Why You’re Not Going to the Gym – And How to Fix That

You approach exercise with a certain trepidation and lack of commitment. You can’t seem to get started and there’s just not enough time allotted for a workout once you do make it out the door. There are a million reasons not to even bother, while the one or two reasons why you think you should be exercising are buried somewhere in the back of your mind.

You should realize that laziness is a big factor here. Laziness and fear. Fear of what, I don’t know – pain, I suppose, maybe embarrassment.. You don’t know what to do and there’s a definite vibe I don’t belong here. To a large degree, you just don’t want to be bothered with the whole thing. In like fashion, you don’t assume responsibility for the predicament you are in, where you are overweight and in poor health.

So here’s what you need to do.

  • Realize that you are in poor shape and something needs to be done. Quit kidding yourself. C’mon.
  • Take entire responsibility for being in this predicament. Don’t blame the people who feed you, don’t blame your schedule, don’t blame the needs of your family. It’s no one’s fault but your own.
  • Make up your mind to do something about it. You’re not a wimp or a crybaby – you’re tougher than this. Now you’re going to do something about it and there will be no bailing out.
  • Nothing can stop you now. A commitment has been made. There will be no excuses, dammit. Maybe you will be late for that meeting, the kids might have to eat a little later. Well, the world won’t end. Schedules are going to have to change and be flexible. More importantly, you’re going to have to be flexible and change.
  • You are limited in what you can do, especially when starting out in a new endeavor. The whole trick is to start out with small, but consistent  efforts. It is the consistency that is crucial at this point in your training, not the amount of effort. You are trying to start a new habit and the only way that happens is through repetition. Many repetiions. Try to do your thing twenty times, in the shortest time period possible. If you do something twenty times, it will stick. I guarantee it.
  • Now that you’ve started, get into it. Try to improve your skill level or your strength or your endurance. Spend more time with your new thing. Find more ways to enjoy it. Find some crazy workout music that makes you feel younger. Find other people to tag along with.
  • Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. You’re out there now, you belong there. You’re going to improve, slowly, but surely. Maybe you’re a total, overweight beginner, but that beats anyone sitting on a couch right now.
  • Every sport has it’s own mystique, so it’s time to find it, to experience it. There is a turning point where you will begin to enjoy your sport and look forward to your next outing. This will take  time and commitment, but you have both of those now. It will come.
  • Be proficient at something. It’s the greatest feeling, to be good at something. Do it before life passes you by. And no, it isn’t too late – you’re still alive aren’t you?
  • Enjoy the benefits. Now you have more energy and are sleeping better. Certain foods are no longer appealing and you’re eating better. You have a more positive outlook and feel like a kid again. How the hell did you ever let that go?

These are the voices that should be going on inside your head, especially when you are down on yourself, struggling and confused. Quit fighting yourself and get up.

Have a sincere discussion with yourself. You are both the coach and the athlete. Coach yourself.

Instead of talking yourself out of it, talk yourself into it.

I Wanna Go Fast

It is my second day at the gym after a year long layoff from a broken ankle gone bad. I’m hoping to just ease back into things, but I get on the exercise bike and next thing I know I’m redlining it. My heart rate is 166 beats per minute, which is kinda high for a 57 year old guy.

I’m not too worried about a heart attack, mainly because I rode this hard every day before breaking the ankle. But as I look at an exercise chart I have to chuckle. You’re off the charts, laddie!

The moral here is: Don’t Believe Everything You Read. I have always pushed the intensity of whatever sport I was engaged in, since I was a little kid. I’m not bragging, nor am I saying that’s for everyone, but the benefits are worth considering. You can bike, run, ski, or climb like a twenty-year old if you stay engaged. And push it.

I don’t know why, but most of the other athletes I have encountered throughout my sporting career really didn’t approach their sport with much joy or intensity. Sure, it’s fine to go out and have fun, but your body is an incredible machine. Aren’t you ever  curious to see what she can do? Put the pedal to the metal.

Think about this, the next time you’re sitting on your exercise bike reading a book. Fifteen minutes of quality riding crushes any amount of coasting, even if you go for an hour. Put the book down and peddle that thing like your life depends on it. Because it does.

Don’t be afraid to keep the intensity going as you feel yourself aging and fading. If you make the effort you will be paid in short-term and long-term benefits.

Feel some intensity. Enjoy some of the benefits.


Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese

Ok, so the title is an oxymoron. Your Mom is an oxymoron. 

All right, can we just get along here? Well, everyone likes Mac and Cheese!

Let’s begin with the macaroni. Cook and drain. Put it back in the pan with some butter and Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Cheese. The cheese won’t melt so easily, smush it against the side of the pan, then stir it into the noodles.



You can salt and pepper this as you please, especially if you’re making it for the kids. For a more adult version, add Hungarian Red Pepper and Garlic Salt for a suprisingly sophisticated flavor.

This is great for lunch or a side dish for supper.



Ragin’ Ramen

The Ramen Rater has a passion for ramen noodles. His website has rated 875 different ramen varieties. The top ten list was interesting, but I don’t remember seeing any of them at Cub Foods.

If there is no Asian market near your neighborhood, try The Ramen Place. That Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black sure is intriguing.

Want to jazz up that ramen? Serious Eats has over thirty ways to upgrade your ramen dish. Now I’m in the mood for some soup!