I’m covering the real purpose of exercise and how the effect of movement can have so many benefits in your life. Staying consistent is something we all struggle with, especially when we resist the idea of doing something active, so I’m sharing how you can implement new beliefs that will help keep you on track.
Welcome to Empowered Wellness for Leaders, a podcast that teaches CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders how to deal with the unique challenges of balancing a high-stress career, family, AND their own health. Here’s your host, Certified Executive Wellness Coach, Diana Murphy.
I have a very view of exercise than most weight loss experts. I can’t wait to share that with you today, and my plan today is to help you to design the right exercise plan for you. But I want to pause here and see how you’re doing in the series. What have you tried? What questions might you have?
My tools that I offer are amazing, but they do require practice, and just like me and the clients that I coach, we can get stuck so easily if we’re confused by something and not quite sure how it might work for us.
So before we even get started, be sure to get what you need. How can you, as you’re listening to this series, apply this to your life? Are you downloading the worksheets? Are you asking questions? You can email me anytime, email@example.com. Are you getting your transformation around weight loss and confidence that you most want?
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Let’s get started on exercise today. I do have a very different philosophy on exercise, and my transformation around exercise has been a long and actually, quite a fun journey. But my belief is this; exercise is not for the purpose of losing weight or burning calories.
What? Although exercise does help us to lose weight, it works a little bit. It’s mostly the food we eat. But it’s not about calories in and calories out. Our bodies get efficient when we become more athletic and we just need less fuel to do more. So that way of looking at it can really trip us up, especially when we’re trying to lose weight.
The purpose of exercise is to take fabulous care of your physical body. Your body is designed to move and it works better when you move. And what I’ve noticed, and I bet you have too, is that when you’re moving your body and exercising more, there’s so many things that happen. And these are things that I’ve really seen with my clients and in my own life.
When I move more, it’s so much easier to be in sync with my appetite. So this is really key for my clients that are starting to learn the hunger scale. Also, your mental clarity is better. I know I think better if I am getting the blood pumping a few times a week.
You’ll have less aches and pains. Even though muscle soreness is a natural part of working out, I find I’m less achy and pinchy. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but it really is true for me. We also realize that our emotions are much more stable or resilient. I know I use this as a stress release, and when I’m feeling kind of blue, I know I haven’t been moving my body enough.
And our bodies look better. Our body is meant to look great. It really is, and we’ll stand straighter. I know my posture has changed dramatically since I started yoga, and I also know that I don’t look my age because I love weightlifting. Those are just some examples, and I bet you can list more.
What are some of your benefits for you? Okay, so back to your thoughts around exercise, let me illustrate. I love moving and dancing and working out. I am just a geek and I’m a group workout geek. But what prevented me from becoming a regularly active person during most of my life is that I thought you only worked out hard when you wanted to lose weight.
Let me repeat that. That was my belief. I thought you only worked out hard and consistently when you’re in the process of losing weight, like it was a diet tool. That was it. And otherwise, you would just do what you wanted in terms of activity.
And I don’t know about you, but I erred on the side of being lazy and I was really just not generally active. I’d lived in very cold climates too, so that’s kind of part of it. But unless I was working on losing weight, I didn’t plan very often for that activity. No big surprise, right?
So during my yo-yo history with my weight, you could always find me at the gym or at jazz-ercize and when I was on that mission to lose weight. And once I lost the weight, I would drop off at some point when I got too busy or started feeling uncomfortable in my body again. Really delicious cycle I was in.
So little did I know that staying consistent with exercise might have actually helped that self-esteem. I do think I got blue and I just got not feeling as great before the weight even came on. And I just think that that was really, really helpful. And it really did help my overall energy and health. Duh, right?
My brain had all these other ideas and it did not serve me. To get to the bottom of the beliefs that are creating your exercise plan, it can be as simple as asking, I exercise because – finish that sentence. Or, I believe that exercise’s purpose is to. Truly take some time to see what you’re already thinking because what we think is everything.
If you know me at all, I always talk about our thoughts because our thoughts will create an emotional state around any subject in our lives, and that emotional state will create the action or inaction. So again, I took a lot of action when I was losing weight and I didn’t care much about it when I wasn’t. And that very much could have been the bottom of my yo-yo.
Alright, and my friends, by the end of the podcast, we’re going to help you develop yours. That’s what I want to help you to do, develop your plan. Alright, so first by asking what is your belief, what are all your thoughts?
