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Why is it so hard to get back on track?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My favored workout is swimming. I always feel great after a good swim, both physically and mentally.


Without fail.

The pool is one of the few places where I feel very competent and confident physically. Besides, I hate the feeling of being sweaty, so a pool is a perfect venue for me.

I've been swimming for about 5 years now. I swam consistently 3 or 4, sometimes 5, days a week all during law school and bar study. It helped keep me sane.

I've also spent a lot of money over that 5 years on high-quality, well-fitted swimsuits and equipment, skin and hair care products to get rid of the green hair and stink of chlorine, not to mention the cost of the pool pass.

Over the last 2 years, I've been increasingly stressed with personal, family, and work issues. My mental state has taken a big hit. I've struggled emotionally, gained weight, and paid less attention to fitness. Last winter was especially bad; I would go to work, come home, and crash. I paid no attention whatsoever to my eating habits, simply sticking in my mouth whatever was available and easy to eat. I was lucky to get in a swim once a week.

I am now starting -- finally -- to feel a little better. I am working on getting back on track with my better eating habits (although these days, green things really turn me off, go figure) and I'm trying hard to get to the pool more often. I still haven't gotten back up to 3 swims per week, but I am getting in 2 swims most weeks.

This morning, after my swim, I finally asked myself, why is this so damn difficult? I enjoy it, it makes me feel good, I'm good at it, so why is it so hard to make myself get up and go?

Too busy? Not an excuse. Yes, I'm busy, but I'm not that busy.

Too tired? Yes, sometimes it's hard to drag myself out of bed. But it's not Olympic training. It doesn't have to be a difficult or long workout.

Not motivated? Also not an excuse. I believe the key is doing it whether you're motivated or not.

Maybe I'm on the wrong thinking track. Maybe I need to stop thinking.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I struggle with motivation myself. I had some set backs myself and I am starting over. I'm trying to eat less. I need to make better choices at the grocery store. Exercis is going to be my biggest problem. I'm glad you're still active on here. :-)
    1837 days ago
    It does sound like you have had a rough time of it, so I am glad to hear that you are feeling a little better. I know how these things go. Several years ago, I dropped out for a year, but I finally started turning things around. My thing was running and I have really bad knees now, so I don't run, but I do a fast walk and that let me enter a few neighborhood 5Ks that were not too competitive. It made me feel good and helped get me back on track. You are a strong intelligent woman and I have no doubt that you will turn this around. You are doing the right thing by writing about it and starting slowly. You are making forward progress and that is what counts. Hang in there. You can do this!
    1838 days ago
    I had a rough year and I neglected swimming and a bunch of other stuff. Then everything stopped working. Literally. I had to take a break because I could no longer function. I couldn't even sleep and forget about focusing enough to think...

    My 'team' that put me back together emphasized physical activity as part of my treatment. Now, I do the swim (and the yoga and the circuit training) as part of my maintenance. It is a necessity for my mental health. If I don't feel like it, I remember how bad things got....Please don't let things get so bad you can relate.

    Do it for your mental health. It benefits you and the people around you.

    The team also related the analogy of how in an air emergency, we have to put on our emergency mask first, otherwise we can't help those around us. Please take good care of yourself.

    ...also joining a team really helped me get motivated. I like the social aspect of it and the coaches challenge me just enough to get better (and not too much)
    1838 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/20/2016 8:11:20 PM
    Congrats on getting in the two times per week. You will get back into the three times a week now that your issues are doing better which is making you feel better. You can do this! And I hope you do really soon. Miss you!
    1839 days ago
    I share Lizzy's feelings on this one.
    1840 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    Why? Because it sucks! Starting over means you have to admit to yourself that you "failed" yet again and you need to restart yet again. It is so much easier to stick your head in the sand and pretend that you are handling your weight and mental attitude just fiiinnnne.
    Um, OK full disclosure, I just described myself. This may not apply to you at all. :)
    1840 days ago
    While I've been hanging onto my good food choices in a rock solid way, my workout mojo has suffered mightily. The culprit?

    "The Disease of Being Busy"

    Might this be part of your picture too?

    1841 days ago
    Hey- you just crossed 47,000 minutes.You know how to do this.
    1842 days ago
    Hi Laurie,

    Hmm... let's look at what is going on. You are tired and stressed. You handle 100's of professional and personal issues every day. To go swimming you have to pack a bag with your swimming suit, towels, wash cloth, hair and body care products, hair dryer and make-up. Then you get in the car, drive to the pool, change into your swimming suit, swim a bunch of laps, shower, dress, and drive home or to work. Once you get home, you have to launder you swimming suit and towels. You may even have to let your swimming suit drip dry.

    This seems overwhelming when you are dog-dead tired. What gives you a charge? Food, lots of food. Maybe you can self medicate yourself with a drink or two.

    This is tough! To get back on track you have to make time for yourself. What can you give up to back on track? Are there other activities that you can do to help get you feeling better. An easy bike ride, maybe? How about a walk? And try to make time to swim.

    Swimming is something I do because I know it is good for me. However, I personally like to sweat and I sink like a rock in water! Swimming is brutally hard for me. I try to swim once a week but have not been too successful lately.

    Do you have a swimming buddy that can help motivate you?

    Take Care of Yourself,

    1842 days ago
    Sorry exercise is such a struggle for you. Hope it gets better.
    1842 days ago
    I understand the pool helps me too and i finally getting back into it myself
    1843 days ago
    What would make it MORE doable? Putting it on your schedule like it's a client, maybe?
    1843 days ago
  • JANBELL848
    Would stop. Last August I joined a pool again and was disgusted with my poor skills. I kept at it and now do 90 laps and water walk for 90 minutes at least 5 times a week. I finally decided this was something I HAD to do, like a job. I feel better.
    1843 days ago
    Sometimes it's the thinking part that is the biggest problem. When you figure out how to stop thinking, let me know? I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of the same thing.
    1843 days ago
  • JANBELL848
    I was a competitive swimmer as a kid and was a lifeguard and swimming instructor all through college. Like you, I prefer swimming because I don't sweat! I would get back into the pool many times across the years but life would get in the way and I
    1843 days ago
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