Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Snowball Effect

Many of you reading this know that I enjoy exercise. As a young person, I always thought that running was something you did as punishment or if someone was chasing you. When Allison was in law school, and I was about 60 pounds overweight, I started running. At first it was hard. I didn't enjoy it, but I kept at it. I started by running a 5k. Over the next several years I continued to run several days a week and ran several more 5k races. As I lost weight and got faster I noticed something: I felt terrible on the days that I didn't run or do some other type of exercise.

As I continued my running journey, I began to run longer distances. I started with 4 miles, then 5, etc. At some point I decided to train for a half marathon and now I have completed 4. As I look back on training I can see a definite pattern: the more I ran, the more I wanted to run. I have recently see the opposite hold true in general exercise for me.

Two weeks ago I went to lunch with friends several times. I didn't work out regularly that week and made many poor food choices. At the end of the week I told Allison, "I had a terrible week eating and exercising, but next week is a new weeks." As that week started I felt myself wanting to skip the gym and go out to eat. Each time I went to the gym or ran outside it was like torture.

I truly believe that the "snowball effect" has a big impact on my exercising, good or bad. If I go to the gym often, I am excited, or at least, look forward to going. If, however, I don't go several days in a row I find myself not wanting to go. I think the obvious thing here is to continue going to the gym. What I want to figure out is how to keep the negative snowball effect from taking over if I miss a few days.

Does the snowball effect get you? How do you overcome this in your life or workout routine?

1 comment:

alison b said...

bad health and good health are both contagious...so surrounding yourself with those who will help you make good health choices is a good start.

and for me, spark has helped me physically and mentally stay focused on health this year.