One Step Forward Two Steps Back – Need Motivation?

Posted on June 26, 2008. Filed under: Fitness, wellbeing | Tags: , , , |

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I have had some trials getting motivated on a regular basis to exercise, now my business partner has no problem in this area, but I do. In our partnership I am the health expert and she is the fitness expert, so no prize for guessing which area I find easiest.

The challenge of motivation is really a challenge of habits and what are habits? Patterns of behaviour. These patterns of behaviour have us getting all motivated (like me about fitness ;), and getting going on our new regime only to find ourselves finding all sorts of excuses the moment it turns cold of a morning not to get up that extra hour earlier to do your exercise for the day or even find that hour through your day.

Interestingly, scientists became interested in this phenomenon, Dr Vallis was one of them and this is what he had to say:

“But people concerned about their health can not only start a new behavior but continue it if they’re honest and realistic about their motivation, says Dr. Vallis, health psychologist with Capital Health and professor of psychiatry and psychology at Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is in adult health psychology, with an emphasis on diabetes, gastroenterology, cardiovascular risk and obesity.

“People really need to identify personal and meaningful motivations,” says Dr. Vallis, 53, a father of three children. “What’s going to keep you going when it gets hard?” (Some questions to ask yourself: Do you think your behaviour is a problem? How distressed are you about your behaviour? Are you interested in doing anything to change this behaviour? Are you ready to take action now?)

Next, the person has to change their behavior by laying out “smart, specific goals.” In other words, you can’t just resolve to “get more active,” you’ve got to identify when and for how long you’ll do an exercise, whether it’s yoga or swimming or cycling. “Get more active” turns into “I’m going to go for a brisk, hour-long walk on Thursday night at 6 p.m.”

The third part of making change stick is to recognize the role emotion plays in your health and coming up with strategies to cope without resorting to destructive behavior, for example, eating when you’re feeling down, or lighting up a cigarette when you’re in a social situation.

“Stress is what is going to knock people off the best-laid plans,” says Dr. Vallis. “All these unhealthy things—eating the whole carton of ice cream, drinking, smoking—are ways of medicating anxieties.

“If an unhealthy behavior serves a purpose for the patient, it’s important to ‘replace the function’ of that behavior. So, an emotional eater will often be unsuccessful at weight loss until they develop alternative methods of coping with their emotions other than eating.”

Now all this is great advice, you have to replace an old habit with something to fill that emotional need, and not get stressed by your apparent failure. how? The best way to do both of these is to give yourself a break. If you stop, just start again. Yes, it’s that easy.

One way to get your mind around it, is to treat your exercise or your healthy eating habits like a job, even if you stay home sick today, you get up and go tomorrow, even if you have a week off, you get up and go next week. This way your mind will soon realise that you mean it and pretty soon you will find yourself on the way to replacing the old habit with the new one, just by getting back on the exercise bike whenever you fall off… Too Easy! Read the rest of the article HERE

Want to know what I did? I saved up and bought myself one of the cool, fab Vibration Platforms we have on sale this month! I love it so much I am finding it easy to use, and I can use it while watching TV, during those times when I really don’t want to exercise, and when I do feel motivated I do the whole 24 positions and get a real workout. So now I have no excuse, I deliberately set it up in my lounge room so I could not possibly find an excuse (short of immanent death) not to just get on it and stand there at the very least, so far so good!

Go take a look the big sale will be over soon, (end of the month) BUT if you are really interested and really, really want one while the specials are on: Send me an email through our Contact page and I will hold one for you at that price for 2 weeks (sssshhhh – Don’t tell my business partner). But you must contact me first.

Be Fit! Be Well! do it online…

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