Anything is Better than Nothing: How I Finally Got Motivated to Start Exercising Again.

Before I got married, I ran three miles a day. Four days a week. Faithfully. I never liked it, but I always did it. For the obvious reasons. Exercise is healthy. It helped me stay thin. And I had extra time on my hands, so running and going to the gym kept me from sitting around feeling sorry for myself. For a woman who desperately wanted to be married, it gave me a social outlet and posed a way to meet a potential hubby. In my opinion, all great reasons to get in shape.

Then I met Landon.

In that moment, the life I knew changed overnight. I was hypnotized by him and wanted nothing more than to spend every waking moment with this charming, new gent. (Funny how love does that to you.) Without question, learning every detail of who he was, talking into the wee hours of the night and going to dinner with him far outweighed the grueling runs and trips to the gym I had incorporated into my every day life.

Our relationship grew quickly. Six months after meeting, Landon and I were married. Shortly thereafter, I became pregnant with Aspen. Then Jayce. Then Ty. With the addition of a husband and three small children in the scope of six years, I had little time for myself. Rocking babies, changing diapers, and chasing little ones around the park quickly replaced exercise on my priority list.

Eventually, I stopped all formal types of exercise completely.

It wasn’t something I intended to do. In fact, frequently, I would set goals for myself. Running a mile or two at least three times per week. Walking thirty minutes a day. I even had a gym membership multiple times throughout the years. For a brief time, I would meet my goal. But it wouldn’t last long. My husband would go out of town, one of the kids would get sick, or a dirty house would beckon me to clean it and I would miss a date with my running shoes.

My frequent inability to stick to the plan would cause me to quit exercising altogether.

This year, however, I made a new resolution. One that finally motivated me to reestablish an exercise routine. And keep it. The resolution is this: There are no rules. Anything is better than nothing. When you can, exercise. Walk. Run. Bike. Go for as long as you like. Stop when you want. If you can do it once a week. Great. Two or three times. Fabulous. If you aren’t able at all one week. No big deal. Pick it back up the next week.

Anything is better than nothing.  

As a physical therapist, I tell my patients this all the time. And it really is the truth. Yet, for years, I failed to incorporate this advice into my own life. Instead, I let the demands of life and my own high expectations prevent me from doing anything at all. In my mind, if I was going to exercise, I had to go all out. Otherwise, I was failing. If I couldn’t run a full mile. Or for thirty minutes. Or at least three times per week. I wasn’t making a difference in my health. And I certainly wasn’t meeting my goals. So, I would quit.

In March, after a discussion with one of my patients about the importance of exercise for our physical and mental health, I began to take my own advice. I quit comparing myself to the “cross-fit-junky” friends I have, strapped on my running shoes for the first time in a while, and went for a jog. Two minutes in, I decided to start walking. But I stuck to my plan: No pressure. No rules. Just do something. As frequently as I can.

Anything is better than nothing.

It has been four months since I made my new resolution. Most weeks, I only exercise once or twice a week. There have been a few weeks, I have missed all together. But, I am still at it.

Getting back into shape has been a slow process. Only recently have I started to see the results of my efforts. The other day, I ran a mile and a half without stopping. A small feat when compared to my three mile/four days a week season of life, but huge for me in today’s season.

Running still isn’t my favorite pastime. But it is important to me to live a long, prosperous life; to be around to see my kids and grandkids grow up. So I am making it a priority again. And like every other area of my life, I am learning that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I am learning for myself, what I have been teaching others about exercise for years…

Anything is better than nothing.

2  Corinthians 8:11, “But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.

4 thoughts on “Anything is Better than Nothing: How I Finally Got Motivated to Start Exercising Again.

  1. Samantha

    I love this Amy. My life has been pretty much the same. Anything is better than nothing is what I say to the kids as well. 🙂

     
    Reply
  2. Diane Fontaine

    I Know What You Mean.I Have To Start One Day At A Time. No Guilt About Missing A Day And Giving Up Rather Than Just Continuing.

     
    Reply

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