My whole life I’ve been told that in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, I’d have to eat less and move more. From the time I was hmm, 5 until I was maybe 12, I took dance classes. I hated ballet and tap, but I loved jazz and hip-hop. I also liked old-school aerobics type classes. I even took a few at the local recreation department one summer when I was maybe, 13. My classmates were all 35-50 years old. But it didn’t matter, because I was a fat kid and I needed to lose weight, so I had to “work out.”

Jillian kicks my ass. (Photo via


Now, at 26, when I think about having to work out… 85% of the time, I’m just not enthusiastic about it at all. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t push myself to actually do it. This morning, I couldn’t sleep past 5:45 a.m., so I dragged my butt out of bed and fired up Jillian Michaels’s DVD, Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. I did 35 minutes, and I admit it felt good during and after. But maybe it was slightly more rewarding and less painful because I’ve been making an effort to exercise more in the past couple of weeks. Since early March, I’d been on somewhat of a “I don’t feel like doing this so I’m not gonna” hiatus. One BIG factor at play: When I was working out 3-4x a week, I’d get on the scale and be up .4, down .2, up .4… over and over and over again. So I thought, If it’s not going to get me results on the scale, what’s the point?

Weight ain't nothin' but a number. Right? (Photo via


I was lamenting to my little sister that I just didn’t “wannnaaa” work out, and being the wise beyond her years 21 year-old that she is, she said that it sounded like I wasn’t looking to exercise for the right reasons. You know, feeling good, being healthy, being fit, not to mention that there are other body benefits for me personally to gain from exercise, like keeping my core strong and lower back pain-free. (I had a severely herniated disc and microdiskectomy surgery in early 2008.) But, I was zeroed in on The Scale as the be all and end all endgame. And that’s just silly. In over 8 years of Weight Watching, I’ve learned that results and rewards of exercise go above and beyond the scale. And that if you’re dedicated, well, your efforts should eventually pay off on the scale. Even though I know these things, it’s really easy to get sucked into The Scale Game.

I’ve read that when it comes to what you should do for exercise and what you should do for your career, it’s best to look to what you loved to do as a kid. What did I really love when I was a kid? Reading and writing. Being sedentary. Snacking. haha But, yeah, I also loved dancing. I’m just not a huge fan of most dance workout DVDs. I get frustrated when it’s like “Oh, here, learn these moves and then, do them.” No, I’d rather be moving the whole time, getting my heart rate up, getting the most out of my 30-40 minutes of exercise. So, as cheesy as it may sound, I’m thinking of getting my fill of old-school dance aerobics by incorporating Jazzercise into my exercise plan.  

(Photo via


Also, I’ve been thinking of challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone by doing Couch-to-5K. Having been inspired by Gina’s experience, I’d love to mentally say, “BOOM” to all the P.E. teachers who ever laughed in my chubby adolescent face when I would attempt a mile run, huffing, puffing, crying, red-faced and on the verge of vom. I would also feel so empowered by knowing that I could run. That I’m strong. That I can accomplish something that I’ve always hated and never felt I could do, because I, too, have been that fat girl who can’t run.

But either way, I just want to incorporate exercise into my life as something that without thinking, I do, naturally and happily. Instead of feeling like I have to push myself so hard to do something that is work. (Side thought: Maybe saying “working out” is just like saying “diet.” It’s got such a negative connotation, and it’s not really reflective of working toward long-term wellness.) Of course, it’s also about shifting gears with my endgame. My motivation to move can’t be about a stupid number that appears on a digital scale every week. It has to be about feeling good, taking care of the one body that I have in this life and really, at the heart of it, having fun. And it’s hard to come up with excuses for not having fun. 🙂 

What kind of exercise isn’t work to you? What’s your motivation?

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