(Writing from a hotel in St. Paul, MN, where I am briefly in town for my cousin’s wedding – congrats Rob and Caitlin!)
Yesterday I wrenched my back while picking up my pudgy 11 month-old daughter off the floor. Those of you who are unfortunate enough to frequent these pixels know that back in February I was stricken with a similar ailment doing the same thing. This current wrenching is not as bad – I can walk, for instance. But once again I am reminded that I am:
a) not 18
b) not in shape
And how many times over the past 10 years have I vowed to exercise, eat healthier, and get in shape? I made this vow back in February, and at least one other time over the history of this blog. How the hell do I do this? Do I need a Martin-Luther-in-a-storm kind of experience to scare the bejeezus out of me to finally change my ways? With 14 years of relatively bad habits under my belt, two little kiddos and a third on the way, and with internship and my wife’s new job approaching – how the heck do I improve?
5 thoughts on “Fitness Failure #27”
Good intentions haven’t gotten me anywhere on this problem yet either. And spiritually speaking, it is a good thing we are saved by the Grace of God, because our good intentions to Live a Better Life wouldn’t keep us on the straight and narrow path either.
The thing that has worked for me with eating is having my wife doing it too. She tried Weight Watchers a few times and it never stuck with her because I was across the table gobbling down a whole pizza. But this year she gave it another go and asked me to do it too, and it has been working for both of us (until I gained six pounds on vacation last week!).
My employer had a program earlier this year where they brought in “health coaches” to meet with anybody who was interested. I did that, and my coach said that for exercise to work I had to find something I actually looked forward to doing. Riding my bike to work has done the trick in that regard.
I’m still not 18, overweight and mostly out of shape, but I’m making progress.
A book that has helped me think about why we don’t make the changes we need to make in our lives is Change Or Die by Alan Deutschman. His contention is that often when people face a choice that is even a life or death choice, people often choose a course that lead to death, rather than change.
That sounds pretty pessimistic, but Deutschman also offers insights into how changes does happen. They include:
Developing new relationships, especially with someone or some group that can help us change.
Repetition: Acting as if we have already changed.
Reframing: Seeing the situation from a new perspective. Often that’s what others can help us do, that we can’t do for ourselves.
Although Deutschman doesn’t write from a faith perspective, I think that there are lots of connections that can be made.
There’s more in the book. I’d recommend it.
Wow. That sounds like a powerful book, and appropriate for organizations (read: churches) going through change, too. Thanks for the rec!
For me it has been the Bowflex machine. My wife and I got a used one at a pretty good bargian price. Let me tell you, the Bowflex along with healthy eating and dedication has been the trick for me. I too have had numerous failed attempts at staying in shape (and I’m not saying I won’t fail again) but I’m just so sick-and-tired of being out of shape that I’m ready stick with it this time around.
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