Episode 60: Easy Exercise Motivation, Part I
Are you lazy? Does it require an act of God to get you to the gym? On today’s episode, learn what laziness really is, and how it is a completely reversible condition. Plus, Oprah’s power question to turn your weight struggle inside out.
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Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I'm your host, Renée Stephens, and together, we're accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind body system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey, and fullness to the rest of your life. On today's show: Overcoming Laziness. Plus, Oprah's power question to turn your weight struggle inside out.
And if this thought is negative, or inviting something to leave your experience rather than to come into your experience, notice what you would like to replace what you don't want, with. For example, if you want to let go of the fat, you might want to bring in a naturally slender body.
Do you think people were lazy back then? It seems to me that in the hunter-gatherer society, laziness wasn't even an option. In order to survive, we had to be active. We had to go out, and get our food, and prepare our food, and eat our food, and clean up, so just very active living required a lot of activity. So what we already know, exercise has tons of benefits, more discovered every day, it seems. Why? Because our bodies evolved needing to be active to ensure our survival. So now we have a choice, and in fact exercise has become something that we must decide to do because it isn't a part of most of our daily lives. If you have a desk job, if you work with technology, if you are a stay at home parent, for example, you probably don't need to do that much physical labor.
A special welcome to new listeners to this show. We're so glad you found us. You might take a moment to notice what you're hoping to find here. Jump right in to today's episode, and I also encourage you to go back to the beginning and start there by listening to the prologue, where you'll hear my personal story. There's a progression to Inside Out Weight Loss and the Renée Method, and you'll certainly benefit from building a foundation by starting at the beginning. Then take your time to digest each episode, each concept, each tool. Also consider: joining the Yahoo! group to support and be supported. There's a link available at my blog, at www.personallifemedia.com/renee and, if you like what you hear, you might want to go even deeper by purchasing the three guided journeys available for sale on my site at mindforbody.com, but you'll also find a link available on the right hand bar of my blog, www.personallifemedia.com/renee. Go ahead and drop inside, check in, and be present with you as we embark on today's journey as I share a moment of bliss courtesy of blisstrips.com - I especially like this one. You'll hear why in a moment.
Dance, dance, dance. Step into the ballrom of your mind and let yourself go. Every dance in the world is available to you - salsa, tango, waltz, Celtic, swing, ballet, and whatever you might create yourself. Whatever mood you're in, you can express it through movement. Give yourself a costume. Let it swirl around you as you cut a dashing figure out on the floor. You are grace and ease, you are momentum and flow. It's never been easier. The music carries you along. A partner? Perhaps. But this is all about you. Feel the innate poise you carry within. Feel it flowing outward through your torso and limbs. Express yourself in that way that only your body can. Creativity through movement, through freedom, through motion.
I especially like that bliss trip given that today is all about the joy of movement and exercise.
And let's go ahead and take that moment to set our intention for today's episode: What do you invite into your life today? Now, allow a thought or a word present itself to you. And if this thought is negative, or inviting a thought to leave your experience rather than to come into your experience, notice what you would like to replace what you don't want, with. For example, if you want to let go of the fat, you might want to bring in a naturally slender body. If you want to let go of self-criticism, you could invite in self-acceptance. If you want to let go of cravings you could invite in relxation around food. So note whatever it is you would like to invite into your experience, and perhaps it's something on another level altogether, on today's episode of Inside Out Weight Loss.
And while we're at it, let's open our awareness and our hearts to the presence of the fellow journeyers listening to this show, and those who have not yet found Inside Out Weight Loss, those who don't yet know that it can actually be easy and enjoyable to lose weight, that it can actually be easy and enjoyable to be naturally slender. And that anyone can become naturally slender. Including you.
Send all of the other listeners across space and time your support of their intention to win the weight struggle and to grow and share their soul's gifts, and feel their support come back to you magnified thousands of times over. Open up to the tremendous power of collective intent. My intention is to help you achieve yours, and my further intention, as you know, is to end the weight struggle, allowing you to grow and share your soul's gifts, and reach as many people as I possibly can, starting with you.
I'd like to share this comment from Angela, a fellow listener to this show. Angela writes:
"It's been 34+ years - I was on my first diet at six - since I've woken up and not been obsessed with where my next meal is coming from, how I'm going to get my food, and if I could bottle that feeling and give it to people, I would. But obtaining that feeling comes as close as getting it to a bottle as any when I use and reuse your podcasts. They're like a tonic for my soul, my relationship with food, and my gaining inner peace with what I considered unsolvable issues. And I want to see other people have access to that bottle."
And I want to thank you, Angela, for writing in, because as I've said before, it makes me feel so great to know that my work is actually helping people, so thank you, Angela.
