We lie to ourselves. We know this. And it’s what causes us to cause our own problems. Its not something we do vindictively to ourselves, it’s just something we do as a means to get what we want a little faster, or a little easier. In the end, it just causes us problems.
In this article, I’m writing about the lies we tell ourselves when it comes to working out and staying fit.The lies we tell ourselves when it comes to fitness can go both ways: lies about why we can’t workout and lies about how much we can workout or to what intensity. Both of these lies result in the same thing: not working out. I have told myself both of these kinds of lies, and I am also a product of what it is to stop telling myself these lies.
The Superhero Lies
Lets start with the fun lies we tell ourselves. These lies feel good. These are the lies when we get these great surges of energy and feel like our favorite superhero. My superhero of choice is She-Ra, and if you don’t know her, one of her greatest assets is her strength.
She strong! I love that muscular woman, and when I’m feeling really good, I want to pick up 500 pounds and throw it through the air. Booyah!
Unfortunately, lies like these likely end you up with back pain, or some other muscle strain, and force you to sit it out for a while. Dang it! So much for the booyah.
Sometimes these lies demonstrate themselves a little more subtly, without images of superheroes in your mind. That’s when you tell yourself that the little twinge in your back, ankle, fill-in-the-blank, isn’t really anything to worry about, and then we forge through it. Again, we find ourselves on the sidelines, having to wait till something heals.
Superhero lies are essentially delusions of grandeur, and the subtle superhero lies are only a little less grandiose, they are more along the lines of denying our mortality or at least the limitations of our normal human frames. Both of these lies result in the same thing: we have to stop working out for more than just the one or two days we would have had to do if we would have listened to a little reason.
What to do about it: alright people, you know that when you are hurting you need to take a break. You get these little red flags that go off in your mind and you choose to ignore them. Don’t. Stop that immediately and remember that you really are mere human after all. Sit this one out and come back out the next day.
The Age Lies
I’m feeling this one a little more as each month flies by without me noticing. Oh, the age lies. Now, we can all work out and try to slow down the aging process as much as possible, and I am all for staying fit and healthy until I drop dead at the age of 118. But, we have to face facts here. No matter what age you are, you are getting older. And if you are over thirty and reading this, then you have probably already experienced a little of this.
Now, the age lie is one lie that can go both ways: I’m too old to lose weight, get healthy, lift weights, run a mile, etc. etc, and then the other side of that is, I’m not that old! I can throw down my newly muscled, 40-year-younger nephew in a living-room tussle anytime, anywhere! (true story, but don’t tell my husband I told you!).
Both of these lies are destined to bring you down. One of them quicker than the other.
This lie of “I’m too old to . . .” is just something you got in your head somewhere, probably from hearing it from your parents, and/or the rest of the aging population. I will never forget the time that I ran my first triathlon, going through the finish line so proud of myself, only to turn around about 15 minutes later and see the 80-something year old man also cross the finish line with his index finger held up in the air–i.e. first place in his age group (never mind that he was the only one in his age group). Now, if you never worked out a day in your life, and you are now 62 years old, don’t expect to get up and go run a triathlon! But don’t also give up on trying to get yourself healthier than you are now. Anything you can do to keep that body moving is going to be good for you.
And then the other face of that lie–the one that leaves you injured because you forgot really, just how old you are and the fact that you don’t have the agility, speed or strength that you had when you were 20. Face facts, age does something to our bodies that we don’t like. But don’t let that get you down in the mouth and sitting on the couch from now until you die. Just keep going at it, being as strong and healthy as your normal human frame will allow you to be. And stop trying to compete with the teenagers and 20-year-olds now that you are over a certain age.
The Time Lies
I got really good at these lies, and at times, I was so good, I didn’t even realize I was lying to myself. I honestly believed that when I told myself I would have time to workout “tonight” that I really would work out “tonight.” Naaaaah. That doesn’t happen.
If you have established a time to workout, then stick to that established time–whether it’s morning, noon or evening that you find to be the best time for you to workout, once you figure that out, stick to it and do it, even if you don’t want to get out of bed, or if you’d rather go home and put your feet up on the couch instead of lift some heavy stuff. You know yourself, and you know the time that works best for you. So don’t listen to that lie you tell yourself. If she comes out and says, “oh don’t worry honey, you can do this tonight instead of now” no matter how darling her voice is, or how convincing she is, you turn your head and call her a bleeding liar to her face and stop listening to her! And then go workout!
Conclusion: Delusion No More
Yep, these lies are just self delusions, no matter how convincing they can be. So stop listening to them. Get honest with yourself, get tough on yourself and be real to who you really are. Know your true limitations and when you are just being a cop out. And keep yourself healthy! Because a healthy life is a whitespace kind of life, and honesty is too.
Go get ‘em!