The average hour-long TV show played back without commercials and credits is only 42 minutes long. I am very aware of this because I will only exercise while I am entertained or distracted. Ergo, watching my favorite TV shows while on the elliptical or treadmill at home meant I would never work out longer than 42 minutes. If even that long.
Yes, I work out seven days a week. But I have motivation problems. I would much rather go to the gym and be in a class that pushes me for a set time-frame, than have to push myself for any period of time at home. Not long ago, on my non-gym class days, I would get on the elliptical and plug away while I caught up on a TV show. I told myself I only had to do 30 minutes and most of the time that was exactly how long I kept at it. Unless the phone range at 26 minutes and gave me an excuse to stop early:) But then I tried to turn over a new lifestyle leaf and that included pushing myself to work out harder and longer. So I did. Good for me, you may be thinking. As I was too, for a while. But I kept butting up against the end of the show in 42 minutes and hit a wall, a mental block. Show over = workout over. But I told myself that was not so bad because I still had my longer/harder workouts on the days I hit the gym.
Then I broke a bone. No more gym for a while. A long while, as it turns out. And I was determined not to gain weight due to my inability to get to the gym! So I got on that darn elliptical and when the show ended I kept going. First it was just until the readout said 45 minutes. Baby steps. Then 50. Then an hour. And during this gradual increase, my husband was kicking butt and running on the treadmill for 90 minutes a day. Ninety minutes! So I got smart. And I got on next to him; he on the treadmill, me on the elliptical and back-to-back episodes on the TV. Or a DVD movie. And I added more time. And I busted through my 42 minute mental block! (Okay, there was that one day that the movie was just too sci-fi weird for me and I gave up early. But other than that…)
When my husband left town recently and I knew I’d be exercising alone, I worried and wondered if I would find motivation. So when I set my goals for the time he was gone, I gave myself an easy out and only committed to 45 minutes of cardio a day. Forty-five sounded a lot better than saying 42! But when it came time to exercise, I told myself I was stronger than that, that I could do it on my own. I felt I had something to prove and so I did. Three days in a row, on my own, I plugged away on that boring elliptical for 75 minutes. Through three episodes of Ugly Betty and two of Desperate Housewives and a little Oprah thrown in the mix.
I let those 42 minutes hold me back for a long time. What are you letting hold you back? What’s your 42 minutes?