Tuesday, 21 August 2007

On motivation, or lack thereof, and not about CRON

I commented on April's "5am Club" post yesterday to the effect that if I don't get up and go to the gym first thing in the morning, I never make it there. I missed it yesterday, and missed it again today despite being awake and breakfasted by 7am; I went back and hid in bed instead. Meh.

I've had real problems with motivating myself to get to the gym all this year. I should go each morning that I am at home - I can't afford to belong to a London gym as well - so I should be going at least 3 mornings a week if not 5. First it was balancing CRON and energy levels; I kept falling off the treadmill back in January as my body adjusted to fewer calories per day. But that quickly passed. Then I made the mistake of running in new trainers on the treadmill and being heavy-footed-stompy-me, I hurt my feet... and so gave it a miss for a few days. Then I think I got sick. And then, oh yes - the gym was closed for a few weeks with rain leaking through the roof (this still happens but now we all work out around buckets and dripping water and saturated towels). And then... well, it was more likely something else. Suffice it to say that my attendance this year has been abysmal and since the wedding, it's got even worse!

I really believe that getting to the gym is very important. CRON is all very well for keeping the weight down, but it does absolutely nothing for a girl's abs. I noticed this particularly last night when lying in bed; the muscle tone on my stomach is all but gone and (excuse me here), I could feel my digestive system working with the palm of my hand - urgh, and urgh. I've never felt that before (I assume) because there has been a layer of abdominal muscle there - I mean, I've never had rock-hard abs, but they were noticable. Now the mirror tells me they are not. Oh My God I am 35 and starting to sag. :-)

So, is this motivation enough to get me back to the gym tomorrow? Unfortunately I suspect not... the little demon voice in my head says to me, one day won't make any more difference and then you're back to London, so best start at the weekend... or maybe even the weekend after because then you've got a week off and can do a full five days and that will be so much better, so why bother with it now... If only my little demon voice would work to my good and say, Get up woman and shift your backside for 60 minutes; you know it will make you feel so much better in the end, and wouldn't it be nice to fit into the jeans you bought a couple of months ago but haven't yet worn because they are a very optimistic size with a nice flat belly?.

I find so many excuses to wallow, I really do. It's the same with the job. I spent a large part of yesterday in floods of tears of frustration (the indulgence of working at home) because I was attempting to do something I knew was incredibly simple (I mean, literally as simple as coding an xml declaration at the top of an SQLXML generated nodelist - and this is simple), and only managed it after several hours and then immediately hit yet another brick wall which I will have to break down today. That's the reason I wanted to go straight back to hide in bed this morning rather than facing the day bright and breezy with a run and some weights. But I can do something about this. I can find another job, something far more suited to me and my skills... But I have no idea what that might be.

Or I can work on swinging my mindset around and appreciating what I have now. I am so lucky. Why do I constantly carp and pine and want this nebulous more when really I have everything? Do I really want an easy nine-to-five job in an office? No. God, no. But I do need to get out of my current position - or change it.

I simply must get motivated to do things. It's scary.

One idea I have, that won't get me out of the job I'm in, but might open some doors, is to use all the vintage crockery I got from the wedding and set up a small company catering for tea parties - the whole works, cucumber sandwiches, fairy cakes, scones with jam and cream, slices of Victoria sponge (ok, so not CRON but I'm never going to be an ambassador for that), tea, champagne. Or at least hiring the stuff out. That is a small, achievable step and I Need To Do It. Maybe in conjunction with a friend who does reflexology. Girlie Pamper Parties, with tea and cake and fizz and foot massage. A niche, I wonder...

Er, yes. So this is really a post for me to read when I need a kick up the arse, or several kicks. No one is going to change my life for me. I need to motivate myself.

And I can start by getting to the gym tomorrow morning. :-)


April said...


I so know what it's like. I often feel a temptation, after a slip of one kind, to just let the whole day go. Ugh! Then of course I feel worse.

I think it's also really hard after a major life event to get things in gear. Those things upset the applecart in ways we don't even see at the time. I'm still way messed up post my last two campaigns. It just takes awhile to get right again. I used to be so good at not eating off other people's plates, and not sharing appetizers, etc... now I just find myself eating a few bites of the food if it's there. All those bites add up. It's just hard to get back on track!

Good luck. I love your idea of tea parties! I want to have a tea party!


skinnybitch said...

Hey, just a one-week vacation was enough to throw me off my exercise routine. I *still* haven't gotten back on that wagon, but I'm very hopeful that walking to work will be the solution. It's worked for me in the past.

Be gentle with yourself. Creating new habits (and letting go of old ones) is hard work. You'll get there eventually.


Sara said...

Thank you both. I am once more having a sh*tty day with work and blog comments make all the difference - strange, huh? :-)

JD said...

Hey - sorry to hear you're having a crap day. I swear I managed to get down about 5 lines of good code a day during my degree.

I find going to the gym the least motivating thing ever. Have you thought about joining a sports club? That way you have the expectation of other to motivate you :-)

Sara said...

JD - I am the world's worst person at sport. I was the uncoordinated klutz that no one wanted on their teams at school; at age 7 I was thrown out of ballet class having failed to progress at all in 3 years. It's a miracle I manage to stay on the treadmill / stepper / cross-trainer when I even get to the gym. :-)

And my degrees are in seventeenth century literature and drama. I couldn't be doing a more unsuitable job right now if I tried.

April said...


I thought about skipping the gym today, but I thought of your post and went on in! My demon voice tends to be the one that says, "You don't have time... you have to work... if you leave the cell phones alone for forty-five minutes, a terrible crisis will errupt and no one will be there to deal with it!"

That's why I decided to start at 5 am, because the crises usually don't start till 6.

Well, this morning I thought I didn't have much to do, so I cuddled kitties until 7 am. Then the phone started ringing with crisis at precisely 7. And I was on the phone solid till nine. No shower, no breakfast, just solid handling crisis. This is pretty typical.

Ate breakfast, dragged myself to the gym, and miraculously, the phone was silent for forty-five minutes!

Of course it started up again straight away, but I was very glad I went. I know I'll feel better all day, and be able to handle whatever work throws at me without becoming grumpy monster.

So thanks for the inspiration... the thought of that demon voice just made me want to beat it!


Sara said...

April, glad to be of service. At the end of my working day I am indeed a grumpy, and un-CRON-ed monster because there was leftover cheese in the fridge. Hey ho. Tomorrow's another day, right?