I have recently discovered that there is hope for those of us who have consistently started and then stopped things for no apparent reason (like this blog of mine) other than a lack of conviction or purpose, or willingness, or laziness, or … you fill in the blank! It all started with a conversation, well actually several conversations, with my wife about the idea of retraining your brain. The conversations and my thoughts around the subject continued to nag at me, especially in the area of diet & exercise. It wasn’t limited to that but that was the place I wanted to start. One of the key points of discussion in this process was the idea that 60 consecutive days of consistent action becomes a habit that is harder to stop than to keep doing.
The journey began with a conversation about exercise routines, weight loss, and goals/time frames with my favorite personal trainer … my son in law Grant. He gave me 3 sets of 4 week schedules for daily workouts to do, as well as videos of him doing the exercises. I think he did the video taping so I could not have any excuses for not doing them (I mean who knows what a tree chop or a Paloff Press is anyway)! I started just after the new year and really worked at thinking through this by focusing on each days decision to get up and do it. While I was mindful of the “60 day” rule I really just tried to capture the thoughts for each day and set them right.
Along with this I began tracking food intake, what, when, and how much, utilizing the great technology at our finger tips. My preferred app is My Fitness Pal, which is pretty easy to use.
I am now sitting well beyond the 60 days and can say that my brain is pretty well retrained in this area. I have lost 25 pounds, and have increased my balance, strength, and discovered that I do have a core, and it is getting stronger as well. I have also found that there is joy in getting up and working out. Along the way I experienced the reality that we can retrain our brain to accomplish things that we have failed at before. While my end goal was a desire to lose 100 pounds when I started, the journey so far has taught that the important thing is to pay more and deeper attention to the steps toward the goal, than the goal itself. In fact the goal has now become not just about weight loss, but physical health and longevity. It is more about the overall enjoyment and excitement of living healthy, and I am truly enjoying the process.
If you are going to try this it helps to have an encourager alongside to walk/talk/text you through the times when the old wiring tries to gain control. I am very thankful to Grant for his willingness to share this journey, and to my wife Bev for celebrating, encouraging, and loving me in this process. Another key activity is to share your experiences with others as it helps to drive us forward, and hold us accountable.
I am now beginning to look at other areas of my life that are in need of some brain retraining. For those of you interested in my journey I will keep you posted as I go. For those of you who might want to learn more I would simply encourage you to give me shout.