The black dog in me would much rather stay in bed, or on the lounge watching telly, or doing anything other than exercise. I would much rather eat whatever I feel like, than what I need. I like to sit and think through this idea of exercise again – maybe I need a rest day.
The battle is between my I-don’t-feel-like-it side and my just-do-it side. It’s the old black dog and white dog scenario. One will starve, and the other will thrive depending on which attitude I feed. Either way will involve some sort of pain.
I know all this. I know I just have to do it. And knowing me, I have also identified a few things that really help to feed the white dog and stay in the just-do-it place:
- A trick I learnt from my friend, PR, is to make a deal with myself – I’ll just do 10 minutes of exercise and then I’ll decide whether or not to continue, and I can stop if I want to.
- Social support. Knowing I have a friend who will ask about my goals and how I’m going is a gentle accountability that helps keep me on track.
- Meeting someone else for a walk and coffee, means I will be there regardless of how I feel. If it was just up to me, I would let myself down, but not someone else.
- Remind myself of my values and goals. Why am I doing this? Feed the white dog.
- Remind myself that never once – not once – have I ever regretted exercise and thought to myself, “I wish I didn’t just do that. I wish I’d stayed on the lounge.” On the contrary, there have been heaps of times that I felt like staying on the lounge, but reluctantly went for a walk and within 5 minutes of filling my lungs with air and moving, then I was very glad I did it.
- Keep success stories close by – read magazines, books, blogs and watch TV shows where people are feeding their white dogs. Their attitudes are transferable.
- Just do it. Stop thinking, justifying, making excuses. That’s feeding the black dog. JFDI!
Success is a great motivator for me. A little bit of weight loss only spurs me on to keep doing whatever it takes to get more of the same. This is a powerful lever to get my butt off the lounge.
What feeds your white dog and the just-do-it theme? Do you have more ideas about how to keep yourself on track? Click ‘comments’ and tell us what they are so we can all benefit.
Note: this blog has been a response to a topic request from one of you guys! So keep em coming!