Twelve Steps for Slouches

Twelve Steps for SlouchesThe first thing I want you to know is that I do resistance training. I use resistance bands, weights, and such.

OK, that’s on a good day. Truth be told, I probably do more resisting than I do exercising. I’m more inclined to be a slouch on the couch, thinking “maybe later” when it comes to toning my muscles and all those other fine fitness goals. I can also claim with great justification that I have more urgent and more important things to do. I am convinced I’m pretty important, after all.

Darn, why is it so hard to just do the exercises that I know are good for me? As smart as I am, it seems like a nobrainer.

I think I’ll check out some real power lifting – the Higher Power kind. Twelve Steps to the rescue. Maybe getting on a step machine will help too.

Yes, I am powerless over my slouchiness. My clever brain can find any excuse to delay or avoid working out, making my exercise program, my weight, and my flabbiness unmanageable.

Step Two
OK, it’s clear I need some Higher Power lifting. Neither my smart brain alone, or even my common sense, is enough to get me into action.

Step Three
I suppose that means I can’t pull out my slouch excuses anymore. But turn my life over to a Higher Power? Seems a bit bizarre, but if that’s what it takes — treadmill, here I come. Time to dust off the weights too.

Now, should I work out at home or at the club? And how do I find the time? Better check in with my Higher Power, make a decision, and put first things first.

Step Four
Yikes, an honest inventory. I have a long history of slouching, and I must admit it’s done me a fair share of harm. I live with a collection of aches and pains that likely resulted from not keeping in great shape. Also, when I don’t exercise, I tend to get slouchy about other things — my eating habits, my meditation, and my to-do list, for starters. My self-esteem certainly takes a hit. I’m not proud of constantly failing to keep my promises to exercise. Other people have also felt the brunt of my slouchiness. I get grouchy and busy with self-pity when I don’t exercise. I also tend to blame others. Somehow it becomes their fault I don’t have time to exercise. Whew, this inventory could take a while.

Step Five
Admitting my slouching damage is hard enough, but do I really have to let someone else in on my slouching sins? Good thing there are other recovering slouches out there. Chances are they won’t be as hard on me as I am on myself. And my Higher Power? Well, that’s where I hope to get some support, so I guess it’s best to be honest and bring the whole sorry picture out in the open. Kind of like needing to take out the trash before I can really start to clean house.

Step Six
No kidding around now. It’s time to make some changes. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Step Seven
On my own, I’m pretty much a slouch about cleaning up my act. Good thing I’ve got a Higher Power to take care of the heavy lifting. Better get signed up for some training.

Step Eight
My name goes on the top of the amends list. I’m the one who suffers the most damage from my exercise deprivation. But there are others who take a hit. Not only do my slouchiness and related behaviors affect the people immediately around me, the damage even spreads to people who have to pay higher insurance premiums to cover health care costs that result from my poor treatment of my body. Ouch!

Step Nine
No more hiding. My true colors are showing. Time to change my ways. I think I’ll start my Ninth Step by writing a love letter to my body. It’s about time it gets some respect – and some apologies for all the years of neglect and failed promises.

First, I’ll check in with my Higher Power to load up on self-love and willingness. I’m in training for new ways of living and ready to hit my stride – on the walking trail, the step machine, the chest press, etc. I’m already liking having a clearer
head.

Step Ten
I know, I know, I’ve made promises before and then returned to being a slouch on the couch. But now I have a Higher Power Trainer who shows me just what I need to stay in condition, and I have a community of recovering slouches as companions as I work out. The daily inventory keeps me honest and on track. I also get to celebrate my victories and give thanks to my Trainer for them.

Step Eleven
I like and trust my HP Trainer. I really do. I relish the love I feel coming my way, and the guidance and motivation that come through. I want to stay in touch. The more often, the better. I’m becoming more and more confident that I can run the distance as long as I keep myself focused where my Trainer directs me.

Step Twelve
A spiritual awakening and a great workout? What a combination! I love the feeling of being physically and spiritually fit.

Won’t you join me?


Pat Samples is a writer and a facilitator for creative aging, spiritual growth, and creative writing. www. patsamples.com

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