Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Workout Experiment: Day 5

So here I was, sharing my Workout Experiment journey in part to bolster my own certainty that taking it slow was the right thing to do... but my inner judgy voice was still secretly thinking 1 minute, 30 seconds on the treadmill was really not enough. Cue Cinder Ernst, fitness coach extraordinaire, who chimed in to say,
"Yay for you. 1.5 min of the elliptical is a big chunk for day 1. I suggest starting w an amount that leaves you feeling good all over, maybe 30 seconds for a few days, then 1 min for a few days etc. You will find if you use the smallest smallest smallest of steps, consistently, your body will start to lean into it."
Thank you, Universe, for all these wonderful teachers and wise women I have been able to bring into my life! Today, without even resting after bringing in groceries - because I knew if I stopped moving I'd hit they hay and not wake up til morning - I did 35 seconds on the elliptical. And it was enough. And the next time, I might do a minute-plus. And hey - the time after that, I might do 30 seconds or a minute again.

One thing I'd fallen into without even realizing it was thinking that each session had to be longer than the one before. Which, once it was brought up to the level of conscious thought, was ridiculous. Consistency is kind of ridiculous to ask of my body - especially when nothing else in my life is consistent! I will have had different days, different levels of activity, different levels of stress... Of course I would have different capacity to exercise. Thanks, Cinder - I needed that!

Edited to add: I know Cinder's point was really to start smaller, more so than the insight I ended up getting to about consistently increasing the time not being the only measure of success. But it was Cinder's point - or rather, her voice of reason saying 1.5 min was probably too much for my body - which allowed me to tune in and really think through my expectations/assumptions. So it's really two lessons here on Day 5: 1) start EVEN. SMALLER. and 2) don't expect the seconds to only increase. They're gonna move depending on how my body feels, and that's OK too. 


  1. J I am inconsistent with my exercise so I am learning so much from you experiences.

    You said; "One thing I'd fallen into without even realizing it was thinking that each session had to be longer than the one before."

    That sounds intimidating to me and might cause me to stop all together. I think I have that thought too at times and seeing it in writing allowed me to realize it and confront it.

    1. JennyRose I have always been inconsistent at best - mostly nonexistent - because I was so intimidated/overwhelmed. Even the most "beginner" oriented of exercise plans is way too advanced for me, so of course it feels overwhelming and unachievable! It took getting to know fabulous HAES fitness gurus like Cinder Ernst ( and Jeannette De Patie ( to figure out why I was always a failure before I even began...

    2. I meant to say, even the most beginner oriented of *mainstream* fitness plans. (Like Couch to 5k, Zombie Run, articles in magazines, online advice, etc.)