I Haven’t Exercised for More Than 5 Minutes Since 2017

ADHD Strategies    March 1, 2019

Deep breath.

This blog is going to be a bit more personal. And, I know this isn’t going to work if I’m not completely honest.

I had a terrific start to 2019…I completely rocked January!  I cut sugar and white food out of my diet and I’m sleeping a good 8 hours each night.  But with the start of March, I need help with one of my other goals for 2019.  Specifically exercising.  So I’m reaching out to all of you…my tribe.

You see I know myself pretty well.  I know I don’t want to let you down.  You are one of my biggest motivators.  So, I figured I’d approach this as if you are my virtual accountability partner.  Starting with being honest with you and myself.  It doesn’t work otherwise.

So here goes.

I haven’t exercised purposefully in almost two years.  Gulp.

Despite my love of productivity and getting stuff done, I have yet to strap one of those steps monitoring Fitbits to my wrist. In complete honesty, I would be embarrassed to know how few steps I actually take during the day.  In truth, I’m feeling pretty disappointed with myself.

Sure, there was a polar vortex in early February here in the Pacific Northwest, which left inches of snow on the ground.  However, I knew when I moved here that normal weather in my beloved state of Washington is wet and cold and often windy.  You don’t need sun to take a walk.  And I have a great umbrella collection to choose from even if it does rain.

When I lived in California it was much easier to get inspired to go for a walk…that was until it was too hot.  And my two furry four-legged friends were always so happy and motivating when I pulled out their leashes.  But times change and I’m in-between wagging tails as motivators at the moment.

For the majority of the last two years, I have lived at the top of one of those infamous Seattle hillsides (think San Francisco).  Starting a walk going downhill is OK, but realizing that I would be scaling the same hill going up at the end of my walk paralyzed me.  Yet avoiding hills isn’t making it any better.

Moving this month has certainly convinced me of the need to work on my endurance and strength.  Climbing three flights of stairs to carry my belongings to my new abode has humbled me beyond words.  And I will admit that I am considering putting off the 10,000 steps goal even longer, rationalizing that my body needs to recover.

And yet I know that before I could say “AttentionDeficitHyperactivityDisorder”…March will be here…and I will still not have made any progress towards my fitness goal.  And I really want to explore my new town!

I know what this means.  It means that I need to take a spoonful of my own advice.  My exercise goal right now is too big.  It’s a problem of mine at times.  Setting big hairy audacious goals.  I usually meet them head on.  But this is different.

10,00 steps a day…everyday…feels too big.  Even once a week to start with feels pretty big.  I need to make it smaller…break it down…take only a bite…or a few steps.

I’ve done this before.  When my youngest daughter was born, I knew that the only way to keep up with my four children was to be in shape.  At that time I was either walking or on a stair climber for an hour a day.  Three years ago, my oldest daughter got married and I wanted her to be proud of me when I walked her down the aisle.  Again, I walked, building up my endurance to over 3 miles a day.

The thing I always forget is that I need to start small.  So I am going back to my roots.  I am going to start with exercising 10 minutes a day…for 40 days and go from there.

There can be real magic in a ten-minute goal.  I can do just about anything for ten minutes.  And ten minutes a day adds up in a way that is truly amazing.  At the end of 40 days that would be 400 minutes or 6 hour and 6ish minutes of exercise I wouldn’t have otherwise done.  And who knows, maybe I will go beyond that minimum goal, and it’ll add up to even more.

I’m also going to allow myself to be generous with what exercise means as I start out.  Exercise means literally any movement I wouldn’t have otherwise done.  Since I currently could spend easily 10 hours a day in my office working, just about anything that involves moving for health counts.

Forty days is April 9th.

I’m hoping you’ll help keep me to my word.  I’ll let you know how it’s going in my next newsletter…how I’m doing.  If you want to give it a go with me, you can add that into the comment section below.

Let’s do this!

7 Responses to I Haven’t Exercised for More Than 5 Minutes Since 2017

  1. Catherine Vaughan     March 1, 2019    12:51 pm    Reply

    I relate totally! I bought a treadmill and exercise bike I’ve never used. You get an A+ for awareness, acknowledgement, and action steps. Did 10″ goal help? Practice makes progress, not perfection. Other: On self-assessment quiz, could you insert a paragraph spacing between the possible answers for #2 forward and the next question? Thx.

  2. Cathy     March 1, 2019    6:57 pm    Reply

    Proud of you. I used to be a great person to get to the gym everyday. But Winter of 2019 had hit in Oklahoma and it’s hard. So Laurie I am in with you. 10 minutes a day ! Do we report to each other for accountability?
    You go girl !🎉🌝

  3. Lisa     March 1, 2019    10:28 pm    Reply

    Sounds like a great idea—I’d love to join you!

  4. Virginia Reeves     March 2, 2019    9:38 am    Reply

    I’ve always been a walker so I go out no matter the weather (I’m 68). I supplement that by getting on a glider which simulates walking without the pressure or need to leave home. I also use a mini-tramp which gets your heart rate up and adds steps to your routine. It’s easy to walk away from the computer and get on either of those for 3 to 5 minutes. If you don’t want to put out the money for a Fitbit (which my friend got me onto 15 months ago), there are cheaper watches or pedometers. Make it a habit and you will be surprised how much exercise you can work into your day. Best wishes.

  5. Brian Short     March 5, 2019    11:27 pm    Reply

    Thank you for the enjoyable read of that honest thoughtful blog post. Forty days, though, may be a bit long to only do 10 minutes a day. You may wish to do 10 minutes for 10 days and then maybe 15 or 20 for 10 days. Ten minutes only the whole time sounds as if you are giving up exercise for Lent.

  6. Vanessa     May 9, 2019    8:16 am    Reply

    I am new to join, but this post was just what I needed and a reminder to let go of my “all or nothing” thinking which often prevents me from even taking that first step. Being a perfectionist with ADHD, my brain automatically goes to the ALL, but…
    I work at computer 12 hours a day and don’t take breaks to circulate the blood or move my body, approaching 50, I am at prime risk for stroke and heart attack-, but the fear paralyzes me even more!!!! Your post about starting small and celebrating that victory after a certain amount of time is GReAT encouragement and motivates me to start- thank you ❤️

  7. Len Till     August 4, 2019    10:17 am    Reply

    I used to use a bike for most of my commuting and errands, and that made exercise just part of my daily routine rather than an extra thing I had to plan. As I’ve aged I’ve fallen out of that habit, so now I’m looking at getting an electric bike. Ebikes extend the useful range and flatten the hills so that daily use becomes more practical. The problem is, there are literally thousands of models to choose from, but after a year of reading and watching reviews I think I have narrowed it down to three. Electricbikereview.com will help educate you, while sending you into the hyperfocus vortex. Hope you eventually ride your ebike back home from Salty’s-I used to climb that hill on a tank-like Schwinn Varsity when I was much, much, much younger. Sorry we stole the name Redondo from California. Just like we stole Auburn, Arlington, Mount Vernon…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *