one of the things that keep me going

one of the things that keep me going

Monday, November 17, 2014

What I do when I don't feel like working out (my motivation to get up and moving!)

ahhh, procrastination. lack of motivation. laziness. or flat out "I don't want to!"

somehow, exercising can always end up at the bottom of our "to do" list...along with paying bills, washing the toilet, and throwing out all the moldy items in your refrigerator. we tend to avoid things that will do us good because, you know, we're self destructive like that...aka yetzer hara/evil inclination. I've been getting asked a lot about what I do to motivate myself to work out when I REALLY don't feel like it, so...the people have spoken. 

I am a work in progress, I've been on a "fitness" journey for many years (to be discussed later!) but most seriously in the past year. Here are a few strategies that have helped me ward off the excuses.

1. Set A Time - just like any other important part of your day, schedule it. When it's on the schedule, it is a lot more likely to happen, not to mention you'll feel obligated to get it done along with the rest of your day. Without a set time, you'll get lost, distracted, or plain out forget! So in my book, this is number one. I personally work out first thing in the morning, when I would leave it til the evening, I would 5/7 of the time be way too tired or have something else come up that took precedence. It also helps me set up for the next tip..

2. Go to sleep in your work out clothes - this way, you wake up and you're ready to go! no need to change or make any big moves, besides for lacing up your shoes!

3. Make sure you're doing something you enjoy - I've done a lot of different activities before I found the ones I enjoyed the most. You'll be a lot more motivated to exercise if it's fun and you look forward to it. I did hip hop and kickboxing classes on you tube, I ran on the treadmill, I went to spin class (which is where I met my personal trainer :) ), I've been all over the place. If you're just starting out, you have to start with something you like...punish yourself later.

4. I'm just going to do xyz for 3 minutes - when I REALLY don't feel like it, I try to psyche myself out. I remind myself how important it is to keep up with my fitness goals, and how any effort is better than no effort. The first time I understood this was when I was home and I told myself "I'll just do a 3 minute dance routine. That way I can say I did it". K, so this part is kind of embarrassing >:-O but here goes.. it was right when "Gangnum Style" came out, and it was EVERYWHERE! Anyway, this was what came up, and it is very silly, but it was REALLY fun, got me moving, and after the song was over I just ran out of the house!! Did a small run around the neighborhood. It was awesome.

Another example if "Gangnum Style" isn't your thing ;) So I tell myself, "I'll just run 1 mile. I'll be back in 10 minutes. No biggie.." Once I'm out there, I usually do much more then I told myself I would do. One of my best runs was done on a day I didn't want to at all, so, you never know :) 

5. Tell someone for accountability - A surefire thing for me is when I tell my husband I don't feel like it he tells me "too bad..sorry". in which I respond "(sigh) you're right..." tough love. :) When you have someone on your team, rooting for you and your goals, they will have no problem giving you the push you need. Even better? Personal Trainer. Mine always knows how to keep me in line. 

6. How will you feel later? Which will be the bigger regret, working out or not working out? It's a painful question, but the truth hurts. "Wow, I'm SO happy I didn't work out today! That was SO worth it!" #saidnooneever. 

Another thing I want to mention is, don't be silly. If you are ILL, you better take off your workout clothes, put on pajamas and a zip up, drink lots of hot fluids and go back to bed! You must get better first!

Be a hero, not a martyr.
k, awesome :)
stay tuned for more!
Now go run! 


Monday, December 5, 2011

Negativity - lack there-of

I know that it's been awhile since i last written. To be honest, i had written a draft of what i had wanted to write about, but i couldnt get it 'just right', and i wasn't sure what was bothering me, so i just left it for awhile. then i realized, the past few weeks, i feel like i've been exposed to so much negativity.

more specifically, ive been receiving e-mails and posts on facebook about all the terrible things that are going on in the world. crazy stories that you thought only existed in your sick imagination, intermarriage, cheating, converting, choosing a path away from Hashem. people who i used to look up to and respect are acting in ways that i dont agree with and preaching things that are against everything i believe in. then it confused me, was this the way they always were, and i've changed? or has the whole world lost their minds?

don't think for a second that i'm judging anybody, because i'm no one to judge. just like any other human being, i make mistakes and i'm not perfect by any standard. but i am very sensitive, and all of these things have really been hurting me.

i think of people i grew up with, or with whom i was really close with at some point in my life. i look at them now, and i look at myself, and i wonder, how did they get there? how did they go so far away? how did they get soooo lost? maybe had we stayed friends, things would be different?

the truth is though, the world has lost their mind. what are my kids going to be exposed to?

so i can dwell upon this, and talk about it, and write about it forever, but what i'm trying to get at is, what am I being exposed to? what am i letting myself be exposed to?

