You Want To Be Healthy For The Rest Of Your Life, Don’t You? is this weeks reading from the second edition of my book, Becoming Slender For Life. It saddens me when people are limited in what they can do because of behavioral choices that they make. For most people, being overweight or obese is a choice. The choice to eat too much and to eat obesogenic food limits their options in life. When I weighed 110 pounds more than I do now, my choices and options were limited. Today, I have the power of choice. I have options in my life.
You Want To Be Healthy
For The Rest Of Your Life, Don’t You?
Remember, losing your excess weight is a relatively short-term process. Staying healthy and fit should be a goal for the rest of your life. Be committed to develop a more active lifestyle for today, tomorrow and a lifetime thereafter.
I know it’s tough to motivate people to exercise. When I ask clients who are struggling to exercise why they do exercise, I hear things like: “for my health” or “because I should” or “I’d feel better.” GAG! There is no motivation there.
As I was thinking about exercise and reasons to exercise, I became intrigued with the question of what is it that is so compelling that would inspire someone to exercise. What is so compelling about exercise that I get up six out of seven mornings to do it?
I remember a woman who came to me one spring to be motivated to exercise. When I asked her why she wanted to exercise, her response was that she wanted to complete her goals. When I then asked what her goal was, I was dumbfounded by her reply. “To go to the gym five times a week.” “Why,” I asked, “would you ever want to go to the gym five times a week?” Her reply: “To check off my goal on the chart on my refrigerator.”
I couldn’t believe it. No wonder she wasn’t motivated to exercise. I told her to go home and make five check marks on her refrigerator and be done with it. She came back the next week with compelling reasons why she wanted to be able to hike in the Olympic Mountains with her husband and teenage sons and why she wanted to be able to ski with them in the winter. So being able to play with her family became her compelling reasons to motivate her to exercise. Uncovering those motivators and keeping them in mind, made all the difference in her attitude and enjoyment of her workouts.
Looking better and having better health just doesn’t seem to motivate most people to get up from a warm bed at 5:00 a.m. on a cold, wet, dark morning to go to the gym.
I can fall on a ski slope and stand back up.
Reflecting on my own experience, I remembered the first time I went skiing after releasing 100 pounds and after going to the gym to do weight training. When I fell down on the ski slope, I stood right back up. No help. I didn’t have to struggle. No one assisted me. I didn’t push up on my poles. That was way cool!
My wife would tell you that this is weird, but I even get a kick out of selecting a muscle and targeting it for sculpting. I find this to be an interesting exercise that fascinates me, but by itself is not enough to get me to the gym. So, what is it that is so compelling for me to get up out of my warm bed on a cold, wet, dark morning to work out?
As I was wrestling with this question, I made the decision to register for the Seattle Marathon. The previous week I had noticed an announcement in the men’s locker room at the gym about a seminar on how to prepare for the Seattle Marathon. I started thinking about running a half marathon and then realized that I would never stop halfway, I would run the full marathon. But the Seattle Marathon was in less than four weeks. I had not been training for a marathon. I last ran 20 miles in July, and it was then the second week of November. I had only been running six miles three times a week with a few one- or two-mile and two-to-three-mile runs thrown in.
When I emailed my running coach about the idea, she said that if I wanted to do it, I should go for it. If I didn’t finish, I could always ride the bus back. The following Sunday I ran a half marathon on my own and basically forgot about it. Later the next day I remembered that I had run over 13 miles the day before, yet I felt great and I could walk just fine. I was not sore. So that night, I registered for the Seattle Marathon with less than three weeks to prepare.
I have the power of choice. I have options.
As I told this story in my first group of the week, I felt the tears well up. I got it. My compelling reason to exercise is that I now have more choices in my life. I can easily bend over and tie my shoes. I can fall on a ski slope and stand back up. I can climb Mount Rainier and participate in the Seattle to Portland bike ride. I have the power of choice. I have options. I can choose to run 26.2 miles or not. I have the freedom of choice.
This liberty in my life creates my
compelling desire to exercise.
A woman came in for a consultation and shared with me that three years previously she had taken motorcycle lessons and had subsequently bought a Harley. At her first session she brought me a photo of the Harley. It made my heart go pitter-patter . . . it was a big hog! At her third session she was down about ten pounds in total at that point, but had not exercised. She had a gym membership but was not using it. When I asked why she would exercise anyway, I got the usual “for my health.” I laughed.
I asked about her Harley and how far she rode it; she said she could only go for a couple hours because she just got too sore. Her back hurt, her legs and arms hurt too much to go any farther. She had once gone on an eight-hour ride and couldn’t walk for three days. Her dream was to ride with a friend from Seattle to Washington, D.C., but she thought a trip that long would kill her. She admitted she could hardly move her bike in and out of the garage or even up off the kickstand.
“You know,” I said, “I wonder if you got into the gym and started doing squats and working those adductors and abductors and getting some strength in your legs . . . and if you did some back extensions and crunches to build your core strength and maybe even some arm and shoulder exercises . . .” I could see the wheels turning. She exclaimed, “Then I could ride my Harley!” For her, exercise was about riding her Harley. She now had a compelling reason to get to the gym. After that, she hardly missed a day and several months later successfully rode her Harley to Washington, D.C. and back. You see, doing something just for good health is intangible. Her Harley is tangible. I now challenge clients to discover their “Harley.”
Karen came in one day stating that she just couldn’t get motivated to exercise. As we talked about exercise and motivation to exercise, I asked Karen about her dog that she dearly loved and asked if her dog pooped in her backyard that she was so proud of. Of course her dog pooped in her yard and no, she didn’t like picking up after dog poop either, she replied. So I asked, “Why do you do it?” Her answers were: “So the dog doesn’t track it in. So I don’t step in it. It kills the grass. I love my flowers and I want my yard to look nice.”
Anytime you find yourself sitting for more than thirty minutes, ask yourself what else you could be doing.
So, for the end result that she wanted, she had to do something that she didn’t necessarily like to get the result that was important to her. So her challenge became: Was she willing to exercise to get the body and health that she also wanted?
Sometimes you can get motivated to move by a desire to help others. One of my clients trained for and was able to complete a 3-day Walk for the Cure event—not because she wanted to walk long distances—but because of her desire to support friends who were breast cancer survivors. For added emotional inspiration, she tied it to her 50th birthday, because she was determined to reach a certain level of fitness by that landmark. Once the event was over, she transferred her pleasure from that accomplishment to something else, and now she enjoys Pilates workouts.
Exercise is like a screwdriver. I don’t know of anyone who loves to use a screwdriver. But we sure like the towel racks that we put up, the shelves that we hang and the desks that we assemble.
In order to have good health, you must use the
tool of regular exercise.
Increasing motivation by focusing on your personal motivators is the key—whether it’s running around the playground with your grandchildren or being able to backpack through Europe in your retirement, understanding what inspires you to hop out of your recliner will facilitate long-term commitment.
Becoming Slender For Life , second edition, pages 181 – 185
Are you motivated to exercise? Do you fight with yourself about going for that walk and then give in and sit on the couch? Are your physical activities limited by your excess weight and lack of exercise? What does your future look like in 0, 20 or 30 years if you maintain your current weight? I don’t know about you, but I am loving have liberty in my life. I do have the power of choice. I have options. I hope that you do too. If not, hypnosis can help you get off the couch.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I have the power of choice. I have options.
Remember to sign up for your FREE 8-part audio course, Understanding Hypnosis, at the right side of this page NOW!