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I am not fat.

Not by any stretch of the imagination. My BMI is well within the healthy range, my dress size is within the single digits. We eat healthy food 90-95% of the time with lots of variety and colour.

Despite this, I am not healthy.  At least not as healthy as I want to be. And there’s something slightly intangible about it. I can change certain things about how I live and it will get better. I’ll have more energy. My mood will generally improve. I’ll be less stressed out. But none of this adds up to a plan. To making the women that I see on the cover of Women’s Health or Shape a reality in my own body, even in a  small way.

Women's Health magazine, May 2009 issue

Women’s Health magazine, May 2009 issue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But I am lazy. That much I know. I am not as active as I should be, for my health or my children or my playing. I can blame this on a lot of things: children, schedule, commuting, school, old lower back injury, heat. Just to name a few.

I am also not stupid. And I know that exercise will and does make me feel better about any number of things: my children, my body, commuting, school, old lower back injury. There some obvious overlap there.

I am not alone in this. So why is it so hard to get moving and keep moving? There’s a couple of reasons, for me anyway. Or maybe I should call them attitudes. So let’s begin, because maybe seeing them all laid bare, in stark black and white blog-ese, will be a reckoning of sorts.

1. The gym is too far from my house. It’s actually about 5 miles. 10 miles/16 kms, round trip. And it seems so silly to drive all that way and get on a stationary bike for 45 minutes.

2. I hate the gym. Yes, yes I do. It’s stinky and smelly. The ceiling is too low in the cardio room. The locker rooms can’t even be charitably called industrial chic. The rooms are labyrinthine and it’s hard to find my way around. They have annoying things on their televisions. The classes they offer aren’t my cup of tea.

3. I get bored. My mind turns into the most appalling mush while I’m at the gym and I’m conscious of it. Since those stupid little ear buds hurt my ears and I’m thus far too cheap to buy headphones that don’t, I’m stuck in a boring, silent world, looking at my wobbly bits bounce in the mirror.

4. I have no time. Ah, yes the busy-ness trap. It’s a fact that that I’m chasing after two little kids, have an hour and a half commute to school (when it’s in session), don’t practice enough and don’t spend enough quality time with my husband. It’s also true that I spend too much time online. Like right now.

5. I hate being hot. I know I live in the desert, but I’m Canadian, after all. I don’t actually mind the sweating part if there’s a cool breeze (read: fan or AC) to help evaporate the goop.

So what do I like about exercise? I like how I feel afterwards. I like that my confidence in my body rises, not just in how I look but what I can do. I like how open my lungs are when I play my horn. I like not having muffin top. I like groaning about how sore I am after a particularly satisfying workout. I would like to stop wearing my maternity pajama bottoms (There. I said it.).

So I’m going to try doing something tangible. Something new every week.  This week it’s daily ab workouts. Three times a day, which sounds really ambitious.  All I’m going to do is to split up what I would have done pre-children into three mini sessions. And now it doesn’t sound so ambitious. But I’m ok with that.

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