Are You Arguing for Your Limitations?

Sunshine on my shoulders, my face, the garden…for days and days of warming delight. This unseasonably long stretch of weather has put us about 5 weeks ahead of the “usual” spring schedule so I’m adding dandelions to my salad bowls and admiring gorgeous blossoms in vases. Wow.

Ornamental Apple

 

 

The delightful weather has also meant hiking, biking and walking without thermal underwear and wool sweaters!  I’ve ramped up my exercise sessions in duration, intensity and frequency because I have a set destination for August 11th: the summit of Mt. St. Helens!  Since this trek is neither a technical climb (requiring ropes and crampons, etc.) nor a stroll around the base of the mountain, to say that I am climbing or hiking this majestic peak doesn’t do the descriptive trick, so I’m declaring that I will be “cliking” the mountain.  Spell checker, go punt.

I bet there are a few of you who 1) set some health and fitness goals around the turn of the calendar in January and, 2) may not be where you thought you’d be at this point in your progress.  So here’s a wee nudge (or push!) and a handful of tips to get back on track with what you envisioned 2 months ago.

  •  Let me guess: Your #1 “reason” (we’ll come back to that word choice in a moment) for not exercising/working out is that you just “don’t have time.”  Ha!  How many non-work hours per day are you sitting on your keester in front of a screen, either watching television or sucked into your Facebook page on your computer/tablet/phone?  Shut down the gadgets, get up, out and move!  My friend Sylvia has the perfect response to this “reason”:  “I work full-time, have 3 boys under the age of 6, tend our home, engage in my marriage and work out 5 times per week.  No more excuses, which are not reasons.”
  • Quit defining your health, fitness, life, and yourself by your limitations.  “I can’t __________.”  “I don’t _________.”  “I won’t ______.”  What do these limitations have in common, no matter what you put in the blanks?  Yep, negative declarations.  And every time you state or think them, you have reinforced this truth to an audience of 65 trillion = the number of cells in your body.  Congratulations!  You’ve just programmed your body with the reality of your choosing.  As one of my teachers said several years ago: Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.
  • You have choice in every breath, every moment.  What do you choose?  Whining and complaining as a victim (a vicious cycle) or deciding what you want to accomplish (lose 10 lbs., increase your energy, bench press 250…)?  Begin with the first step that is attainable and reasonable to reach your vision.  Perhaps that is declaring that you will walk 10 minutes three times per week.
  • Have a real honest, I mean bare bones honest, chat with yourself.  What is your ultimate goal or desire around your health, life, body?  Do you want to look better, feel better (Guess what?  The two go hand in hand: when you look good, you feel good and vice versa.), lose weight or build core strength?
  • Pick one, yes only ONE, outcome to pursue and work towards.  What’s the first action step to begin that you can do right now as you decide on your choice?  Keep it small and attainable so the self-sabotage, set-up to fail cycle is waylaid.  Many peeps set grandiose goals in a very puffed up illusory state (hello ego!) such as: “I will walk 3 miles every day!”  If you’re currently walking 2.5 miles every day, that’s a reasonable and very doable goal.  If you haven’t walked around the block since you were 3, you’ve already lost and the ice cream will be screaming for some hang time with you.  A more reasonable declaration instead could be: “I will walk for 10 minutes 3 days per week.”  Do this for 2 weeks or longer before ramping up the ante.  It is the small steps that lead to sustainable change and this is what you want, not an accumulation of false starts and the same body.
  • Set an “arrival date” to attain your goal.  Register for an event, like a fundraising walk or run or hiking trek to look forward to.  I experienced the fun & power of this back in the early ’00s when training for biking trips in Europe.  It was a supreme motivator to train toward a specific goal with a deadline.
  • Celebrate each victory, no matter how small you think it may be.  You not only can do this, you are doing this!

This is your life.  Create it as you wish it to be.  Be the cause for how it is, not the effect.

8 Responses to “Are You Arguing for Your Limitations?”

  1. Autumn

    Dear Heather:
    It would be great if you could take your zesty article one step further some time and discuss what post-spinal fusions people can do besides walk.
    I’ll sign up if you have a do-gooder cause for every foot up the mountain you make up Mt. St. Helens. I have no doubt we’ll find you dancing on a lenticular cloud.

