I really enjoyed Dean Anderson's "A Solution-Focused Approach to Weight Loss" article, and decided to reflect on it in my blog so I can start putting the techniques to work. A link to the article is attached.
Anderson suggested to look for the exception that proves the rule. In other words, think about the time when you were successful combating your problem, and figure out what was different that time.
I have not been working out lately. For nearly 3 months, actually, is what I mean by "lately." Over the summer I gained 10 pounds, after having kicked a whole bunch of ass and gotten below 120 pounds for the first time in 10 years. So, that was disappointing. But for some reason, I could not get myself out there. I stopped going to pilates (wasting a ton of money on my studio membership by not attending) and stopped running. I forced myself to do the triathlon I'd signed up for, and was miserable to the nth degree when I crawled past the finish line. So...what works? When do I actually manage to workout?
Working out doesn't necessarily have to do with how busy I am, but I've found when I'm busier with "sit down" stuff--like schoolwork and novel writing--that I tend to shirk off active stuff more than when I was busy with work stuff. It's hard for me to pull out of my brain/thinky mode and into active mode when my lifestyle is more centered around my computer screen. In the summer, it was so nice to sit down with a glass of white wine and write out on the deck... And now, with student teaching and my job, I have much less actual time to be active and also have the double whammy of being involved in sedentary activities. Therefore, it seems easier to make the right choice when the lifestyle I'm creating outside of fitness is more active.
Success also begets success. When working out has become habitual, that's when it builds on itself and I continue to do it more often. Why would i get up and run outside before, when I won't now? Because I had been in the habit of doing it everyday. Also, I didn't have that calf injury which never seemed to fully heal. And it was light outside for much longer, so I had more time. I'd thought I would run in the mornings, but it is pitch black at 5:00 a.m. and I am a wuss. Even so, these are all excuses that I wasn't making then. Why? I think it boils down to routine, which means assumption. I assumed I would go to pilates nearly everyday, and that I would be running or doing some other form of cardio regularly. I don't have those assumptions when I fail. In fact, I have other assumptions. Like that I will think about doing it, but I won't actually do it.
Before, when I was thinking about running and I would actually do it, I thought about how it was enjoyable. I would think about logging it in my strava, seeing how I had improved, and how fun it would be to listen to my headphones as I ran. Now I think about how much it's going to suck getting back out there, how heavy my legs will feel, how the jiggling will discourage me, and that my calf will probably start hurting worse. I'm focusing on the negative.
So it looks like I need to change my perspective and see fitness and moving around as my life, not as something I do. My sit-down stuff can be what I do. My active stuff is how I live. I also need to start focusing on how great my workout will feel--even the tiniest minute or two that it actually feels good to run--rather than how much it is going to suck. I can also focus on how good I will feel afterwards.