Creating Positive Associations

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We have all been asked the question is the glass is half empty or half full? Most people would say half full being the optimistic culture we are, and yet we continually see beneficial situations as negative experiences when in fact we know better. Funny thing is we associate the removal of poor lifestyle habits as a deprivation, and a painful process of going without. But not to fear that is easy to fix. Its time to be wellness optimists so here is how to change our ingrained perspectives. 

I can’t promise much but I can guarantee you one thing and that is unless you change your association of quitting smoking, giving up chocolate and/or getting some exercise with the by side effect of pain, discomfort or displeasure you will never succeed. If however you decide that changing your lifestyle will be beneficial, enjoyable and positive, and understanding that removing these stressors from your life will be a rewarding decision, then success is yours. It is a matter of approach.

Shifting your viewpoint is the key. Here’s one for all you smokers out there. Instead of thinking it will be hard to quit think once you have quit you will never have to worry about smoking again, you’ll save a ton of money, the cravings will get easier to handle, you are adding years to your life and adding quality to others who get to experience you that much longer.

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When is now the right time? Well how do you do this? My advice to a smoker is next time you light up, smoke while searching google images on lung cancer, mouth cancer, heart attack, and emphysema. Read some articles on impotence, the side effects of prescription drugs associated with heart disease or read statements from widowed spouses and parentless children whose loved ones were claimed by smoking. Change your view point so that the association with food, smoking or lack of exercise becomes a powerful motivator for your success.  

We have to remember that the human body is our vehicle through life and although we think our thought processes are interdependent upon our bodies they are not. Our bodies however have a tendency to crave, demand and manipulate us in order to satisfy their physical cravings. Our job is to recognize that making that bad choice is exactly that, a bad choice. One of the biggest culprits for most people is unhealthy food whose favorite tricks include instant feedback, endorphin release and blood sugar highs. These immediate rewards are in no way comparable to the adversity caused by habitually eating these foods.

The stress you deal with, the fear you hold on to constantly, the guilt you cause yourself and the accompanying lowered self esteem are all devastating to your success.  Trust me I have heard it all over the years. It is time to change, start realizing that like a small child, our bodies are relentless in their pursuits of instant gratification and with no regard for the future. The great news is its you that is reading this now and your body has no idea that you are making a conscious effort to change your context, shift your framework and rebuild your associations with the habits you hate.

In summary, there are certain things in life including unhealthy food, excess alcohol, smoking and lack of exercise which have in no way or will ever in any way positively contributed to an individual’s health. So why would you ever associate eliminating them from your life a painful process? Tricky little bugger that body is, isn’t it?

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Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Author and Media Fitness Expert with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Has served over 50,000 sessions from one-on-one, semi-private to large group BootCamp classes. Nationally and locally awarded Fitness expert on both ABC & CBS. Most recently developer of a new interactive Wellness and Lifestyle program for small to medium sized companies (Offshore and Onshore).

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