#HAWMC Day 4.
I’ve finished a few chapters of The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. His website has a good explanation of how habits work. Charles says there is a habit loop: cue, routine and reward. He suggest four steps in changing a habit –
- Identify the routine.
- Experiment with rewards.
- Isolate the cue.
- Have a plan.
In Day 1 of #HAWMC, I posted a cropped picture of myself. Here’s the full picture with my Pilates instructor Wina.
I’ve been taking twice-weekly Pilates classes with Wina since June 2013. This picture was taken as a memento of our time together, as she is moving on to teach Pilates overseas. I will certainly miss her but I will continue with my Pilates – it has become a habit!
In the beginning, I had to carve out a protected time for my Pilates classes – Tuesday and Saturday afternoons. These were my “free” periods, when I neither had classes nor clinics. I resisted the temptation to schedule other things (i.e. meetings) on my Pilates time slot – until it became routine. These afternoons ceased to be “free” time, it had become my Pilates time.
I had wanted to take Pilates classes for awhile but couldn’t find a convenient studio. When a studio opened near my house, I jumped at the chance.
I’ve had an S-curve scoliosis since I was 13. I wore a Milwaukee-Yamamoto back brace for five years, until I was 18. I was advised to swim regularly but I couldn’t, given the time constraints of medical school, then residency and fellowship. Aside from needing to hide my back hump with loose-fitting dresses, I basically forgot about my scoliosis. Until I gave birth. I suffered debilitating back pain after my two pregnancies and had to undergo physical therapy postpartum. Of course, I stopped these sessions when the back pain resolved.
Until I found Pilates. I wish I had started sooner.
What was my reward? I stand taller. I’m able to wear clothes in styles that wouldn’t have been possible before. I’ve developed a body awareness that warns me when I start slouching at my desk. I rarely suffer from back pain. I feel more limber.
What next? I want to be able to do Pilates exercises on my own – on days when I don’t have sessions at the studio. I bought a Pilates circle. I have a stability ball. I have small hand weights and exercise bands. I have books. I don’t use these!
Like Charles says, it starts with the cue. I’m going to have to start working on that!