Friday, September 17, 2010

Your pessimism is my motivation this time

As most of you guys are well aware, it's hard to exercise and stay in shape even if you don't have asthma. Yet when you have this disease it's even harder, yet all the more important that you do so.

It often seems that every time you get on the exercise horse and start making some headway, something in life happens that provides you the excuse to quit and to take a week off. Of course taking a week off usually leads to taking a months off and then two.

Then all of a sudden you realize you're winded walking up steps again. You're upset with yourself that you fell off the horse. Now you are looking for some sort of motivation to help you get back on.

Sometimes the best motivation comes from pessimism. Seriously. Sometimes the best motivation to becoming a better person comes from people who tell you you can't or shouldn't do something. When I'm ready to get back on the wagon, often I look for something to motivate me.

I have asthma. I have a very good friend who has asthma. We met about 15 years ago in RT school, and we became best friends because we had something in common -- we both have asthma.

Two weeks ago the topic of losing weight was brought up. My friend is constantly dieting (as am I), and she's actually showing. I said her diet must be working because she's "looking good."

So we started talking about see-saw dieting. How we both have decided it's simply the norm.

And I said something like, "You hear a lot about how see-saw dieting is bad. But I think it's good. It means that you're smart and aware of the importance of exercising. See-saw dieting is proof of how hard it is to get into, and how much harder it is to stay in shape. Yet it's also proof that you have the strength to keep getting back on the horse every time you fall off. In that way, see-saw dieting is good."

"Good point," she said.

Yet then the conversation took a turn. I said, "Back in July I was doing so well on my exercise routine I was up to 4 miles a day -- running. After taking the last 2 months off, when I started up again last week I could only run 1 mile. Yet I got back out there and ran."

"YOU RUN!!!" she said. "You run with your asthma."

"Yeah," I said. "Why would that be surprising?"

"You have asthma."

"I find so long as I take my Advair every day I don't have a problem. I even have a bad cold right now and I don't let that stop me."

"Wow!" she said, "I don't think you should be running."

Instead of trying to find excuses, I wanted to say, I keep trying NOT to find excuses. Yet I held my tongue. I held my tongue because I respected her, my good friend.

Yet I took what she said to heart. It was motivation. It was motivation for me to get back on the wagon -- back on the horse that knocked me off two months ago.

You see, I was knocked off the horse because I had eye surgery, and that provided me an excuse not to work out for a couple weeks. And then my 4th child was born, and that provided me an excuse not to work out another month.

Before I knew it, I was back up to 202 pounds. I was staring in the face, as I looked at the scale, that I had gained 15 pounds since my low of 186 on July 8, 2010. I had to stare into the face that I was on my way back to 210 pounds, and it was creeping up on me fast.

I was facing a choice we all face from time to time. I could either keep on with the sedentary and eat everything I feel like eating attitude, or I could get back on the horse. The wise man gets back on and keeps on going, so long as his body is willing and capable.

Yet is asthma an excuse to quit? I think not. I know not. So, for the 30th time in the past 10 years, this asthmatic got back on the horse. And he did so with pessimism breathing down his back. He used that as motivation.

So it's been two weeks and five pounds lost. Ten more and I'll be back to the 186 I was at 2 months ago. Sure it's frustrating, yet it's life. Life happens. Yet you can't let life stop you from
doing what you know is right.

"YOU CAN'T RUN BECAUSE YOU HAVE ASTHMA!"

I might just highlight that and paste it to my word processor and make it as large as I can, cut it out, and put it right on the wall next to my bed.

Thanks my friend. You were wrong, and I won't tell you you were wrong. Yet I will use your comments as motivation to get back on the horse I keep falling off of yet know I need to somehow stay on to live the good life we all seek.

So I can't run Hey? Take that!

Since you made that comment I've lost 5 pounds with more loss coming. Yet I won't tell her she motivated me. I won't because we feed off each other in a way. When one of us is succeeding, that too acts as a motivator.

In that way, success breeds success. The more I get into shape the greater incentive to get into better shape, and when I see others succeeding, I find that I want to do the same. It's kind of a human nature thing.

And usually we all fall off the horse at the same time. Yet the wise among us know when it's time to get back on the horse and come up with incentives to stay on.

"You can't run because you have asthma!" That's my motivation this time.

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