Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gets me Nowhere!

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This star is a collage of our posts on this blog so far. I love the positive words that pop out when I look at it; it's in the shape of a star to remind all of us who read and share here that we are working to be our best! 

I don't know if I'm the only one, but sometimes I look at exercise as an all or nothing proposition. If I'm not up for the full workout, running or doing my elliptical, then I sometimes do nothing, thinking a walk just isn't "good enough". It's pretty silly, because in all the time I spend wrestling with the decision, mentally beating myself up, I could be walking, grabbing my hand weights for a few curls, doing a few crunches on my stability ball or even squats against the wall.

Am I the only one with this crazy thinking? Do you toss away opportunities to move and feel good because you don't think it's really "working out" or good enough?  For me it's an old pattern that rears its ugly head, usually when I am tired or stressed. It's the same type of dangerous thinking that used to happen when I would eat something that I categorized as "bad" and then proceeded to destroy the day with other "bad food" choices. I have mostly overcome this destructive thought process and learned that the age old mantra of moderation usually is best! If I forbid myself from eating what I want, there is usually a counter attack from my inner child who screams for the yummy treat she wants. I can usually talk someone, usually my husband, into sharing  a couple bites of a very small piece of whatever the sweet fix is. Although I can use this strategy when I have others around, there are still the land mine times when I am not at my strongest and the old thoughts take over.

Although in other areas I strive to remember that truth is rarely a black or white thing, I often lapse into my unproductive bad habits when it comes to food and exercise. 

I'm not the only one who falls into this trap, am I? How do you keep yourself from that "stinkin' thinkin'" that it's "all or nothin'"?
I would love to hear your story if you relate to this in any way.


  1. I hear ya Joan! I am often an all or nothing person when it comes to exercising too! Since I started running 5K races, I have often caught myself thinking that 2K (the distance of the path loop by our house) just isn't good enough. I then start spiralling in my thought. 2K isn't good enough, a walk isn't good enough, but I haven't done 5K in awhile so I probably can't do it anymore... So, I might as well just stay home. It is funny that you mentioned "black and white" thinking because often the only person that I think black and white about it myself. When I stop to think about it, I realize that I should be talking to myself the same way that I talk to my students: What are my choices? What are the consequences of my choices? Is what I chose really that bad? How can I choose differently? Was there some good in my decision? And the last question that I always ask my students and should perhaps start asking myself: How can I help you? or rather: How can I help me? #temt has helped me! Thanks for posting this Joan. It is always nice to know that we are not alone and that we can always count on someone out there to help us through those moments of "stinkin' thinkin'".

  2. Thanks so much Jamie! After I wrote that post I thought..uh oh..what if everyone thinks I am nuts. Oh well, they already do, right ;-) It's such a great idea to use the example of talking to yourself the way you talk to your students. I used to joke around and say that I would never talk to anyone the way I talk to myself in my head. I have come a long way but the little critic still gets in there! I feel so much better knowing we are not alone. Thank you so much!

  3. Thanks so much for this reminder. During the school year, if I don't have 2 hours to go to the gym I often find myself saying I 'don't have time to work out.' So I spent the time I do have sitting on the sofa. You have hit the nail right on the head and I'm going to print out this post and put it up in my office to remind myself that if time or motivation is short, taking the dogs on a long walk counts. Most of us are too hard on ourselves and that can be a trap. Because once I 'fail,' I might as well keep failing.
    So thanks to you and fiteach and all the TEMT folks for the reminder that I need to treat myself and take care of myself the way I treat and care for others.