Many of you know that some elite athletes engage a Sport Psychologist to assist them in the way they concentrate or think about their sport. For those of us that want to change our lifestyles to be healthier we work out in a gym and some of us are fortunate enough to have a trainer who may be able to assist.
For others, there’s reading, blogs, websites, and honestly self-talk. Many of us talk about an on-off switch in our heads for when we are ready to be committed to lifestyle changes. Much of the time it’s the way in which we talk to ourselves, such as, “I have to give up fast food, sodas, pumpkin pie and Snickers which is like tearing my arm off. Also, I would have to get up at 5am to workout which is such a sacrifice” instead of saying, “I’m willing to change the way I eat and manage my time so I can get off these godforsaken drugs that keep me in my bad habits.”
Ok maybe the chatter doesn’t go like that, but you get the idea. It is the way we talk to ourselves, how we are either our own worst enemy or best friend. Take a look at that little photo of impossible and unable with the crossed off negative connotations to make them positive. THAT’s what I’m talking about.
MyFitnessPal has a blog that I just read today, titled Win or Learn. I found it exceptionally informative because I really never thought about self-chatter. Steve Ledbetter is a guest writer. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, who has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, and is finishing his Masters in Applied Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. His specialty is habit-based training. I found his article to make a lot of sense.
One of the most important lessons from the science of Exercise Psychology is the connection between thoughts and emotions and emotions and behavior. Cousins and Gillis (2005) showed that how people talk to themselves about exercise not only impacted their exercise adherence, but interventions that positively changed the language that people use to talk about exercise actually improved their adherence to an exercise plan.
Here’s a great example of this. As the weather gets colder that’s an excuse to stay home in many minds. Last year I was one of those nitwits. We talk ourselves into being paralyzed by the elements instead of the 645 calories we can burn in the gym which will get us much closer to our goals. I love the Today Show but honestly, they can’t do my exercises for me. They’re enabling me to be naughty.
If you’re one of these folks, reconsider how you self-chatter. Find ways to promote and support your goals from within.