In Exercise

Raise the Glass Ceiling About What You Believe

“I just want to be healthier.”

This is an excellent goal. Sometimes you get into trouble delivering that line to a personal trainer when a trainer pushes for a performance or a numbers-related goal. It’s a trainer’s nature and part of their ability to feel successful is based on taking you from A to B. Don’t let anyone put words in your mouth. That’s not what this is all about.

Do challenge yourself about whether you’re being “practical” or you’re really expressing how you want to feel physically and about yourself. When you wake up in the morning or think of next summer’s vacation what would you love it to look like?

I used to call my coaching business “Life Too Good To Be True.” I would explain that finding what that would be was the start of our coaching. Many who began then with me knew they weren’t happy there and there was “more.” They just couldn’t define what that was yet. A few people commented on the name and said, “It sounds out of reach.” I said, “You’re not my ideal client.”

Science tells us we all have that “too good to be true” compass. It holds us back, or rather we hold ourselves back. We actually get uncomfortable when things are going too well. When we get close to the ideal weight, reach the mileage we had set as a goal, or have the training sessions go well. We stir things up. We blow a meal or a week of them. We skip a session or two and then suddenly it’s been a month since we did weight training and we’re embarrassed about going back.

It could be you believed for too long you were this person who was a little overweight and not really athletic. Now suddenly you’re doing things other people – and maybe you – are afraid of doing. Or maybe you have held onto thinking too many calories or too much fat or a lot of cardio will make you skinny. Making progress with less cardio, eating fat, feeling full and good, and stronger with strength training feels too good to be true and you know you won’t be able to hold onto that! So you revert to old patterns to seal the deal and make it true.

At first pass this sounds crazy. Think about it though. Have you “binged” at the end of a diet? A binge is relative. A regular meal or a treat you haven’t allowed may feel like a binge to someone. Exercised diligently until an event and then stopped even though you were feeling your best when you did it?

The First Step: Catch Yourself Doing It.

If any of those scenarios hit close to home or made you recall one of your own don’t ruminate it in. That’s Step Two! If now you can see it, you can start shifting thoughts to prevent it next time. Prepare for that time you’re going to feel uncomfortable looking better and getting compliments. If you’ve lost a lot of weight the fear of gaining it back is real. It can actually sabotage you so that you do it. If you revert to the low calorie, cardio queen habits that got you weight gain or muscle loss in the first place, you will find those old results creeping back in as well.  Work on your inner thoughts so you’re armed.

“Women intuitively know what they need.”

Marilyn Monroe said it. It’s not right most of the time for women and exercise or nutrition. Intuitively women think cut calories and burn more on cardio. That Fat-Belly formula needs revision. Increase your intake of nutrient dense foods, not pills or supplements or packages, and move your body more in a way that is pleasure not punishment and you’ll have the greatest success. That is also a part of your happiness challenge. We’ve bought into the idea that eating and exercise that leads to optimal health is hard.

The Second Step: Avoid Rumination.

Women more than men ruminate. We vent and wallow in negative thoughts and situations. It keeps us small and yet feels like we’re big while we’re doing it. We feel smart talking about someone else or even ourselves as if we’ve got it figured out. In reality we keep ourselves stuck in old patterns, small thinking and small ways of doing things.

Negative thinking and the inner critic are contagious. Pretty soon you start feeling down and it wasn’t just a missed day of exercise but you failed at consistently sticking to your goals again. You stop caring how you look going out or maintaining your house so it’s organized and an oasis for you to come home to.

People with high-ceilings of happiness consider a couple days of missed strength training a recovery week. It’s a good chance to start again fresh and renew goals.

The Third Step: Express Appreciation.

Relationships at home, work and among friends work best when the appreciation to criticism factor is 5:1. If you have a colleague for whom you simply can’t get along with but have to work with, work on this. Verbally expressing it to the person may not be something you can do right away but writing it down is a start.

Get a journal and begin identifying the things that this person does well. It might be an opportunity to see something about yourself or grow. Stress is a chance to become more resilient. If you can see the things a drama queen or gossip girl makes a big deal of are just, well simply not, or a means for making her feel better about herself then you’ve defused a bomb.

When you can go a step further and start verbally acknowledging the good things you appreciate about her, avoiding any negative slant, things will improve.

These things that are seemingly unrelated to your fitness goals actually are a part of removing the roadblocks that send you on a detour. You let yourself be your optimal health. You also have the power to keep yourself limited right where you are with reason why it won’t work. If you’re moving from program to program without results, could it be that you’re not applying and implementing? Just listening and learning is only a start. Sticking with it involves owning it. No program does that for you. A program can only give you the tools to change and the knowledge for what’s “right” for you. Only you can make the changes.

Thoughts to share? How important is your mindset in either helping you get what you want or getting in the way?

 

~Debra


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