Pack A Bag

The new year is rapidly approaching, and it’s time for us to contemplate New Year’s resolutions! Mine came earlier than expected. A few months ago, feelings of guilt and remorse visited because my exercise regime has dwindled and been lousy. My friend, Hugo Rivera, sent me a copy of “The Body Sculpting Bible for Women” about 6 months ago, and recently in a Facebook message asked how the exercise routine was going.  I completely avoided the subject because the truth was:  IT WASN’T GOING – ANYWHERE! (Sorry, Hugo… nothing personal against you. Just my guilty conscience gnawing at me).

My contemplation occurred several weeks/ months. Many days the thought of visiting my work fitness center entered my head. “If only I had my exercise clothes, I’d go to the wellness center and work out.”  Next, my boyfriend and I joined a workout center in our community. Neither the contemplation or the membership got me very far. My pants started getting a little tight, I felt bloated and bulky.  It was time to ACT on my thoughts. It wasn’t enough to conjure up the notion or idea of exercise. I actually had to start putting a plan into action.

I’ve seen too many weight loss folks make the confession: “I’m such a failure. I’ve gained 10 lbs!”  There is a general feeling of negativity that wears them down until they feel as if there is no use in even trying to set goals of losing weight. I did not want to travel down that negative road because it does nothing to promote action.  Instead, it causes guilt, feelings of failure, and more negativity.  I made a decision: GET UP AND DO IT!

I must admit, I’ve been successful these past 3 years in changing my relationship with food (using it as fuel and not comfort) and eating controlled portions. The aspect of the new “healthy” lifestyle in which I am having most difficulty has been the workout/physical activity. I asked the question: “Did I think I could cheat the system when it comes to exercise?” Not intentionally, but that was in essence what I was trying to do. As you know, NO ONE cheats the system.

I would like to correlate the preparation for successful exercise to that of planning for a trip.  In my personal experience, the worst part of planning for a trip is the packing of bags.  I absolutely hate this daunting task, and prolong it until the night before the departure. My boyfriend mentally had his bags packed three days in advance, and has a list in hand to guide him.  However, being the procrastinator, I wait as late as possible and pray it’s a painless task!

Slowly, I drag the bag (with much coaxing) out from underneath the bed.  The mental discussion in my head sounds a little like this:  “Melinda, you have to get this done in order to get to your destination! It won’t take very long, now get busy!” (Doesn’t it sound more like a scolding instead of a motivational speech?) I peruse the house picking up a few items here and there, wandering aimlessly. “What will I need while on this journey?”  Momentum builds until finally, the bag is packed!  I am prepared and ready for the trip to begin. What began as a negative thought ended with much anticipation for the travels ahead!

The same thing happened with my exercise commitment.  I knew that the first required action was to physically pack a bag.  This is the part I hate the most, and like the above scenario, its easier for some of us to procrastinate. But the time for action had come. I needed to grab some workout clothes, shove them into my duffel and haul them to work. The preparation showed that I was ready to commit, willing to go the distance.  No longer could I make the excuse, “I don’t have my clothes, therefore I can’t visit the workout center.”

I’ve started my quest to exercise and become more physically fit.  I have faithfully and daily worked out, started a new routine, and believe it or not, started jogging!  My legs hurt and cramped so bad the first few days!  But now I am actually enjoying it.

The jest of what I am saying is this:  don’t let negativity drag you into a pit of despair.  It only pulls you into regret, guilt, depression and causes feelings of being a failure.  Instead, use that energy in a positive way.  Plan.  Prepare.  Pack a bag!

Until next time, Protein First!
Melinda Richardson
Visit my blog: Recovering Fatty

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