Why It's So Hard to Stick with a Healthy Routine

Jasmine Schmidt Health Guide
  • I just moved and thusly nothing in my home is quite where it is supposed to be. That’s probably why there is a Pilates DVD sitting on my desk in front of my computer. Truth be told, I’m only writing this blog because I first noticed the DVD and was overcome by a sense of guilt that I should pop it in and get in a short workout before starting dinner; faced with thepossibility of breaking a sweat, I decided my blog couldn’t wait another moment and the workout would have to wait.. Oh well.

     

    Does everyone have difficulty finding the motivation to stay healthy, or is it just me? It’s not that the pay offs aren’t wonderful, because they are. Take Pilates for example (a mat workout that strengthens the core muscles with isolated movements): when I stick to a regular Pilates regimen (believe it or not, I actually have) I look long and lean, I feel strong and healthy, my stamina increases as fatigue decreases, and the Kegel exercises that are so integral to this workout inevitably result in a tighter pelvic floor and incontinence diminishes. So why is it that in this particular moment I would rather do just about anything than spend 20 minutes on this fitness plan?

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    Speaking of finding the motivation to stay healthy, let me share another quick story of something that just happened last night. I suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a condition that causes painful abdominal cramping. It’s pretty common knowledge that IBS can usually be controlled to some degree by eliminating the foods that produce the cramps. My problem has been in locating the foods that cause the problem. Luckily, I recently had a breakthrough! In India I went vegetarian for nearly three weeks – there is no beef in India, and I didn’t want to risk getting sick from undercooked chicken, so it was an easy choice (plus, Indian cuisine is delicious and lends itself easily to the vegetarian lifestyle). For the first time in years, I felt great!

     

    Since I’ve been home, I’ve tried to go “vegetarian lite. "’ve been trying to replace the meat in my usual meals with meatless alternatives, and I’ve found that I’m still feeling really good. That is, until last night, when I couldn’t resist ordering a bleu cheese burger for dinner. Sure enough, I felt horrible afterwards, doubled over in pain for a good hour after dinner. I was certain that I’d figured out that meat was the main culprit of my IBS cramps, and yet I couldn’t find the motivation to say no to the burger. Of course, hindsight being 20/20, I wondered afterwards what on earth I had been thinking! I’m not advocating that everyone with IBS go veggie, it’s just what happened to work for me. But I can’t help but wonder if (or should I say when) I’ll fall victim to temptation yet again, lacking the motivation to stay on the straight and narrow.

     

    For many people, incontinence is tied into overall health and well-being. Some people may experience incontinence no matter what, but for many people the symptoms can be alleviated to some degree by ceasing smoking, losing weight, maintaining an exercise plan, keeping up with a Kegel or electrical stimulation schedule, or practicing timed voiding techniques. I would assume that in these cases the payoff of greater bladder control is probably worth the effort, and yet, just like me with my Pilates DVD, it is sometimes difficult to find the motivation to stick with the plan.

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    We’re all only human, and it is only human to fall prey to temptation occasionally. So here’s my new plan: do what I can, when I can; when I fall down, get back up and keep going without feeling guilty. Every day – no, every moment – I have a choice to make regarding my health: what to eat for breakfast; putting on my seatbelt; doing Kegels while I drive; parking one spot further from the entrance so I have to walk just a few more steps; saying no to dessert; wearing my bike helmet; and yes, even putting in the Pilates DVD. If you’re on the road to continence, find the motivation right here and now, in this very moment, to make a choice that contributes towards the overall goal of dryness – do a set of Kegels or call your doctor for an appointment. Make the healthy choice!

Published On: May 14, 2007