I wanted to share with you a comment I heard Oprah make recently. I listen to her Spirit Channel podcast from time to time, and on this particular episode she was saying that she asks herself about challenging situations that occur in her life - "What is this situation here to teach me?" What is this situation here to teach me? And I think I may have spoken about this before., I certainly ask myself this question many, many times, but hearing this from Oprah on this particular day was a great reminder for me. I had a situation at my childrens' school, where another mother, who I have known for six or seven years - I don't know her well but we certainly chatted on multiple occassions - and for some reason this woman really appears to dislike me. She really doesn't seem to like me. I will pass her in the hallway, she'll come right next to me, she will look any way but the way I'm going, and if I offer a friendly greeting she'll respond only if she absolutely must, because she can't escape otherwise, and she's sent me some not-so-friendly emails about various things, she's caused some ... she's made things that I've wanted to coordinate because our daughters are good friends a little difficult. And I was thinking, "Why does this woman dislike me so much? What have I possibly done? I really don't get it!" And, at the same time, it was bugging me that this woman that I really don't know very well was bugging me so much! I'm thinking, "Why in the heck do I care that she doesn't like me? And I guess, you know, that's one of my things is that I like people to like me (don't we all) so the fact that she especially didn't like me, seemed to be, in fact, almost hostile to me, really bugged me. And I listened to Oprah's question, and I thought, "Okay, what is this situation here to teach me?" And immediately, as soon as I had asked the question, I heard the answer ... was compassion. Now this answer surprised me completely. "Compassion? Why would I want to learn compassion?" And then I realized - that if she is that grumpy with me - maybe, just maybe, she's got her own stuff going on to deal with. Maybe she's not a very happy person for whatever reason. And being so self-centered to be offended by her grumpiness towards me - or my perception of her grumpiness, which may not be in fact what she believes the situation is, who knows, I've never really asked her ... So asking this question allowed me to get out of myself long enough to begin to consider her perspective. And I don't know what she's got going on in her life, but I asked that question, the answer was compassion, and I immediately began to think that, "You know, maybe I shouldn't be judging her so quickly. Maybe there's a reason that she's unhappy, whatever it is." Interestingly enough, later that day or the next day I found out that other people thought she was grumpy too. I heard reports of other people saying, "My goodness, she's so grumpy! Why is she so grumpy? And impolite!" And I immediately realized that her grumpiness wasn't directed only at me, it wasn't like she liked everybody else on the planet and was friendly and open to everyone except for me, that was my self-centered fantasy, but in fact she's grumpy to other people. Now, it's a little embarrasing for me to say that this actually made me feel better, to know that it wasn't just about me, my egocentric, self-centric notion that the world revolved around me wasn't in fact true. And then I thought, "Wow, if she's grumpy to these other people in this type of situation, maybe there really is something going on in her life that she's upset about, maybe she's carrying some stuff from the past or whatever it is," and immediately I felt more compassion. Ironically, hearing this made me more compassionate, more forgiving, toward her. And the next time I see her, I will be able to come from a completely different place and give her a warm smile whether or not she responds to me, whether or not she's grumpy, because at least - at the very least - I can do that. So I love that question. What is this situation here to teach me? And as we think about our biggest struggles, as we think about our weight struggle, for example, something that may have been with you for decades if not most of your life, that you may have put everything you've got into trying to recover from, trying to change without success ... What if you asked yourself that simple question: What is this situation here to teach me?
Let's take a break now to support our sponsors. When we come back: How to get yourself moving and loving it! This is Renée Stephens, and you're listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on Personal Life Media.
We're back now. Before the break, we were talking about that question that I heard from Oprah - "What is this situation here to teach me?" And I'd love for you to post a comment to the blog or send me an email to email@example.com to tell me what answers you're receiving.
I want to ask you a question.
Do you consider yourself lazy?
Do you think of other people as lazy?
You know, I really dislike the word lazy. And I don't use it. I don't use the word lazy, becaue it is so negative. It is so fraught with judgement and condemnation. To ourselves, to the person it is directed at ... I've had many a client come to me and say, "I am just lazy, I can't get myself moving, I can't get myself exercising, I guess I'm just a lazy person." And then they phrase it like that, it sounds like something they were born with, it sounds like color of their hair or shape of their teeth. In short, it sounds unchangeable. And you know how I feel about that - unchangeable, negative beliefs about ourselves.
So I want to talk to you about laziness, but first I want to talk to you about exercise in general. And I want us to take a little trip, back in evolution, back to thousands of years ago, ten thousand years ago even, when we were hunter-gatherers.
Do you think people were lazy back then? It seems to me that in the hunter-gatherer society, laziness wasn't even an option. In order to survive, we had to be active. We had to go out, and get our food, and prepare our food, and eat our food, and clean up, so just very active living required a lot of activity. Then we moved to the agrarian age, and we're tilling fields, we're working on a farm, and indeed life required a lot of physical labor. And this persists all the way up through the 1800s, even to the first half of the 1900s, when you think about dishwashers not existing, you think about clothes washing machines not existing, so washing involved scrubbing clothes against a washboard, very physical, demanding activity. Cooking involved moving around a lot of heavy pots and pans and making everything from scratch. Shopping was a daily activity that people did. Elevators didn't exist. People walked or took horses and carriages to their desination. So life was much more active - physically active - than it is today with all of our modern conveniences. Indeed, with our computers and our dishwashers and our clothes washers, and all of the things that we have automated, our food prepared for us from the store or the restaurant, we can in fact be very, very inactive if we choose.
