I was out for a 9 mile run earlier this week. Before I even got out the door, I was thinking; is it too humid, can I make it 9 this morning, maybe I should have started earlier, I could do it tomorrow, I have 3 more weeks before my 20k (12.4 miles), there is still time to get my miles in…

I could have easily bailed on that run, but I didn’t. Not only did I not put it off, I finished it at a better than respectable pace given the conditions. And by doing it, I feel even more confident that no matter what the weather in a few weeks, I can finish the 20k well within the allotted time frame. If I had not gone out for that run I would probably be worrying about whether or not I was going to make it happen on race day. Some days exercise is 80% mind over 20% physical effort.

In the past month I have been hearing a similar theme from clients in the studio; either their own limiting beliefs around what is possible holding them back or their friends limiting beliefs keeping them from trying something new, like coming in to the studio. I often hear things like:

  1. I need to lose some weight, then I can start enter the exercise option of your choice here…
  2. Pilates is HARD. I could never do that.
  3. I’m not athletic
  4. I hate exercise
  5. I can’t walk a mile never mind 3.1 miles (5k)
  6. I don’t have time to work out

Any of these sound familiar? Did you say “I resemble that statement” to any of those? Do you just feel like getting started is too hard?

You are right. It is hard, but not impossible. When you start out or get back in the game, getting started is 80% in your head difficult and 20% physically difficult.

And here are some things to think about regarding our items above.

  1. Increasing your daily movement contributes to losing weight! Waiting until you have dieted it off… slows down the process. 30 minutes of movement a day can help you to start dropping pounds faster and increases your confidence and motivation to stay the course.
  2. Pilates on the mat is hard. It is the hardest kind of Pilates there is. Period. Full stop. However, Pilates on the apparatus runs the gamut from rehabilitative to super challenging. A good instructor will challenge you where you are, but also craft your workouts so that you can be successful and build strength and flexibility. The goal should be to get you to a place where the mat work is challenging yet safe and achievable for your body.
  3. Not an athlete… Neither am I. We just have to work at it. A client just today said, “I am realizing that I am strong and athletic!” And you know what… she is and her Doctors have been noticing and commenting positively. She is on a journey but finally she is in charge of that journey and loving the results of her hard work. You can be athletic too. It can be a choice.
  4. Hate exercise… Me too! (Sometimes that shocks people!) I don’t love to run, hence the internal negotiation that happens at the beginning of every outing. I have a plan and usually I end up doing the plan… but the internal battle that wages in getting there can be fierce. We don’t have to love it, but if we do it we will Feel Better, Look Better and ultimately directly contribute to living longer fuller lives doing all the fun things we want to do. It is all about choices.
  5. My athlete from item 3 was convinced a year ago that a mile was just out of reach there would be pain… it would be miserable… there was no way… she could NOT do it. So we took a walk. 1.25 miles later she was shocked! There was no pain and she did it. She is still on the path with her cardio and earlier this year said that a 5k may be in her future. The truth is we don’t know what we can do until we TRY. And let’s face it; trying is better than sitting on the couch thinking about why it is too hard.
  6. No time… Making the time to take care of yourself should be the highest priority on the list for you and for your family. You will feel better and be more available for the other people in your life if you are taking the time to take care of you; eating good healthy food, moving 30 minutes or more per day, and getting adequate rest. If you really look at the items on your to do list, something can probably move to tomorrow or possibly never to make room for taking care of you.

What all these items have in common is CHOICE. We have to choose to make a change. We have to choose improving our health. We have to choose to get out of our heads, to get out the door, get on the mat, and get off the couch. Try the unknown and make the call for ourselves. No one else can do it for you. They can want it for you, but they can’t make the changes for you. It might be hard, but it might be fun, you might make a new friend, find an accountability buddy that makes it difficult to not show up because they are there doing it too.

So let me know what inner monkey mind you are doing battle with and I will help you turn it on its ear and get to the bottom of what motivators will get you moving. Email me with your challenges! And if you liked this post, share it with your friends! Hope to hear from you soon!