When You Don’t Want to Exercise

Sometimes, I wake up and I know that I just don’t want to exercise.  Today was like that.  I woke up and was already tired.  I was also a little sore from my personal training yesterday.  But, to be honest, it was mild and not really a valid excuse.  Today was a day when time seemed to pass very quickly, but I didn’t seem to accomplish much.  I thought about exercising this afternoon, but told myself I didn’t feel like it.  And, I rationalized taking the day off from exercise because yesterday was a heavier day for exercise (80 minutes) and tomorrow will be as well.

And, truthfully, maybe Tuesdays would be a good day to have as my planned day off exercise.  I usually plan to have one day off and then maybe take off another day if life intrudes or I don’t feel well.  But, in this case, I took last Saturday off, so I really didn’t want to take today off from exercise.

Except, I did want to.  I just didn’t want to do much today.  Later in the day, I went out for awhile and took my daughter shopping.  But, then I was home and was reading.  And, I was really prepared to just do that the rest of the day and end up burning about 1400 calories.

So….what do you do when you don’t want to exercise?  One thing that helps me is to have some “rules” that kick in during this type of situation.  They aren’t inflexible, but can help me to keep from having to make a choice each day.

Rule One is:  Don’t take off a day from exercise unless you exercised the prior 3 days (unless there is a good reason — life intruding, being sick, etc).  Rule Two is:  Being tired alone is not a good reason not to exercise.  Rule Two is really huge for me.  I used to often not exercise if I was tired.  What I’ve learned is that if I ignore the fact I’m tired (this is only when I’m not sick), then I usually feel better after exercising and feel less tired.  Rule Three is:  Not wanting to start exercising isn’t a good reason not to exercise.  I usually don’t really want to start exercising.  I know there are people who really look forward to it.  And, there are situations where I look forward to it (like when I go walking in the neighborhood with my husband).  But, walking on the treadmill is not usually something that I’m actively looking forward to.  Still, I know that if I do it, I feel better after I’ve done it and I will enjoy it.

So, while all this is kind of percolating in the back of my brain (while I’m telling myself that I am not going to exercise today), I get up and take my iPad over to the treadmill.  I got my water and then read for an hour while walking on the treadmill. This was not a super intense walk, but Fitbit says I burned 288 calories in an hour.  I’ll take it.  And, I know I will end up burning somewhere a little over 1600 calories today.

XBox & Fitness (and more Y)

Today was a fitness day.  That was to make up for yesterday when I did no exercise.  Monday night I had a terrible time sleeping and didn’t fall asleep until after 5:00 AM.  I was tired the whole day and a little sore from my workout Monday with the personal trainer.  So I took the day off from exercise.  I also had stuff I needed to do to get ready to go out of town this weekend.

Tuesday, I was sleepy in the early evening, but knew I would be sorry if I went to sleep since I would wake up in a few hours and never get back to sleep.  However, when I went to bed (at my normal time) I still couldn’t sleep and didn’t do much better than Monday night.

Even though I didn’t get enough sleep, I had more energy today (go figure).  Early afternoon, I went back to the Y and did the elliptical for 10 minutes as a warm up and then worked with the trainer.  He had me doing some exercises of different body parts than on Monday, and I explained to him that I really want to do a whole body workout on the two days (same exercises).  I know splitting up workouts can be good, but I think that for me at this point a whole body workout is better.  So, he is going to switch to that next week.

When I got home, our new XBox had arrived.  My husband saw one at the mall the other day and saw someone doing a dancing activity on it and thought it would be good for exercise.  And, we wanted to put it on a TV that didn’t have any way to access internet.  This way we will be able to watch Netflix, etc. on it. (We were using the Playstation 3 for that until our son took it with him to his apartment at college last fall).  So the XBox gets a lot of birds with one stone.

We immediately set it up and I used XBox Fitness (this required an XBox Live subscription) to do a short cardio workout.


If you look in the upper right corner it actually has a silhouette of me doing the workout.  As I move, the silhouette moves.  That was really cool.

Then, I tried out Dance Central which came with the XBox.  You basically follow along as it teaches you various dance moves.  I was terrible at it (my coordination is awful), but I did move around a lot and it got my heart rate going.


On this one, you can also see my silhouette on the upper right.  Below it are cards that show you the moves that are upcoming.

After all of that, I thought I would be done with exercise for that day since I was at about an hour and a half of exercise (including the strength training) for the day.  But, then I realized I wasn’t going to be very active from tomorrow through Thursday.  We are leaving town Friday morning to go to a family wedding.  The hotel has a fitness center and I will take my laptop.  So I could do YouTube videos in the room or use the fitness center on Friday and Saturday.  And, I was thinking I would do my regular exercise on Thursday.

But, then I remembered I am getting my hair done Thurday afternoon.  Frankly, I don’t want to get super sweaty after getting it done because I don’t want to have to wash it before the wedding. It looks so much better when the hairdresser does it than when I do.  I will be able to do a little exercise Thursday morning, but I also have things to do to get ready to leave Friday morning.  I’m not going to want to do much activity Friday or Saturday due to my hair.

So, thinking about that, I went ahead and did another 36 minutes on the treadmill to kind of make up for what I won’t be doing over the next 3 days.  And, of course, since I’ll be eating out a lot it will be harder to stay within my usual calories.  I think I can still manage to have a calorie deficit on most of the days we are gone, but just not the usual one.

NWI and Busy Week (+ More Decluttering)

I did not weigh in Saturday due to the Texas Ironman Triathlon which starts very close to where I weigh in plus, during the morning, the bike ride was passing near my subdivision.  So, when this comes around every year, we stay at home until afternoon, and then don’t go near where the Triathlon finishes.

My week was overall…pretty good.  My big risk when I know in advance I’m not going to weigh in is that I’ll lose focus on eating later in the week.  With a Saturday weigh in, I’m usually super careful on what I eat the last 3 days of the week, but if I’m not weighing in I am sometimes not as careful.  I don’t mean eating beyond my points available, just eating more of the available points later in the week.

I did reasonably well overall, but the activity kind of fell part later in the week.  Sunday was Mother’s Day so I ate more than usual, but I had planned for that.  I went to my first personal training session on Monday.  I exercised Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday like usual.  Then, on Wednesday, I was supposed to have my first real full training session.  I arrived on time at the Y for the session to find the gates locked!  There was one of the workers there and he told me that the Y was closed to prepare for flooding.  We had had some heavy rain the days before that and more was expected (although there wasn’t any at the time).  This Y actually has horses and is in a low area, near a creek.  So they were anticipating there might be flooding (and they looked to have moved out the horses).  The building itself is up high, but the outside stuff isn’t.  Anyway, I went back home and I was a little tired from the exercising I had done earlier in the week so I decided to take the day off (I was already planning to make it a low cardio day, just basically doing the strength training).

Instead I worked some on decluttering and trying to find which possessions spark joy.  I’ve been working on this periodically and, by Wednesday, was mostly working on the things in my home office.  I had originally planned to exercise on Thursday, but I ended up taking everything out of the kitchen cabinets and drawers  This was a massive job to take out almost everything (some things were too high up and a few things I didn’t have room to take out) and put them out on tables and counters and the island.  As I did it, I threw away stuff that was in bad shape and I laid out similar things together.  This was tiring, but didn’t burn all that many calories, alas.  After getting finished I was exhausted and the kitchen was totally torn apart, so we decided to go out to eat at Panera.  I hadn’t really planned for it so I ended up eating a couple of hundred calories more than usual.  I still had plenty of weekly points left (and the activity points I had earned) so it was fine, but I probably wouldn’t have done it if I had been planning to weigh in on Saturday.

