(Start with "Tuesday" if you can. After a holiday weekend, everybody knows nobody does any real work until at least Thursday anyway.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How to make a successful New Year's Resolution. Well, last week I went on and on about the ills of fast-food, most of which I probably wrote while waiting in line at a drive-thru. (You know the old saying: "Do as I say, not as I stuff my esophagus.")
What it's all about for me with those who have infertility is controlling what we can control in the totally out of control world of infertility. And exercise to me is a big part of that. (Hey, where'd everybody go?) Wait! Come back! New Year's resolutions to exercise are among the funniest... I promise.
I had a friend whose New Year's Resolution one year was to run a marathon. Okay, if he'd been a runner this would have made sense. If he'd been a jogger, even, it would have made some sense. But the fact that he was a guy who kept a bucket next to the bed so he wouldn't have to get up and walk ten feet to the bathroom to pee... this resolution made no sense.
Who was he kidding? Needless to say, I heard the only marathon he partook in that year was held at a bar.
Most people make resolutions to exercise. And most people make ridiculous resolutions to exercise. Exercising is a great goal--especially if you're dealing with infertility.
1) You'll have something else to exercise besides your obsessive thinking muscles: "Is this treatment working? Is this doctor working? Are my ovaries working? Is this bag and these shoes working with the hospital gown?"
2) Oh, those endorphins... those lovely little protein molecules that we give ourselves when we exercise. Finally something in our system to beat the hell out of our depression and whatever other chemical imbalances may be brought on by the stresses of infertility... not to mention all of the hormones we keep dumping into our bloodstreams.
Lots of people decide they'll take the gym route. My main meaningless advice on this one would be: "Fine. Just don't be an idiot."
1) If you've never gone to a gym before more than as a guest, don't spend $2000 to join one. If you do, you may as well add to your resolutions list: "Be a dumbass". So at least if you plunk down that kind of money and then quit after a month, you'll at least have one resolution to check off your list.
My sister goes to some Mickey Mouse operation that has "free pizza" days and "bagel breakfasts", so I'm thinkin' this gym doesn't promote low carb diets. But it's ten dollars a month with no contract and all you can eat. Can't beat that. Not many gyms come with a buffet.
So, yeah, if you're a serious gym-goer, you ain't going to waste your time on it, but if you want to get a feel for whether or not you'd stick to a routine and be comfortable in a gym environment, it's a cheap no-obligation way to do it.
2) Before you join anything: Figure out when you're going to go to the gym. No, really... If you hit the snooze alarm three times in the morning, forget about "before work". No triple snoozer is ever going to do step class at 5 am.
Know when you're at your peak mentally and when physically. I can write in the morning or night. (I'm writing this at night. Does it make any sense at all?) I can't put four words together in the afternoon...But I'm good to run in the afternoon. Don't try to talk yourself into something that's against your natural grain. Like me:
"I'll run at night." No I won't. That's when I'm tired. That's when American Idol will be on."
3) Once you've decided what time of day and what days are good for you: Pick a gym that makes sense for that time. Why are you joining a place near your job if you won't be going there before or after work? Oh right. You're going to go to a gym that's a forty minute drive from your home on the weekends. No you won't. Who does that? No, I'm telling you, you won't. But if you did, you'd get to check off that "dumbass" resolution a second time.
Listen, I gotta go. I've had this head cold for a month and it's time to give it an Advil snack. I could probably take something stronger to clear my head but I don't want to lose my creative edge.
I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.