You know those days when you’re just itching to get to the gym and get in a great workout? (Pretend. Work with me, here.) Well, last night wasn’t one of them. So, I bought a two liter of Vernor’s Ginger Ale, a pint of Phish Food, a bag of kettle corn and I settled onto the couch to watch my very own Timothy Olyphant film festival.
Okay, no, I didn’t.
I went to the gym anyway and did my full workout. I didn’t want to; but, I put on my big girl panties and got it done. Why? Because I’ve made a commitment to myself and I’m not going to cheat with Phish Food and Timothy Olyphant. (Okay, maybe him, but not the ice cream.) I’m working too hard at removing these last pounds to derail myself with a sugar coma of Biblical proportions, which would be the result of that menu, I can assure you.
Parenting is easier on days when we’re in a good mood, our children are behaving like humans and we don’t get stuck in traffic behind either a bus or a garbage truck. Likewise, dieting is easier on days when we aren’t at the mercy of hormone cravings, when the beautiful weather inspires a long walk, and our schedules have plenty of time for a workout. The occurrences of those kinds of days are roughly equivalent and may coincide with blue moons. The real world just doesn’t operate like that most of the time.
I was tired from work, stressed over a million things, had chores at home and just didn’t feel like it. I felt like my cousin’s daughter who simply refused to get dressed for school yesterday. Had I been that toddler, I’d have stared defiantly and said, “IDonWanna.” Well, IDonWanna ain’t gonna get me back into my cute skirts, now, is it? IDonWanna isn’t going to get me to my goals or do me any favors. All it’s going to do is inspire guilt and crank up those nasty, old, unhealthy recordings again.
For me, it’s easier to fight the Inner Toddler if I have some kind of routine. I don’t make it to the gym at the same time every night, but I try to get close. And I’m establishing the habit of going every weekday. If I go only on alternating days, I will find reasons not to go – laundry, dishes, navel gazing. Maybe you can go on alternating days and, if that works for you, go for it! In the oddest things, though, I prefer uniformity and one of those things is in my schedule. I like some kind of pattern and predictability. It allows me to get into a groove that can become a habit that I can keep.
Building those habits helps motivate me on days when the Inner Toddler is running amok. The pattern and routine help keep me on track when, like Hays, I really just donwanna.