But how did the human body evolve? The human body evolved with a great deal of activity, it's used to activity. It is adapted to activity. So this incredibly sedentary lifestyle that is becoming increasingly sedentary over the last fifty, sixty years, because of the industrial age and because of technology, has given us a whole heck of a lot of free time. So we don't have to be active. We have a choice now. We can choose to be active, or we can choose not to be active.
Why do I mention this? Simply to give a context to what we all hear, that exercise is so healthy for us. The reason that exercise is so darn healthy for us in so many ways, mentally, they have discovered, as well as physically, spiritually, emotionally, and all the rest of it. In fact in one study I saw that exercise was found to be more effective than perscription anti-depressents - considerably more effective than perscription anti-depressants, which when you remove the placebo effect which are only 20-30 percent effective ... So what we already know, exercise has tons of benefits, more discovered every day, it seems.
Why? Because our bodies evolved needing to be active to ensure our survival. So now we have a choice, and in fact exercise has become something that we must decide to do because it isn't a part of most of our daily lives. If you have a desk job, if you work with technology, if you are a stay at home parent, for example, you probably don't need to do that much physical labor.
So exercise is a choice. And if it's a choice, that means that we have the opportunity to choose not to, to choose to abstain from moving our bodies. And, of course, suffer the consequences. From lack of vitality to excess weight to depression and anxiety, all sorts of negative consequences come from being inactive. And then we say to ourselves, "Oh, my goodness, I am so lazy, I'm just a lazybones, I just want to lie on the sofa, I can't get myself to do anything ... When I come home from a long day at work all I want to do is vegetate out in front of the TV."
An interesting thing is, much more often than not, when I ask a client who is doing this behavior, who is vegetating after a long day at work, I say, "Well, what would you like to be doing?" And often they'll say something like, "Well, I'd like to be tidying the house, and going doing my workout, and cleaning up, and doing my administrative tasks, and doing my project, and my crafting, and on and on and on. They've got this long list of things to do - and just listening to it, I get exhausted! I think, "Oh, my gosh! If you've been at work the whole day, I'm betting that you need some downtime. And you're taking it. And what you're saying is that you want to edit out all the downtime in your life. And so you call yourself lazy just because you need, understandably so, some downtime in your life."
And they say, "Oh. Huh."
So we then redo it, and we come up with some actual sanctioned vegetation time, time doing things of no redeeming quality. It could be watching television - I personally love to read ridiculous gossip celebrity magazines - even staring into space, who cares, we need downtime. So once we have our sanctioned downtime, we become a whole lot less lazy, interestingly enough.
So what is laziness, really? Laziness is nothing more than a lack of motivation or a presence of demotivation. (Is that a word?) A presence of being unmotivated. A feeling of dread when you think of doing something. And that causes us to be inactive. So it's either that we have a complete lack of motivation, or we are actually demotivated by the thought of moving our bodies. And if we are unmotivated, demotivated, if we're neutral to negative about moving our bodies, it means that we are thinking about things, about exercise, in a way that produces those results. And therefore, if we change the way we think about exercise, we will change our motivation level. If we change the way we think about exercise, we will change our motivation level.
Now I bet you would like to know if you want to be more active, if you want to be more motivated to exercise, if you want to enjoy it more, I'm betting that you might like to know how to change the way that you think about exercise so that you get yourself to do it and - shock, horror! - even enjoy it. There is a specific mental strategy, in other words, a specific mental thought pattern that people who enjoy exercising, people who get themselves to exercise consistently, use. That if you're not exercising, you're not using it, because if you were, you would be. And, we're out of time today, but on the next episode of Inside Out Weight Loss - guess what? We'll go through that strategy, the exercise motivation strategy, learning how to think like an exerciser.
That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. Remember, you'll get double, three times, ten times more out of this journey than what you put in, but you must put in to get out. Form an Inside Out Weight Loss book club or podcast club. Get some friends together, or find friends on the Yahoo! group - there's a link at personallifemedia.com/renee - and find some others who are on a similar journey, and you would agree to a specific schedule when you're going to listen to each episode, and then you would get together either by teleconference or in person, with your friends or family or colleagues, to discuss the episode and how you're implementing the concepts in your life. Research clearly shows that those who are supported by others in their journey are the most successful at permanent weight loss.
For further shows on the Personal Life Media network, visit our website at personallifemedia.com. There is some amazing concept on there on all sorts of topics. This is your host Renée Stephens, and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet, enabling you to share your soul's gifts. Join me as we evolve the world and evolving ourselves. Take good care.
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