Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance....

I was walking out of the gym today, and I noticed someone sitting on the bench outside smoking a cigarette. My first thought was, "Wow. That's weird. How could you workout then smoke?" But then, I remembered:

I did the same thing!

Here I am as a young smoker. Wow, I look young.
When I first started working out, I used Firm videos. I loved them. I would do my workout, and then sit down and have a cigarette (and a coke... yeah, it was bad). I mean, great that I was starting to develop good habits, but I can't imagine doing that now!

However, at the time, it didn't bother me.

In fact, I smoked for a few years into my fitness journey. I was afraid I would gain weight when I quit smoking. (Wow, I really wish I could go back in time and hit myself on the head with something).

I did finally quit. When I met my husband, I think we dated for about a week before he asked me to quit. I think it was also around the time that George Harrison died of lung disease or something, and I made the decision to quit- COLD TURKEY- on my 26th birthday.

It was not easy. I had a few relapses, but from that moment on, smoking didn't have as much of a hold on me as it had for so many years.

According to Wikipedia:
Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

See, I was adding to my health by working out... then taking away from it by smoking. I was inhibiting my cardio ability. (In fact, when I quit smoking, suddenly running got easier).

But, what I'm thinking now is how working out and smoking didn't really bother me. I didn't think it was so wrong. It makes me wonder how many things in my life *now* don't quite go together, but I haven't realized it yet.

Do you have any instances of "cognitive dissonance" in your life right now?


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Hmmmm....the more motivated I am about blogging and running, the less motivated I am about actually working. Does that count?

BabyWilt said...

I used to go to gym, work out like crazy get in my car and light a cigarette ... I had it waxed that is if I didn't have one for 30 minutes before I had more puff .... go figure !!!!!
dumped the habit 11 year ago now :-)

Shannon @ Why Not On A Tuesday said...

Congrats! I saw all the signs downtown and was really jealous that I didn't just suck it up and pay the entry fee when I had the chance. Great time by the way!