The last month has been a challenging month for me physically. I haven’t felt well with my fibromyalgia and because of that, I stopped exercising. When I visited the doctor she asked if I was exercising and I couldn’t lie.
“I was all summer,” I said, “but over the last month I haven’t felt well so I haven’t exercised.” And she replied, “And you haven’t exercised so you don’t feel well. It’s a fierce cycle.”
After we talked a few minutes she suggested that I just exercise for 5 minutes on the next day. Then five more minutes the day after, and adding 5 minutes each day until I was back up to my usual 30 minutes.
I did as she suggested and I’m now feeling better and back into my exercise routine. But what I’ve been thinking about is how “all or nothing” I am. Because I didn’t feel well enough to exercise for 30 minutes I didn’t do any exercise at all. The concept of backing off and just doing a little bit didn’t even cross my mind!
Now I’m starting to pay attention to how much I do this with most everything at home like laundry, cleaning, and organizing. I paralyze myself because I can’t do the whole job so I procrastinate doing it at all.
My goal for October is to be more intentional about starting something with just small steps or a small amount of time. That’s far more realistic for my job as a mom.
Do you find yourself with the “all or nothing” syndrome? Want to join me in breaking out of that?
I’d love to hear about it!
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I enjoyed what you wrote. I have been the same way about being consistent with exercise. My problem is getting in that routine and staying in it and not feeling like I’m neglecting something else to do the exercise.
My issue just became so obvious. I have always know there was one but couldn’t ever put my finger on it! Thanks for the insight!
Go to Flylady.net
You can do this SLOWLY – don’t feel you have to do it all this week. She is a great motivator and encourager of those of us (all of us???) who feel overwhelmed with life at times.
FlyLady.net is awesome. I learned so uch about my all or nothing ways through this website. Check it out!
I have five kids (four boys and one girl), a husband, pets and I have the same problem of getting it all done at once. I really never thought about just doing a little everyday to get it all done and keep it that way. I really don’t get much help so it would save me so much stress and frustration to just do it this way. I avoid the exercise thing too because I feel like I have so much more that needs to be done. I am heading to the Heart-at-Home conference this afternoon and I am so over due for this. I am so excited to be going. Thanks for the insight and to the other aldies that have made comments her it helps!
Oh am I with you in this. I have a lot of pain with arthritis and spinal issues so yeah, I look at each task as a colossal undertaking. Especially exercise. I get in that same trap. Now my husband is recovering from surgery at home so its even harder with 3 kids 7 and under. Sometimes if I can just get started on something thinking I’ll only do so much, I end up getting motivated in the middle of it and finishing up. That first step’s a killer.
I am soooo the same way! Its a perfectionist thing – we can’t do something as well or as much as we would like to so we just don’t do it at all. sigh… its a vicious cycle for me. I put off cleaning the house because I know I can’t do it all at once… but then it gets worse and I really can’t do it all then. I’m working on it, but its a long road thats moving very slowly!
I don’t know if you have heard of T-Tapp. Its a workout that is very low impact and is particularly helpful to people with chronic backpain or fibromyalgia. It is designed to not just work the muscles but to help all your body systems function better. I’ve heard really good things about it from a few personal friends (one is a fitness expert and the other is an herbalist/nutritionist). Check it out sometime: http://t-tapp.com/home/
Thanks, Jill, for always being so honest about things we can all relate to! My Mom suffers from the same thing and exercise just isn’t what she thinks of when she’s hurting. I just turned 50 and am learning that the “all or nothing” isn’t a great way to live the days we are given! I’d encourage all younger Mom’s to learn it quicker than I did! There is no promise for our future… but there is a promise of today!! Let’s all do what we can and feel great about our accomplishments. It’s the stories our kids love hearing of what we do as a family, I’ve never heard them tell someone how amazing our house was cleaned! Oh – can I just say that I’ve used the comment you had in your blog a few days ago several times to my kids! If you think about it.. doing too much for them just isn’t a great way to LOVE our kids!!! If we weren’t around, how sad would it be if they couldn’t manage their lives? Something to think about…
I am totally an all or nothing girl, a black and white girl, etc. I read a book with the motto, “On the days you feel strong/motivated take more ground. On the days you don’t just do something.” (my paraphrase) This has helped me so much. When I feel like I could keep walking I try to do it. If I feel super motivated to tackle a project I go all out. But on the days I am struggling to get going I do something, and even though its less I don’t feel guilty.