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Monday, 12 May 2008

T Minus 13 - Why are you in the gym?

Weight : 56.7 or 56.9 (I can't remember - I was still asleep but I know it was better than yesterday!)
Yesterday's Food : You have used 1441 out of your net daily budget of 1400 calories and have -41 calories remaining. 17% of the calories are from fat, 45% from protein, 38% from carbs
Exercise : Upper + RPM
1 hour 40 min : 792 calories : 158 max hr : 125 average hr

This morning gorgeous RPM leader asked "Why are you here this morning? Is it because you don't like what you see in the mirror?"

It got me thinking. Why do we go to the gym? Is it because we see a number on the scales every morning that we don't particularly like so we head out the door to the gym to make it go away? Do we look in the mirror and hate what we see so we are extra careful to adhere to our healthy eating plan that day?

If you do that every morning, over and over for months on end, you have set up a really strong association between being healthy (exercising and eating well) in order to avoid a negative consequence (over goal weight and looking flabby in the mirror).

What happens when the negative consequence goes away? You reach your goal weight and you like the way your body looks in the mirror. Suddenly your motivation has gone too. You don't need to do all the healthy things anymore because you've solved the problem.

Danger, danger Will Robinson!

Try to think about it differently, even now when you still have weight to lose. Eating healthy and exercising needs a positive ongoing reward.

"I had a brilliant restful night's sleep and I am awake and energised because I train and nourish myself with healthy food"

"I am happy and healthy because I train and nourish myself with healthy food"

"My skin is clear and glowing because etc."
"My clothes are comfortable and fit me because ..."
"My muscles are strong because ..."

Associate the work with a reward rather than the avoidance of a punishment.

I am at the gym this morning because I love looking lean and strong. I always feel energised and invincible after training hard. I will make terrific food choices today because my amazing body is a temple that deserves wholesome nourishing food. I feel the best I have in my whole life because I have made this commitment to move my body and eat well just for this one day, today.

6 comments:

  1. love it hunny, all very true.

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  2. I love exercise because I love how it makes me feel - it takes me to a higher place and I feel invincible! (can't you tell I'm missing my kick butt workouts?)

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  3. That post so got me thinking. I am sick of hating what I see in the mirror and then going and busting my ass on the tready or what ever to "make me feel better".

    Shit..........

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  4. Great thoughts Katie
    Somewhere along the way I seem to have got that right - cause I exercise because I love the way it makes me look and feel. I may not be as thin as you figure comp girls, but I love seeing my fit/strong body in the mirror (well mostly), and I love the thought of fuelling my body for this!

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  5. What happens when the negative consequence goes away? You reach your goal weight and you like the way your body looks in the mirror. Suddenly your motivation has gone too.

    I've never liked negative motivation, for a lot of reasons, but I never really thought of it in that particular way. Thanks Katie - you've just given me the answer to a question I was mulling over (not mine!).

    :o)

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