Friday, October 21, 2016

OH NO! I Chose the COUCH!!

On Tuesday night as I pulled into my driveway with my sunroof open and windows down, I took a deep breath.  Ahhhh . . . fresh crisp fall air!  This would be a great evening to take a walk after dinner.  The leaves were in the midst of changing colors.  Temperatures were perfect for a light sweatshirt.  Rain was expected over the next few days.  An absolutely perfect evening to get out and enjoy my favorite season.

Plus, our schedule had been busy and I had not exercised in several days.  I knew that exercise had been getting put on the back burner more often, but tonight was the night I was putting it back in front!

After dinner, my son and husband were watching their favorite comedy on TV.  I sat down on the couch next to my husband and joined them in cracking up.  Slowly, I snuggled deeper into the couch leaning against my husband and tucking myself under the comfort of his arm.

Looking back I remember thinking about that walk I wanted to take, but even though I was laughing and enjoying the TV show I had begun to get a little drowsy.  When the channel was changed from the comedy to a sporting event, my eyes became heavy and I drifted off to sleep.  An hour later my husband woke me up and I stumbled through my evening routine before falling into bed.  I was so tired,

The next morning the importance of what had happened the night before hit me hard.  I had chosen the couch!  Without much of a second thought, I made the choice to sit on the couch and not exercise.  There wasn't a second of wrestling with the idea.  Not a single mental exchange of should I or shouldn't I.  I just did it.  I sat on that couch for the entire evening.

Who cares?  Right?  So I enjoyed an evening of watching TV and laughing with my son and husband.  There's nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, for me, this is a problem.  An eye-opening, earth shaking, life jolting problem.

For several years I wanted to do nothing else but sit on the couch.  My time was focused on getting everything done that needed to be done so that I could sit on the couch.  Many times things went undone because I was sitting on the couch staring at the TV or sleeping.

I fought a fierce internal battle to train myself to think before I sat down.  Instead of mindlessly collapsing onto the couch, I began to make physical activity a priority.  I had to make myself pause and make the conscious choice to change my clothes and get out the door for a run or trip to the gym.  Over a few years time, I got to the point where I didn't have to pause.  It wasn't necessarily a conscious choice  - I just did it.  Heading out the door for a run or to the gym became a natural part of my day.

Life has been busy these past few months.  I knew that I was not exercising as often as I had been.  But I was still thinking about it, still including it in my plans.  Until Tuesday.  The idea of getting up and going for that walk had passed through my mind, but I turned it down without a second thought.  I was so upset with myself!

Thursday evening rolled around and I made plans to meet my friend Amy at Zumba.  I was pumped and ready to go.  I said good-bye to my son as he headed out the door to go to the high school volleyball game.  Then, my husband and daughter left for my daughter's piano lesson.  Suddenly I realized that I was in the house all alone and I had 40 minutes until I need to leave.  This rarely happens.  I grabbed the TV remote and was about to plop myself down on the couch when I remembered Tuesday night.  I knew that if I sat down on the couch that I would fall asleep and have zero desire to get back up.  So I put the remote back down, cranked up some crazy 80's tunes and spent the next forty minutes moving around the house.  I did everything I could think of to prevent myself from sitting down.  I even read the paper standing up!  Forty minutes later I was out the door and headed to Zumba!
Accountability got me out the door!
When I saw my friend Amy I threw my arms around her.  Part of what made the decision to not sit down so easy was knowing that she would be waiting for me at class.  I'm incredibly thankful for how she holds me accountable when it comes to many aspects of my life - exercise is just one!  

The other reason I was determined to not sit on the couch was that I had worked hard to change my life and make healthy choices.  I am determined that this life style change will be forever.  It is so easy to fall back into old habits and I don't want that to happen to me.

The good news from this experience is that I recognize the problem.  I'm standing at the top of a slippery slope and I need to back away.  Life is not going to slow down anytime soon.  My challenge is continuing to make healthy choices which include fitting exercise into my life.

This journey continues . . .