Then, Friday was exhausting as well.  We are going to a family wedding out of town next weekend.  I had bought my dress, but my daughter needed hers.  So we went to the mall and walked around finding her dress, then various things to go with it.  I actually earned an activity point from all the walking around I did and my calorie burn was respectable even though I did no formal exercise.

My Fitbit says my calorie deficit for the week would have supported a .8 pound loss.  I wouldn’t actually have gotten that since I ate out Thursday evening, but I was happy with the overall calorie deficit shown.  I was glad I didn’t get derailed by not weighing in Saturday.

On Saturday, once it was afternoon and we could leave the subdivision easily, we went out to lunch at Chipotle.  I had a salad with chicken, brown rice and beans.  I skipped the cheese and didn’t get any chips (I was tempted)!  Afterwards, we went to the Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt shop next door to it.  We’ve been meaning to check it out forever and today was the day to do it.  I had a lowfat cookies and cream frozen yogurt with about 1 ounce of mix ins.  I ended up getting more than I thought I was getting (I thought it was about 4 ounces before I weighed it and it was really about 7 ounces of frozen yogurt).  From a calorie standpoint, it was OK, but with the lunch it was more carbs at once than I usually want to have.

The combination raised my blood sugar to 157 an hour after having the frozen yogurt.  I’ve measured after Chipotle before and it doesn’t usually cause me any major problem, so I think it was the combination of the two.  I think I could have a smaller serving of the frozen yogurt sometime not close to other foods with carbs or I could Chipotle …but not both together.

When we got home, we finished going through the kitchen stuff and organized what was left in our cabinets.  That was a lot of fun.  Before, our cabinets and drawers were just jam packed full of stuff.  We had everything stacked and it was so hard sometimes to unearth the pan at the bottom of the stack.  Now, it is totally different.  First, I put the most used items in the drawer that is right next to the cooktop:


And, nothing is stacked!  When we were done, we had some cabinets with little in them:

Upper cabinet

My husband wondered why I didn’t stack the bowls, but I pointed out that I really didn’t need to, given the unused space.

We even ended up with a few cabinets that have absolutely nothing in them:

Lower Cabinet

I am sure they won’t stay empty for all that long.  With eating less processed foods, I am now cooking more, which means buying more cooking things.  I actually bought a lot of new kitchen items from Amazon after we finished going through stuff.  These haven’t arrived yet and I have some other things in mind that I haven’t bought yet.  But, I am going to be careful to only buy things that I have a present use for.

After not formally exercising for 3 days I really wanted to get back to it today.  With going out this afternoon and then working on the kitchen I didn’t get started until 10:00 PM.  I did almost 40 minutes on the treadmill.   I wanted to do another 20, but Charles was eager to go to bed (the treadmill is in the bedroom), so I stopped.  I was going to just do computer stuff until midnight, but around 11:30 I realized I was close to getting to 1800 calories burned for the day.  I couldn’t use the exercise equipment in the bedroom, so I pulled out my laptop and found a Leslie Sansone video on You Tube and did that for 20 minutes.  I had done a few of those early last year when I wanted to do something at night when I couldn’t use the treadmill.  I had stopped it after my leg injury, and had forgotten that they are kind of fun and quick to do to burn a few extra calories.  I ended up finishing the day with 1812 calories burned, 1257 calories eaten, and 55 minutes of exercise.  I was very happy with how my day ended up.

Productive Fitness and Food Saturday – NWI

Saturday ended up being a really productive day for fitness and food.  This was a No Weigh In Saturday as I mentioned before.  But, I did end up doing a lot of things.

Elliptical at the Y

We went to the Y for the first time since — hmmm, probably last August.  We joined the Y shortly before my husband had rotator cuff surgery.  After he had surgery, I think I made it there once and then got out of the habit during the fall.  I wanted to go back earlier this year, but until this week we were really busy this year with taking our daughter to a lot of things.  Finally, with her school out, we could get back to it.

