|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It's Not About the Sweat
When Marcia called me, she was at her wit's end. Now in her mid-fifties, she'd been carrying around excess weight for thirty years, ever since she'd given birth to her first child. "I've tried everything," she told me, "eating special foods, fasting, diet plans from my doctor, jogging, the treadmill at the gym . . . Nothing works. I can't seem to lose weight for more than a few months at a time, and then it comes back again. I'm calling you because I know your specialty is motivation. And I need to be motivated!"
"Actually," I said, "you sound incredibly motivated. Maybe too motivated." I knew this would get her attention.
"How can you say I'm motivated when I'm five dress sizes bigger than I should be?" she asked. I could hear the annoyance in her voice, but I also heard the anxious pressure of should driving her frustration. She should eat less, be thinner, work out more, take care of her health . . . Like so many of us, Marcia had come to think of food and physical movement not as the life essentials they are but as "diet" and "exercise"a type of medicine prescribed in doses of portion sizes and reps we have to "take" or "do" to lose weight and prevent disease. But when eating and moving become something we should do or have to do rather than something we want to do, this undermines motivation and participation big time. After all, who looks forward to "taking her medicine"?
"Marcia," I said, "I'm going to ask you to do something, and I think it will be incredibly hard for you. But I want you to at least consider it." I didn't have to wait for her response.
"I'll do anything!" she replied, sounding ready to jump off a cliff if that's what I suggested. "Just give me a plan, a programanything. I swear I'll follow it to a T."
"Good," I said. "I know you don't have any pressing health problems, so here's what I want you to do: I want you to stop dieting and get off that treadmill."
"And do what?" she asked.
"How about just living your life?" I responded. "How about deciding that it's okay to forget about dieting? Instead of watching calories and driving yourself to sweat, you'll begin enjoying your life by being as physically engaged in it as possible. How does that sound?"
"That sounds great, I guess," Marcia admitted. "But I'm not really sure what you mean by being physically engaged. And don't I have to sweat to get the benefit? Or else why do it? Honestly, I've tried just as many exercise plans as diets, and I couldn't stick with any of them. I fail with exercise too."
"That's not a problem. I'm not going to ask you to exercise either."
"What?!" Marcia sputtered. I think she thought I was crazy. I knew that this statement must have sounded downright insane coming from a motivation coach who specializes in getting people to become physically active.
"The idea of exercise has become too much of a synonym for punishment," I continued. "You hear the word exercise and immediately think that if you're not drenched in sweat and gutting it out on some kind of complicated gym equipment for at least an hour a day every day, you're failing at it."
This hit home with Marcia. "Yes! Exactly! I can't stand going to the gym. First, it's boring. I hate those machines and dragging myself through classes with perky instructors. Plus I'm surrounded by skinny young women who run on those treadmills as though they're outracing the bulls at Pamplona. It's so depressing!"
"So why not move your body in ways that feel good to you instead?"
The complete silence on the other end of the phone told me that Marcia had never stopped to consider this idea before. Maybe you haven't either, so let's talk about it right now.
I'm guessing that you picked up this book because, for the first or fiftieth time, you've gotten up your resolve to start exercising, watch what you eat, get in better shape, and improve your overall health. I really hope you weren't looking for another standard diet or exercise plan. Because just as I explained to Marcia, I'm asking you to begin by doing just the opposite: Take a break. Give yourself some breathing room to consider where your usual approach to fitness and health has taken you.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
A Note to Health Professionals
Chapter 1. It's Not About the Sweat
The Health and Fitness Message Isn't Working
Doing What You Enjoy Is a Better Motivator for Exercisingand It Works
An Individualized Program That Changes Lives
Your MAPS and How to Use Them
It's Your Move
Part I. Meaning
Chapter 2. Escaping the Vicious Cycle of Failure
What Does Exercise Mean to You?
The Vicious Cycle of Failure
Why We Choose the Wrong Reasons for Exercising
Escaping Your Personal Vicious Cycle of Failure
Do You Just Need More Willpower?
