At the bottom of the homepage, I have listed 11 lies we tell ourselves to avoid taking control of our health. The first excuse is that you will hate it. You know this ahead of time. You’ve done every form of exercise imaginable and you hate every one of them. And you know that there’s no possible way that you could grow to like it, no matter how long you tried, no matter how hard (or easy) it was, no matter what it was, you just know this indisputable fact. You are convinced that your body will never tell your brain that you’re having even the slightest hint of enjoyment. And forget about any satisfaction you could ever get from a job well done. Your brain won’t allow that either. You’re just doomed to always hate all things exercise… and all things nutritious.
Say what? You can’t teach that. You’re either born that way or you’re not.
Well, yes and no. Sure, some people have pickier palates than others. But the other part of it is conditioned. We will teach him. Just like his sisters, we will teach him the importance of trying new things. We’ll teach him that just because he didn’t like it last time, he might like it this time. And furthermore, we’ll teach him that sometimes you have to try things repeatedly without much time going by between them and you’ll learn to like them.
Oh yeah Mr. or Miss Know-It-All? His sisters eat green eggs (put eggs in the Vitamix with a healthy handful of spinach and blend and scramble). They eat salmon. They drink veggie smoothies. They eat cottage cheese, trail mix, plain yogurt, and so on. Are there things they don’t like? Of course. But there are also foods we made them try repeatedly and now they like them (yellow tomatoes, grapes, spinach pizza, apple skins, and on and on).
Well, that’s food… it’s different.
Okay, well, remember the first time you heard about the birds and the bees? Probably didn’t sound so great. Maybe even said you’d never do it. How’d that work out for you?
Well, that’s different too.
I’m sensing a pattern here with you.
Here’s the thing: It’s not different. You can learn to like it if you try different things, be consistent, and don’t give up. Being positive about it wouldn’t hurt either.
I’m not inherently drawn to Yoga. I want to love it, but I’m just not there… yet. I do like that calmness. I like being more flexible. I like hardly moving and sweating a ton. I’m a Downward Dog learning new tricks (NOTE: For the uninitiated, Downward Dog is a Yoga position. For those who already knew that, my apologies for the lousy pun). I’m committed to making it one of my favorite forms of exercise because I believe in it’s effectiveness. And you know what? I like it more now than I used to.
Same goes for running. I don’t naturally like to run. But when I trained for a marathon and built a good base, I started to really like it. It was liberating and empowering to know I could go out and run 15 miles without a second thought. This didn’t happen overnight. It took some time. And if I don’t stick with it, I have to relearn that joy. But I know I’ll get there because I’ve done it before.
So don’t presume you know what the future holds. I’m not suggesting you’ll love every form of exercise you’ll ever do if you do it long enough (there’s not likely any amount of water ballet I could do that would get me to like it). But there are enough forms of fitness available to appease even the most persnickety of you out there.
So stop being a hater. Try new things. Stick with them. Be intentional. Make it happen.