As a movement practitioner, I love it when my clients become my teachers. One conversation with someone going through the process of changing their life and fighting challenges may prompt, lead, or sometimes shove me into examining my practice, my approach, and my connection with the people I serve. Just recently Mary, one of my clients, wanted to meet with me to discuss her progress and our conversation inspired this article.
After six weeks of exercising with me, Mary was still suffering from back pain even though all her “numbers” showed improvement. So I asked her “Mary, why do you want to be out of pain, what will that do for your life?” Mary stared blankly at me for a couple breaths, and then slowly pieced together the following statement, “I dunno, I guess because that is what I’m supposed to do, that’s what my doctor recommended, and that’s what my husband wants me to do so we can go on walks together…I haven’t really thought about what my life would be like without my pain.”
MY pain…Wow! That statement of ownership let me know that she has been in pain for so long that it was now part of her identity. Mary WAS her back pain. Does that sound like you? If I asked YOU right now why you want to be in less pain, live a better life, and dream of a better future, would you have an answer right now?
If not, that’s ok. Many people don’t.
Your lifestyle is a series of choices YOU make. Choosing to live a life over the age of 50, 60, or 70 that includes independence, freedom, adventure, and memories is your decision. Living a life as a “senior” that includes pain pills, doctor visits, and assisted living is also a choice.
You will never take action if there is no passion or reason behind the end result. You MUST find a reason WHY you want to improve your health, your fitness, your life. It is easy to go along with “the experts” and say it is for your health, to prevent disease, to live longer, to lose weight, to have a happier life, blah. However, these are not your words or your passionate mission to improve the quality of your life.
Exercise needs to have value in your life in order for you to stick with it, love it, and enjoy it. Without your WHY, you will always start and stop things and never really live life on your terms. Circumstances will always dictate your world.
Here are some simple questions to ask yourself that will hopefully lead you to your WHY behind the decision to become a better you starting today:
- If I were in better shape, had more endurance, had less pain and/or sickness, what would I do differently with my time/life?
- If I did not have to think about how my body limits me by pain, injury, sickness, lack of energy, lack of confidence, what physical, professional or personal goals would I be able to accomplish?
- If I had more energy, felt better about myself, was happier every day, was more productive at work and home, and was not limited in the activities I could do, how would my time with family and friends be enhanced?
- How would my life change if I could look in the mirror and be proud of the person I see?
- Do I want to be a prisoner of my body crippled by my circumstances or do I want to utilize my body to live life as I choose, accomplish my dreams, and have the freedom to do what I want when I want?
Bottom line: There is no way to teach someone how to commit to anything
CHANGE = Making a decision to act + having the discipline to follow through with your decision.
Commit to yourself, believe in yourself.
Exercise and eat well for your reasons, so you can be your best for your family, for your life and your chances of success will increase 10 fold!
Take some time to sit down alone and ask yourself the above questions. You have the motivation, you have the time, you have what it takes.