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Thursday, March 03, 2016

I'm a creature of habit. It's so much easier to do things that I don't have to plan, think through, or decide on, like brushing my teeth, tying my shoelaces, or signing my signature. Effortless gestures accomplished with little or no thought. I'm convinced that will be my best strategy for getting fit and healthy.

Most of my previous attempts at transformation have been to make huge efforts to change my eating and get in shape. That hasn't worked very well. Giant changes have been time consuming and easily sidetracked by the reality that my job is demanding and I often indulge my perfectionist tendencies in getting it done. I'm left feeling defeated and truly mystified how to fit in healthy meal prep and serious work-outs for fast results.

Before joining SP, I decided to set a very small goal. Exercise 10 minutes a day every day for 7 days. I can do more if I want to and have the time, but I only HAVE to do 10 minutes. I've done 6 days in a row, and it's already beginning to feel familiar and normal. The first 4 days, I was on vacation and it was easier to find the time (if not the desire). Yesterday I went back to work, and I was really nervous that I would start to find excuses not to continue. After work yesterday, my head was spinning with all the things I needed to get done, and a bunch of excuses presented themselves as legitimate reasons to not exercise: we had freezing rain and the roads were not very safe for walking, my husband started using the rowing machine as soon as I got home so it wasn't available, and I had brought home a large bag of work that was calling to me. BUT...10 minutes is only 10 minutes, and so I used a free work-out app (Sworkit) that I had downloaded onto my tablet and did 10 minutes of strength training.

Today, I also really didn't feel like working out, and of course there are always excuses, but I built on my short string of successes and rowed for 10 minutes. And a small, weird thing happened. It felt good...and even weirder, I felt glad. Just glad. Glad to have 10 minutes to not be working, to not be bogged down by all those things I need to get done.

If I manage to work out again tomorrow, I will have met my goal of a 7-day streak. I'm planning to extend that commitment to help it become a habit. It's beginning to feel like the normal thing to do after work. I know eventually there will be days when I have both the time and the desire to do more than 10 minutes, but for now I think that's a small commitment that I can gladly keep.
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