Sunday 8 December 2019

When you hit a wall, it's vital to have a good ally

If you hit a wall, focus on the 'why'.
If you hit a wall, focus on the 'why'.

Gerry Duffy

I am sure that readers of FIT will subscribe to the theory that being ' fit' is a fantastic feeling. That feeling you have coursing through your body for hours or days after a workout, is an incredible post-effort gift. How lucky are we?

I recall, once upon a time, wanting that feeling. A poor diet, however, and a nicotine addiction were too tempting a lifestyle lure. Back in my mid-20s, I pined inside to make changes. Almost every week, I tried to improve my diet and to quit cigarettes, but two days of abstinence or improvement was always defeated by a stronger opponent on day three.

I did eventually alter the direction of my life. It wasn't easy to begin the journey of losing 3.5 stone and giving up my daily fix, but, thankfully, I did. In 1995 I started an exercise and improved eating regime that has never left me. It was a photograph I saw of myself, that stimulated an 'enough is enough' mind-set. Relentless action offered a powerful solution.

We all know people who are in the former grouping and who wish to effect or make change. Maybe it's a family member or a friend. Do you know someone who wants these feelings of exercise endorphins and/or improved daily diet but has yet to make that leap? Perhaps they have tried but after a day, a week or a month, they have regressed. So what causes this and how can they get to the Holy Grail? Let me share something that I feel might assist. If you agree, please share it with them.

Whenever we seek to reach a higher standard, we create a 'what do I want to achieve' and a 'how to' list. This becomes our goal and our strategy to make it a reality. Depending on your goal, the 'how to' is the regime of exercise, the sacrifice of not buying the cigarettes or reducing the intake of favoured foods. The 'how to' is vital, but often it is a tough opponent.

If we hit a wall, I have learned there is something more powerful we should focus on. It's the 'why'. If you hit a wall or find your mojo waning, sit down and think about why it is you are doing it.

If your 'whys' are strong enough, you will go through a wall before you will quit. My 'whys' back in the 1990s were that I wanted to stop going for a stress test every year as a result of chest pains I was getting. I wanted to be able to breathe like I used to at 17. I wanted to be able to buy clothes in the same sizes I used to purchase at 19 or 20. I wanted to become happier because I wasn't. And I wanted to live to beyond an average life expectancy.

Even when planning something daring, alongside your 'goal' and your 'how to' list, write down your 'whys'. I promise you that with sufficient thinking - if you find your resolve weakening - you will find a powerful ally to help you. If weather conditions are keeping you from going out for that nightly walk, remind yourself of why you committed to it in the first place. If you are tempted by that third biscuit or added food portion, re-connect with your 'why'.

If your devious mind encourages a cigarette three days into abstinence, maybe look at your children. Perhaps your 'why' is to be alive to see their children growing up. Maybe that's your why for any of the above.

Keep your 'whys' visible.

They can be your secret weapon.

Health & Living

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