“I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with. I’m going to do a terrific show today! And I’m gonna help people! Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me!”
~Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley
What are you telling yourself? When you wake up in the morning, slip into your
pastel cardigan sweater sports bra and spandex, what does that voice inside your head say?
Mine says, “Put on a pair of cotton shorts. Spandex is so 1992.”
We all have a voice inside our head. A voice that speaks to us all day long.
“I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”
A few months ago,while lamenting to my personal trainer about my excess 10 pounds. He suggested I increase my cardiovascular workouts. I currently do anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes of cardio, 5 times a week, usually in the form of brisk walking or the elliptical. I really don’t want to add more time, because, as it turns out, I do have a life outside of fitness. So, he suggested I try adding some sprints to my walks. Immediately, the voice inside my head started shooting off her sassy mouth.
“I can’t run. I tried running (in the 1980’s) and I hurt my back. If I hurt my back, I won’t be able to exercise at all. And that would be bad. BAD!!!! Remember how I couldn’t walk for a few weeks because of the radiating pain??? I don’t want to go there again. Besides, running is miserable. It hurts and it pounds and it makes me gasp for air. Gasping for air is bad. I don’t need to run. In fact, I HATE running. Walking is just as effective as running. I’ll just stick to walking and doing the elliptical, and all will be well with the world. Oh, and I hate running.”
Seriously, this is what goes through my head every single time I consider a run of any sort. Even when other people tell me THEY run, my head responds with, “I can’t run. I tried it once and it hurt my back, blah, blah, blah, I hate running.”
So while I was outwardly responding to my trainer with a “Sure, I’ll try that.” I was inwardly saying, “Sure, I’ll try that…WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER, YOU FOOL.” And off I went.
But then an interesting thing happened.
I was on the beach during Spring Break, beginning my daily one-hour walk along the ocean shore (this, my friend is pure exercise bliss, by the way), when suddenly, I remembered my trainer’s suggestion that I add sprints. I heard my inner voice begin with her negative tirade. I heard myself saying to myself, “I can’t run.” I listened to myself for a moment.
And then I took off running.
I started saying to myself, “I CAN run. I’ve been exercising HARD for the last 25 years. I am fit and strong. I can do P90X, The 30-Day Shred and Body for Life…of COURSE I can run. Yes, it hurts, and yes, I am gasping for air and may very well pass out on the Atlantic Shoreline, but I can run. Since when have I let pain hinder me from doing anything difficult? Since when is ‘but it’s hard’ an excuse for anything? I most certainly CAN run. I WILL run.”
And I did. I didn’t run for a full hour, but I did alternate between walking and running for a full hour. And it WAS hard. But I did it. And when I was finished, I was hot and sweaty and out of breath. My shins hurt and the next day I had blisters on my toes…but I felt fantastic.
That was in April. I’ve been adding sprints or intervals of running to my walks consistently since that time. And every time I do it, it gets easier. Every time I do it, I go a little further, run a little harder, and breathe a little easier. I don’t tell myself, “I can’t run” any longer. Instead, I say, “Of course I can run. I’m fit and strong.”
So, I ask you, what are you telling yourself when it comes to a healthy lifestyle?
“I’ve tried every diet, and nothing works.”
“I don’t like vegetables.”
“I don’t have time to exercise.”
“I have no self-control.”
I know a lot of you are saying this to yourselves, because you’ve said it to ME.
Might I suggest you replace those thoughts with something a little more, uh, positive? How about
“God created my body to move.”
“It is my responsibility to care for the body God gave me so I can do and be everything He created me to do and be.”
“I can and I will make time to exercise.”
“God provided me with a variety of great-tasting, nutritious and colorful foods to nourish my body.”
“I can do anything God calls me to do.”
“All things worth anything are difficult, but the payoff is well worth it.”
And finally, and most importantly:
“Put on some cotton shorts. Spandex is so 1992.”
Sarah from All Pain No Gain
is talking about calorie deficits again. Go check her out!