So, you’ve made the decision to lose weight, be healthier and feel amazing. Setting this intention can immediately flood our brains with an image of how we would like to look and feel and this brings with it a temporary heightening of our motivation to make the changes we need to. Exercise will obviously play a huge part in our physical and mental health and during this motivational phase, we tend to buy exercise equipment with pictures of ourselves as being slim and fit in our minds that spur us to make purchases of home exercise equipment. I was no different and during the course of my fitness journey I have owned:
Exercise bike – more than one, in fact, I stopped counting after 3!
Rowing machine – Two of them!
Weights – numerous
Hula hoops – numerous
Skipping ropes – numerous
Yoga equipment – One complete set
If I sat down and itemised and totaled the cost of the above, I think I’d want to cry because 9 times out of 10, I NEVER used what I had bought. Some things were only taken out of the box and then put-on display to be occasionally dusted! Others, I used once or twice and then they became part of the furniture in my house. Until then I hadn’t realised that you can use exercise equipment for:
Leaning things on!
After the initial excitement had worn off (and it always did), they would slowly start to get on my nerves. They’d be banished to a part of the house that was rarely used (except for the above uses), start to gather dust and would automatically become invisible. Then the inevitable day would come when I’d finally had enough of them and it would then be sold for a fraction of the price that I’d paid for it. Unfortunately, I never seemed to learn my lesson because soon, the experience was forgotten and my next pledge to be slim resulted in the purchase of yet another piece of home exercise equipment. I honestly cannot remember how many times I went through this cycle, repeating the same pattern and getting the same results.
Insanity – Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a difference results!
This was until I changed on the inside. My Anti-Diet journey was a slow, purposeful one. After years of trying numerous diets, suffering from bulimia and borderline anorexia, I was overweight and downtrodden. I didn’t know it at the time but for me, hitting rock bottom was one of the best things that happened because at this lowest point I decided to ditch the diets as, for me, none of them had worked for long. All that had happened was that it was me at war against food. I was obsessed with it and spent all of my free mental space fighting between thinking about what I could or would eat next. My only real happiness was when I was eating my favourite takeaway or snacking on delicious sugary or salty foods. The rest of the time, I was in no man’s land with hunger in the pit of my stomach and the food demon on my shoulder constantly coaxing me to eat. I can’t pin-point the exact moment that I changed but I do remember the absolute freedom I had felt (even though it was a bit scary at first). I hadn’t realised the amount of mental energy I had been spending on dieting, not dieting, feeling depressed, counting calories/syns or points. Dieting literally was the start, middle and end of every day for me and now, without it in my life, I may not have been slim, but I definitely felt freer and had more mental energy. I had also found that not dieting had actually stabilised my weight because I was no longer bingeing or starving myself. So, armed with this new found energy, I decided to purchase a treadmill. This time, it was not an impulse buy, this time I:
- Carefully researched the numerous choices I had
- Thought about and wrote down my shortlist based upon what I thought I could endure (yes endure, I can’t say that I was overly enthusiastic but there was anticipation)
- Set an intention to actually commit to using what I bought for at least a minimum of 3 months on a regular basis (2 times a week, every week for 20 minutes or more)
- Purchased a journal where I put my commitment down in writing and created a grid where I would enter the date, the time I had run for and the distance I had covered
I was still apprehensive as I parted with my hard-earned cash but something just felt different. I think it really helped that I was not dieting and was instead focusing on accepting and loving myself because this brought with it a huge sense of self trust. I told myself that if I really, really hated the treadmill, it would be OK because I would eventually find something that I did like. I had learned one very important thing:
If you take the option of giving up on your dream off the table – you will start to see other possibilities and opportunities everywhere!!
The rest is history because buying the treadmill was the best decision I ever made and after the initial and inevitable resistance, the perseverance paid off and I was hooked! I began looking forward to it most days (yes, I still have days when I am demotivated but now, I embrace them and don’t let a bad day make me give up forever!).
This is what my experience taught me about treadmills and why it is my BFF!!:
- No matter the weather, you can still exercise
- In the long run, it is much cheaper than paying for a gym
- No time is wasted travelling to the gym
- You can do as little or as much as you are capable of as no one is watching!
- You don’t have to feel the pressure of keeping up with others in a gym environment
- In the dark winter months, you can still feel safe running
- It can help tone up your body
- It will make you healthier
- It will help you lose weight
- It helps improve your mental health
If you are like I used to be and are once again considering buying a piece of home exercise commitment, I truly hope this blog will help you make the right decision for you.
WRITTEN BY SHERRY TAYLOR
AUTHOR OF THE ANTI-DIET LIFESTYLE – 4 CRAZY STEPS TO WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS!