A few posts back I mentioned that it's not always good advice to tell someone to "find something you love" when it comes to exercise. I remember hearing this advice in years past and thinking, "love? more like find something I don't hate." And what I believe is, it's probably too much to ask a sedentary, out of shape person who is carrying extra weight to find something you love. I think it can even further confirm their suspicion that they they didn't get the exercise gene, they feel convinced they'll never enjoy it and further, that people who do enjoy exercise are just different than they are.
So what to tell them instead? The truth. It will be uncomfortable at first. It will take time to build up endurance and strength. Maybe not find something you love but find something you can do. Whether it's a 15 minute walk three times a week or an aquacise class with the retired set. It doesn't matter so much what you do at first, what matters is that you do something. Early exercise habits are about just that, habit. Focus on building the habit more than on burning calories. And do it because you want the results, because you want change and you want a body you can feel good about. Do it for the same reason you clean the gutters or sweep the floor - not because you enjoy doing the work, but because you enjoy the outcome.
Over time, as you build up endurance and strength, you can begin to think about what you might enjoy and start searching for that. And who knows? Eventually, you may even find something you love. Just don't expect love at first sight. It took me years, years to enjoy running. Why did I stick with it all that time? Because I enjoyed the results, I enjoyed triathlons and running was a required part of that (or at least walking anyway) and I liked the idea of being a runner, even if I didn't really enjoy it - let alone love it. And now? I love it. I can say without reservation, I love running.
And that's the craziest change of all. I went from one of those people who thought she didn't have the exercise gene, who loved the couch more than anything, to a person who loves running, who loves exercise, who loves seeking out new ways to push my body and my mind. I had the exercise gene all along, it was just buried deep inside a too heavy body and a negative mind.
And with that, I'm off to the gym to do what I love.