Today at our Weight Watchers meeting we talked about the idea of piggybacking to establish beneficial habits more quickly. Here is a simple example. You need to take medication each day which is an established habit. However, you want to also institute the beneficial habit of drinking sixty-four ounces of water. A way to establish the new habit it to place a water bottle next to your pill container. Presto! Now you have a ready-made container with the right amount of water next to your pill box. You need to wash down the pills and in so doing start on drinking the water you need for the day!
I established these habits in losing 150 pounds in just over a year. You can read more about that journey and the Power of Habit in this previous blog Fat to Fit Again! The Power of Habit. Now with the weight off my body, I turned to heal my soul. My physical transformation healed my body, but my soul was still suffering. I was still at times a curmudgeon and my peace of mind though better could still get rattled. So, I decided to piggyback some new soul habits with some of my firmly established body habits. Here are five of the body and soul habit combos that I do on a daily and weekly basis. My habits will have a Catholic Christian flavor, but you can adopt for your own faith practice.
- New Saturday Texas Three Step. I wrote about my initial Texas two-step habit in this blog.The Saturday Texas Two Step! Two years ago, my parish established Saturday morning prayers (called Lauds in the Liturgy of the Hours) combined with Adoration on Saturday in the early morning. This led to my new and improved Texas three-step Saturday ritual. I get up on Saturday at 5 AM and exercise to get as close to my weight target as possible. I then go to my Church and pray for an hour to clear the weight off my soul. After praying (and sometimes Mass), I head to my WW meeting to share wellness ideas with my friends at the 9:30 WW Meeting. And in one fell swoop, I shed weight on body and soul and share fellowship to start the weekend off right!
- Mike and Bike. I documented my love of cycling in these previous blogs. Peloton Pandemic Pandemonium, Don’t Stop Believing: A Weight Loss Journey in Three Intervals. Right up there with this love is my respect and admiration of Father Mike Schmitz. He was instrumental in my wellness journey both and body and soul. I started listening to his homilies after a Lenten retreat at our parish retreat and would exercise to his homilies while using the elliptical training. With the launch pf the Bible in the Year podcast, I have taken it to a whole new level with Mike and Bike. At least three times weekly, I put on a 20-minute scenic ride on the Peloton and turn off the sound. I then turn on the daily Bible in the Year podcast and listen to the Lord’s word while circumventing the pathways of Rome, Paris, or the Alps. With each Mike and Bike, I grow in the knowledge of the Lord’s plan for me and build my quads to boot! You can download the Bible in the Year podcast here Bible in a Year if you want to try it.
- Marching with Mary. During the month of May, I participated in a fundraiser to raise money for the mental wellness of veterans and soldiers. The StopSoldierSuicide.org fundraiser called for me to March 50 miles during the month of May while carrying a 50 lbs. ruck. My 50+ year old body does not march fast with a 50 lbs. on his back. It was seriously cutting down on my prayer time. I therefore decided to add reciting a silent Rosary while marching. This Marching with Mary practice allowed me to add fifty prayers on each ruck march. In this way, I not only was able to raise money for Veterans, I could pray for them also.
- Hinge and Hallow. One of the reasons I walked slow while marching with is weakness in one of my knees. To help this issue, I use a physical therapy application called Hinge Health https://www.hingehealth.com/. This application has a set of tailor-made exercises to help strengthen my knee. While I am doing my Hinge exercises, I listen to the Hallow mindfulness application https://hallow.com/ . This application is an excellent resource for all Catholics and includes everything from The Daily Miracle meditation to Gregorian Chants to books from doctors of the Church. This combination helps me fix my knee and my disposition all at the same time! Here is links to both of them
- Exodus for soul (and body). The last body/soul combination is the one that launched it all. Two years ago, I participated with a group of men in my church in Exodus 90. This program is a is a ninety-day spiritual exercise for men based on three pillars: prayer, asceticism, and fraternity . Part of the ascetism practice is daily rigorous exercise, exclusion of alcohol and sweets, and days of fasting. It also includes daily prayer practice. It gave me the idea for the other four practices previously stated. I highly recommend it for all Catholic Men that need a wakeup call for both body and soul. Here is a link to there website https://exodus90.com/.
This fast-paced world can wear the body and the soul. Use the art of habit piggybacking to fight back and build a better you!