Chapter 3. Motivation from the Inside Out
Our Past Experience with Exercise Builds Our Meanings
Self-Determination Theory Supports the Benefits of Owning Our Choices
Take Ownership of Your Exercise
Framing Is Everything: The "Work or Fun" Study
The Why: The Foundation of Sustainable Behavior Change
How Our Whys Influence Even How Much We Eat
Muddying the Waters: More Motives Are Not More Motivating
Part II. Awareness
Chapter 4. Exorcising Exercise
Body Shaping and Weight Loss Whys Guide Us to Work Out in Ways We Don't Like
To Feel or Not to Feel? Feelings Trump Function
High-Intensity Exercise Feels Bad to a Lot of Folks
Ignoring Your Body Undermines Your Goals
How Autonomy Can Change Your Experience
The Relationship Between Enjoying Exercise and Losing and Maintaining Weight
Illuminating Invisible Chains
How to Exorcise Exercise
Chapter 5. Count Everything and Choose to Move!
What "Counts" Is Different from What You Think
The Misunderstood Ten-Minute Rule
Sitting May Be Bad for Your Health
To Sweat or Not to Sweat?
Moving Away from the Medical Model of Exercise
Everything Counts: A Better Message to Motivate More Movement
Understanding That "Everything Counts" Is a Bridge to Consistency
It All Adds Up
A Treasure Hunt: Discovering Hidden Opportunities to Move
Chapter 6. From a Chore to a Gift
Reframing: From the Wrong Why to the Right Why
Many Right Whys: Regular Physical Activity Is an Elixir of Life
Why Isn't "To Be Healthy" a Right Why?
Reward Substitution Is a Very Strategic Move
The Successful Cycle of Motivation
Listen to Your Body's Messages and Do What You Like
Wanting and Liking: The Neuroscience of Reward
Men and Women Might Benefit from Different Experiences
"Gift" Yourself with Movement Any and Every Way You Can
Let the Games Begin! Discovering the Gifts of Movement in Your Life
Could Walking Be Your Way?
Part III. Permission
Chapter 7. Permission to Prioritize Self-Care
Does Your Mindset Have Your Best Interests in Mind?
Caretakeritis Is Not Good for Anyone's Health
Are Your Paying Attention to Your Body's Distress Signals?
Seeing Through the "I Don't Have Time" Smoke Screen
Your Daily Self-Care Needs
Give Yourself Permission to Stop Following Shoulds
Your Brain Can Change, and So Can Your Mindset
Permission Is the Gateway to Prioritizing Your Self-Care
If You're Not Ready, Pretend You Are
Chapter 8. What Sustains Us, We Sustain
You Are the Energy Center of Your Life
The Amazing Paradox of Self-Care: Giving to Yourself Means Giving More to Others
Alchemy: The Gift of Physical Movement Becomes Essential Fuel for What Matters Most
The Sustainable Cycle of Self-Care
What Sustains Us, We Sustain
Positive Emotions Help Us Build Better Lives
What Do I Need Right Now?
The Conundrum: Which Self-Care Activity Do You Choose?
Part IV. Strategy
Chapter 9. Six Big Ideas for Lifelong Sustainability
Big Idea #1: Use Learning Goals to Get Intrinsic Motivation, Persistence, and Resilience
Big Idea #2: Begin with the End in Mind
Big Idea #3: Use Sustainable Self-Care as an Essential Strategy for Well-Being
Big Idea #4: Integrate One New Behavior at a Time
Big Idea #5: Strengthen the CoreBuild Consistency Before Quantity
Big Idea #6: Bring Your Learning to Life
Chapter 10. Sustainability Training
Negotiating the Reality of Our Complex and Busy Lives
The Lynchpin of Sustainability: Self-Regulation and Negotiation
Sustainability Training for Life
Become a Skilled Self-Care Negotiator
Make a Self-Care Negotiation Plan
Phase 1. Planning and Previewing
Phase 2. Negotiation in Action
Phase 3. Nonjudgmental Evaluation and Recalibration
Epilogue: Changing Your Beliefs, Changing Your Behavior, Changing Your Life
Stephanie's Story: MAPS in Real Life
The Learning Process Never Ends
Your Journey Continues
About the Author