It might show you why it is or isn’t something you have in your life on a consistent basis. Is there anything in your thoughts that’s getting in the way of doing what you want to be doing around exercise? You can have two thoughts at one time. You can have one thought that you want to be really healthy but there’s this other one that I need to work 40 hours a week or I’m going to get fired or 50 hours, right? You miss all your workouts.
And that’s really not true. It’s just a thought your brain is offering and it’s giving you an excuse every time at five o’ clock to not leave the office and get to workout. So look at all the thoughts that you have around activity and movement and make sure that none of those thoughts create an emotion of pulling back or slowing down. Any emotion that doesn’t feel great around – will totally slow you down or make you back off.
Now, I hear the excuses all the time, “I don’t have time, I’m working too much, I travel, I’m exhausted.” Well, those are thoughts that create a lot of resistance, and the reason you’re not making any movement a priority is from some of your base beliefs around the purpose of exercise.
So if we really believe that exercise is truly important, we’ll kind of not listen to our brain when we think the thought, “I don’t have time.” This is why it’s so important. Look at your base belief and really be believing in a way that creates positive energy that kind of hops over any of the distractions that come your way.
And the best way to become more consistent is to change your beliefs. Fascinating, right? Not get moving and exercise harshly. It’s first to really realize what beliefs and thoughts are going to help you to get moving. I want to offer some examples so you know what I mean.
One thought could be, “I want to be healthy and live longer.” Simple as that. Just remind yourself of that every time you have a distraction from your plan. Or, “I’m a person who exercises consistently.” I kind of think I think this about myself and so I don’t beat myself up when I don’t, but I really believe this and it helps me.
“Exercise is a fun way to deal with the stress in my life, or I want to be strong.” The idea is to create a culture in your life where exercise is a no-brainer. It’s a part of your life all the time. You know you know people that are like this and it’s just because they have different thoughts about it. They’re not any different than you.
And it might look different in various seasons of your life, but this belief is always – this group of thoughts is always going to be a part of you. Sometimes they need tweaking to get better results, but it’s really important to get some insight on what you’re already believing and believe something new to get you moving.
So I have a challenge for you, and I have a way to also take action around activity. First, write down every should thought you can think of around exercise. I should be running, I should workout seven days a week, I should love it, I should weightlift. Should statement that hang around in our brain truly cause us to resist. We are creating our own resistance if we let these thoughts just kind of hang out in our subconscious.
So now, shift the conversation and create a little inspiration. What do you want to be doing in terms of exercise? If it was totally up to you, and you got all the results around weight loss, feeling better, getting stronger, if it all worked for you, what would you do in terms of movement?
I’ve got a fun list. Dance classes, bowling – okay, that’s kind of weird and boring, but I wanted to put it in there – playing with your kids, golfing, cycling, getting outdoors, yoga or Pilates, weightlifting, working with a trainer. Brainstorm as long as you keep coming up with ideas.
Now, get those activities onto your calendar. Make at least three exercise dates with yourself a week. The trick here, add a couple of spots on your calendar to do research. This is like, the place to get most what you want. I find that the disruptions in our routine can really get us off track like a gym closing, we stop working with a trainer, we don’t want to put our money in that and we need to do it on our own, or we’ve moved.
I even moved neighborhoods and I had to quit the Y. It was just too long a drive. It took 30 minutes instead of five so it just changed where I wanted to be spending my time working out. A new travel schedule can do this. You may need to renegotiate what will really work out.
So for me I loved running. This was my go-to when I couldn’t get to an exercise class. It was my backup plan. But now, that no longer is something that works for me and so I have had to renegotiate. So if you like working out at home, another way to look into this is do a really good search online. Find YouTube channels that offer exercise. Find places that are offering virtual classes so that if that is the way that works for you, get those on your favorites bar and decide and make dates with those.
Now, this is the next step that is so important. Get your calendar out. This is where the rubber meets the road. And this is where I’m going to share with you a challenge you can take me up on this week. Choose a rest day. Step one. That’s it. Choose a rest day. Make sure there’s a day, especially a day that’s really difficult to get to the gym or you want to take extra time with your family, deliberately choose a rest day in your week.
And this might look different every week. For me, it’s looking pretty consistent because I do football Sundays, going to Falcons game, so those days are difficult for me to get a workout in. So that’s my rest day right now.
Next, number two, commit to six days of moving. Refer to the list that you created. Remember, bowling is activity. I’m going to tease you about this the entire podcast. So play around with this. Commit to six days of moving.
Number three, only 15 minutes a day. Yup, that’s what I said. Why such a small amount? Create a routine of following through for yourself. That’s why this is so important. Learn how in every 15-minute decision to get past the resistance your brain offers, do it anyway. It’s not going to be comfortable.
