We are reward focused but what’s your real gain?
It’s just our nature to be reward focused but what is your real reward for continually not moving, not exercising?
Basically, the how-to of exercise and dieting is covered extensively throughout the internet. If you are thinking is this another weight loss blog, discussing how much weight did I gain in what time frame or maybe you are pondering “how I am going to talk about losing those extra centimetres. I am here to put those thoughts to rest as they are pretty pointless.
If you have read my other blogs, we have established it is your mindset that really screws up your success of weight loss. In this instance I want you to challenge yourself with the thought of “what am I really gaining”.
Is Your Gain obvious to you?
Let’s discuss why you may not want to exercise.
What is really preventing you from not getting out there and moving? I think it is better to start with moving than training as the association with training can be sweaty gym clothes and loads of mirrors. Not to mention disillusionment with tuck shop arms on full display. Ughh! Whereas if we are moving we are burning calories and maybe even enjoying it. Possibly with no judgment even from ourselves.
So are you getting off your butt and moving?
If so how much?
If not and let’s face it according to the Heart Foundation at 2014/15 65.3% of the population is sedentary or doing low levels of movement, you will be with the majority. What I want to ask you is why?
What is the hidden payoff when we don’t exercise?
I am going to put it to you that if you fall into the low moving or sedentary group that there is some benefit you are gaining from this. Take a moment to ponder why you are disinclined to even move.
Maybe you feel that it makes you a better parent and if you exercise you won’t be present for the kids or your partner.
It could be that you prefer to sit and watch your favourite program. Maybe you are like a cousin of mine, enjoying watching the biggest loser with a tub of ice-cream in her lap. Happily removed from the moving and sweating activity and preferring the watching to doing.
Perhaps your gain is like the old smokers gain. Not so much about the stress relief or even the habit but the social context. I worked with someone that had given up smoking but started again in her 50’s because it reminded her of a naughtier, younger more carefree version of herself.
Whatever the reason, I suggest that it could be that what you are gaining from not moving is feeling more compelling to you.
Sometimes this gain is so powerful that we don’t even recognize it and in a different blog, I will tackle limiting beliefs a bit more. For now, though I want you to think about what is your gain?
Is it worth it?
With a sedentary lifestyle becoming the “new smoking” I challenge you to really think about is this lack of movement worth it.
Maybe the gain is a distraction from life’s stresses, maybe it provides comfort, and perhaps it allows you to have a different internal dialogue that takes you away from the real issues that are bothering you. For example “if I don’t exercise I can stay feeling lethargic and justifiably stay at home” “I couldn’t possibly enter a new relationship being this overweight (and new relationships can be a way scarier alternative)”
It really doesn’t matter what the gain is. Usually, it isn’t just that that ‘pizza is delicious hit me with the extra cheese’; but that there is actually some reward in your mindset programming those neural pathways in a really unhealthy manner. By now that mindset may be so ingrained that it has become a habit, and you do it without even thinking about it.
So what is your gain? Once you know that, it is much easier to find a strategy to help change those unhealthy food habits.