i'm reading this book called 'Organize Now!' which is a week-by-week guide to work on becoming a more organized person. it's not a Jewish book, and the author is not Jewish. she mentions in the FIRST week's goal: 'Simplify your life and your thinking by cutting back on the amount of negative information and images you let penetrate your mind- the news, advertising, newspapers, depressing books and violent movies.' Chochmat Goyim. Her ideas are all based on, the less (clutter) you have, the less you have to worry (/clean) about. everyone has their share of problems, baggage, struggles that take up their mind space and energy. then, you have to deal with everyone else in your life's problems, baggage and struggles. WHY then, do i need to be personally EXPOSED to every single bad thing that could possibly go wrong, GO WRONG, and then see all the effects of it GOING WRONG on EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD, and all their friends??!!

caring about every single person in the world, and their well being is an obligation. and i do care. most people do not want my help or opinion, and i am in a healthy place where i dont try to control everyone and their actions. i realize that the more im exposed to problems that i cant solve, the more down i get. i cant solve world hunger, or the israeli conflict, or all my friends who are not religious and i wish they could see the beauty and love that i see in it. (obviously there are things you can do to help a situation, but not single handedly solve a problem). caring for the world, and not knowing about everything, is not a contradiction.

my daughter Ayala is 7 weeks old now, and she smiled for the first time on shabbat. and since then, she smiles all the time now. a close family friend of mine, after 15 years of infertility is expecting triplets in another month. a friend of mine in her late thirties got engaged a month ago. an old friend of mine got engaged to a wonderful girl after dating for just 2 months (get this, the mom met the girl at a wedding and said 'you are the girl for my son')! a man from my community who was widowed with 2 small children just got remarried. a good friend of mine was zoche to buy a house in jerusalem. amongst all the negative things that are going on, so many positive, wonderful, happy things are happening too.

why can't we post about more happy things?

Monday, November 7, 2011

my quarter life crisis

becoming a mom has really got me thinking.. i know. hard to believe. i find that most of the day im looking for my brain, and the other half of the day trying to remember where the last place i put it was.. but while my brain is lost, it does a lot of thinking outside my body. the thing i've been thinking about most lately is what is this all about? k, whoa, that's big. let's back up..

this summer, i ran into someone i went to high school with. i think the last time i saw her WAS high school. we were definitely not close in school, but we both have facebook, so we've heard about what the other has been up to all these years in between. she then asked me 'so what do you do?' without even thinking (the brain was lost again..), i said that i still worked for a company that i had quit a few months before. we spoke for a few more minutes, wished each other good luck, and went our separate ways. i couldn't believe myself. WHY did i do that? what was so embarrassing??

was i embarrassed that i'm a house wife? that i'm unemployed? that i'm taking care of a family? that i dont have so much personal time? that i cant afford a weekly mani/pedi?

my husband and i have, thank G-d, been blessed with 2 children in our 2 years of marriage. my pregnancies are very hard, especially the last one because i was running after my 10 month old. i'm basically sick the whole 9 months. the sickness, the nausea, the fatigue, the hormones, the bloating, the heartburn, the aches and pains.. and then still having to cope with life! it turns me into one big FAT complaint. the baby is born, and its miraculous and beautiful and bonding, which brings upon it's own challenges. i have had some really hard days as a mother, some of the hardest i've ever had in my life.. was i embarrassed that these are my challenges?

i have many friends who have been married a lot longer than me who don't have children yet. their challenges look very different than mine. their thoughts, their fears, the treatment, the prayers, the tension, it's the most painful thing. all they want is to bear a child of their own and everything that comes with it. is it embarrassing to want this? is it embarrassing to dedicate all your whole child bearing years to try to conceive just one child? makes me want to stop complaining.

then i think of the opposite. i know many people who CHOSE not to get married, and hate children. they have dogs, they have 'relationships' here and there, living for themselves.. maybe they know that this is a petty existence, but i know that there are people who really dont realize what they missed out by not building a family, even as a couple. i wonder how they would have changed had they been put in the situation. we're seeing the person at 50 years old not being a giver. maybe they would be completely different people if they had been married for 25 years. i think what a waste. there are people who are dying to have children, and you are choosing to deprive yourself of the challenge to extend your potential as a human being, to increase your love. i think these people have more reason to feel embarrassed.

i then think about G-d, and how He hides Himself. the whole world is an illusion, nothing is as it seems. i think about how the most miraculous, incredible, moments of life can first appear as dark, scary, even intolerable. like birth. (now remember my pregnancies). then you go into labor. you think you're going to die. everything is so intense. it's so easy to get lost and forget what's happening. when the baby comes out, it's practically painless, you feel euphoric, and all of a sudden your eyes open. you're taken aback. you think, what just happened? was that me? was that me that was so scared and about to quit 5 minutes ago, and now i'm holding LIFE in my hands?