Getting started is the hardest part. So offering yourself 15 minutes just helps the brain go, oh, it’s not that hard, and you’ll actually probably end up doing more. But 15. Set a timer, just do it. Even if you’re doing videos, set a timer and just do 15 minutes.
Learn how rewarding yourself in small ways and really infiltrating some rewards every time you do your workout, something very simple, high-five yourself, write it on a calendar that you did it. That’s what I do. I put my workouts in a top bar of my calendar once I’ve done them and I can look at a week and see how often I’ve worked out and it makes me proud.
So this small amount really helps you to get going. This happened for me. I was not active at all, and I had a functional trainer, that I think was pretty wise at helping people get past the resistance. And he offered for me, after my very first workout that I was so sore I could not move, the next time we met, he offered for me to stretch 15 minutes three times in a 10-day period.
That was all that was offered. That was all my assignment was. And before I thought it was too small, I realized I was even resisting doing it. So I made myself do it, and before I knew it, as I kept working with him and getting stronger and kind of working my way up before I knew it, I was kickboxing and doing TRX at the gym, and that’s my gig right now.
But it does not have to be your gig. I think my body’s asking me to back off a little and do more yoga. I’m listening. So there’s different times in our journey, but this challenge is really important. Choose a rest day, commit to six days, 15 minutes, reward yourself.
Do what you have to. Get over your resistance with some tricks and tips. Calendarize it. Set your clothes out. Make plans to exercise with a friend or spouse. Call or check online about class times and sign up. Go. Even if it’s 10pm and you haven’t done your 10,000 steps or whatever you’re doing, you know there’s people like this.
My husband’s like this. He’ll go take a walk if he hasn’t hit his 10K steps. Just do it. Just 15 minutes. The most important part of this are two things. One, to honor – you honor dates with people all the time. This is your chance to honor a date with yourself.
The next part is step four, is to start listening to your body after you move. Ignore it before. I’m serious about this. Start listening to your body after you move. Note and remember how you feel after you work out. I’ll never forget the moment that I finally got myself to the Y. I’d been spending eight months, spending money on the gym but not ever opening the door to the gym. Eight months.
And I finally got myself there, and this was in the season of moving from stretching to actually start doing things I knew I might like, which was a dance class. And I’ll never forget, as I started stretching in that beginning and the music started, I almost started crying because my body was like, yes, you’re finally here.
I really loved it and I just kept moving from that. But I remember that moment all the time when I have a quiet week on working out. I go back and remember how much my body craves it. But this is really important. Every time your brain resists, and it will, in the morning, ignore it. But after you’ve worked out and notice how you feel, either just proud that you did it, clumsy, okay, it’s okay that you tripped over yourself in the class, but you can smile at yourself because you did it.
This is not comfortable. The journey is not comfortable to change. But when we continue to accept the negative chatter and know that it’s just going to be there and ignore it, it gets easier, my friends. It really does. It gets easier and easier when we disregard our mind’s offer of resistance.
Okay, so at 5:30am, when it’s chilly and the snooze button works really well, or at 5:45pm and you’re finishing up at the office, it’d be just easier to keep working, remember this commitment to yourself. The way that we do create momentum is remembering that our body’s feedback. You know this is my gig. Remembering how a food feels, remembering how fullness feels.
If you can remember how your body feels when you’re done, when it has had a week or two of exercise, how spectacular it feels to feel strong, how to be able to really sweat out the stress, to be able to be really active and do big hikes with your friends and road races on the weekends, it’s going to be worth going through the resistance.
I hope you’ll take up the challenge and give yourself this gift of a healthy and active body. You’ll never regret setting those workout dates, and you’ll never regret the work it takes to making this happen in your life. I promise you.
My journey has had lots of twists and turns and the one thing that has happened is I’ve never shamed myself for not working out. This is key. If I notice two or three days without movement, I just get out my calendar and I plan forward. I just never look back. This is a miracle because this is what I beat myself over all the time.
And I do know that it came through honoring my commitment to move, but also beginning to move in a way that I loved. Do something you love. You’ll keep doing it. Drop the shoulds, do what you want, your body will take you on this journey if you keep listening.
And I’ve chosen different activities with lots of twists and turns over the past five years or so, and it has been a beautiful, beautiful journey. Let me know what you’re learning. I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what’s frustrating, let me know what’s going on for you. Don’t forget to email me and don’t forget to take me up on free stuff.
There’s a free quick call and I just finished a free teaching series, and you have access to that. Just email me and I’ll show you where all those things are. Thanks so much for being on today and have a great and healthy week and a fabulous Monday.
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