Archives for Health and Fitness
Feel the fear and do it anyway. -- Susan J. Jeffers This is the title of a self-help classic I read in 1987, when it first came out. I don’t remember much about the book, but the title stuck with me because it's such a useful concept. Now I’m reading a helpful book called The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher G. Germer that, at least what I’ve read so far, puts a yoga-esque, Buddhist-ish, new millennium-like spin on a similar concept. The gist of both books is to feel what you feel. You can’t run or hide from emotions and so you might as well just have them. Accept them. Let them course through your body. And don’t hate them. Emotions aren’t bad or good. They just are. They might be comfortable and uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable never killed anyone.
If one’s bowels move, one is happy; and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it. -- Lin Yutang Nice to hear the secret of life boiled down to crap, eh? I don't know the quote's context except that it came from a book called The Importance of Living. And according to one review of the book, "Lin Yutang’s ideal is the ‘scamp’ – an amiable loafer who wanders through life, learning, loving, living. " And sure, I can see this as a credo for that sort of carefree fellow. Actually, I think Dean Martin has said something similar. And he was nothing if not a scamp. It's refreshing attitude. So simple. So free from angst and navel gazing and rumination. Happiness is a warm..never mind.
You’re only one workout away from a good mood. The trouble with working out, a friend grumbled, is the lack of immediate gratification. I understand that. But that also depends on what you’re going for. If you exercise to look good, then yeah. No immediate gratification there. In fact, depending on how hard you work, you may or may not ever be gratified. You have to put some real work into your workout to change your appearance. Sometimes I put real work into my workout for a few weeks and see small physical changes. (Is that a bicep muscle or just a shadow?) Sometimes I don’t feel like working that hard and ratchet back to low-maintenance workouts. But even sissy little workouts provide immediate gratification that has hooked me on exercise: I feel so damn good when I’m done. Guaranteed. And that’s enough to get me going on low-motivation days. (Usually. Not always. I’m only human.) Thinking about long-range gratification is kind of useless. There’s so much we can’t control each and every day, how can we hope to control results in the distant future? That’s crazy talk.
"Suit up and show up." This is a widely used mantra to get yourself to exercise. I even have a fitness-related blog with that as its title. Theoretically, it’s a good motivational mantra. No matter how much I don’t want to exercise, if I force myself to put on my workout clothes and get started, I’ll get a good workout in. Suiting up + showing up = working out. If only they were magical words, though. If only correlation was causation. If only suiting up actually caused showing up. But it doesn’t.