But Everyone Will Stare

This week I was a speaker at an event that featured a Sports Psychologist. She discussed some things that stop people doing the things they want to do.

I see this a lot with my clients. In particular with having had home based clients for several years I have seen people that struggle to exercise because they are scared what other people will think if they see them. That’s everything from not wanting to go to the gym, running outside or even joining a group class. I get it, if you are feeling out of shape or if exercise is new to you then it can be pretty scary to step outside your comfort zone.

If you have never been to the gym, you imagine a place of ripped gym freaks all staring at out of shape no idea what you’re doing you.  Well for most gyms I’ve visited that is simply not the case. In fact people will not even notice you are there! Those ripped gym freaks are too busy looking at themselves in the mirror, and the other regular folk probably feel as self-conscious as you so they certainly aren’t judging you.

If you think you can’t exercise outside because people will stare just ask yourself how many times you have driven passed someone out for a run and mocked or belittled them for it??? Probably never ……………..or you are just not a nice person and you should probably address that. So if that’s what you want to do as part of your healthy lifestyle get out there and do it, and then be hugely disappointed by the lack of hecklers!

That group exercise class, in your head is full of super models with Olympic gymnast strength and flexibility. Have you ever been to a class like that? I’ve been to plenty of classes in my time and I can honestly say not one of them has been like that. They have just been filled with various different kinds of regular people, some like you, and yes some will be super fit but not the entire class-and the super fit ones……they don’t care what you are doing they are too focused on what they are doing. Everyone else is just trying to survive the event like you!

So, I hope you can see that the only person being negative about you exercising is you. Having a rational talk with yourself and looking at what is actually happening in the situation rather than what your emotional, self-conscious head tells you is happening is a good way to break down your own barriers. If not……..well my studio is pretty private so only you and I need know what goes on in there!

You’ve got to fix you

Over the past few weeks I’ve had several people in the studio wanting me to help them with their pain issues. Now it’s all very well coming to see me for an hour and either having a massage or going through some stretching and mobility work; of course you may well leave feeling better (or at least I hope you do!) but that was just one hour out of your week, what about the other 167 hours?

Ok, some of that will be spent sleeping.

  • Is your mattress supportive?
  • Do you have a good pillow set up?

Then you may spend 40 + hours at work.

  • What are your work habits like?
  • Do you sit or stand for long periods in the same position?
  • Do you wear shoes that are unsupportive or most commonly the same shoes every day?

What about when you are at home? How are you spending your time there?

You see the point I am making is that those people that I see that want my help, I can give them exercises or suggestions of how to help themselves with their problems but often they don’t follow through.

It will come as no surprise that the common reason for not following through is being too busy.

  • Too busy to spend 20 minutes per day doing a little physio
  • Too busy to adjust their seating position throughout their day
  • Too busy to think about how they could change their daily habits to minimise their pain.

Too busy to get themselves out of pain?

I have often rather abruptly told these people that I am sure they will find time to think about fitting these things in when the pain has taken over and they are no longer able to go to work and go about their daily activities-hey I mean it sincerely that I need them to see what they have actually just said.

“I am too busy to help myself stay out of pain and prevent it getting worse” Or “I am too busy to prioritise the health and function of my own body”

You ask someone with a disability whether they think they could find 20-30 mins of time per day to work on their body and it would make them fully mobile guess what they would say? (And yes I asked a real person with a disability)

If you are having any issues with pain then of course get some professional help (if you want straight talking no nonsense then you can call me!) but of course be prepared that any therapist or Dr can only do so much the rest is down to you.

Priority Sleep

I’ve been reading a book about understanding your own and other people’s personality types in order to give them the right tools to help them stick with good habits.

It begins by talking about prioritising basic needs and top of the list of and often the most neglected is sleep.

Sleep is an absolute must for not just making you feel better the next day but for actual survival-sleep deprivation is not used as a form of torture for nothing you know!

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker

Basically sleep is when our bodies repairs and restores muscles, organs and cells and brain power. Lack of sleep can cause aches and pains, headaches, inability to concentrate and over time begin to affect the function of your organs etc. as they have not time to adequately regenerate.

Yet, it can often be an incredibly undervalued aspect of our health and wellbeing; in fact the ability to survive on very little sleep has become a badge of honour. Often in the pursuit of weight loss and fitness we forego sleep without realising how this can be a form of self-sabotage. Think crazy early starts to get your workout in, only to be knackered for the rest of the day and not being bothered to cook when you get home so you order a pizza………………..

The key to a successful balance is to understand how your own personality and preference works in order to find a routine that works for you.

If you are naturally an early riser then exercising in the morning may well be for you, but that does mean you need to be extra vigilant about getting to bed early in order to get in 7-8 hours of sleep.

If you are more of a night owl then exercising in the evening will probably work better for you and you can enjoy that extra hour in bed in the morning.

The same applies to eating habits. If you are up early and can eat a hearty breakfast it makes sense to eat a big meal that may well need preparing at this time of day, and then later in the day something prepared ahead or easy to prepare so that you have more time to get that early night in.

Then of course it is the reverse for the late nighter. Breakfast may be quick, light and on the go and then the evening meal may require more cooking and longer to digest before going to bed.

So if you are continuing your pursuit of weight loss, fitness and overall health and well ness put sleep at the top of the list, and then slot your other good habits around it as the will power to stick to them and make them a permanent lifestyle change will be a whole lot easier if your brain is awake enough to make the decisions.

1% at a time

When we set goals or start new things they can often seem insurmountable.

Say you want to lose weight and improve your diet, you could completely overhaul everything overnight but in reality that is going to be incredible difficult and science has proven many times not sustainable.

 

If you live off cakes, biscuits and takeaway to suddenly switch to salad and fruit is going to be very very hard!.

 

However this doesn’t mean you will never be able to do these things, it just means you are going to have to make some changes and put in some hard work to help to get you there.

 

If you could change just one thing on week one say, drinking more water then that’s a great start. Yes the rest of your diet may be terrible but you have taken a positive step. Then on week two you change another habit, perhaps make your breakfast a healthier option and so on the cycle continues until over the course of the next few months your diet is unrecognisable from when you started out-but you didn’t make life difficult for yourself by trying to do everything at once-you kind of sneaked a healthy diet onto yourself.

 

Just aim to improve 1% at a time and those 1%’s will soon add up to make 100%, or I guess in a real diet and nutrition sense I should say 80% as chocolate, alcohol, take aways (or all of the above….) whatever your “vice” is still fine in moderation it just doesn’t make up the highest percentage of your diet.