What do you say to yourself?

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my bodybugg? I also have the display device which, when I originally got it, didn't think it was that useful. After all, I uploaded my information on a pretty consistent basis – twice or three times a day. Since it doesn't take that long to upload the data from the armband, it was really easy for me to keep track of the number of calories I was burning.

Well, once I got the digital display, I realized that I didn't need to update as often as I had been doing, because the digital display allows me to see almost real time how many calories I'm burning.

Yes, Exactly! It allows me to be even more anal retentive than I had been before!

So anyway, I recently set a goal to burn 100 calories per hour, or 2400 calories per day. I burn I calorie per minute being inactive, or sleeping, so I just need to move a little bit each hour to fit in those 40 extra calories per hour. When I wake up in the morning, I'm already behind, so I need to make up for those lost calorie hours.

That means that I need to do cardiovascular exercise. I could do strength training, which I do, but strength training alone will not help me succeed in my current goal. Depending on my schedule, I try to be "up" 300 calories by the time I finish my workout, and like to have burned 2000 by 6:00pm. This allows me to slow down in the evening, be a couch potato & relax a bit before bed time.

I typically try to schedule some time in during the day for me to run or exercise on an elliptical, but yesterday when I looked at my schedule for today, I knew that I wouldn't want to workout after my appointments, and I'd blow it off. Therefore, I decided that I would wake up extra early & run before my 7:15 am appointment. I knew that I wouldn't want to do that either, but to me it seemed like the lesser of the two evils.

So this is the conversation that I had with myself this morning at 5:10:

"Time to get up and out of bed."

"But I don't feel like getting out of bed. I'll press the snooze & rest here for a few more minutes."

"You know, I could just reset the alarm for about an hour later & workout after my last appointment."

"Yes, I could do that, but then I'd be mad at myself for not getting up & getting it over-with."

"Well, I could blow off exercise all together today. I've been really good lately."

"Yes, but then I wouldn't meet my goal of 2400."

"That's true, and if I exercise later, I'll end up doing it on a machine because it will be too hot for me to run outside.If I use a machine, I'll have to exercise longer because I burn fewer calories on the machine than I do running, and after running on a treadmill all summer, I'm burned out on treadmills.I don't want to exercise in doors today."

"Okay – I'm up."

As a result of this conversation that I had with myself, I had one of the best runs that I've had recently. I didn't use my iPod since I was running in the dark; I wanted to be aware of everything around me. Since I didn't have my iPod, the run was much more meditative and cathartic. I didn't have anything to distract me from my thoughts & as a result I was able to process a lot of information.

Although the iPod is a nice distraction, I didn't realize how much of a distraction it was. Running this morning in the dark was quiet. Just my breath, my footsteps, and my thoughts.

It was a great run & I'm REALLY glad that I did it.

So this brings up a few points about exercise adherence: 1)The power of Self-Talk, and 2) The power of Goals.

The entire reason that I wrote this post was because on my run, I was thinking about my self-talk when I was laying there in bed. You can easily see where I could have convinced myself that I should just stay in bed. It would have been an easy sell – and there are days when my body is fatigued, and I really just don't feel like doing it. Those days are the exception, and I typically don't feel guilty about it. I don't ever remember a day when I exercised and regretted it.

What's really interesting to me here is how I talked myself into it. It was my goal.

I am constantly setting small goals for myself. It keeps me on task. Right now my goal is to burn 2400 calories on most days, but soon I'll set a different goal. Maybe it will be running faster, or being able to do unassisted pull-ups, but whatever it is, goals keep me engaged in my exercise routine. They keep me inspired to keep exercising.

If I didn't have the goal of burning 2400 calories, I probably wouldn't have gotten up at 5:10 this morning to run in the dark. I therefore would have missed out on a really great experience.

Copyright Elizabeth Sherman. Purchase a Bodybugg through Elizabeth Sherman.