I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. I used to work out in a gym every day for two hours. That was mostly due to my boyfriend at the time, who was obsessed with looking perfect. Once I broke up with him, I also canceled my gym membership. I haven't remained consistent with an exercise program since then.
Part of what's hard for me is that I'm an all-or-nothing person. I either want to be in the best possible shape ever (two hours a day in a gym) or not even try. I'm seeing more and more that it doesn't have to be that way.

I'm also seeing that I may not be a "gym person." If I got a membership somewhere and got myself back into the routine, maybe I'd become a gym person again...the thing is, I don't want to. Plus we're not exactly rolling in money.

So I'm trying to incorporate exercise into my daily life - things I enjoy, things that don't feel like punishment or an obligation.

I got a new bike for Mother's Day, and I've been taking long rides while listening to my headphones. It clears my head and feels more like fun than a chore. Plus, it's the coolest bike ever.

I also like to hula-hoop. It sounds cheesy, I know. But I have an exercise hula-hoop, which is weighted, and I actually feel like it's doing something when I use it. I could hula hoop for hours. For real.

Even just walking with the kids to the park, though it doesn't necessarily feel that strenuous, is still exercise. Or going outside to catch bugs with them. Playing outside with them in any way.

We also have some games for rainy days inside, like Just Dance. That leaves me pretty sweaty and I feel the benefits. I have a yoga mat, free weights, a stability ball, some exercise bands, and a bunch of fitness DVDs, too. I really have everything I need at home to work out whenever I want. That's where motivation comes in.

This is why people join gyms. People who have everything they need at home. How many people do you know who have a piece of fancy exercise equipment that they're now using as a clothes rack? Yet maybe they go to the gym. Most people need to be in the environment where everyone else is working and sweating, in a place where there basically is no choice but to work out. At home you can distract yourself with anything and everything to get out of exercising. And that's where I'm at.

I often think that if I just had a motivating workout partner, I'd exercise every day. I'm learning that I can't rely on someone else to get my butt off the couch. And I always feel better once I've exercised. It's the matter of starting.

So I'm starting a little system for myself - and I'm being realistic; I know there might be days I don't stick to it...but I want to try. I'm doing a little reward system - like, if I work out with my free weights today, then I get to watch an episode of Glee. I know this is still about motivation, as in, if I wanted to, I could easily skip the workout and watch TV anyway. I'm trying it out, though, to see how it works.

What about you? Do you have an exercise plan you stick to? Or are you someone who also has a problem with motivation? Maybe we can be accountability partners and help each other.

Now help me get off this couch.