I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical.  I forgot to bring in my headphones so I couldn’t listen to the TV and I forgot my water.  But, it was nice to use the elliptical.  I also was able to see very clearly how my fitness has increased over the last year, even with the time last fall when I wasn’t doing any exercise.

5-9-15 graph

As you can see, my heart rate didn’t get much over 112.  I usually like to be in the 112 to 128 range.  While I did get there at times, my average over the entire 20 minutes was not that high.

5-9-15 Info Digifit

I averaged only 106 BPM with a max of 117.  In fact, I only started consistently staying above 112 when I switched the incline and resistance from 1 to 2.  I had kept them at 2 because when I had used the elliptical last year, it had been difficult for me on level 1.

In fact, here is the graph from my first use of the elliptical, last June.

6-21 graph

My heart rate was above 128 almost the entire time.  In fact, I quit after about 10 minutes because my heart rate was getting higher than I wanted (it was lower the last couple of minutes because I went very slowly).

6-21 Info

Back then, I averaged 129 BPM with a max of 139.  Quite a bit difference from Saturday where I averaged only 106 BPM and went for the full 20 minutes and was at level 2 for a lot of it.  I guess I really have improved my fitness.   I know I am not where I want to be, but I can tell that upping my exercise time the last 5 weeks has made a big difference.

Personal Training

I had posted before that I was thinking about personal training.  So, I talked to a trainer while I was there and he seemed to suit me so I’ve scheduled 30 minutes sessions twice a week beginning on Monday.  When I posted a few months ago, I thought they had quit offering the 30 minute sessions (they weren’t on the online price list), but it turns out they do offer them.  I went ahead and bought 12 sessions as it is much cheaper to buy in bulk.

I told him that my main goals were to (1) increase strength and (2) improve body composition.  I also told him that I didn’t want to do something different every session (like my old trainer had me do).  I want to have sessions where I have a set plan that I do every time.  Of course, I want to increase what I do and it is fine to switch out exercises periodically.  But, I don’t want to do something new every time.

As I get closer to being at my Weight Watchers goal, I am thinking a lot about where I want to go from there.  I plan to post about that soon.  But, I do know that my body fat percentage is too high and I want to reduce it.  Also, we lose muscle as we get older and I can tell I don’t have as much strength as I used to and I want to improve that.  I also want to do strengthen my leg muscles to try to help my knee.

Reading about Food, etc.

We also went to the library and I checked out a lot of books mostly on food and fitness.  These were books that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy them on Kindle or if they were of the read once type (I don’t like to buy books that I will only read once).  I came home with them and spent a lot of the day and evening reading.

Eating Food

The 3 days of high calorie food are over.  I ended up eating 1914 calories on Wednesday, 1618 on Thursday, and 1490 on Friday.  Saturday I was back to normal.  For lunch, I made a frittata (so good!).  For dinner, I made a big salad with balsamic vinaigrette and a pouch of tuna.  Of course, I had typical snacks – pistachios and a little dark chocolate. I was glad to get back to my regular routine (ended up at 1159 calories).  Sunday will be higher calorie since we are having barbeque for Mother’s Day.  We will bring it in and then stream a couple of movies (which is what I like to do on Mother’s Day).


I did do two 20 minutes sessions on the treadmill.  I have been walking at about 2.8 mph with the incline set at 2 for about half the session, and then 1 or flat for the rest.  I decided I wanted to work on my pace, so I put it flat and set it for 3.4 mph.  For me that is really fast!  I alternated between that and 3.3 mph.  I was actually trying to see how fast I could walk a mile and see what my heart rate would be at the end.  I was recording the workout on my Fitbit Charge HR.  I was about .8 of a mile into it, when my Charge HR’s display suddenly went dead.  I had had that happen a few days ago.  To get it to start again, I had to take it and hook it up to my computer and restart it.  I was incredibly annoyed that I had to stop my workout to do it, particularly when I was trying to do something specific and wasn’t done yet.


