Tag Archives: hate exercise

For People Who Hate Exercise (continued)

I promised I would write more about this topic and here we go.  I have you six reasons people hate exercise in my previous post, and I’m giving you six more to get to an even dozen. You know–like donuts. 

Okay here we go:

7.  I don’t look like an exerciser:  Many of us have allowed media and popular culture to give us a pretty skewed idea of how exercisers look.  We imagine tanned, perfectly sculpted bodies, in perfectly coordinated fitness gear, presented in moodily lit settings.  Sure there’s a few people who look like that when they exercise, but most of them are at professional photo shoots or advertising/modeling agencies.  In fact, exercisers come in all shapes and sizes and colors and clothes.  Want to see what I mean?  Check out the amazing photos of folks on the Fit Fatties Forum.  There’s people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities working out in everything from their stylish Flying Rhinos shirts to lifting weights in pyjamas. 

8.  I can’t find gear in my size:  Finding exercise gear for larger bodies can certainly be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.  You can find plus-sized exercise gear for everything from dance to diving in sizes up to 5 or 6X at Junonia.  Other plus-sized options include Old Navy, Just My Size, Walmart and many others.  And don’t assume that you are too big to do certain things, find out.  I’ve seen posts from people on the Fit Fatties Forum saying things like: I thought I was too big to ride horses, but it turns out I just needed to find a bigger horse.  Or I didn’t know somebody my size could scuba dive, but I found a company that takes out plus-sized divers and rents plus-sized dive suits.

9.  I’ve tried exercise lots of times and it didn’t make me thin.  So why bother?  I’ve heard this one lots of times.  And the truth is that in many cases, exercise won’t make you thin.  In fact this is one of the number one reasons I’m so annoyed with all of the advertising that implies that if you buy this exercise product, take this boot camp class or do this DVD you’re going to look like a supermodel.  Because chances are, you won’t.  That said, there are a million other reasons to exercise.  It helps you feel better.  It helps you sleep better.  It helps keep you from getting sick.  It helps your mood.  It helps you manage stress.  It helps you have a better sex life.  It helps you live longer.  It helps you maintain a better quality of life.  Seriously, do I need to go on here.  Exercise may not make you look like a rock star, but exercise still ROCKS!

10.  Exercise is expensive:  Exercise can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.  You can shell out less than $100 on a good pair of sneakers and have everything you need to begin a walking program.  Lots of communities have low cost classes offered by the city or the county.  Other organizations like the YMCA and YWCA offer classes on a sliding scale based on income and offer babysitting services.  Lots of churches offer classes for a small fee or even for free.  There are tons and tons of free exercise videos available online on YouTube and other sites.
11.  I am too busy to exercise:  Not having time is the number one reason that people cite for not exercising.  And I get it.  We’re all busy.  And as I’ve said before, NOBODY IS OBLIGATED MORALLY OR OTHERWISE TO EXERCISE.  It’s your body and your life and you are allowed to prioritize your life in any way that you like.  However, I submit that few things in life offer the the same bang for the buck or the same reward per minute as exercise.  You can see serious life benefits from exercise in as few as 15 minutes per day.  The most commonly recommended level for exercise is only 150 minutes per week.  How many minutes per day do you spend checking email or social networking sites?  How about watching TV or sitting in traffic?  You might be able to carve time out for exercise if you are creative!  Can you go for a walk after work and let the traffic die down before you drive home?  Here in LA, waiting an hour to leave sometimes gets me home at the exact same time as if I had left right away.  Can you walk to your lunch place instead of driving?  If you want to work exercise into your day, you might be surprised at some of the ways you can find the time.
12.  People harass me when I exercise:  I am sad to say that plus sized exercisers are sometimes harassed.  People yell things from the street.  Teachers single fat exercisers out as poster children for good or for ill.  People get eggs thrown at them.  It is really, really awful.  Some people choose to exercise at home for this reason.  Some seek size-friendly gyms and organizations.  In my experience, the local Y or a church or community center may be more friendly that a megagym or fancy fitness center.  But this is not always the case.  Or you may choose to join forces with other fat activists to create safe spaces.  You might want to join our  upcoming fat activism conference if you’d like to learn more!  And of course the Fit Fatties Forum offers lots of help and advice for dealing with that kind of nonsense.
So that’s that!  Now that you’ve read all this stuff, you still might hate exercise.  And that’s okay because you are the boss of you.  But you may discover that you really just hate some aspect of exercise.  And if that’s the case, hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas about how to work over, around and through those exercise obstacles.
Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick

For People who Hate Exercise

First and foremost let me tell you that it is completely within your rights to hate exercise.   It is also completely within your rights not to do any exercise at all.  You get to be the boss of you.  That means you are under no moral or social obligation to exercise or even think positively about it.

