Lint-Trap 4/28/01: Exercise




My Weight Lady was in town for several very busy days. She was seeing several other clients, and between working with her, getting stuff done for the end of my job, and doing my volunteer work, it was quite full.

The major topic was exercise. She espouses exercising only as hard as you can and still breathe through your nose. If you feel you have to breathe through your mouth, slow down! Nose breating encourages you to fill your lungs completely. which is calming, promotes more efficient oxygen exchange, and keeps you in the parasympathetic (fat burning) mode instead of the sympathetic (carb burning) mode.

I can almost count on one finger the number of times I've thought exercise was fun. Probably the high point was when I played squash in my thirties. I played with two of my coworkers, both of whom were far more experienced than I, but I got to the point where I would win an occasional game.

I would finish each hour, though, soaking wet and exhausted. I've never had the 'runners high' or 'endorphin high' many people report from exercise. Even when I've enjoyed the competition, when I've finished I've felt like shit.

Here ideas are inspired by a book by John Douillard called "Body, Mind, and Sport." An interesting read. She says that, in order for our body and mind to be in harmony, we must keep them from doing different things. So if we read or watch TV while reading, or eating, our mind is doing one thing and our body the other--no harmony there. And the opportunity for doing both eating and exercise unwisely or to excess.

So we took a couple of mile walk up the hill by my house. It's quite steep in places--when it got steep, we just walked more slowly. Always with the mouth closed. It was wonderful--instead of striving to get this over with so I could do something more interesting, I enjoyed the whole thing--the wildflowers, the view, even picking up the litter from the roadside. My body felt good before, during, and after. At this point, I'm looking forward to regular exercise, which is a major change in attitude for me.

NLP teaches us that the unconscious mind doesn't handle negatives well. If I say "Don't think of a blue tree.", you think of a blue tree. If I post a picture of a cigarette with red circle around it and a slash through it, rest assured that the smoker will think of cigarettes. The reason is that the brain stores 'NOT X" by storing X in one place, and NOT in another. There are some clever reaction time experiements that make this clear.

From the standpoint of motivation, if I am motivated by positive goals, it is far more effective. So if I want to be thin, it is works better than not wanting to be fat. Just thinking 'not fat' causes all the associations of 'fat' to come up in the mind--whales, pigs, blubber, grease, etc. The NOT gets lost in the sea of lousy feelings. Also, with the negative, "away from" goals, the more I gain my goal, the less motivated I feel.

So when I decided it was time to lose a lot of weight, I found someone who was NLP trained who does not fill my head with negatives. Most weight loss programs are totally negative. Lose weight or you'll die of a heart attack or get diabetes. Don't eat this, don't eat that. No pain, no gain.

This stuff is toxic waste for your mind. I swore I wouldn't put that stuff in my mind. And I haven't. Instead, I have images of being thin, of being more active, of being in harmony with my body, of getting back to my body's true blueprint.

There are many suggestions. One is to eat your largest meal in the middle of the day, when your digestion is the most efficient. I've tried it. I like it. Although it is very difficult to pull this off in our society, it will be easier when I'm fully retired. And it's only a little more than a week until that's the case. Joy and fear mix in me at the prospect!

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.