EXERCISE: The Love/Hate Relationship

Jonathan at Gym Smaller PictureMy name is Dr. Jonathan Colter. I am 55 years old and am addicted to feeling healthy and enjoying life. I have exercised for over 37 years and have made this commitment as part of a lifestyle choice.


  1. I do not find lifting weights fun!
  2. I do not find cardiovascular exercise fun!
  3. I do not find stretching fun!

There were (and will be) MANY DAYS I had (and will have) to


The concept of taking discretionary time (which in most lives is extremely limited) and spending it doing activities one doesn’t necessarily want to when there are many activities available which create enjoyment seems crazy.

I have made this choice because I do like the quality of life that exercise has afforded me. Exercise is not optional if healthy active aging is going to occur. Without exercise, you will lose your ability to move and think. Is it really worth working an entire life, reaching an age where retirement becomes a reality, only to end up sick and arthritic because of self neglect and self abuse?

It’s not like we don’t know we are supposed to exercise. It’s not like we don’t know that vegetables are good and fried foods are unhealthy.


I decided to write this story, because I wanted everyone to understand that exercise is NOT PRIMARILY about a physical appearance. I equate appearance with symptoms and disease.  If you treat symptoms, the underlying problem continues to worsen. If you exercise to achieve a number on a weight scale or fit into a pair of jeans or bathing suit there is a high probability that success (if achieved) will be short lived. The reason is simple. The goal was simply addressing a symptom.  If, however, you wish to be healthier, have increased energy, more functional ability, better brain clarity, the results become life long. In addition, you are more likely see secondary benefits that include better weight control, better health control and better physical appearance. These are RESULTS of your new lifestyle; not goals.

Today is Sunday. I suggest you finish this day just like you would any typical Sunday. I would also like you to prepare for tomorrow.  I do not want your Monday to be typical.  I want you to MOTIVATE YOURSELF; to turn your life around into the life of your choosing. Are you a good person? Do you deserve to feel good and enjoy living? Write it down.


This begins the day for transformation. That dreaded activity, “exercise”, begins a new path to health and happiness. You can stretch, walk, swim, perform resistive strength exercises, yoga, balance exercises, etc..   I want you to choose which form of exercise is going to make your Monday morning different.

Start off slow and keep the exercise short in duration.  The trick is to begin something you can REALISTICALLY DO FOREVER. Most people (with good intentions) try to exercise 5-7 days a week. God built the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th, therefore, I believe no one has the right to exercise harder than God. If you are not an exercise junkie, start with 2-3 days; 10-20 minutes.  The object is to incorporate exercise and not make it overwhelming. The most important thing to do is


Eating unhealthy and living a sedentary lifestyle is a pattern.  I am encouraging you to simply follow a DIFFERENT PATTERN with a better long term outcome. Now, if you didn’t already do it, get your calendar or your phone or a piece of paper and write it down!


As you begin to feel the improvement, motivation will become easier. Remember, there are plenty of days I have to drag myself to exercise. Prepare yourself for this. It is a NORMAL feeling. You will find the most difficult part of your exercise on these days will be putting on your exercise clothing. As you begin to try to find excuses giving yourself permission to skip your exercise, keep getting dressed in those gym clothes and sneakers. Once they are on, mark my words, you will say, “well, I’m already dressed, I may as well exercise.” When you finish this particular day, you will feel better about yourself, because you developed the discipline to control your decision. This is called SELF EMPOWERMENT!

Set small achievable goals and succeed over and over and over. The biggest mistake people make is they want results FAST!!!! It may not feel good, but slow gradual changes become changes that last forever.  Fast weight losses lead to patterns of yo-yo ing. Exercising daily and for long periods of time lead to injuries.  Don’t be tempted to make these typical mistakes. This positive approach will help keep you on track. As you begin to feel the difference, I want you to contact me and share your experiences. I am giving every one of you the additional responsibility to help others experiencing these same issues. Sharing your stories with me will expose other readers to the reality that they are not alone; that people actually care about them and their success.

I am going to end this by congratulating every one of you for reading this to the end. If you didn’t care about yourself, you would have moved on to a different story long ago. You can count this as your first small accomplishment on your new path. This proves we can all succeed.

Wishing all of you the best life has to offer.

Exercise Cartoon What fits your schedule better


  1. Cute comic. If only we didn’t age.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to tell you, it was a little bit hard for me to hit the gym this morning but I re read your post and got my butt in there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great. Now if I can see more people that really need the gym get on board, it will complete my day!
      BTW- thank you very much for your kind words. I really appreciate it.


  3. I am still working on walking for more than 5 minutes before my back, hips and knees revolt. I needed this pep talk back when I was 20 and before the arthritis and DDD set in and now I have Fibromyalgia on top of it. Betty White at 93 could probably outwalk me.


    1. Remember to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. 5 minutes of walking is five more minutes than most people exercise. Take it day by day. Gradual change over many years amounts to significant change. Be patient and congratulate yourself for the effort you put in.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you! I am having a major craving for soda and junk food and I can’t have it. Type 2 Diabetes that I am trying to get under control.


  4. Cravings only last about 10 minutes. If you can occupy yourself with something that requires you to focus, it helps block the craving. A good substitute for soda is flavored sparkling water (without sugar.) I recommend mixing just a little of this with a full glass of water. I am not a fan of the artificial sweetener in the sparkling water, however, using it to simply flavor regular water minimizes the intake of the artificial sweetener. The longer you go without giving in to temptation, the easier it gets. The hormones that cause the temptation stop firing. See how this works.


    1. Is that all they last. Seems like forever.I am drinking plain water, no sweeteners at all. I never thought I would drink so much water and actually come to enjoy the taste. Today I would normally have a soda with a friend for lunch but he knows what I am doing and brought me a bottle of water instead. I am slowly doing better.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Remember, the more times you succeed at resisting the urges, the less frequently they occur. I’m proud of your success!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am doing better at resisting. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We love the way you talk to people….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Today is Sunday. I commit to going to the senior center tomorrow to work out no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve already seen your other comment stating YOU WENT to the senior center. Just so you know, there are plenty of days I do NOT want to exercise. I make certain (as I justify my excuses) to continue getting dressed into my gym attire. The hard part is not exercising; the hard part is getting your body to the gym!
      Keep up the good work.
      By the way, you might enjoy this article I wrote regarding this topic! https://allabouthealthychoices.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/exercise-confessions/


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