42 Minutes

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?



Filed under exercise, making a change

22 responses to “42 Minutes

  1. I was convinced for a long time that treadmill running was too hard. In fact, after all that I had run last year, I’d never run a full 3 miles on the treadmill until this past January. I was just totally convinced that it was too difficult. Once I busted through that barrier, suddenly I was running 3 miles on a regular basis, then 4, then 5. Now I kind of look forward to it!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..One down, one to go =-.

    • Karen

      Is it that running outside is more scenic and interesting? I keep thinking about adding running… well… jogging, when my arm heals. Maybe.

  2. I struggle with the exercise component of weight loss…and probably always will. I am still searching for that “thing” that I can do and enjoy and look forward to. So far, not so much…lol But I still do it…because its necessary. I hope to enjoy it someday. But just not digging it today.
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..spring thunderstorms =-.

    • Karen

      My neighbor laughed at me on our walk this week when I told her I really don’t like walking. I elaborated that I like “taking a walk” with her (talking, being outside) but the physical act of feet hitting pavement – not so much. Most exercise I enjoy when I am done:)

  3. In the beginning my 42 minutes consisted of trying to get out the door and exercise out of the house (without the kids) and not feel guilty about it. That was the biggest hurdle for me. I tried to convince myself that the kids would be okay for an hour a day without me. It was also my mental block.

    Now I know that they can survive for an hour a day without me. My husband is there and will take care of all of their needs as good as I do. And so… I am able to take time to exercise out of the house without the kids. And it feels good. 🙂

    .-= The Chubby Girl Diaries´s last blog ..Be realistic with your weight loss journey… =-.

    • Karen

      That would be hard. I didn’t exercise when my kids were little so never faced that challenge. I think we are better moms when we can take care of ourselves:)

  4. I gotta ask; why weren’t you doing it through the commercials, to get the full 60 minutes in? Why were you stopping during commercials?

    That said, working out 42 minutes a day is awesome. If you can keep that up for life, you are WAY ahead of the game. Your doctor will tell you that. Don’t push yourself too hard; that’s how the injuries occur.

    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Change, She is a Comin! =-.

    • Karen

      Well, that is a fair question. Laziness? Mental block? Or just too conditioned by my recorders to never watch commercials anymore?

  5. Mine block was always intensity, not duration. I would go and go but never push it as hard as I can. I have found that I’m capable of so much more than i ever thought. So now I go like a crazy person for 30-and hour but I’m putting in four times the effort I used to.

    I’m glad you found your mojo even without the hubbie! it’s awesome to know that it’s with you, and has been all along!
    .-= Rita @ The Giggly Bits´s last blog ..Oh My Blog!Vlog =-.

    • Karen

      I have the intensity issue too! Before my injury I added some jogging intervals on the treadmill for that very reason. Also why I prefer cycling class to the elliptical. I would like to push myself with both… if I can find the motivation.

  6. sunnydaze

    It is hard for me to do 42 minutes of anything exercising in the house. If I go outside, that’s a different story, I have the sun, the fresh air, the outside distractions…but inside is just too boring for me. YAY YOU for building up to 75 minutes of INDOOR exercise! That is def something to be proud of! 😀

    • Karen

      You are so fortunate to have your daughter as your partner. I work out with my mom once a week and it is so much more fun.

  7. I do the TV-episode timer, too, and this post reminds me that I haven’t given the proper credit to Netflix for their role in helping me lose weight. 🙂 I like the variety of equipment the gym has to offer, but they don’t have a DVD player there. Even if they did, not everyone would see the joy in watching episodes of The Shield or Monk or The Closer. 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..When Heat Attacks =-.

    • Karen

      Do you find some shows more motivating to work out to? I do. Or maybe it is actually that some are LESS motivating!

  8. That’s awesome that you are doing 75 minutes on the elliptical. I do DVD exercises, supercharged on the Nordic trak and weight lifting with my weight machine so it takes as much time as it takes to do all three (probably about 7 hours a week). I keep the sound off on the DVD and usually listen to the radio during that but Tivo for the trak and weight lifting. If the show finishes before I’m done I start another one. I guess I missed the memo about stopping exercising when the show is over. 🙂
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..peer pressure or how normal people eat =-.

  9. Good question you are asking here, Karen! (That’s one reason I like to visit your blog every day!)

    Holding me back in the exercise department… Hmmmm. I WISH I knew the answer. I walk 2.2 miles up and down hill every day. I don’t push myself to speed walk and I don’t push myself to se what’s around the bend at the 1.1 mile point. I used to do floor exercises, particularly for my arms, and a year or so ago, got my arms into fairly decent shape for an older lady (I’m 67). But, then, I fell into another period of overeating/bingeing, my weight went back up and I quit doing the exercises. So far, although I’m on the down side of weight gain, I haven’t been able to make myself get back into an exercise routine (except for walking). Maybe your post will inspire me… I hope!
    .-= Peacefulbird´s last blog ..Reasons for Overeating =-.

    • Karen

      I have always heard that walking is the best thing! I don’t do much because of bad feet. Thus the elliptical for non-impact. But that used to be my primary workout for years when I started.

  10. Great post! I always try to do just a little more each time I’m at the gym, cardio-wise. As for weights, I am just maintaining because I find them exhausting and I don’t want to overdo it.
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..A strange conversation at the gym =-.

    • Karen

      I needed to push myself harder with weights too. Then the darn fracture so I have no idea what it will be like to start on the upper body again. Sigh.

  11. Keep up your pursuit of whatever level of fitness that you deem best. From a cardiovascular and longevity aspect, your regimen is certainly optimal. If you want to go for more, I have NO doubt that you can achieve whatever goals that you set.
    .-= Ssar´s last blog ..Movin’ Through Manhattan =-.

    • Karen

      Thanks Jan. I figure now is the time since I don’t have a job. No excuse not to dedicate more time to working out. Just need that motivation!

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