Breaking Habits #1: Become a Morning Runner (again)

Now that I’m stepping up my running-fitness, weight-loss, clear eyes/full hearts/can’t lose game…

… I’ve begun to revisit the healthy living blogs that I once obsessed over. Reading about other bloggers who discovered running, lost weight, got in shape, struggled, failed, then got back out there and got after it again was really inspirational to me. Until it wasn’t.

So I stopped reading most of them, and only read some as a hate-read. <– That’s not very nice to say, but it’s the truth.

Lately, I’ve gone back to some familiar favorites and I’m glad I did. More often than not, we appear to be on the same page. For instance, like Coffeecake and Cardio, I also feel:

…on top of the world when I start a new program, have an epiphany or establish a new goal. I am deliberate about sticking to my plan and because of that, I feel true freedom from the things that have held me back in the past. A few days later, reality starts to set in and the things that have held me back in the past start to resurface.

I’m trying to combat this with deliberately addressing each roadblock and finding ways to correct the behavior. After I identify and fix it, I’ll move on to another roadblock. Identify, analyse, fix and move on. That’s the game plan.

Habit #1: Become a morning runner again.

And, like manna from heaven (is that a thing?), over on & ella said, it’s like she read my mind and posted some knowledge on how to become the morning runner I used to be:

BRIBE YOURSELF. Okay, can we be real for a second? Because I am not above doing this. In fact, I live for this. (Pavlov proved it works, so who am I to argue with science?) My usual mantra is that if I work out in the morning, I get to buy myself that king of waaayyyy overpriced morning beverages: the iced coffee. If I run in the morning (rather than cross train or go to yoga, because for whatever reason, it’s always the more daunting to talk myself into) I get to buy iced coffee and a muffin. Or a scone. Or some other form of baked good. Because calories can be damned, and I am no longer running to “get skinny.” I run so I can eat. So there.

PACK THE NIGHT BEFORE. Yes, this is so fifth grade goodie goodie and/or responsible traveler, but it works. I pack my lunch. I lay out my running clothes. I pick my outfit. I throw my keys and my iPod band and my headphones into a pile. Because at 5 in the morning, I will want to put absolutely less than no mental thought into anything, and this lets me at least be lazy in that respect.

HYPE YOURSELF UP. Blast Yeezy in your ears. Keep coffee concentrate in the fridge and take a shot right before you get out the door. (LOL, Daddy North lyric, see what I did there?) Bounce around like a fool on the sidewalk while you wait for your watch to sync with the satellite. Tell your cat there’s a new law that makes it illegal to feed her until you’re back from your run. Just make sure you at least get out the front door.

PICK A ROUTE YOU LIKE. Or at least, a route you don’t dread with every fiber in your body. One of the easiest routes by my apartment also culminates in an obscenely steep uphill climb to get back home – and no matter how good those 50 yards are for me, I don’t like it. And so instead I’ll go to Central Park, which I do like. I’ll save the challenging runs for the weekend or for weeknights when I need to let off steam.

REMEMBER THE GOOD YOU’RE DOING FOR YOURSELF, because running in the morning means you get to be alone with your thoughts. (And by thoughts, I mean Beyonce’s greatest hits.)

First off – I’d have to substitute Beyonce with Lady Gaga, but otherwise… thanks for drafting my game plan, Ella! Secondly – isn’t her image hilariously appropriate:

Moral of the story: The internet is a wonderful thing. Embrace it and let it help you achieve the goals you set.

What’s a habit you’re trying to break? How have you tried to tackle it?

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