Be a Lazy Bones (or at least Make it Easier for Yourself)
By Shauna Reid, aka Dietgirl
There is a tub of ice cream in the freezer and it's been there since Christmas. I can't begin to tell you what a miracle that is.
I must confess I've got a bit of a problem with ice cream. While I've moved on from the bad old days of eating a whole tub in one sitting, ice cream remains the one food I rarely keep in the house. I can live amongst bread and booze and even chocolate bars, but ice cream has a siren song that I find hard to ignore.
So what's changed now? Have I suddenly developed an iron will or amazing Jedi mind powers when it comes to weight loss maintenance?
Nope. It's because the freezer is in the garage.
Late last year my husband and I bought our first home. In addition to four walls and decades of debt, we scored a bonus freezer. It's ancient and rusty but works fine now that I’ve scrubbed away the mould and defrosted peas. It was too big to fit in the kitchen so we had to leave it in the garage.
This means the ice cream is quite literally locked away. And I'm too lazy to fetch it.
Some nights it does tempt me...
Ooh I quite fancy some of that ice cream.
But that means I'll have to go outside. It's cold out there!
And I'll have to find some shoes. Where the heck did I put my shoes?
And where are the garage keys?
Even so then I'd have to bring the ice cream inside to dish it out then take it back outside again.
UNLESS... I could take the bowl and spoon with me!
Then again, it really does look cold out there.
Sod it. I'll just make a cup of tea.
... but in the battle of Sloth versus Gluttony, it's Sloth that usually wins!
I have a long history of laziness. It was my only form of rebellion against an endless list of childhood chores. One winter I had the brilliant revelation that I only needed to iron the collar of my school shirts, because that's all you'd see once I put on my jumper. I got away with this for a whole month until Mum opened my wardrobe and saw the dangling un-ironed sleeves. She lectured me for a whole hour. After that I made sure I ironed the collar and one sleeve.
The ice cream and the school shirt made me think about how much weight loss and maintenance is all about knowing yourself. If you want to make lifelong changes you have to work with your personality, not against it. If you know your little weaknesses you can outwit them... and even embrace them.
If you have lazy tendencies like me, this means employing tricks to persuade yourself to be healthy. Like laying out your workout clothes in the evening to minimise resistance in the morning. Sometimes I just wear the workout clothes to bed. I make sure the water bottle is filled, the DVD is beside the computer and the shoes are waiting for my feet slide inside them. It's so simple that my excuses just can't cut it. It also helps to keep the session short, which is why I love efficient torture of interval training. I found an audio workout called Cardio Coach in which a bloke with a very nice voice tells you exactly what to do. It's easy to bribe myself: "C'mon! It's only 20 minutes and he has a sexy voice!"
Another of my lesser qualities is Envy. I hate being left behind in the dust by my peers. For example, recently I went through a Lazy patch with kickboxing and missed heaps of sessions. After awhile I was tortured by the thought of my friends scoring higher than me at our next grading session because I'd let myself get all doughy and weak. The Envy kicked in and I was back at training in a jiffy!
Jealousy, ice cream in the garage and sports socks in bed. Maybe they're not the most classy ways to get motivated... but you have do what works for you, right?
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