    Reply
    • Heather Michet

      Thank you for commenting and for your question, Autumn! There are several fitness options folks with spinal cord & other mobility-limiting injuries can participate in that yield good results. The first choice I suggest is water walking/jogging or a water aerobics class. Most areas have aquatic centers or health clubs that offer these types of classes along with specialized staff that can work one-on-one with a client if desired. Read my Swimming blog series for more information on the great benefits of swimming.
      Secondly, I refer many elder and mobility-limited clients to try chair yoga. You’d be surprised how much fitness and core strengthening can be accomplished with this approach!
      Lastly but certainly not because it is a “bottom of the list” choice is Tai Chi or Qi Gong. These gentle yet powerful practices also build core strength and balance the body’s energy fields while relieving stress and tension.
      As with all exercise activities, consult with your medical practitioner who has guided and guides your post injury healing (chiropractor, physical therapist, surgeon…) to review your options and make recommendations. Try a new workout activity to see if it works for your body until you get a “fit” and stick with it to achieve the results you seek. Bonne chance!

  2. Gary C.

    Thanks for the “kick in the ass.” I’ve developed an incurable health problem but can be controlled by the only know drug, Prednisone. As you probably know it’s a steroid. It does have my problem under control but one big side effect is weight gain. Twenty eight pounds since last June. I really watch my eating habits but my weight slowly moves up. One of the side effects of my health problem is nerve damage in my legs. Bottom line, I tire easily. Exercise is hard. Your article really points out my main problem. ME. I’ve never been a quitter but that’s what I’ve done to myself. Your article is brutally honest to my thoughts and couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thank you for posting it.

    Reply
    • Heather Michet

      Hi Gary – Thank you for reading and for sharing so much about your healing journey & struggles. Two questions I have for you: How much water are you drinking and from what source (filtered, bottled, tap)? Also, Are you currently doing any activity? The body is constantly regenerating and I believe you could achieve weight loss, ease in exercising and reduction of & perhaps even elimination of nerve pain with a few remedies and a Vibrant Health Plan. I’d love to work with you to help you achieve these milestones. No worries that you are geographically distant as we can work together thanks to modern technology. Contact me if you would like to get started! Healthful blessings to you.

  3. Elliot Geller

    Dear Heather,
    Enjoyed your inspiring article, arguing for your limitations…great timing with all the plant energy bursting out all around us…no arguing in the green world. So I would like to hear more of your exercise plan to ready yourself for the climb up Mt St Helen’s. I was a climber for six years and enjoyed the summit of St Helen’s before she blew. I have not been up there since…it is on my to do list of outdoor adventures. Thank you for joining us on the ADEBS bd and taking on the treasurer role. I look forward to getting to know you better.
    Warm Regards,
    Elliot

    Reply
    • Heather Michet

      Greetings, Elliot! I am glad you found the article inspiring. Thank you so much for both reading and commenting. Your request for more details on my workout plan is a great suggestion for another article! I will put that in the writing hopper.
      With your climbing experience I bet there are many tips that you could share with me and my cohorts heading up on August 11th.
      I am honored to have been asked to join the NWADEBS Board of Directors and look forward to being of service to the organization. Healthful blessings to you.

  4. Rahmana

    i want to lose weight. For me the goals of fitness and weight and looks are all intertwined and i can’t lose weight without all of the rest. I have started swimming again now that i’ve found a saltwater pool. still more chlorine than drinking water but not as much as the other pools that are chlorine. they were killing me. I’m at the lowest level of fitness. i say that because the oldest, most debilitated population is in the pool. Because of my joints it’s the best choice for me. i also do yoga. I’m glad to be back in the pool again and back at yoga. and i have lots of stretches assigned to me by my acupumcturist and massaage therapist. I am grateful and happy. Love, Rahmana

    Reply
    • Heather Michet

      Dear Rahmana – Thank you so much for commenting, it’s great to hear from you! I am thrilled that you are swimming and doing yoga, both “feel” like a perfect fit for you to help you with your health & fitness goals.
      I’ve written an article in my Swimming Blog Series here on the website that you might find interesting and helpful as it gives you a way to help neutralize the chlorine:
      Re. your comment “I am at the lowest level of fitness.” Not only can you improve your fitness, you are DOING it! Brava and keep up the great work. Blessings to you.

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