Monday, January 28, 2013

No More Excuses!

What is your go-to excuse skip your workout and relax on the couch instead?  The thought process of why it’s okay to skip your workout may seem harmless, but those thoughts directly affect your behavior.  In other words, once you start that internal debate of whether or not you should hit the gym; you then end up exhausted by the internal struggle and more than likely with a thought somewhere along the lines of “maybe I will start tomorrow”.  Finally coming to the decision to skip the workout may lead to a feeling of relief, bringing you to believe you made the right choice.  However, the decision to NOT skip your workout can lead to this feeling of relief as well.  That emotion is based on the fact that you made a decision and the internal struggle is over.  So don’t give yourself a choice.  Make your decision to stay active, and stick with it.  Eliminating that internal argument immediately alleviates a lot of the stress!

Here is a list of some common excuses and a more positive alternative to replace it with.  Next time you find yourself looking for an excuse, stop yourself and replace it with the helpful alternative.  Make note of your behavior after you do this.  Did your behavior change based on the fact that you simply changed your thought? 

I have more important things to do…
“Making time for myself is as important as anything else.  I can work more efficiently if I exercise and stay healthy”

“I can even think about my work while exercising to jump-start it when I get back
I’m too busy
“What’s more important to me?  Exercise deserves to be a high priority in my life.  It does take time.  It takes time to invest in myself, my health, my well being and my future.”
I don’t feel good enough…
“Unless I have a fever or I am deathly ill, I know it’s safe for me to exercise”.

“I can always exercise at a lower intensity than usual.  I can walk instead of run, or I can jog slowly instead of at my usual pace.  I can do at least 15 to 20 minutes of something.”
I’ll do it later (tomorrow!)
If I convince myself to do it later, I might no do it at all.  If I get it out of the way, I’ll feel better”

It’s not a big deal if I miss one day
“Every day counts.  If I don’t make today count, what makes me think I will make tomorrow count?  My commitment is a commitment to every day.  EVERY DAY COUNTS.”
The 9 Truths about Weight Loss by Dr. Kirschebbaum

I like to remind my patients that they will NEVER regret working out.  Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.  I doubt you wake up every day elated with so much joy that you can hardly wait to brush your teeth! Exercise is the same way, there is no magical motivation that some people get and others don’t.  It’s simply something you need to put into your daily routine and do it whether you feel like it or not.  I mean after all…what if we skipped brushing our teeth every night we felt too tired and just didn’t want to?  Make it a habit!   

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