it's so easy to lose sight of everything, and get caught up in stupidities. all i see is that both my children are screaming (VERY LOUD), this one is constipated (again), she's hungry (again), he's eating out of the garbage (unfortunately, again).
another dirty diaper, another change of clothes, another day of doing the same thing.
but there are also smiles, new discoveries, adventures, achievements (even if it is getting into the garbage, even after you've barricaded the area). there have been days where the only joy i got out of my kids was when they fell asleep (finally) for the night. and i think to myself, gosh, they're lucky they're so cute. and even though they can complain the whole day, they are completely dependent on me, and are so helpless. their cries are their tools of communication (even when im sitting right next to them and INSIST that i can hear them!) and im reminded that im not in control, and am humbled so deep into the ground that i can swear its getting hotter and one more kilometer and we're inside the core of the Earth.. i never had any of these experiences before i became a mom.

those people who chose not to build a family are fools, and i pray for the people who are trying to conceive that it should be soon. though these years have been hard, i have grown tremendously and i would never trade them.

my quarter life crisis has gotten me thinking (i know, more thinking.. ps if you SEE my brain..) where do i start and where do i end? is there something else that i'm meant to tap into or dedicate time towards?

or am i doing exactly what i'm meant to be doing right now? do people look back at their lives and say 'gosh, i should have spent more time in the office' or 'i wish that i dated more people before i married my soul mate'? i look back at the big decisions ive made since im 17, which include not finishing my degree, moving far away from my parents, choosing to live an orthodox life style, and getting married when i was 21, i dont regret any of them. obviously i wish that i lived closer to my family. obviously had i finished my degree, my opportunities would be greater. but had i chosen those paths, i wouldn't have met my husband, nor would i be living with him, building a family, growing individually and as a couple, in the most holy place on Earth. it wouldn't be the same if we lived in LA (or South Africa, for that matter).

that girl from high school graduated from a top university, had a stable well paying job, single, living it up and partying.. sounds great. here i am. married to the man of my dreams, building a family with him, living in jerusalem.. we live simply because we're in kollel..but i've never been happier. life could be hard and challenging, but i'm happy. i might end up going back to school so that i can get a more meaningful job, or find work in an area that gives me opportunities for personal expression. just like everything in life, it will have its time. right now, my life is consumed of keeping up my house, making meals, nursing the baby, changing diapers, playing/singing, etc. but i'm also comforting my babies cries, making a positive atmosphere, filling the house with good scents (a mixture of sephardic food and fabric softener), making my husband feel appreciated when he comes home, and that makes me happy. what could be more rewarding? a hard day at the office isn't more rewarding. how many people would die to be in my situation?

i dont have anything to be embarrassed about.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Anything but sleep.. was the saying i came up with while i was in college to describe my extreme fomo (fear of missing out) and my childhood issue that continued into my teenage/adult life - getting a second wind at the most opportune time for sleep, and though i THOROUGHLY enjoy sleeping, i find almost every excuse not to go to sleep, until i pass out of exhaustion. The most classic example would be that I would come home on a saturday night, tell my room mates (who were already in bed) in my animated voice every. last. detail. of my night, and THEN i would decide to clean. i hate cleaning. but NOW was the time that i would feel passionate and inspired to get my act together and start sorting through all the clutter, refold all my laundry and put it back in the closet, and if i really lost it, i would also organize my books and my drawer under my bed. anything but sleep. i will do ANYTHING but go to sleep.

i had woken up tonight to nurse the baby, then i got distracted. by the time i was 'ready to go to sleep' i realized that the baby would wake up again soon to nurse, so i might as well stay up. Now it's nearly 3am, i have nursed the baby twice, wrote an email to my old boss asking for a paycheck i never received (almost a year ago), watched two episodes of Scrubs, downloaded google chrome, and started a blog. Because NOW is the perfect time. RIGHT?!!

I believe that everything has it's time. but this staying up half the night because 'i dont want to go to sleep', 'but i have so many things to do', 'now is the perfect time to do this' is absolutely insane. what happens in the end? Something else that is also extremely important gets compromised ie my health, my rest, my patience, etc. I know that my fault is this, but dont we all do this in different ways? putting our friends before our family, watching tv instead of studying, going online instead of working, spacing out ALL day. all of those things have a TIME, and it can't be at the expense of our more important commitments. everyone needs outlets and time with friends and time just to unwind, and we all need to make sure that it gets penciled in to our very busy schedules. i cant tell you how productive i feel after i have a night like this, but when i wake up in the morning, 9 out of 10 times i regret it because i justified it as doing something for 'myself' when i really ended up hurting myself. how many times have you had a conversation with a friend at a time that you were meant to be doing something else, and the worse part was that it wasn't urgent, and it could have been done at a different time? it takes real discipline and clarity to say when the right time for something is. we just have to be real with ourselves and know when to say 'no' or 'NOT now'.

hope this gave you something to think about. she just fell asleep. i'll take advantage now ;)