Everyone has a different reason for working out, and this time of year it takes a lot of motivation to get the job done. While I will happily spend hours running, biking, walking, playing tennis and anything else that involves physical activity when it's nice outside, I dread spending 45 minutes indoors at a health club, running on a treadmill while staring at a muted TV with the closed captioning on. Seriously, the only thing more painful than hearing what Glenn Beck has to say is having to read it. And whoever thought that airing "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" at the club has a really sick sense of humor.
Since my germaphobic side tends to surface when I think about working out at the club, I usually use the elliptical trainer that we have at home. I've tried different things to make my time spent on this devil's contraption go faster and suck less: watching a movie, watching Sportscenter, watching one of the kids play a video game while I listen to music, talking on the phone (I do not recommend this one) and once I even tried to play "Guitar Hero" (again, not recommended because Doug almost passed out from laughter).
I could just say "Screw it" and deal with the reality that comes from eating too much comfort food later, but the thought of putting a swimsuit on in (hopefully) three months with a chicken pot pie stuck to my ass is enough to keep me motivated. I also think it's important to set a good example for the kids and emphasize the importance of health and fitness. And if there's one thing I hate shopping for it's jeans, so if I want to be able to eat fries and fit into my existing jeans, I should probably burn a few calories now and then.
When I get off the elliptical, wipe the sweat off my face and walk across the room to get a drink of water, that's when honesty kicks in and I am reminded of what my real motivation is:
There's nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that I just burned a few calories so that I can replace them later, at happy hour. Besides, I hear that Spanx makes some really cute one-piece swimsuits now.