Monday, April 18, 2016

A strategy for continuity

I have been on my new workout routine for 78 days.  Throughout that period I have alternated doing cardio one day, weights the next.  I average about an hour per day in the gym.  My consistency has been really good so far, but this weekend I hit a real bump because I got sick for the first time during my routine.

On Friday I wasn't feeling super and I had Elli and her friend around so it didn't seem right to wander off to work out - I think other parents kind of expect me to be around when I have their kid at my place.  So on Saturday I did a double workout and did two days worth of stuff.  On Sunday I was feeling sick, even more so, and had a time crunch again so I missed my workout again.  Today I missed my volunteering at the chess club at school and spent a lot of the day in bed because I was feeling terrible but when evening rolled around I popped a cold pill and hauled my ass into the gym to do a double up again to get back on track.

I felt those weird fever shivers rolling along my body while I was on the elliptical machine.  I figure if my body is fighting by making me hot, I might as well help by doing a bunch of work to get my temperature up anyway, right?

Other people seem to think this level of dedication is weird.  Everyone tells me that I am allowed to skip a day, that there is nothing wrong with just starting up again once I am well.

I do not buy it.

I need to be completely dedicated to the cause.  If I just give up and don't do it when it gets hard, I will abandon the effort completely.  I know myself in this regard.  I need to do a thing fully, or not do it at all.  Halfassed life changes that I don't stick to religiously don't work for me.

I have done this before, back in 2002 when I decided to go on my one treat a day plan for eating.  I sometimes go over and eat multiple treats a day, but I skip days afterwords to make up for it.  I have been on that program now for more then 14 years and it has stuck, and been really effective.

Other people don't do this.  They give themselves passes to eat lots of candy at Hallowe'en or skip the workout when they are sick.  I think for the great majority that is the only way they can stick to a program.  They need that flexibility built in.  I am the opposite because I need to not have any flexibility built in.  Rules.  Absolute, unbending, and without any give.  These are what keep me on track.

It makes me wonder why I am this way.  It isn't something where I can pick out good reasons for it, and I don't have a story from my childhood that justifies my behaviour.  I just know it works, and I know that everyone thinks I am a weirdo when they hear about how picky I am about it.  In my head it is the only thing that makes sense and everyone else is nuts, but obviously I think that about all kinds of things so this isn't anything new.


  1. It's the only thing that works for me, too. I was able to blog every day for years because I told myself I had to do it. As soon as I felt it was ok to skip days I would go months between posts.

  2. Thank goodness there's no story from your childhood for this one. I'm off the hook. :)