Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good.

This handy piece of wisdom brought to us by Voltaire.

It really sums up the purpose of my journey. For so many years I let the Perfect control my every move, and tell me that Good just wasn't quite good enough. If I couldn't eat Perfectly, then why try at all? If I don't have a full hour to exercise, what's the point?

The point is, you can make an imperfect food choice, or have a bad meal, or even a bad week - and recover from it. Each new choice is an opportunity to get back on track. Obviously, the sooner the good choices take over, the less damage is done.

It goes against my nature to believe that I can accomplish a thorough workout in under half an hour. My rational side knows that it can be done in smaller increments, however the perfectionist, buying-in-to-all-the-hype side of me screams, "Thirty minutes or nothin'!!" However, these 10 minute trainer workouts are reinforcing my belief in the Good. The cool thing about these, I am finding, is that I don't defeat myself before I even start, like I do with other types of workouts. Here's how the thought process goes (grab a crayon and follow along):
  • "I've worked 12 hours. I'm tired. Let's go see what's on the DVR."
  • "But, look! If you only do the mandatory workout it's only 10 minutes out of our day. The couch and DVR will still be there in 10 minutes."
  • "Ok. I'll just do the one."

~ 10 minutes later ~

  • "Huh. That wasn't so bad."
  • "I'm all warmed up now. I'm already dressed for it and kinda sweaty - I should just bang out another one."

~ 10 minutes later ~

  • "Whew! I'm pumped up and a little tired. But only 10 minutes more and I can say I did all the workouts for today."

~ 10 minutes later ~

  • "Is there anything better than a hot bubble bath/DVR'ed shows/cuddling with the dog/sprawling out on the couch/insert favorite downtime activity/?"

So, how about that? I fooled myself into doing a 30 minute workout when I didn't even want to do 10. I find I have to do that quite a bit. Dupe myself into getting started, then the rest takes care of itself.

The other nice thing about these workouts is that if I ever get my butt out of bed early before work, and I only have 10 extra minutes, guess what? I have time to knock out a workout. And if I have a hella day at work, I've already gotten my mandatory workout in for the day. More often than not, though, I can bluff myself into getting at least one more workout in after work, using the ol' "it's only 10 minutes" ploy.

It might seem funny, the mind game I have to run on myself to get myself to do a simple thing like exercise. I don't mind, though. It's a little victory for me, each time Good can flip Perfect the bird.

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