Every year I make a New Year’s resolution to eat right and exercise. Why then, after only three days into it, do I end up eating an entire box of candy in one sitting? Working out was no different. Any time I even thought about going to the gym, my body would rebel.
So then I wondered, can a person be allergic to exercise?
I wanted to be healthy. I would tell myself to eat steamed vegetables, but somehow a slice of pizza would end up on my plate; it’s like my appetite had a mind of its own. I wanted energy and stamina to travel, work and play more but, instead, I was slipping into the next pant size year after year. This trend continued until last year. I started the new year with a confrontational conversation with a business coach. “You need to be in better shape,” he said, as he recommended an exercise program for me. “How rude,” I thought. “And yet true.” I was face-to-face with the choice to start a structured exercise program and that sinking feeling set in. “Me? Exercise? I don’t like dragging myself out of bed to workout.”
The program appeared to be appropriate for my fitness level, but it required discipline, and it scared me to death. At my yearly exam, I asked my doctor about it, and he gave it his stamp of approval. Still...I…just…didn’t…want…to.
The truth is I didn’t really believe it was possible. Can a woman counteract midlife spread? My coach thought it was possible. I then contacted a friend who is a fitness coach and he talked me through the program in detail, stating, “I promise you can do this.” They believed I could succeed. What might happen if I believed it too? It was a small thought that created a big shift. In that moment, it became possible and I said to myself, “I will do this.”
I used my own coaching practice tools on myself too. I pictured myself at the END of each workout, feeling proud. I celebrated good food choices, and imagined my pants getting looser. What fun! The result? I overcame the temporary “yuck” of getting started and changed my routine. I ended last year feeling fit and three pants sizes smaller. But when my husband gave me a box of my favorite candy for Christmas (milk chocolate coconut clusters), I ate the whole box, in the same manner that I started the year.
Surprisingly, that’s great news! In the past, I’d use it as an excuse to spiral backwards. This time, I got myself up the next morning and exercised. I’ve stopped waiting for my fitness goals to conveniently fit in my schedule; it’s never going to be convenient. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about returning my thoughts back in the direction of my vision of health and vitality.
There are many benefits that come from keeping your fitness goals. Here are a few:
(This is where you would typically find a list of things like, “you’ll live longer,” “be healthier,” blah, blah, blah… but you and I both know those things don’t have the emotional Velcro-like grab that keeps you inspired. Below is a more feelings-based list.)
You get a pat on your back at your next medical exam when the doctor asks YOU for advice in staying fit, firm and vibrant.
You get to live out that fantasy of admiring yourself in the mirror while thinking, “Is that really me?”
You get to feel hot! (without it being related to hot flashes)
You get new clothes!!
The way you treat your body determines the quality of your later years. I’d like to be feisty, fun, financially fit, and full of energy then, which means taking really good care of me now.
How about you? Have you made the “I WILL do this,” commitment to your goals?
Written by Marilyn Suttle, President of Suttle Enterprises
International speaker, results coach and author of the bestselling book “Who’s Your Gladys” Marilyn Suttle helps brands and individuals transform. She coaches people to make “Suttle shifts” for breakthrough results with customers, colleagues, and even with kids.