The Battle (with Myself)

2 Sep

I imagine that many of you who have been reading this blog see me as someone of extreme will-power and motivation. I struggle with will-power and motivation just like everyone else.

Even on the best days, my mind likes to go to battle with itself. Right before a workout on any given day, my mind does two different things. The first is it gets really excited to go the gym. It imagines the hard work, the sweat pouring down my forehead, the burn in my muscles and how good my body is going to feel when it’s over. About three seconds later, my mind thinks of fifteen reasons why I shouldn’t go to the gym, why it won’t be fun and why just this one time I can skip and how much better it would be to go tomorrow. My head starts to get cloudy and tired. My mind then tries to convince my body that it’s tired and hungry.

This process lasts anywhere from two to ten minutes. These days the “gym-going” side almost always wins. It wasn’t always that way though. There was a time when the “put-it-off-for-one-more-day” side would mostly win. That side has been so over-powering that I’ve made it all the way to the gym parking lot, parked, paused for 30 seconds and drove back home. In fact, I almost did that last night.

Yesterday, I was already in a crabby mood when I arrived at the gym. I hadn’t gotten enough sleep and I had left my cell phone at work. After changing in the locker room I realized I left my heart rate monitor in the car and my sheet with my workout for the day in the office. Those were plenty of GOOD reasons for turning around and going home.

The good “gym-going” side prevailed yesterday. I stayed and did a bicep workout. I just made it up, I improvised. Guess what? I felt great afterwards and today I have some sore-@## biceps. 🙂

When did the shift take place? Hmmm, great question. I could have easily just walked out of the gym and gone home. If I could pick apart my brain and tell you what happened I would and I would study it myself so I can prevent this the next time.

I think what’s changed is something that I started to point to in yesterday’s post, having a group and changing my environment. Having a group to do exercise with is awesome from a social point of view but the real power of it is having people to be accountable to, having an environment that calls forth my health and fitness goals.  That kind of environment doesn’t  just happen automatically. It requires sharing about my fitness goals, even when they’re kind of embarrassing. If the people around aren’t open to it then find new people to share with. I started this blog as a way to have the general public and particularly the regular reader be my partners in accountability. I know that if I skip on a workout then I have to post it at the end of my post and explain what happened. I write this blog in part to inspire others and I want to be credible that means I have to be on my A-game.

Thanks Katya for bringing up this topic, I had been thinking about writing something about motivation and I got to do it much sooner now. I go through this process everyday, I am no different from you. You can begin to change your environment too, that’s where the power is because you alone with will-power will only get so far.

Are there any struggles you’ve had in maintaining your fitness routines? Did you overcome them? How did you do it?

Daily Actions, Day 9
• Logging my food intake everyday — done
• Doing my workouts and logging them everyday — done
• Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night — 7 hours last night
• Ask at least one person per day one of two questions: – done
What are your dreams? What do you like about your life? What are you grateful for?

In addition to the daily actions I will take some other miscellaneous actions:
(These won’t get a check mark until I do them later in the month, but I’m keeping them here as a reminder)
• Host a ‘Clean’ dinner party at my home once a month — Hosted 1st party Sunday 8.29
• Get a Sub Max test
• Clean two closets — done with one
• Paint bedroom walls

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2 Responses to “The Battle (with Myself)”

  1. K September 2, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    Why the questions for people about dreams, etc?

    • 40daykedge September 2, 2010 at 4:12 am #

      I have found that the first thing that people talk about is the weather or complaining about something.
      I do it too, it comfortable to talk about that stuff. The other questions are questions that don’t get asked
      much and I have found when I do ask them they can brighten someone’s day or even change the course
      of how the day was going to go for them. I want to include those types of conversations into my communities.
      If I put it on here then I am about 50 times more likely to do it.

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