An Inspirational Quote
“Wherever you are, be there totally.
If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options:
Remove yourself from the situation,
Or accept it totally.
If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of these three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. ”
The following is an excerpt of some of the key points I made recently at a lecture for the Women’s Guild at Holy Spirit Catholic Church entitled, “How To Develop A Healthy Relationship With Exercise.”
In order to find exercise that you can actually stick with, you have to be honest with yourself about who you really are and what the primary motivating forces are in your life.
What Are Your Primary Drives In Life?
Of all the systems of body-typing I have ever learned, the one developed by Dr. Carolyn Mein, D.C., author of Different Bodies, Different Diets has been the most profound for me in changing the way I think about people, exercise and eating.
Although ostensibly a book about diet and weight loss, what Dr. Mein’s real gift is to help people understand who they really are. I use this reference not only to help my clients understand the best ways for each individual to eat and exercise, but also to empower them to find the most rewarding careers.
We all have four primary drives in life, and whether it comes to our workouts or our work, we have to be satisfying these dominant drives or we won’t feel happy, healthy or maintain our ideal weight.
When my clients aren’t satisfying their dominant drives, I hear them say things like, “I don’t really feel like myself right now.”
For the record, although there are some types that tend to struggle with their weight, there are no natural couch-potato types. That means that although different people do better with different kinds of exercise, everybody (including you if you are reading this newsletter) benefits from regular movement.
The four drives are:
Of these four, you have two dominant drives.
You must be satisfying your dominant drives first, and then you can integrate the other two aspects of your personality.
If you would like to understand more about your body type and which exercise will work best for you, make an appointment and I will be happy to teach you.
Most people who are physically driven have usually already found their way to some sort of work out program. But what about the other three dominant types? How can you connect to exercise if you are an intellectual or highly emotional or even view yourself as primarily a spiritual person?
Exercise To Satisfy Your Dominant Drives
When you exercise to satisfy who you really are, you are more likely to stick with it. As you become consistent, you will notice many physical benefits.
Best Exercise For Intellectuals
These people need mental stimulation while they exercise. That could include working with a knowledgeable instructor who can teach them about the deeper aspects of their art.
Learn something new, even if it is new steps or new methods of training
Best Exercise For Emotional People
These people need methods of movement that allow them to connect to how they really feel and release their pent-up emotional stress.
Karate, martial arts
Exercising with others, such as a trainer or partner
Walking in fresh air and sunlight
Best Exercise For Spiritual People
These people need methods of working out that allow them to connect to who they really are and nurture their souls.
Service or volunteer-oriented activities, such as cleaning house for an elderly neighbor
Walking your dog
Exercising in a group
Family activities such as touch football, camping
Canoeing, back packing and hiking in nature
Of course, if you are working with a really good instructor who has integrated all the major aspects of her personality, any form of movement can be deeply rewarding.
What It Really Takes, Exercise-Wise
“Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real.” Eckhart Tolle
If you are serious about losing weight, you must get serious about moving your body every day and making exercise a regular, consistent part of your life. The scientific research shows that you must exercise 3 1/2 to 5 hours per week to lose weight, and the registries of people who have lost weight and kept it off all show they have become regular, consistent exercisers. If you are serious about looking the way you want to look, get serious about moving DAILY for at least 30 minutes.
What To Look For In A Mentor
Being successful in life is really not that hard. You just have to find people in significant areas of your life who have already achieved the goals you want to master yourself. When researchers look at people who have successfully made major changes, such as losing a significant amount of weight, stopping smoking, getting off alcohol or drugs, or giving up an eating disorder, etc., most people who are successful at change have a mentor. At the present time, I am personally working with three mentors to empower me to move forward in different aspects of my life.
Although there are many knowledgeable men in fitness, they have never personally experienced PMS, infertility, the struggle to become pregnant or give birth, severe mood imbalances brought on by shifting hormones or the major metabolic changes of menopause. The best mentors for women are other women who have mastered their own bodies and who can share their experiences honestly with you.
With respect to my many sincere, highly educated and dedicated male colleagues, this is like having learned about tigers without actually having tamed one yourself.
Look for other women who have healthy relationships with food. A person with a healthy relationship with food will not be going on and off of diets. She will eat the same whether she is mad, upset or calm. She will eat the same whether she is on vacation or at home. She may include treats in her diet, but she never, ever overeats. One of the fastest ways to tell whether someone has a healthy relationship with food is to go for a meal with them. A good example will include fruits and vegetables on their plate and will stop before they are full. How rapidly do they eat? How calm do they appear around the eating process?
Find mentors who have a healthy relationship with exercise. That will mean they love what they do. One of my friends was discussing this issue with me, and she mentioned another friend who hated to exercise but who loves to sweat. I contend that’s still not a good example. You don’t want to follow people who are punishing themselves in order to achieve some ideal shape. You want to find people who go from joy to joy.
They empower you to find balance in your own life. Extreme diets or grueling workouts are only as good as your willpower or state of health at the time. A true mentor will show you where you can find moderation. That means they will tell you honestly when you are over exercising, under eating or otherwise trashing your health. Yes, we all want to be thin. No, you can’t eat whatever you want and lay on the couch and expect to look the way you really want to look. Truth wins in the long run.
They are examples you can actually follow the rest of your life. I tell my clients they have a good chance of looking the way I look because I don’t over exercise and I can’t remember the last time I went on a diet. Nothing in my body has been cut off or added to. I eat cookies (gluten-free), drink wine and enjoy treats (you can download the recipes for my raw food desserts at http://www.totalfitness.net/nutrition%20recipes.htm). The trick is I also exercise moderately virtually every day. A week’s worth of exercise for me includes tai chi, yoga, walking, qi gong, and weight lifting and sometimes biking or hiking, depending on the weather. I always feel good while I work out as well as afterwards. I usually eat five times a day. I get plenty of rest and don’t deprive myself. I never count calories – I have too many other interesting, meaningful things in life to think about. My diet is delicious, mostly organic, fresh and primarily homemade. If you lived the way I lived, you would be happy, have great energy and would enjoy your eating and exercise.
Change Your Focus, The Rest Will Follow
“The moment the judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind.” Eckhart Tolle
Change your relationship with the scale and focus on being healthy. Most women define themselves by the number on their bathroom scale, as in, “I am 140,” or “I want to be 117.”
There is seldom little attention paid to what is actually being said.
I have news for you. You are not a number. Please remember that you are a soul WITH a body. You are a soul who has gifts and talents, and you have an important reason for being alive, whether you have realized it or not. You are more than any number on any scale and who you are on the inside matters more than the size of your jeans.
Many women make the mistake of just focusing on the numbers on the scale. Only when you release that focus and shift instead to focusing on becoming really, really healthy will that number on the scale begin to improve and you start looking like you really want to look. Practice loving the parts of your body you find most challenging (such as your buttocks, thighs, abdomen, etc.) and practice joyful movement. Nourish yourself with food that not only tastes good but is also good for you.