By Joe Bocek
I was sitting with my notepad, meticulously working on our Fourth of July Parade agenda. Writing down ideas and making some sketches, it was quite the task to find a way to merge fitness and the Fourth of July.
It was then that an overt similarity surfaced: declaring independence from false beliefs and negative self-talk.
Obviously we are well beyond the time when our founding fathers set out to declare independence from tyranny and the corruption of a monarch. But an everyday oppression can easily exist more prevalently than we may realize.
In many ways, we are constantly bound and limited by the things we tell ourselves as well as how we think about ourselves.
For example, if we happen to be tracking and writing down the things we eat, we can be too hard on ourselves if we deviate from the course.
It’s even common for many people to say things to themselves like, “Wow. I really screwed up.” Or, “Man, I’m terrible at this.”
And where we might think we are just being desperately honest with ourselves, negative self-talk can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Now, instead of a slip-up just being a slip-up, we start to let it define who we are. And that is not the case at all.
Another example of this is if you miss a workout or a month of workouts, it can be easy to tell yourself that you should just give up or say to yourself something like, “I’m just not an exerciser.”
There really isn’t anything sillier than that last statement. I have a secret for you: Everyone is an exerciser. Whether you go to the gym, follow along with videos at home or even if you have run from someone wearing a mask on Halloween, you exercised. Congratulations, you are an exerciser.
Let’s dive deeper into this. In exercise psychology, researchers find that people usually put themselves in one of three categories.
In one category, they may see themselves as an exerciser who is currently exercising. In another, they could see themselves as an exerciser who isn’t currently exercising. Or lastly, they could see themselves as a non-exerciser who isn’t currently exercising.
The amazing thing here is that those who view themselves as non-exercisers have the hardest time reaching their fitness goals. And it’s all really up to each person and what they decide to believe about themselves.
Quite simply, if you want to have a better chance at reaching your health and fitness goals, view yourself as an exerciser.
Our founding fathers believed that all people are created equal with the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
And similar to our Declaration of Independence, we could say that when self-talk and false beliefs become destructive to our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, then it is the right of the people to abolish it.
Now, progress can be assisted by joining a workout group or working with a fitness professional, but it all starts with freeing yourself of these limiting thoughts or, rather, declaring your independence from false beliefs and negative self-talk.
So this year, as we celebrate our nation’s freedom and independence, let’s celebrate our own and begin thinking about our positives and what we can do rather than our negatives and what we cannot.
It may even help you reach your health goals.