Dossier: Changing habits

«I tricked myself!»

Patrizio Orlando, 35, won the fight against his inner couch potato. A simple trick helped him switch from sofa to fitness studio.

Text: Ruth Jahn, Photo: Sven Germann

I fought my inner couch potato every day for two years. Back then after work I often used to sink into the sofa in front of the television. My subscription to a fitness club lay unused. But suddenly I decided that I wanted to win the battle. So I made a resolution to do sport three or four times a week. I succeeded by tricking myself. When I left for work in the morning I took my sports bag with me so I could go straight from work to the fitness studio without going home. This way I didn’t hit “sofa mode”, which always made it very difficult for me to motivate myself to do any exercise. In other words, I no longer had to fight my inner couch potato because I never met him!

“When I left for work in the morning I took my sports bag with me [...]”
Patrizio Orlando

I’ve stuck to the same routine for five years now. And when I got a job as area manager in the telecommunications industry and my commute switched from train to car, I kept to the same habit and made sure I always had my sports bag in the car. I’ve never had a relapse because I’m motivated to continue and have met like-minded people while doing sport. After training I’m always exhausted, but feel great.