Personally, I’ve grown to love exercise and love what it does for me.  And I love to teach other people to exercise and to share my love for exercise with folks.  Some people will never love exercise or even like it.  And that’s okay.  But I think sometimes people who think they hate exercise, really only hate one aspect of exercise.  And sometimes (but not always) I have been able to help people move around, over, under or through those barriers to exercise and they find that they do really like exercise after all.

So if you hate exercise, but really wish you didn’t hate exercise, or at least could understand what all the fuss from all those happy exercisers is about, I have some thoughts to share with you.  Here are some of the most common exercise “hate points” I’ve discovered and some suggestions for how you might move around them if you like.

1.  I hate to sweat.  The first thing to understand is what about sweating do you hate?  Are you embarrassed about sweat?  Most great athletes sweat.  In fact, it’s a sign that your body is working in a healthy way.  Are you uncomfortable when you sweat?  If you have the means, you might consider buying some exercise clothes in technical, sweat-wicking fabrics.  Cotton (especially cotton socks) is uncomfortable when it gets wet and can lead to chafing.  Or maybe you want to exercise someplace cooler (see next point).

2.  I hate being hot.  First of all, I feel ya.  I also hate being hot.  But here again, there are some options. You can exercise in a highly air-conditioned space like the mall.  The mall is also usually quite flat, easy to navigate for people who have less control over their feet and usually (but not always) pretty safe.  Also, if you like to exercise outside, you can aim for early morning or evening.  Just be sure you are someplace relatively safe and have a charged cell phone with you at all times.  Also, swimming is a great exercise for people who like to stay warm.  But this leads to a whole other problem for some exercisers (see next point).

3.  Exercise messes up my hair.  I hear you.  Swimming or having hair that is soaked with sweat may initiate a whole hair care ritual that is absolutely no fun.  If this is you, I might suggest that you exercise first thing in the morning, and accept going to your workout with messy hair.  Then you can get coiffed just one time in the morning in the locker room after your workout rather than having to do your hair once per day.  Another option is to do your workout at the end of the day and wash your hair before bed time.  Depending on your style, perhaps you can just spray with water and style your hair in the morning.  I find that wearing a thin sweat band under my hair, helps keep my hair from getting too sweaty, but your experience may be different.

4.  Exercise is boring.   So many people try just one form of exercise, and when they don’t love it, they decide that exercise is no fun.  Finding the right form of exercise is like finding your prince or princess.  Sometimes ya gotta kiss a whole lot of frogs before you find the right one.  So don’t get married to the first form of exercise you try.  Experiment a little.  Go on some exercise dates.  And even when you find a form of exercise you love, you’ll still need to change things once in a while to spice things up.  Sometimes you need to do it in a different place.  Sometimes you need to try a different position.  And sometimes you just need to try something altogether different.

5.  I suck at exercise.  Here’s a secret.  I am very, very uncoordinated.  Sure, now I teach dance classes.  But it was really a challenge for me to learn the choreography and put together my routines.  Because most of us suck when we try something new.  And we suck at it until we do it a while and then we either suck at it less, or we actually get kinda of good at stuff.  But understanding the lot of the newbie and embracing beginnerness can help you not only in your exploration of fitness, but in other stuff as well.

6.  Exercise hurts.  This is an often complicated but important point about exercise.  A certain amount of soreness or stiffness is pretty normal when you exercise in a new way or with some muscles you haven’t used in a while.  This is called DOMS for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  BUT exercise shouldn’t hurt a lot while you are doing it and it shouldn’t hurt a lot the next day.  The key here is to work very slowly and gradually beyond your current fitness level.  Depending on your current activity level this might mean moving very slowly.  Or maybe you are only going to work out for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.  That’s okay.  It doesn’t matter how little you start with.  Nobody even has to know what that is.  It matters that you aren’t in too much pain and that you are able to exercise again in a day or two.  If you are coping with serious or chronic pain,  you might need to work on some underlying issues with a physical therapist and eventually work with a trainer to develop a program.  But a lot of studies indicate that even people coping with chronic or serious pain eventually find pain relief from a properly constructed, reasonable exercise program.

There’s more to say, but I gotta go teach my dance class.  So for now we’ll say, “To be continued…”

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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