My first real attempt at exercise for the sake of weight management came in the form of Cindy Crawford’s “A New Dimension.” Who knew this video would introduce my then fitness-averse body to such new dimensions of pain and torture, that I left the video behind after just a few trials? That ab routine at the end alone was enough to have me feeling sore and almost immobile for days on end. Looking back, the tape was too hard and I gave up. Not only did I give up, but I shamed myself for not being able to do it and I didn’t exercise again for several years. I tell my clients, and I am telling you, that when you start any exercise regimen, make sure it is something you will not fail at! Make sure it’s fun and you can modify moves if necessary, so you are not just staring at the screen feeling defeated like I did all those years ago. Set that minimum baseline, if you are someone that doesn’t work out at all, my recommendation is that you exercise a minimum of at least three times a week for five minutes. This is a psychological tool to convince yourself that you are now a person who exercises. There are so many new studios, classes, gyms, and YouTube videos to choose from: choose wisely and succeed. From there, you can build on your successes and increase your time, your speed, or intensity.
The second time around, I found a more encouraging VHS tape; this time it was Billy Blanks-Tae Bo boxing and more options. A beginner, intermediate, and advanced tape along with men and women in 1980’s leotards modifying the harder moves. I could do this, and I did as the video series moved at my comfort level. I added nightly walking with my roommate at the time, and soon I was off to the races. I started to believe I could be someone who works out regularly. It was hard, yet gratifying; I couldn’t get enough. Somewhere along the way I started to crave this time to myself and learned that I could count on myself. When I said I would work out, I did, even if I was tired, lazy, or insecure. It was important to have my own back. I slowly lost the weight, and working out became a part of my identity. As I have become a mother and a wife, fitting in time to workout has been challenging, but the exercise has been something I crave, mostly the time alone to be with my thoughts; to work through ones that aren’t serving me, and fine-tune the ones that are. Meditation got layered in and I have found the tremendous impact it has had on my stress levels and mental well-being. I encourage you to do these too, and this will build unconditional love with yourself, a self-intimacy that no one can mess with. You can’t give others what you don’t give yourself; give yourself love and everyone around you will benefit.
Say good-bye to Fear
An interesting by-product of years of healthy living has been the regular occurrence of fear and the fear of gaining the weight back mainly. This fear is rather insidious and can sneak up on you when you least expect it. It’s that inner voice that tells you to work out or else! Some people think that this drives them to continue, but many of my clients have found that this lessens the enjoyment they have when they exercise, or complete weekly meal prep. Not much joy can come from fear, so it can be really useful to tune into that inner dialogue to find signs of negativity, fear, or harsh self-judgement and work towards letting it go. Till next time athletes. As always if you want to talk more in depth about any of these topics, join me for a complimentary mini-session to experience the power of coaching.