Exercise – It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing

I have such an all-or-nothing personality.  My house gets messy and I think “I don’t have time to clean the whole thing, so I may as well do something else.”  If I mess up on my diet, I think, “oh well, now the whole day is shot.”  And if I don’t have the time or inclination to work out for an hour, then I think it’s not worth it to work out at all.

I have strategies to deal with all these things (my Flylady 15-minute timer helps a lot!), but that all-or-nothing attitude is still the one that comes most naturally to me.

I’ve been sick the last few days and had to skip my scheduled C25K W8D1 run on Saturday.  I had hoped to do it yesterday, but still didn’t feel well enough.  Today’s schedule, since it is Memorial Day and I have extra time, was to do C25K, 30 minutes of yoga, and ab work for a total of 80 minutes of exercise.    I knew when I woke up this morning that I was still sick and I didn’t think I had it in me to exercise for 80 minutes.  After a cup of coffee, I decided that I felt better than I had in a couple of days and I might be able to exercise.  Plus, I really didn’t want to push my C25K schedule back again.  Then I realized that I didn’t have to do the whole 80-minute workout.  I could skip the yoga and abs and just do C25K.  Duh!

So I decided to give it a shot and keep an eye my heart rate.  If my heart rate got up to 168 (it gets above 170 during really hard runs), then I would take a walking break.  About 18 minutes into the 28-minute run, I REALLY wanted to take a walk break, but my heart rate was holding steady at 158.  Again, I realized that my choices weren’t only running or walking.  I could take a break, but it didn’t have to be a walking break.  I usually increase my speed each time a new song comes on, so I just slowed my speed to my starting pace.  I immediately felt the difference and was able to keep running the entire 28 minutes.

So what I need to remember is that if I can’t do a whole workout, I should focus first on the piece that is most important to me and get that done.   In today’s case, that was C25K, because I am now less than two weeks away from finishing the program.  Secondly, don’t be afraid to look for alternatives if something isn’t going as well as I had hoped.  Things aren’t black and white.  It’s not an all-or-nothing situation.  There is probably another avenue to take that will help me reach my goals.

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2 Responses to Exercise – It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing

  1. whispersfromwithin says:

    This is a good reminder, I am such an all or nothing thinker.. I have a bloody treadmill and if I can’t get to my “route” outside I am disappointed that the day is shot and I haven’t ran. Duh!! I could just go get on the treadmill and at least do something. Than in the same breath I am getting better at spontaneous exercising, a walk/bike ride with the kids, taking stairs, hiking, playing ball, shooting hoops.. It’s still a work in progress, but at least the jeans are fitting much better..!! 🙂

  2. Audrey says:

    Oh my word. I’m an all or nothing gal too. As long as we keep getting back on track it WILL all come together. :o)

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