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Publication: Diet Buddy
Why Don't I Exercise?

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, March, 12, 2007

Why Don't I Exercise?

Hi There Buddies...

You're geared up with a new exercise plan and you seem to 
be going strong, for a while that is...and then...you start 
thinking I'm tired, this is too much for today and put it 
aside for tomorrow.  Tomorrow comes and you decide you're 
busy and you'll do it another day.  Another day turns into 
next week and the week after that and pretty soon you've 
turned into a couch potato again.  Sound familiar?  

What happens when we genuinely want to lose weight but keep 
postponing and making excuses for not getting or staying 
active?  OK, so it's winter time and it's harder for some 
of us to do our outdoor activities, but let's face it, by 
now most of us have at least one exercise machine in the 
house that would do quite nicely.  Why can't we make a 
commitment to stick to some sort of physical activity?  
Could it be we may have developed what's called 
"resistance" to exercise? 

Let's examine why some of us are fence sitting about such 
an important part of our well-being...what it all means 
and what we can do about it, compliments of Francie White, 
M.S., R.D. who runs an intensive outpatient eating disorder 
program in Los Olives, California. 


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As humans we are designed both physically and 
psychologically to move.  Being physically active is an 
innate drive, even if it has gone dormant.  Think back to 
your childhood, and remember what you liked to do.  You 
didn't exercise, you played.  You used to ride bikes, play 
in the park, splash in pools, build forts in trees, and 
didn't want to go home until you had to.  But now the 
thought of doing any physical activity can feel like a 

What causes exercise resistance, a pattern of repeatedly 
quitting exercise plans?  Many life changes - limited time, 
demanding careers, family responsibilities, or illness - 
create shifts in our exercise drive.  Barriers to exercise 
can also result from deep emotional blocks.  "The root of 
most weight problems or any problems that relate to lack of 
motivation is buried deep within," says exercise 
physiologist and certified personal trainer Bob Greene, who 
has worked with Oprah Winfrey on eating and exercise issues.

What buried emotional blocks thwart your exercise plans?  
Some common childhood events that change a person's 
perception of exercise include negative experiences with 
coaches, team sports, playground games (being picked last), 
or well-meaning family members who nagged about exercise.  
Sometimes people who were athletes as children or teens 
burn out or feel lost after completion of the sport they 
practiced for so long.  Often age and body changes 
bring on a change in exercise patterns.

Reflect on emotional blocks to exercise - Plan a temporary 
time-out from all exercise efforts.  Stop all plans to 
start again.  Use time-out to reflect on the following 

*  When did playing as a child turn into exercise and from 
   being something natural and fun to something required?

*  Do you exercise primarily to improve your weight or body 
   image?  If so, how does that make you feel about 

*  Has anybody in your life nagged you to exercise?  Did 
   you have a coach, a parent, or a spouse who seemed 
   overinvolved in your exercise habits?

*  Who are your role models for fitness?  Do they motivate 
   you to enjoy being active or do they have a perfect - 
   and unachievable - body image for you?


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Explore your Resistance!

Read through the following statements typically made by 
those who don't exercise regularly and see which ones 

1. I love the way exercise makes me feel, but I don't seem 
   to find or make time to do it consistently.

2. I start exercise programs, am fairly consistent for a 
   few weeks or months, then quit.  Once I stop, it takes 
   months or years to get another jump start.  Then I quit 

3. I was once very athletic.  That was a different 
   lifetime, and I can't seem to find that former life. 

4. I have never liked exercise; I do it because I should. 
   Although I like the way they make me feel, I dread and 
   struggle with my workouts.

5. I dislike exercise and don't do it.  I feel guilty and 
   lazy, but I still can't begin to exercise.

6. I have never been athletic.  Even as a child, I was more 
   sedentary and was picked last on teams.  Exercise is too 

7. For some puzzling reason, I get anxious when I exercise, 
   so I barely endure it; mostly I avoid it.

8. I am too overweight to exercise; I might injure myself 
   trying.  I'm caught in a vicious cycle.  I'm too big and 
   need exercise, yet I feel I'm physically unable to 

Initiate Exercise for Life!

The decision to exercise needs to come from deep within 
yourself.  Think about how exercise makes you feel 
emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  

Validate your feelings.

During your reflective time-out, adopt some kindness and 
understanding for yourself in place of self-criticism.  
Beating yourself up only creates conflict within.  Self-
understanding opens up a new willingness to consider 
activity on your own terms from a fresh start.

Sign a contract to get moving.

Once you acknowledge painful emotional events connected to 
exercise, make a deeply rooted contract to reconnect to 
activity for life.  "You must get in touch with some truths 
about yourself," Greene says, "then make a lifetime 
commitment to take better care of YOU by signing a 

Explore activities you enjoy.

If body size and ability didn't matter, what would you like 
to do?  You might enjoy a dance class, bike riding, team 
sports, or yoga.  You might want to hire a personal trainer 
who works both inside and outside of a gym.  Stay positive 
and choose any activity that gets you moving.

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Pick a date.

Decide when you will begin to exercise again and think of 
it as a means to reclaim something precious.  Connect with 
your body.

Be patient but firm.

Take small steps; experiment with new activities, searching 
for the ones that will work for you.  Don't quit!  Be 
flexible and willing to change.  You'll probably find 
several activities that will enhance your life.  To keep 
yourself motivated, talk to yourself as you would a good 
friend or a child you love.

Keep a sense of humor.

It's your life and you deserve all the rewards that being 
physically active brings you.


We all have our reasons why we do or don't like to exercise.
It seems it can go much deeper than just being tired, bored 
or lazy.  The good news is that most things can be changed 
if you learn to properly apply yourself.  You always have 
choices in life, so let's choose to be healthy, happy and 
thinner and have fun doing so...the way we did when we were 

Did You Know ???

Seven out ten American adults don't exercise regularly 
despite the proven health benefits.  Experts say lack of 
physical activity contributes to some 300,000 deaths each 
year in the United States caused by heart disease, stroke, 
diabetes and other conditions.  "You don't have to work up 
a big sweat at the gym or become a long-distance runner," 
says the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, "Just 30 
minutes of walking a day, five days a week, can 
significantly improve your health."

New !!!

Don't forget to stop by our "updated" Diet Buddy Forum!  
We've changed our format slightly but it's much nicer and 
easier to maneuver.  Just follow the link and register.  A 
password will be sent to your Inbox and that's it.  So come 
on in and share stories with fellow buddies at...
Diet Buddy Forum 

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer:  Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week 

Will President Bush be a valuable asset to Republicans in 
the 2008 elections? 

Please take a moment to share your opinion, visit: 
Question of the Week
Questions...Comments...? email us at: Email Libby


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