Friday, July 30, 2010

Mental Game

Exercising can be such a mental game. Its a choice, but that doesn't mean its easy to stick to! And that doesn't mean its going to be easy to do! I was talking with a friend the other day who was talking about "Self-Efficacy". She mentioned that she has friends that have the covetable quality of self-efficacy. If they say they are going to run a marathon, there is no turning back, no questioning or wavering, but they will run that marathon and truly believe they are capable of doing it the whole time. Even if they had never run a marathon before in their life! Phenomenal! What a quality to have!

Don't most of us say "I might do this or do that" and then debate about it, weigh the pros and cons and think about it some more. Don't hold me to it! What if I chicken out? Or what if I can't do it?

There's another quality that goes really well with self-efficacy. Integrity. Isn't that one of those deep-rooted qualities you have always wanted people to describe you as having? I want to be known as a person of my word. If I say it, I mean it and its true. That can be hard to do though!

Lets look at the actual definitions:
Self Efficacy: the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner or attaining certain goals
Integrity: acting according to one's beliefs and values at all times

When it comes to exercising, we need to have a little self-efficacy and integrity. We all know we need to exercise. We know that it reduces the risk of heart disease, helps ward off chronic diseases, keeps us trim, gives us self confidence, blah, blah, blah. But then when it comes time to do it every day or most days of the week, we find other things to occupy us. "I don't have time".

Don't get me wrong, I get it. You have a job, kids to pick up, a husband to feed, a meeting or two, a Grey's Anatomy episode, a football game to watch... However, its important to try and change the way you're thinking and make time. I understand that there are bills to pay and fitting in time to exercise does not pay the bills. HOWEVER, by leading a lifestyle complete with exercise and healthy eating you can add 5-10 years to your life and potentially rid yourself of having to deal with and manage a chronic disease. I'm pretty sure your body will be paying you back ten-fold for that time you took to exercise. Sounds like a pretty FAT paycheck to me!

Furthermore, no one said exercising was going to be fun and easy ALL THE TIME. If something is worth having, its worth busting your butt for! Believe in yourself. It may not always be easy or fun, but it will definitely be rewarding at times and you are definitely capable of doing something that will get you moving. A small something is better than nothing at all.

Make exercise a priority. ACTUALLY write it in your planner. Block that time out for you. Allow exercise to be cathartic. Let it be that time to take a moment for you and you alone. Release. Relax. Let the busyness of your day drift away. Even if its 15 min in the morning before work and 15 minutes when you get home. Block out that time. You owe it to yourself and your body to have a little self-efficacy and a little integrity.

What does tomorrow look like? Pull out a permanent pen. Pick a time and write it in (a hike with a friend, a walk around the block, take the dog to the park, go to a group fitness class at the gym).

Be the person you are envious of. Be the person you want to be. Decide to exercise. Decide to be healthy and DO IT. Be known as the person with self efficacy and integrity. Go exercise!


  1. Just what I needed to read! Especially since I'm trying to fit this into my "new" life. Thank you! What an inspiration.

  2. I love your line, "Be the person you are envious of. Be the person you want to be." YEA!