accountability

I’m trying to walk to and from school, which if I did both legs, would be six miles of an efficient combination of cardio + commute at least three times a week. It is all I can do to resist buying a donut on the way to school or a double ice cream cone on the way home.  There must be a better way.  I am too poor grad student to afford Jeremy’s economic incentive approach to gold star-ing his workout goals, but there has to be a way to stay accountable other than relying on my own discipline.

5 thoughts on “accountability”

  1. For a while I was walking about 2 miles to the bus stop and then riding the bus into downtown to go to work. From my apartment to the bus stop there wasn’t much temptation BUT it was a long walk. To kill the time I would read the daily alternative newspaper and listen to my mp3 player…You might be able to use the same idea just “blind” yourself from the doughnuts and ice cream…

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  2. Does it have to be so much pressure on yourself here, belle? Either 6 miles or nothing? How about starting with doing the walking commute once or twice a week and just being satisfied that + is more than 0? And then go from there.

    My sense is that the JF way of doing things works for the mindful and the obsessive (the latter of which also appeals to my own personality), but as a side effect creates a weird self-pressure. I say don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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  3. I’m happy when I do just one leg of the walk, which is still a healthy 3 miles. I tend to dilly dally in the morning, when it’s the coolest and I’m the least tired, so whoops, I suddenly don’t have enough time to walk to school, and look the bus is right there. In the evening, I have to fight that feeling of tiredness and resist walking on the bus. Six miles is the ideal, yes, but I’d be happy with three! But you’re right. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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  4. a suggestion, if it helps (I trained for a 40 mile breast cancer walk this spring – lots of hours of what-to-do?) – NPR podcasts, downloadable for free. Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, This American Life, The Splendid Table, etc turned the walks into treats.

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  5. It’s worth noting that in the psych literature, there is considerable support for the notion that willpower is a depletable resource. Depriving yourself of too many things for too long often leads to binging. Therefore, maybe it’s OK to walk only one leg or to have a treat from time to time. Compromise or else you may pay for it later.

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