Why the Women’s Health Ultimate Fitness Plan

This week the casual observer might think that I made very little progress on my goals. However, I am not disheartened and I haven’t given up at all. While I continue to be under the weather, I’ve still been spending time thinking about my goals and planning on how to make progress with them.

Earlier this week, I read an article from Unclutterer about Making your Resolutions a Reality. The article gave great advice to follow for achieving your goals. The five main points were:

  1. Write down your goals.
  2. Understand your motivation and need for change.
  3. Brainstorm ways to complete your goal.
  4. Create a detailed plan.
  5. Decide on your exact steps and next actions.
  6. Start!

The steps got me to thinking that while I’ve written a list of my goals, I haven’t yet explained in detail why I’m motivated to pursue them and why I think I need to change. I’ve done this in my own head, but I think writing it out is much more powerful and would be a great way to share it with everyone who might read this blog. So, here goes, I’m going to delve in to why I chose to follow the Women’s Health Ultimate Fitness Plan this year.

I know that resolving to be fit and healthy is a very common goal for people. Who doesn’t want to look and feel fabulous? I think it’s important to really get to the bottom of why you want to look and feel this way. For me, it begins where most neurosis does, in my childhood.

I was fat. My family was fat. I can remember my mother going on and off diets and trying different exercise gadgets. I remember the habits of my childhood that have now helped to form my basic struggles with food and exercise.  I remember pouring out the troubles of the day over a bowl of ice cream or plate of cookies after school.  I remember my father coming home after a long day at work and piling a plate full of food because that was his big meal of the day – later he would usually fall asleep on the sofa watching tv.  I remember being teased about my weight in school.

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention any real connections with exercise.  That’s because there wasn’t much going on in my household.  At least, nothing on a regular basis.  My mother would go for walks on an inconsistent basis, but not usually with us.  When we had a pool she would swim often, but by the time I was old enough to use the pool by myself, we moved out of that house.  We rode bikes occasionally, but that isn’t anything I’ve ever been excited about.  My sister and I played volleyball in Elementary school, but my parents were never really excited about us being involved in sports outside of our normal P.E. classes.  I can’t remember my father ever working out.  But, as a mechanic, his job demanded a certain amount of daily physicality and so he was strong, if still overweight.

Why I want to be fit is so that I can have a household that doesn’t have any of those bad habits.  I want a household where food is eaten as a way to stay healthy and give us energy so we can live full lives instead of being attached to so many emotional rituals and unhappiness.  I want a household where exercise is an integral part of daily life.  Since I never had that when I was growing up, I’m having to build this habit from the ground up.  I don’t want to be sporadically fit and healthy, I want to just BE fit and healthy and FEEL fit and healthy.  And, another big part of my motivation is tied to my own vanity, I want to LOOK fit and healthy too.

In order to fulfill my desire to BE, FEEL, and LOOK fit and healthy, I’ve decided to focus on exercise.  Emotional eating issues are much harder to translate into tangible goals and there are plenty of fitness classes and activities I can get involved in.  So far, while I’ve made huge strides, I still don’t feel as though fitness and activity is a natural part of my daily life.  It takes a lot of will power to get me started if I allow myself to stop.   And so my goals focus on regularity of action instead of specificity of milestones.  When I trained to run a 10k run in under an hour, it involved 13 weeks of near daily activity to be able to do that.  But, then after the run I lost focus for a brief while and my workouts didn’t have the same edge to them that they used to.  So, this time around I’m setting my goal on something that encompasses a longer time line for completion.

So there you have it.  A fairly thorough explanation of why this workout plan is important to me.  I’ll probably go through similar explanations of the other goals on my list at some time or another.  I’d love to hear any comments or feedback by email or here on the blog!

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