Are fears, anxiety or depression holding you back from the life you want? Do you have weight management issues that have more to do with your mind than your mouth? If so, I would love the opportunity to speak with you about how I might be of help.
Therapy should be an individualized process that focuses on your personal goals. I have seen this process lead to improved relationships, personal confidence and development of greater control over emotions.
I see you at my gym. Yes, you. I know what you are up to. I might have done it once or twice myself.
You exercise hard, doing things you hate. You exercise because you are supposed to. You’ve got to lose weight. You’ve got to flatten your abs. You’ve got to get more fit. But mostly, really, truth be told, you exercise because you are punishing yourself.
Be honest. It’s punitive. You exercise to make up for that weekend binge, that unplanned cookie at work yesterday, that extra 10 pounds you have to lose. And, you tell yourself you will atone for your nutritional sins by pounding harder on the treadmill. And, you hate the treadmill.
The worst part about punitive exercise is that it will eventually have exactly the opposite effect you are hoping for. Hoping to lose weight, you engage in tiring, draining, unpleasant exercise, which leaves you feeling increasingly negative about exercising. Your physical efforts mentally defeat you.
However, you can use your brain to improve your body! Exercise is supposed to be satisfying, like a drink of water when we are thirsty. Humans are supposed to move, not abuse themselves. Non-punitive exercise releases neurotransmitters that improve mood, such as serotonin. Interestingly, a good serotonin balance not only combats depression and anxiety, it can decrease the desire to overeat .
Three suggestions can help you stop the punitive exercise and start feeling and looking your best:
First, choose exercise you like : walk, bike ride, hike, swim. A round of golf, or a strength training class. Pick something that you feel good doing, or at least don’t feel bad doing.
Second, give yourself credit for exercise every time you do it. Just a little encouraging self-talk, like “I’m proud of myself for taking the time to walk,” or “I feel so much better once I get a little activity,” or “I am getting stronger!”
And lastly, for exercise to be helpful, it has to become a habit . Plan for exercise in your daily schedule. I recommend new exercisers commit to only 5 minutes a day of exercise until it becomes habit.
Does 5 minutes sound silly? Consider that a year’s worth of 5 minutes a day exercise would amount to more than 30 hours of exercise! That’s enough to burn about 3 pounds of fat —without even trying; without feeling terrible; without a big time commitment; or even a gym membership.
And, I might add, without punishing yourself. A five minute walk in fresh air feels good. Doesn’t seem like such a difficult habit to start now, does it? After a few weeks, it might even make you want to do 10 minutes. Just to be extra nice to yourself!
Learn what REALLY triggers panic attacks and anxiety, and how to stop it!
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Identify your emotional obstacles to Weight Loss and make long-term, lifestyle changes.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise