Things Fitness Bloggers Like and I Don’t #3: Working Out

I have a confession.  I don’t really like working out all that much.  (ducks)

I hate confessing this, because it makes me feel like a slacker, and sometimes I accidentally do say that working out is my hobby or that I do like it.  But on the other hand, I feel like I NEED to confess this to tell all of you other gym-haters out there that hey, it’s okay, and explain to you my line of thinking.

When I was obese, I let this get the best of me.  I don’t like working out, so I didn’t.  Fine.  The consequence?  I bought larger pants and blamed everything on my boobs (nothing fits because my boobs are too big, which is awesome, right?).

When I decided I didn’t want to live my life that way anymore, I started going to the gym.  I didn’t really enjoy it so much, but I did it anyway.  And, naturally, the weight started coming off.

I don’t know when exactly I had this epiphany, but one day I realized, “Hey…I really hate scooping the cat litter.  But I do it anyway.  Why?”  And then I came to the conclusion that if I don’t clean the litter box, ever, the following will happen:

  • The cats will get angry and begin pooping wherever their tiny heart desires
  • The above will cause my dwelling to smell really bad
  • Nobody will want to come visit me anymore
  • I will be featured on one of those shows about people who are so lazy their house is condemned and saucy British women come to clean it up
In other words, negative consequences.  Because I am an adult, and I fear these things, I bear the temporary discomfort or inconvenience of scooping the cat litter.  In the long run, the tiny amount of time I invest each day in cat poop maintenance keeps my life a million times happier and healthier.

Then, my brain realized, “You know, working out is just one of those things.” And it CLICKED.  I don’t HAVE to love the gym.  I just have to realize that the consequences of not going to the gym (obesity, health problems, inability to wear bikinis) are so much worse than the half hour to an hour I spend there five days a week or so.

And while I don’t LOVE the act of working out, I do very much love wearing cute clothes from normal sized stores, and being able to do things like walk up a few flights of stairs without wanting to die, and not being afraid of being ridiculed in social situations.  Secondary effects, for me, are where it’s at.

Now, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t like some things about working out, but again, most of them are not the workout itself.  When I ran my 8K on Sunday, I was cursing myself pretty much the whole way.  I’m not one of those people who really delights in the joy of running while it’s going on.  But afterwards, mentally, I felt great and accomplished.   I like that feeling.  I like being able to watch TV at the gym without guilt, and I like having time to listen to my favorite podcasts without interruption.  I like being able to tell people, “I’m running a half marathon in April.”  I don’t like the hard labor, necessarily, but I do it anyway, and I bask in the glow of the secondary effects.  I find fitness interesting in theory and in results, but not so much in practice.

So, for all of you out there who are like me, don’t be ashamed.  As long as you’re doing the exercise and moving to stay healthy, you don’t HAVE to love it!   It helps, but I just think that people are different and it’s okay to have different reasons for going to the gym.

What’s your position?  Love the gym, tolerate the gym, hate the gym?  Do you think it’s okay to not love working out as long as you do it anyway?

9 Responses

  1. I’m not huge on working out and the gym either. But I never regret working out. I like doing things outdoors and being active though. I love walking and hiking and playing sports. But I despise being in the gym.

  2. Ahh, I’m one of those suckers who loves the gym. I dare you to come to my step class and not love every moment of it 😛

    I will however confess that I do not enjoy the act of racing. I love the training part, the pre-race jitters, and obviously the sense of awesomeness the second I cross the finish line. But I don’t enjoy the minutes in-between. They’re usually spent (also) cursing myself for signing up, in pain, and stressing out about making some self-imposed time limit. But I like doing them for the challenge. It’s character building. Or something.

  3. I don’t belong to a gym, so I don’t know whether I would like it or not.

    I enjoy running. Except for starting out. Every time, the first half mile or so is torture. Why shouldn’t that be easier? And then, toward the end, I obsess about quitting sooner than planned. Oh, but I really love running when I have finished my run. That is the best!

    I need to become more motivated to do strength training.

    I have only run two 5K’s so far, so am not an expert. The most recent was last Saturday in Arkansas. It is so much nicer running in cool weather. Here in South Florida, it is still hot. And I ran with my daughter, and five year old grand-daughter. My DD is training for a marathon and so had run 18 miles the night before, and it was her little girl’s first real run. That was the greatest experience! I felt so blessed and thankful for all the weight and health changes that I have made in the last year. To be able to run is amazing!

  4. GREAT post!

    I think I have a similar stance as you – I LOVE the feeling after I’ve worked out. But the actual working out… Meh.

    I *definitely* don’t “delight in the joy of running while it’s going on” either, but I love feeling the improvements of being able to run (I use the word run loosely – jog might be more descriptive) 6K without walking, as opposed to 200m.

    One exception, though. Step aerobics or a dance class with a great instructor can be OODLES of fun, if it’s at my exact level. Too hard, and I get frustrated and confused, too easy and I get bored.

  5. Definitely feel the same way. I treat working out like it’s my job. There are times when I have to stay away from the gym because I am so sick of the site of place.

  6. Hahaha … I hate scooping kitty litter too. I also hate going to the gym, but once I’m there, I almost always enjoy it. It’s just the walk from my apartment there that is hard for me.

    Also, I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts, what do you generally listen to at the gym?

  7. Thanks for this post…I have those days where I struggle and think to myself…Do I have to work out…I don’t wanna!, but then I remember that I NEED to, especially if I want to meet my goals

  8. […] Have fun.  I’ve posted about how I don’t really love working out, but what makes it usually a good experience for me is that I try not to burn out on things.  […]

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