dumbbell

I’ve really slacked off on exercising this month, something I truly hate to admit. I’m very good at convincing myself I’m too busy or too sleepy to get to the gym, which is mostly true, but not a valid excuse.

Like a lot of folks working hard to get the pounds off, I get incredibly frustrated when the scale shows no improvement or, worse, additional pounds. That’s when the guilt cycle begins, and when I most want to just throw in the towel and soothe my hurt feelings with a dozen cookies or something.

Doesn’t help that I’m neither a fan of summer, especially not August. There’s just something about this time of year, and this month in particular, I find endlessly aggravating. It’s like seasonal affective disorder, but in reverse. (Can you tell I’m in a crunchy mood?)

Still, as I write this, I’m suited-up for the gym. I’m wearing my black leggings and ancient, gray Ohio State t-shirt. Just need to slip on some footies and my gymshoes, grab my water bottle and I’m out the door. I still don’t want to go, but because I’m already dressed, I certainly will. And when I walk in the gym door and have my little key tag swiped, my level of frustration will go through the roof, but for this reason: I really, really like my gym, and as soon as I walk in the door I’m always pleased to be there.

So what is it, then, about not being able to get off my behind and go on a consistent basis? I’d love some advice from folks who’ve developed a solid gym habit.

Meanwhile, there’s a recent study out – I know, “a recent study” usually means scary-bad news – that exercising makes you feel full. Yes, you read that correctly: Brazilian researchers have found that exercise triggers neurons in the brain that are involved in the control of satiety (feeling full). When that happens, the neurons signal the brain the reduce food intake, which leads to weight loss. The researchers also found that eating too much fat creates failures in the signals transmitted by those neurons, and that leads to uncontrollable food intake and obesity.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt full after a workout. Quite the opposite, most times, so I don’t believe that study is valid.

Even if it truly were, that still wouldn’t be enough incentive for me to get to the gym on a regular basis. I want to, I need to, and do appreciate the time “alone” to brainstorm or really think through complicated matters without a phone or laptop.

Therefore, going to the gym is something of a “gift” I give to myself, right?

Um, no. I’m not falling for that one, either. But I promise to work on it, soon as I work through this bad case of the grumpies.

Exercise is really important to me - it's therapeutic. So if I'm ever feeling tense or stressed or like I'm about to have a meltdown, I'll put on my iPod and head to the gym or out on a bike ride along Lake Michigan with the girls. ~   Michelle Obama

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.