Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Think My Elephant Is Sitting On My Rider!!

I have been a member of LifeTime Fitness since 2001 - I believe I joined in October.  That means, I have been a member of LTF for 9 years - or 108 months.  Of those 108 months, I have probably had about 10 months where I have actually used the gym 10 times or more.  This is an absolutely ridiculous/unacceptable statistic.  For the remaining 98 months I have basically written off my gym membership fee as a "Fat Tax" (shout out to comedian Christian Finnegan for providing me with that term).

I have always attributed my inability to motivate to get to the gym to my own laziness.  I was reading an article in my LTF magazine (they send them out to members bi-monthly) which shed a little light on this very issue!  There are brothers - Chip Heath and Dan Heath, who have written a book titled Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.  They break down how our brains work.  I'm not going to cover all of their points - you can read the entire article here.  Basically, it says we have an emotional portion of our brain (the elephant) and the rational side (it's rider).  The elephant tends to take the short-term goal (eating ice cream/pizza/french fries/insert your fave food here), and it is the rider's objective to keep the elephant on track long enough to get to the long-term goal (health & fitness).  For example - your rider wants to get up early and go to the gym, because it will help your overall goal.  Your elephant wants to stay in bed because it is dark outside, and it is warm in your bed.  (guess who typically wins in my world?)  Here are some additional examples - your rider has fallen victim to your elephant when the following take place: you sleep in, you overeat, you dial up your ex at midnight, you procrastinate, you tried to quit smoking and failed, you skipped the gym, you've gotten angry and said something you regret, and so on.  

By allowing myself to be billed for the gym, and not taking advantage of using it, I was letting my poor rider get taken advantage of by my stupid elephant!!  I am also 98% sure my elephant and Remus are one in the same!

Your rider provides the planning & direction, your elephant provides the passion and the sustained energy.  Is it foolish and hopeful to think I may have successfully gotten my rider and my elephant working toward a common goal - me getting healthy and in shape?!?  It says that what looks like resistance is often lack of clarity - so I am being very specific.  I have to go to the gym 5 times a week and do a minimum of 45 minutes of cardio each time.  I have to lift weights 5 times per week, rotating through my various routines of torture from YC.  I will eat 1800 calories a day, a minimum of 5 times per week.  (I figured I need to be somewhat realistic if I don't want to just set myself up to be run over by my elephant, again)   It is time to take away some of Remus' power - he's kind of a misogynist, and the power is just going to his head!

What things does your elephant talk you into? 

1 comment:

  1. YEA!! Go Sister go!! Tell that elephant to F**K OFF!!


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