When one of my clients (we'll call her Ann) recently said the words "I love it" about going to the gym I almost jumped out of my chair and screamed in excitement. (Not unusual, by the way. A client's amazingness or my reaction.)
I'm guessing you can probably relate to this: Ann had been tracking her steps but hadn't exercised or stepped foot in a gym in a long time. In her case it had been years. And as much as she knew she "should" exercise for her health and weight loss goals, she felt so self-conscious and nervous about being out of shape and working out in front of people that she felt like she couldn't get herself there.
Fast forward a month or so and she's telling me she loves it.
Want to get there too? Here are three steps:
First, just "break the seal."
The first step is usually the hardest: just making a change.
So make it as easy as possible for yourself, and start very very small.
Some things I've suggested to clients that've helped them:
Second, start with an exercise you don't hate.
There are a ton of ways to get exercise. It doesn't have to be running or weight lifting or spin class. Set the bar low at first and just get moving. We don't have to go from nothing to body building competitions or Crossfit.
As Newton's first law says: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.... So it's a huge help to just get moving.
Here are some out-of-the box exercise ideas to get you started.
Third, face your resistant mindset and disown it.
Mindset is usually the bottom line problem. Also known as your attitude or beliefs about something. Often unless you face your resistance (i.e. thoughts or excuses), no plan or recommendations will work.
What's getting in your way? Did you get injured and don't want to try another exercise? Is it what you have to give up to fit exercise in your schedule? Finding something to wear and thinking about what you're gonna look like working out? Believing that you "hate" exercise or gyms? Just don't feel like it?
This is hard to understand or do at first but please give it a try: realize that your brain is incessantly chattering and making commentary all day long, and you're not forced to obey or believe what it says. It constantly makes suggestions that you pay no attention to or say 'no way' to. You aren't at the mercy of your thoughts and it's no different with your thoughts about exercising.
I've heard so many of the most successful athletes, artists and entrepreneurs say their brains tell them the same stuff. They struggle with motivation, fear, and limiting beliefs too. They don't wait to feel like it or for the negative brain chatter to go away. They don't try to argue with it or convince it. They realize it's just a reality and go do it anyway.
Click here for more on habit change, self-sabotage and motivation.
How do I choose my activity and add it to my day?
What movement did you love to do as a kid? Roller skate? Swimming? Dance? Choose something you loved but don’t do anymore.
If that doesn't help, start with the list above. Or something you've heard of and been curious to try. What exercise don't you hate?
Add this to your day by starting with a regular 10 minute appointment - maybe first thing in the morning, or at lunch, or after work.
What do I do now?
First, do you need help putting this into practice or would you benefit from accountability? So do most of my clients, so you’re in good company! Habit change and mindset are my specialty, because that's where lasting results happen. Most of us know what to do, we just don't do it. So I help people learn how to make changes and understand their own thought-processes. Click here now to schedule a time to talk if you'd like to learn more.
Second, what challenges or questions do you still have about this?
to your freedom!
Happy you're here! This is where I give you food hacks and habit tricks so you can break free from out-of-control eating & cravings and feel so much better in your own skin.
♥ join the movement ♥
Debbie Thompson, B.A., M.S., Certified Health & Life Coach
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