can see, you're not welcome back here. Whatever couch you're occupying in whatever part of the world, go ahead and stay there. Hit the drive-thru, grab a pint of ice cream on your way there, and eat yourself into a coma. And stay in that coma. Just stay far away from me.

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