Yes that word “stress” even the sound of it causes me to stress! This weekend was tough for us. Our daughter got sick and we found ourselves sleeping very few hours, a part of parenthood that we cannot get away from. Believe it or not, having slept only two hours on Monday, I still managed to get up at 4:30 am to workout and go to work. I was sleepy, but my body wasn’t tired and it was easier for me to get through my day. I know this from experience, people sometimes look at me surprised because I workout anyway, but I find it to be necessary, I set aside what my mind tells me and I do what my body is asking for.
This morning while I turned the news on, NBC had a report on stress… how perfect! They said that people are stressing about the economy, money and work. People who are overweight were the ones that were stressed out the most. What takes care of stress? The reporter stated “exercise” and went on to say “it’s a vicious cycle for people who are over weight, they stress, don’t work out, eat more, gain more weight. The combination of stress and being over weight causes health complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure.” But we know this already, right? So why then do we choose to avoid exercise?
It takes commitment. It takes not listening to the little voice in our head that tells us that we can’t, or that we’re too tired, or that we don’t want to, or don’t feel like it. You know which little voice I’m talking about because we all have it. It’s the same one I choose to ignore every morning when I stumble out of bed at 4:30 am.
It also takes something else, it takes stepping out of your comfort zone, of what feels familiar. It feels familiar to have a weight problem, I know it did for me and it was comfortable when I wasn’t thinking about it too much… or at least I thought it was. My coach felt much more cozier than moving around so does my cozy bed in the morning. It felt comfortable to reach out for the “comfort food” instead of preparing something healthy and good for me, it’s much easier to choose the “quick fix, make me feel good NOW food” because that is exactly how we operate, we live in a GIVE IT TO ME NOW world.
Through this process of getting in shape I have been able to learn to separate what my tricky mind wants from what my body really needs. Our mind is not our best friend, have you noticed? We are so freaking hard on ourselves… if we have an accountability partner and we fall off the horse, we stress out that our accountability partner is going to get on our case. We fear failing someone else, but truth be told, the ONLY person you are not keeping your word to is yourself. You are the only person who will benefit from working out, no one else. If I don’t work out, the only person I have failed is me, I won’t lose my job, my family will still love me, I will still have a roof over my head. The only thing I have at stake is my health. This is a good thing, right? Yes, it is. One of my favorite books, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson says that it’s not that it’s difficult to workout or eat well, but the problem is that it’s easy not to. It’s easy to avoid that big piece of chocolate cake, but it’s also easy to eat it.
So what is the secret to keeping your word about exercise? The secret is to learn to love yourself… not “pretend” that you love yourself, but truly love every single cell of your body and not pay attention to your mind. Your mind will only keep you from doing what you must do and the funny thing is that once you start to workout, feel better, get in shape, lose weight, start to fit into your favorite clothes, your mind… that tricky mind benefits too!! Give up your reasons because they’re all lies… yes LIES, why do I say this? Because if I could do it, anyone can. You have joint problems? Modify your exercises to avoid pain, back problem? No worries, there are exercises that can help with that too (and losing weight will benefit your back too, it’s true, ask any doctor and he will confirm what I’m saying.). Okay so you have a busy schedule? So do I. Oh wait, you’re stressed out… Oh yes, the stress! That’s even more of a reason to workout. Start step by step, little by little, your body will thank you for it. Oh let’s see… you don’t like to go to the gym… PERFECT! Neither do I, that’s why I workout with Beachbody products (check my link)… oh wait, you can’t do P90X because it scares you… well there’s a product for you too, Beachbody sells different programs for different tastes, just check it out.
More importantly, I can’t make you workout… as a matter of fact NO ONE can. That’s your job, staying motivated is your job too. If you have trouble staying motivated, well then think out of the box… hey this blog wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t thought out of the box, that’s what helped me every step of the way to stay motivated… why? Because I really like looking good and I knew that if I didn’t fulfill on my promise I would look REALLY bad (and it would be embarrassing).
Consider the benefits of working out: Besides all the benefits that we already know about: your stress will be gone, you will have more energy, your risk of getting diabetes will also be gone (or if you have diabetes, exercise will help you control it), you’ll look younger, your skin will start to look radiant (that happened to me too) and you’ll look great naked (it can’t get better than that). So the next time your mind tells you a lie about why you shouldn’t workout, tell it to shush and workout anyway.