Monday, December 6, 2010

Affirmations or Askfirmations?

I've been reading a lot about stair climbing in the last 48 hours, since I decided to do The Big Climb March 20, 2011. Setting this as a goal, with a weight loss goal of 20 pounds by the time of event seems to have really motivated me. When I want to eat something not on plan, I think about climbing those stairs (like those chocolate truffles someone brought in to work today).

It turns out stair climbing is quite a competitive sport. Who knew? I certainly had no idea.

During my research on how to train (the StairMaster alone isn't go to be anywhere near enough - I have to do real stairs), I came across a very interesting article.

The article is Which is Better: Affirmations or “Askfirmations?” by PJ Glassey, but this is the excerpt that really caught my attention:
Is there a better way?

I am always on the hunt to reduce the need for willpower, because I firmly believe that achieving true fitness doesn’t have to be a battle. This is why I was so excited to read the research study by Dolores Albarracin, published in Psychological Science, April 2010, Volume 21, Number 4. She discovered that phrasing affirmations as a question instead of a statement drastically increased success! When people asked - “Am I going to exercise today?” instead of saying “I will exercise today.” – They were much more likely to follow through.

She found that framing the desired outcome as a question presented a challenge to the person -instead of a requirement that they might rebel against. By asking themselves a question, people were more likely to build their own motivation. The results of this experiment showed that participants not only did better as a result of the question, but that asking themselves a question did indeed increase their intrinsic motivation.

I really like this idea. There's rarely a morning that goes by where I don't have an argument with myself about going to the gym. It's a battle that usually I give up fighting it and just go, but I wonder if it might be easier if I try this approach that PJ talks about. Tomorrow morning I'm going to give it a try.

My food has been pretty good the last couple of days. Although I can't get over the zero Point fruit. It seems that I was spending a lot of my Points on fruit, as well as Points on vegetables because I never ate a 1/2 cup serving of any vegetable (and there were Points in vegetables if you ate more than a minimal sized serving).

Now that I don't have to do that I feel like I have a lot of Points available. I honestly don't know how this is going to work but I'm going to give it a try. I believe Weight Watchers knows what they're doing, but this one seems a little bit too lenient to me. I guess the proof will be in Saturday's weigh in.


MizFit said...

very very very interesting. It makes a ton of sense as well that the question more stimulates the intrinsic motivation...

Helen said...

I'll add another word to your question. "When" is the word I usually put prior to asking myself. Somehow, especially on weekends when my schedule has a bit more leeway, it helps me figure it all out and work it in - happily.

Back in the "selections" days of WW, fruit was limited to 3 pieces a day, but all vegetables were "free" except, corn, peas, potatoes, and winter squash. They felt a person would become full from fiber before they would overdo it on spinach or green beans. As a leader back then I never had anyone gain and then complain that they'd eaten too many veggies!

Roxie said...

What an interesting concept and it came along at just the right time. Thank you for posting this, Diana. I'm in some sort of rebellion against exercise right now, so I could use some reframing.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

bbubblyb said...

I say tell yourself what works best. For me just saying I'm doing it seems to work. I find when I ask myself or say maybe it doesn't always happen. I think it's just the person and what they feel they need to tell themselves. That's great you are finding you have points to spare. I'm guessing Saturday will be a good weigh-in for you.