Counting Mailboxes

May 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

I often forget that the most important benefit of exercise for me is the feeling of accomplishment it brings.  That feeling of accomplishment is motivating.  It actually makes me feel mentally stronger which automatically gives me more inner strength to avoid sugar and other things I don’t need to eat.  When you think about exercise, you usually only think about the physical benefits such as burning calories or toning.   Neither of these are the main reason I need to exercise.

I need to exercise because it reminds me that I can do hard things.

I often believe that I simply can’t go to the gym.  Or even put a DVD in.  I often believe that I can’t even make it around the block.

But it’s always been hard for me (even in my most unmotivated and lazy moments) to believe that I can’t do 30 seconds.  Or that I can’t at the very least make it to the mailbox.

Even I can’t rationalize that one away.

I have tried numerous times to get back on track.  I’ve tried going back to the gym.  I’ve tried going back to daily Leslie Sansone walking videos.  I’ve tried going back to walking in the neighborhood.  I’ve even tried going back to group classes.  Nothing will keep me motivated for long.  I am not consistent.  And I always quit.  It’s not even a conscious decision anymore.  Somehow I just wake up and realize another month went by with no progress.

I was talking to my brother not long ago when he said “Go small or go home”.    A concept I continue to forget.   So I told him I was thinking about going back to counting mailboxes.  It seemed ridiculous because I can physically do more.  But as I said in a previous post, I DON’T.  And that’s all that really matters.

Because….

If you CAN do more but DON’T

Then it’s no different from someone who WANTS to do more but CAN’T.

You both end up in the same place.

NOWHERE

And I’m tired of going nowhere.

I’m ready to go SOMEWHERE.  Even if I have to go back to counting mailboxes because I’m mentally too weak to get my butt in gear.

So as dumb as this may sound–I’m doing it.  And I have to admit, I’m feeling better about myself than I have in quite awhile.   It seems silly I know but I’d rather say I’ve walked to the mailbox than I did nothing at all.  I’d rather say I walked to two mailboxes than another day of nothing at all.  If I do this enough times maybe I’ll retrain my brain to stop settling for nothing every day.  Maybe I’ll remember what it was like to struggle to that mailbox.   And I’ll remember once again that I CAN reach for my goals.

Here’s a conversation I had with my brother that helped me decide to commit to this goal

 

 

 

 

So whether this method is out of necessity because you’re physically incapable of doing more OR if it’s simply because you’re unmotivated—evidence seems to suggest it works regardless.  I already know this but I continually must be reminded because my default button tells me it’s not enough!

Ironically, we read the story of the Tortoise and the Hare in one of my classes today!!  You know this was for a long time my favorite story.  I really identified with the Tortoise.  And I believed in the power of embracing that mentality.    But when this popped up in one of my classes,  I thought to myself….PERFECT TIMING!

Today I was reminded once again that the turtle wins!

 

I’m using an app called Strides where I set a 30 day streak to go one additional mailbox every day.

Here is my streak so far.

I have come to the conclusion, though, that I have two problems.  One is frequency–not exercising often enough.  The other issue is consistency–not being consistent with WHEN I exercise.  I am still struggling to find a good rhythm for this given the new job I started 6 months ago and the hours I keep.  I do have as a goal, though, to become consistent not just with how often I do this but with WHEN I do this.  I really don’t think I can train my brain to get more automatic with exercise if I don’t do it at a consistent time every day.

So the goal is to find a consistent time and to add one additional mailbox every day.

Lucky for me, some of my neighbors’  mailboxes are side by side which means I can walk the same distance two days in a row.

See?? I’m always looking for the cheat!!!  But it’s “legal”! It’s the next mailbox.  So it counts! :))

I used Mapmywalk when I first started and I’ve gone back to that.

(So if you’re my friend on there you now know why it seems like my app is broken because I’m only logging a few steps a day 🙂

 

 

To further prove how long it’s been since I’ve done any consistent exercise—my neighbor came out and asked me today if everything was ok!

He was totally confused with why I was walking around outside.  He asked me if I needed a ride somewhere!

So until we meet again…happy mailbox counting!

 

 

 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou May 29, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Me too, Holly, to all you said. I am so so so inconsistent with exercise. No, that’s a lie. I’m not just inconsistent, I’m just not doing it. I know “use it or lose it,” but I’m just not motivated. Cheering you on! You’re an encouragement!!

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Mickie Gibbs May 29, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Beautiful smile! Keep on counting!

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LHA May 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

This time last year I was exercising an hour a day, every day. Consistently. Amazing for me to be able to do this! I either swam laps or worked out in the gym on the treadmill and stationary bike. Sometimes I walked in the neighborhood if I couldn’t get to the gym, but I was relentless about getting my hour in. Over the winter I have slipped and lost my steam on this. Thanks for a post that reminds me that I can get back to exercise a little at a time. I’m going to follow through! I agree with you that having a consistent time to exercise is important for me and I also work some odd and irregular hours. I’ll be working on it, and good luck to you on going one mailbox at a time. What a great idea!

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karla May 30, 2017 at 11:17 am

counting mailboxes sounds amaing…. here in Los Angeles I think I would only get about 5 or 6 …. most people have mail SLOTS but I have a walk planned for this coming Sunday and I will be trying your method… counting mailboxes, I will see how many … now I am curious LOVE THIS!!!!!

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16blessingsmom May 31, 2017 at 12:41 am

If Holly can do it, I can too. I KNOW I am not the only one out here that thinks this way! We are rooting for you, dear Holly, and you are encouraging us too! For some people this journey might be easy, but I have to fight myself every inch of the way…thank you so much for your honesty!!! Your true and genuine posts motivate me!

Della

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Lynne May 31, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Your honesty is motivating me and helping me to feel a little better about consistency… I could really use it in my eating choices since exercise is a little easier for me. I know exercise is only 10-20 percent of the equation, albeit an important one and what you put into your body will dictate your weight. The scale hasn’t budged – except up… meh.

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Margaret Wolfinbarger June 2, 2017 at 2:03 am

I’m encouraged by your post. I am struggling right now. Must keep pressing forward. I like counting mailboxes. I’m going to use that.

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Beth M. June 7, 2017 at 12:52 am

I think having BELIEVING that you can get back on track is a huge factor in SUCCEEDING in getting back on track. Exercise is one way for me to practice building that confidence and belief in myself, making a commitment to get my steps in and honoring that commitment no matter what. When I’m out for a walk, it makes me happy to think you’re out there too!

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John June 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Hi Holly,

Wanted to share a theory with you: http://www.johnfial.com/obesity/ which is especially important considering the un-researched role of lithium.

Hope it helps you and your readers. Keep up the good work.

John

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