Back in the Saddle Again

February 5, 2010

Okay kids, I’m back.

I started working with a nutritionist and it turns out, what I’m eating is really pretty much okay. I’ve made a few slight changes and I’m still working on upping my veggie intake in winter-bound island-nation living here in Denmark. But otherwise, fairly well balanced. … Provided I don’t completely sugar binge in the afternoon. I’ve gotten some magical traction on this lately, which I think has to do with drinking a bunch of water first thing in the morning. Regardless, the point is …

Really, it’s all about the exercise. I’ve got to be more consistent with the exercise.

I can’t focus on food, vitamins, and exercise all at the same time. I’ve got the vitamin thing pretty well done. (I just forget the nighttime ones sometimes.) I did this by making it a ritual. I already was in the habit of thinking of making tea as a ritual. And my New Year’s Resolution was to drink more water and green tea, and waaaaay less diet cola. So I’ve made this Kitchen Ritual and it’s working pretty well:

Kitchen Ritual
Step into the kitchen
Make up Emergen-C
Take vitamin tablets (in a daily case thingy), tincture, clay
Fill up water bottle
Make a thermos of green tea.
Carry these to my desk….where a napkin, tea cup/saucer, tiny spoon and honey are already waiting.

Now I’m trying to create a linchpin that will connect that already established routine to my workout routine. But I think it needs to start WAY before the Kitchen Ritual. Because the Kitchen Ritual starts about 2 hours into my day. And by then my monkey-mind has already talked me into doing any number of other things.

So..I’m gonna Twyla Tharp it.

The Bliss Chick has been writing about how she accidentally Pavloved herself into a wonderful writing habit.  Then she extrapolated from there to write about how she wants to Pavlov herself into ballet/yoga everyday.  In the second post she talks about Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life and how in that book Twyla says that the ritual of her 2 hour daily workout isn’t getting her gear on, or stepping onto the treadmill. It starts the moment she hails the cab.

I’m starting my ritual too late. I’ve got to start it first thing. FIRST THING. So…For 30 days, every morning when I wake up I will immediately put on my workout clothes. This means my ritual has already begun.  In fact, I’m going to say that to myself when I pull on the clothes I need to go to the gym. (Which right now means long johns, socks to my knees, sweat pants, exercise top, tshirt, sweatshirt. Geez.) THEN and only then will I do the rest of my whole morning ritual which looks like this:

Twyla Tharp It: the ritual has begun.
Morning Cuddle: connection time with the girls
The Military Precision Hour: breakfast for the kids, pack lunches, fill water bottles, send kids off.
Nap Time: an extra hour of sleep for this insomniac living in the deep Winter north.
Kitchen Ritual: water, tea, vitamins as described above.
Breakfast with Vincent: I read about VanGogh or write to him in my journal while I eat breakfast.

Also, I’ve already established what  exercise I do on what day (provided I make it to that point. Which, now I will, because the ritual will have already begun. And I am waaaaay too witch-y to interrupt a ritual already in progress.) My Exercise Schedule is:

Mondays: TanWalk (it’s my special invention)
Tuesday: Weights/treadmill
Wednesday: Pool
Thursday: Yoga/Choir Walk (40 min)
Friday: Pool
Saturday: Weights/Tredmill (after 2pm)
Sunday: Pool or Weights/Tredmill (after 2pm)

I had been giving myself one day off so I can see people in real life, and one day off on the weekend. But for 30 days, for Pavlov’s sake, I’m going to workout every day. (My workouts are not that strenuous.) So on days with morning appointments (not more than one a week) my Emergency Back-Up Workout Plan is a quick 25 minutes of pilates or 45 minutes of yoga on DVD.

Do you want to join me? 30 Days to Pavlov: The Exercise Version. Here’s what to do:

1. Find your Linchpin. What will connect your new habit to an already established habit.
2. Twyla Tharp It: What will be the thing that signals your ritual has already started.
3. Back Up Plan: What will your back up plan be if you can’t get to your gym/class/yoga studio?

I think if you’ve got that down, you’re ready to go. Sign up (you know I love a good sign-up) and let us know what the answers are to these questions in the comments. I’ll see you in 30 days (0r sooner for a mid-month check in if I can get organized enough). Oh, and by the way, feel free to start your 30 days anytime. You probably need a day to think this through. It’s okay. I’ll still cheer you on.

Love to you bubs!