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The lies we tell ourselves

I bought an exercise program a year ago. Actually it was 2 different programs. And it was 2 years ago, though I like to believe it was only 1. Health and nutrition are very important to me and I put a lot of time, energy, and money into these, especially since my daughter was born. I also like to stay fit too. Or at least I thought I did.

So I bought these two separate programs two years ago…and I didn’t complete either of them. I think I may have got about 3 or 4 weeks into each at different times. And not over 3 or 4 weeks…but over months. I’d use them sporadically, always telling myself I’d use them everyday. But ultimately I was using them not even weekly, and eventually forgetting about them both all together.

Actually…those aren’t the only programs I bought. I have hula hoops and bought a bunch of courses for using them. Guess how far I got through them? Yeah, not very far at all….and some I didn’t even look at once.

But since we moved at the start of the year I’ve been trying to get “back into” fitness. Wanting to be stronger, fitter, have more energy. And I’ve tried sooo many times to restart either one of these programs.

I don’t know what shifted, but I finally put a good structure in place a couple of months back. Setting the alarm early in the morning, every single day. Leaving the phone in another room so I have no choice but to get my butt up when the alarm goes off. If I don’t, Kaia eventually wakes up (from the alarm) and tells me I have to get up.

And I’ve done the exercises. I have a daily checklist for my most important tasks, and I’ve been marking off that I’ve done it every day and which workout it is. I’ve even gone for a couple of runs – which I haven’t done in many years.

I was so proud of myself looking at that chart recently and seeing how committed I’ve been. I’m in the 8th week of one of the programs now, and have worked out generally 6 days a week, every week in that time.

But it was a bit of a shock too, because I realised that not only had I got further through one of these programs than before….but that this is more consistent exercise than I have done in about 15 or 16 years. But I hadn’t admitted this to myself before this. I used to say fitness was important. I used to say I exercised. I wasn’t lying – at least I was lying to everyone else AND myself. I really believed that I did exercise! I’d sporadically go to yoga or dance classes (we’re talking reeeeeally sporadically here). And I did a lot of walking all the time. Hey, walking is great for overall health – but if you’re looking for strength, agility, flexibility, this just won’t cut it.

It’s easy for people to believe I exercise, as I’m slim. I’ve always been slim. As a teenager I was a walking skeleton. Just my genes I guess. But I’m not 20 anymore. Or 30. Hell, I’m not even 40 anymore. And I’ve had a baby…so …you know…’contents have shifted in transit’ (ahem).

So it was a bit of an eye-opener to realise and admit to myself that actually I’m not a person who exercises. I’m actually, very clearly, a person who doesn’t. I don’t workout. I don’t stay fit. At least until 8 weeks ago. And I hadn’t been a person who exercises for the last 15 years. Even though, with no evidence at all, I told myself I was. And I believed myself!

I’ve decided now that I’m a woman who exercises every day, who stays fit and healthy. I’m an almost-43 year old solo mum of an active kid, who runs her own business (me, not the kid). I need to stay healthy. I need to make sure I have the energy to organise our lives, be up every morning for work and then for Kaia. I take nutrition very seriously, and I’ve decided fitness needs to be an actual, real part of that. Like, a real part. Not a pretend part. I know now that I need to track my exercise to make sure I’m doing it, otherwise I’ll fall back into telling myself I’m working out when I’m not…and buying into my own porkies.

But it’s just quite the shock to realise how very long I’ve been fooling myself about something that is so clearly not what I said it is. Fifteen years of telling myself I was exercising regularly…when nothing could’ve been further from the truth. Makes you think, right?

Now this may or may not apply to your grief. And maybe it’s just me. But in case it’s not…what have you been telling yourself you’re working on that you aren’t? What have you been telling yourself is important to you, when you aren’t actually putting any time/ energy/ money into it? What have you been telling yourself you’ve been sorting out, while instead you’re just ignoring it?

Worth thinking about, I reckon!



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