Two important things…

Stop Doing That. Seriously! | Nerd Fitness.

I love me some Nerd Fitness. Sometimes I think I will just stop doing this blog and just create a script that posts links to their articles. Then I realize that doing so is silly. I don’t agree with 100% of what they say over there, and when I do it almost always inspires me to add my own two cents, which is kind of my schtick over here.

The old joke goes, a man walks into his doctor’s office and says to the doctor, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies, “Then don’t do that.”

Got a workout that isn’t delivering the results you want? Then stop doing it. Or at the very least stop doing it the way you’re doing it. If you’re a woman and you’re working out with 5 lb dumbbells, stop it. Just stop it. I bet your purse weights 20 lbs. Seriously. Unless you’re pretty feeble a 5 lb weight won’t challenge you at all. Pick up something that is actually heavy. Running on the treadmill? Instead of jogging along at 5 or 6 mph, try jacking that sucker up to 10 or 12 mph for 30 seconds at a time and then dropping down to 6 mph for a minute, then back up to high-speed, and so on. Do that for 10 minutes and you’ll get a better workout than clunking along for a half hour. Lifting with machines? Stop it, already. Pick up free weights (which will have to be lighter than what you’ve been pulling on the machine) and concentrate on your form. The point is, try something different, especially if what you’re doing now is something that consensus opinion holds to be generally ineffective.

The other bit of advice embedded in the above linked article is about food. For me, the big message is to stop punishing yourself for being human. Don’t have a cheat day. Indulge occasionally. That’s normal. But sweet treats and foods you know are terrible for you should be kept to a minimum. And stop quitting on yourself because you had a bad day. I literally hear this all the time – “I went to lunch with my coworkers and we went to the Cheesecake Factory and I ate like a pig, so I’ve blown it and I might as well enjoy myself for the rest of the night.” Ugh. Really? You ate one bad meal and now you’re going to give up on good habits?

How do you think that would have worked out if Eisenhower had used that kind of thinking after D-Day? “Well, General Marshall, we lost some ground to the Germans yesterday, guess we’d better pack it in and retreat back to England.”

Stop being victimized by failure. Failure is a gift. Success is fun, but we don’t learn much from it. Succumbed to a few donuts at work? What made that happen? Did you actually want the donuts, or did you eat them because something else was going on? Figure out why it happened and use that knowledge to do better next time.

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