There’s something to say about all these people getting up at the break of dawn on a Sunday morning in the Dandenong Ranges of Melbourne and going cycling. Every weekend like clockwork there’s several dozen that bike through the winding streets of the Hills, holding up traffic and suffering through the weather. I’m of several minds about cyclists, but my first and foremost thought is always:
Why are you people up this early? If I didn’t have to be, I wouldn’t be! Go back to bed!
I hate mornings. And yes, I know, I work in a Cafe that opens at 9am so I have to be up at 7am. It’s awful but I do it because I believe in a strong work ethic and sucking it up when I have to. But golly, it’d be nice to stay in bed. Together with my morning-hating I also hate exercising. I don’t like going to the gym because I’m self conscious about the fact that I don’t know how to use the equipment and that I don’t actually know what I’m doing – and gyms, for some reason, all have those large windows that scream “Look at me, I’m fat! I don’t know what I’m doing! I’m a klutz! Come and make fun of me!”. (I know they’re not actually for that, but they feel like that to me: a shy little girl who’s trying to make the best of the world around her.) Then there’s the gym membership fees… Yeah, let’s not even discuss those. I’ve tried to guilt trip myself into going to the gym by paying for a membership card, but honestly, it doesn’t work for me because I lack the motivation to get out there and just exercise. A one minute walk from the Cafe, on the Main street still, Upwey has the Pinnacle Health Club. We get many of their clients coming into the Cafe for lunch or breakfast before or after their workouts and there’s nothing but good to be said of the place; apparently their prices are reasonable, their equipment is great, and they’ve got interesting and engaging programs. Awesome! And yet, I still can’t make myself go, but that’s me not the place.
Now, I know a lot of people who love exercising. I’ve got a friend who goes running every morning at 5:00am. I admire his tenacity, but you couldn’t pay me to do that. It’s like these cyclists stopping outside the Emerald Bakery every morning as we drive passed on the way to work. Again, admirable, but what the heck, people, it’s Sunday morning, go back to bed! They won’t of course; this is what they love. I often wonder if you could grow to love exercising. I’ve always been of a mind that short of a few things, you could grow to love just about anything, you just need to make those first few steps.
“But, Vee,” you start, “you’ve been banging on about how important it is to exercise…”
I know, I know. And it is! So since I hate exercising in public, I walk. I get a lot of walking in at the Cafe and when I get home I’ll take often the dog for a walk if he hasn’t been walked already. I also weight lift in the comfort of my own home. I’ve got a versatile pair of 2kg weights that I use to exercise my arms and legs and a latex resistance strap that helps me get a full body workout in. It’s actually very satisfying. I try to get in two rounds of 20mins in every day – once in the morning and once in the evening. These include a couple of sets for my arms and legs, and then some simple jumping jacks, sit ups and stretches afterwards. I’m not sure how much it’s helping, but in my book it’s better than doing nothing. I imagine if you work a desk job you’re going to want to be stricter and do more, but if it’s all you can do, it’s all you can do. Look for things you can do that you might not think of as exercise: physical activity of any kind can help burn fat. My mother-in-law turns gardening into a sport, one of my best friends uses the Wii Fit, and someone else I know uses books as weights while she watches her favourite show. There’s plenty to do, you just have to work it into your day!
Obviously, if you love exercising then you’re not going to have a problem with this, just be careful to not overdo it, especially if you’re new to the LC diet. Remember that you’ve drastically changed your diet, your body and your metabolism are going to have to make some adjustments to your exercise regime. Too much exercise might stall your weight loss – so make sure to balance your exercise and your kilojoule intake!