Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Set Up

I’ve said this before, but I think this healthy living thing is less about self control and discipline and more about creating supportive environments. The dark side of all of this healthy living is that the root of it is fear. Fear of going into a diabetic coma. Fear of losing my eyesight. Fear of amputating a limb. For all of my rah-rahing, that’s the underbelly of this.

One of the things I am most afraid of is deviating from the routine. Since I got diagnosis, I’ve been lucky not to have to travel for work. That is coming up and it scares me to death. I am scared that any deviation from my routine of eating and exercise and the wheels fall off completely. That’s been the case all of my life. I would have three weeks of healthy living and I get injured, work gets crazy or I get sick and I just stop. Stop working out. Stop eating right. Just stop.

This is my exercise routine:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Running for 4.5 miles at a 9 minute mile pace

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Strength training and running up the stairs after breakfast and lunch

Tennis or do nothing

I’ve been really happy that I’ve had hiccups in these six weeks and just continued on. First I had a case of tendinitis where I couldn’t put weight on my foot. I skipped a day of running and substituted with a spinning class. I also did an extra set of weights. Two days later, I was back to running. I got the stomach flu last week and had to miss a day of running. Once I got better, I just started up again.

Tonight is my running night but I have a meeting for a board I am on. I ran this morning instead. That act was not simple. It wasn’t about forcing me to do it. It was about setting me up to do it. I didn’t decide to do it. I had to make sure I took my meds, packed my workout clothes, and get to bed early. The getting out of bed and working out is the easy part.

For me, taking the whole idea of discipline and control out of the equation has been invaluable. It’s a whole lot easier to exercise discipline and control when you’ve got the house on your side. That includes grocery shopping after you eat and going to the grocery store with a list. That includes going to restaurants where you know you’ve got options that aren’t just steamed vegetables. That includes having a measuring cup out to measure a realistic portion of cereal, crackers, and ice cream. I’ve been lucky to have the house on my side from the get go.

1 comment:

Stef said...

This is a great post, and I really value your perspective on learning how to set yourself up for success. I need to work on that.

Just fyi, I'm probably mostly offline between now and Sunday, and don't know if I'll have time to post. My parents are visiting, and they're go-go-go types. The good news is I'll be getting a lot of walking in as we play cultural tourists. I'll be back up to speed and promise to post more after they go home on Sunday.