Redefine Hard

On a typical morning, I wake up, walk the dog,  feed everyone breakfast, pack  lunches, and get the kids off to school.  Then I put on my running clothes…

…and spend the next 30 – 60 minutes whining to my husband about why I do not want to go running!

My husband, observing this phenomenon in me for years, and now experiencing it for himself while training for his first Half Marathon, has sagely noted:

The training is not the hard part.  Getting out the door to DO the training is what is really hard!

Often when a client first comes to see me for weight loss or diet change, he or she holds the belief that “Weight Loss is Hard”. This belief has probably formed during past attempts where it either felt hard to diet or to maintain the weight lost.

Now imagine for a minute how much motivation and excitement to get started you feel when you think “Weight Loss is Hard.”

Ugh, not very much, right?

So we re-frame the belief that “weight loss is hard” by listing all the things about being overweight and food addicted that are hard:

  • Finding clothes to wear that you feel good in each day
  • Clothes shopping (nothing you want looks good on you)
  • Being without food for several hours (start to get crave-y and hypoglyecmic)
  • Having heartburn
  • Having a stomach ache
  • Taking medications for diet-caused illnesses
  • Being out of breath
  • Feeling insecure or even ashamed
  • Walking in to a room and assessing if you are the biggest person there
  • Being tired
  • Feeling depressed
  • Worrying about your own health
  • Worrying about passing these food problems on to your kids

I know that not every overweight person feels these things.  These are things my clients say or things I experienced myself when I was overweight.

When we re-frame the question “What is Hard?” we can now see that being overweight and food addicted is really pretty hard!  Look at that list!  Is it just possible that, in comparison, sticking to a healthy food plan might not be so hard after all?

As for we exercisers, what is the re-frame we do to get us out that door?  Personally, I think about the things that would be hard in my life if I did NOT workout:

  • feeling depressed
  • achy muscles
  • low energy
  • muddy thinking
  • flabby legs
  • being out of breath
  • setting a poor example for my kids
  • and the one that gets me most right now, 8 weeks from my race day: failing and/or suffering in front of thousands of people.


It’s all in the re-frame!

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