What is Your “Inner Schweinehund” And How Can You Tame it?

Schweinehund EnglishHave you ever heard of the word “Schweinehund” (pronounced Shvi-ne-hoond)? The Schweinehund is a German expression and its literal meaning is “pig dog”.

Unlike many of the definitions you find online the term Schweinehund is not very commonly used as an insult but more in the context of health, fitness, and bad habits.

Let me explain:

You know the feeling you have when you are lying on your couch (preferably with a bag of chips or some cookies in your hand) even though you should be working out? Yeah, that’s your inner Schweinehund getting all cozy with you. The little voice inside your head that keeps telling you “It’s okay, you can still go later, or tomorrow. Don’t worry about it!”

Or you planned to finally clean your garage but end up, guess where, on the coach instead? Yup, that was your Schweinehund again.

Or you know you should change your diet because your cholesterol is way too high but you just can’t seem to commit to a healthier food regime? Schweinehund!

It’s basically the lack of willpower to do something that we know is necessary or right to do. The Schweinehund is the strongest when you decide to make changes in your life because it loves convenience, it loves routine, and it loves being lazy.

So how can we tame it when we want to lead a more active and healthy life? Here are my top 3 tips to keep your inner Schweinehund in check:


Tip #1 Always be one step ahead of your Schweinehund

You already know that your inner Schweinehund doesn’t like change, so you want to make sure there are as few obstacles in the way to success as possible. This includes always having your gym bag in your car. This way you can go to the gym right after work without even having to stop at home because once your buttocks touches the sofa your inner Schweinehund takes over and chances are you won’t go anywhere!


Tip #2 Don’t let it feed you

Just like you should be prepared to be able to work out anytime anywhere by having your gym clothes in the car, you should also be prepared when it comes to healthy eating. It is so easy for your inner Schweinehund to grab a chocolate bar and stuff it in your mouth when you don’t have any healthy alternatives around.

Prepare your lunches the night before and make sure to always have some healthy snacks like apples or nuts handy. That sends a message to the Schweinehund that he is not welcome anymore.


Tip #3 Train your Schweinehund

Even though the Schweinehund is very strong you can still control it. Just like a real dog, your Schweinehund will listen to you when you train it the right way. Whenever you feel your Schweinehund is digging its teeth in your pants to keep you from going to the gym tell it to stop. Say it out loud: S.T.O.P! And then send it in its corner.

It might not listen the first time but when you are consistent and keep interrupting it, when you keep telling it to stop talking (“You had a long day, you deserve a little me-time. The gym will still be there tomorrow.”), and to stop ruining your new workout pants, then it will obey.

Interrupting the pattern of self-sabotage is one of the most important parts when it comes to any kind of behavioral change but once you figured out how to train your Schweinehund you’ll be fine!



We all have our very own Schweinehund but when you learn how to control it and – if you have to – outsmart it, its power weakens and it will be much easier (and more fun) to live a healthier life. Just always remember, you have to train it with consistency!

Do you have another tip how to get your inner Schweinehund under control? I’d love to hear it! Leave me a comment below. 🙂


Written by: Jen

The Online Personal Trainer for Women