In between reading and treadmill, I worked on some more decluttering.  I went through my jewelry and worked on the bathroom and then worked on my office some more.  I’m starting to get to the things that are difficult for me to decide on.  The kind of utilitarian items that I don’t ever actually use (or very rarely), but I can envision how they could come in handy or I might need them.  I find it hard to throw them away, but I really don’t use them.

I also have a box of various things that I’m not quite sure what they are or I’m not sure if they go with something I still have (bulbs for a booklight that I think I don’t have any more, but I’m not sure).  I’m going to see what turns up in the rest of the house and if I can’t find what stuff goes with then I’ll toss it.

Keeping Going

So, Saturday was a disappointing weigh in. I am fairly convinced that this is primarily water retention due to the higher level of exercise I’ve been doing. I think it will resolve either by the end of this week or the next. If not, I’ll reassess.  I have not let this derail me this weekend.

Weekends are usually not as good on the activity front or the eating front, since we usually go out to eat both Saturday and Sunday.  And, I often take off one of those days from exercise.  However, I really didn’t want to lose focus right now.  And, I was mindful of the fact that the weather was allowing me to walk outside.  It was rainy part of the weekend so that cooled it down so I could tolerate walking outside (the Texas heat and humidity starts being unpleasant around now).  In a few weeks, I know I won’t be able to walk outside for several months, unless the rain cools things down occasionally.

So, I took advantage of the opportunity to walk outside Saturday and Sunday.

This is Sunday’s Fitbit summary done at about 11:40 PM.

4-19 Fitbit

I was able to get over 10,000 steps again (that is on the Charge HR – my One has me at 11,392).  We walked outside for 43 minutes. That workout is shown twice – once for Digifit with my chest strap and the other the data from the Charge HR.  It shows the bpm from the Charge HR and graph from the Charge HR.  The Digifit website shows the bpm and graph for the chest strap but that does transfer over the Fitbit website.  The calories that I receive credit for are those from Digifit (204), not those from the Charge HR.

If you look at my heart rate graph you can see it spiking up several times.  I got up late (almost 11:00) and that is the first spike.  The second spike is when we were getting ready to go out to eat.  The spikes from 2:00 to almost 4:00 are from using going out to eat and then going shopping and walking around during shopping.  The spikes after that until the tallest spike was when I was doing some work around the house (decluttering).  The largest spike was our walk outside for 43 minutes.  I was going to leave it at that, but then I realized I was at about 8500 steps so I could eat to 10k if I walked another 15 minutes or so.  So the spike about 10 pm was me walking 20 minutes on the treadmill.  The spike in heart rate that I was happiest it captured was when I was doing the work around the house (that was reflected in spikes on the graph of my calorie burn as well).  Without the heart rate monitoring I am not sure all of that would have been captured.  I was walking around during some of it, but not all of it although I was moving (going through books and DVDs and sorting them out).

I also focused closely on eating.  Satuday, we went to a Mediterranean restaurant and I actually ended up having an entirely meatless day.  I didn’t really set out to do it but it ended up that way.  Sunday, we went to Chili’s and I had salmon and shrimp with broccoli and garlic tomatoes.  On the way home, we stopped at Starbucks and I had a Double Chocolatey Chip Frappucino with nonfat milk and no whip (the smallest size).  It was only 190 calories.  It has way more sugar in it than I usually will have, but I tested my blood sugar afterwards a couple of times and it was fine.  That is probably because my meal was quite low carb.  I do want to hasten to add that this drink is something I have maybe 4 times a year or so.  Even with that, I still ended the day a little under 100 carbs so I was happy with it overall.

I was glad to end the weekend with a 500 calorie deficit on Saturday and 659 on Sunday which is way better than I usually do.  To be clear, I realize that these numbers are not necessarily totally accurate.  I am more interested in comparing how I’m doing now to how I’ve been doing on past weekends and this was way better.