Posted by: molander | September 14, 2009

What’s Your “Why”?

Education is not all it takes to get healthy. No matter how I’d like to deny it, psychology plays an empirical role in this process. We can read all the diet/exercise/health/biochemistry books in the world and we can absorb every bit of their content but we may STILL reach for those no-no foods or even stuff our faces with too many calories of the healthy stuff. Or we STILL don’t drag ourselves off the couch for exercise. Why do we do that?!!! What’s the psychology behind the W-H-Y?

All the people I read/listen to always get around to that question… WHY?  The answer is: TO FILL A VOID.

 “OK… STOP RIGHT THERE,” I hear you say!  I said the same thing. I used to say, “I eat cookies because I LIKE cookies! Why does there have to be some deep, dark reason? Can’t it be because I just like cookies?” Welllllllll….
Favorite running road

Favorite running road

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I finished a hard run one Monday morning and I was walking back on my favorite road… cool, shaded, quiet… see a few deer… watch Bentley have a grand time running about, smelling new smells, no leash. How pleasant! How peaceful! How proud I am that I completed that run! I have Bob Greene and Oprah in my ear.**  Lo and behold, they read an email and what does it say???? EXACTLY what I said about the cookies. Freaked me out! But they threw that theory out. Apparently, it’s not just ’cause cookies taste good.

What’s Your Why?

All experts explain it a little differently but here are my words – short and sweet: We have different aspects of our lives that all work together to form “us”… so to speak. If one part is lacking in some way, it causes us discomfort. The human condition naturally makes us avoid discomfort and seek out pleasure. If food brings you pleasure… you eat to fill the void the discomfort creates. We may or may not be aware of what the discomfort is! Exercise is all about discomfort so if the good feelings it brings later don’t outweigh the discomfort of the exercise… we won’t do it. There! Plain and simple! (BTW, this is what others do with alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping or any other addictive behavior. Food is just a more socially acceptable addiction.)

Bob Greene’s method for finding what your “why” can be found on Oprah’s site.** Some can have interesting revelations all by themselves doing this exercise. Some may find their “why” but not know exactly what to do about changing it. This is where a support group comes in handy. Group members can offer suggestions/different perspecitives that can be eye-opening. I can’t wait for my November Girls’ Trip. I can picture us solving all our problems after a few glasses of wine (that, btw, sabbotages our fat burning by 73% ). Support groups come in all varieties – Weight Watchers? Life Coach? Friends at the gym or work? Others may need to work with a counselor (in my humble opinion).

Efficiency

I’m all about efficiency because I’m basically a lazy person. “Do the most good with the least amount of effort,” I always say! Lose weight/get healthy?
    1. Get your metabolism working for you so you get more for your money.(Remember, you don’t want to be the salmon swimming upstream.)
    2. Sabbotaging youself? Figure out why and stop it. Make your natural actions work for you not against you. Makes sense, huh? I’m going to be doing more research on this to share later ((stop rolling your eyes!)).

Bob Greene’s podcast is **”Falling Off the Wagon with Bob Greene”  on Oprah’s site. You can watch the webcast, listen to the audio version or download. Click on the “Falling Off the Wagon with Bob Greene” words for specifics of the discussion. (I downloaded the audio version from iTunes.)  Also, Here’s a 5 1/2 minute video on Oprah’s method for making time for her health.

One More Thing

I know Oprah has irritated many of us recently. For some it’s her Obama passion and but for me it’s the new age spirituality stuff but regardless of her personal beliefs, she’s still a fountain of good information. All her “make time for me” mentality used to get away with me because it seems so self-centered HOWEVER… I have come to reconcile myself with this when I recognized it’s all about EFFICIENCY! You have more of yourself to give if you’re in better health. (Besides obvious physical improvement: clearer, sharper thinking, less time-eating doctor visits/hospital stays, more energy, etc.)

Wait! Here’s The Last Thing… Really

If you’ve never seen it, this is 5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat. Which do you want on your body?

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