Inspiration

Fitness isn't just about what you do - it's how you think. Here's some gym-spiration to supercharge your workout.

The Gym Intimidates Me: Advice.

Dear Davey,

I really want to go to the gym… but the idea of going scares me. I don’t think I’m comfortable enough to go, even though I really need to lose some weight and get into shape.

Do you have any advice?

From,
Kris

Motivation-quotesHey Kris,

Last year, I wrote a popular blog post inspired by a conversation with an overweight gym-goer. She was new to the gym and felt like everyone was judging her. “Women like me don’t belong in places like this,” she told me. The truth is, she does belong at the gym. We all do. And rather than judge her negatively, I suspect most people feel quite the opposite:

Most gym goers would be quick to recognize her bravery. And they’re probably impressed by her willingness to make a positive change in her life. Rather than a “look at her” mindset, I bet most people would think “good for her” – if they’re going to think anything at all. In reality, most people are too engrossed in their own workout and their own iPod playlist to really give any of it much thought.

I’m not the smartest or wisest person in the world. In my short life, I haven’t learned much. But if there’s anything I know, it’s this: The magic rarely happens inside your comfort zone.

In order to experience the scope of what this world has to offer, it requires stepping outside the normal. It requires deviating from what we did yesterday – and the day before. Sometimes it means doing things that scare us or that make us nervous. REAL life starts at the edge of your comfort zone.

This holds true for going to the gym – and many other aspects in life. The feeling of nervousness that you get when stepping into the unknown is an evolution of yourself. It’s the feeling of expansion as you learn, try and discover new experiences. It’s the feeling of growth.

If you’re nervous to go to the gym, then that’s great! It’s all the more reason to go. It means you’ve got a lot of growing to do – and that you’re about to expand your life into a whole new dimension.

Love,
Davey

Fitness Is Like A Boyfriend…

jessieFitness, in many ways, is like having a boyfriend.

Both fitness and relationships are matters of priorities. If you want your relationship to work, then you need to make an investment of time, energy and effort. In the same way, you’ll only see results on the gym if it’s a priority in your life. None of us have time to work out; we make time to work out. And sometimes, that means making sacrifices and not doing some of the other things we might want to do – like watching Game of Thrones.

When someone said that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going, he or she may have had relationships in mind. In many ways, arriving at a fruitful relationship isn’t something that happens overnight. It can be a long journey. Similarly, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes at the gym – despite all the marketing gimmicks you might see along the way. It’s about exercise, nutrition and building a healthier relationship with your body.

You can’t cheat on a relationship and expect it to work. Being deceptive poisons a relationship and builds a wall between you and your partner. When it comes to fitness, cheating comes in many forms. It can be skipping workouts, not using a full range of motion in your exercises or not following a proper nutrition plan. When you cheat on fitness, don’t expect it to work. It builds a widening gap between you and the results you want.

Sure, the gym won’t hold your hand or kiss you goodnight…. But just like a relationship, the gym can change your life. It can help shape your character and teach you that you’re far stronger – both physically and emotionally – than you ever thought possible. Creating the body you’ve always wanted can inspire you and others and it helps enable you to live your best life.

Forgive Yourself and Lose Weight.

Love-Yourself-FirstToday’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Your relationship with your body is one of the most important relationships that you’ll ever have. And I’m going to share the number-one thing you can do to honor that relationship and create permanent, lasting results.

Forgive yourself.

Yes… this might sound simple, but if you’re like so many on a weight-loss journey, you can be relentless when it comes to self-criticism and contempt for yourself and your body. When you let go of the guilt and shame about how you look or how you’ve treated your body, you enter a world of love and positivity that helps you create the healthy body you want and deserve.

A self-forgiving state of mind helps you more easily release negative judgments of yourself. You’re then less likely to act on those feelings by hurting yourself and your body. You’ll naturally want to take better care of your body. You see, when you learn to love yourself unconditionally and forgive yourself more readily, you’re likely to eat healthier foods, give your body the movement it needs, and talk to yourself with greater compassion.

On the other hand, when your body is filled with the poisonous energies of self-contempt (and I know you have experienced times like this), you’re more likely to turn to food for comfort or self-punishment. The negative feelings can quickly lead to a very old and familiar sense of being out of control or a victim.

As you begin to develop the habit of self-forgiveness you will notice significant changes in your physical health and in your ability to no longer rely on food for comfort. And when you feel that love for yourself and your body, you might, for example, be less likely to skip Zumba class in order to head right home after work and watch TV.

So, how do you forgive yourself?

It takes patience and persistence. Here are three heart-based exercises to help you open to the healing power of self-forgiveness, love yourself more and bring peace to your mind.

1. Be Willing to Forgive Yourself

Self-forgiveness starts with a willingness to release guilt, shame and self-hatred. Open the space for this healing energy to enter your mind and body by setting the intention to do so.

Simply say to yourself right now: “I want to forgive myself.”

Additionally, write these words down on paper several times:

“I want to forgive myself. I want to love myself fully and treat myself with loving kindness.”

This may seem like a very simple process. It is. Don’t equate simple with ineffective. A sincere and deliberate intention to stop berating yourself, and to forgive yourself when you do, helps you take charge of your life, feel less like a victim, and stop the cycle of emotional eating.

2. Wrap Negative Thoughts in Love

We all fall into old patterns. So the next time you slip back into less than healthy eating or exercise habits and berate yourself with unkind words, turn to your heart for comfort.

For example, instead of dwelling on those negative thoughts and feelings, remind yourself you can stop. Take a deep breath. Then, focus your attention on your heart and at the same time think of a beautiful memory or someone you love. I learned this exercise from the Institute of HeartMath and it helps you feel calm very quickly. Then, say this affirmation to yourself or out loud while keeping your attention on your heart:

“I release these thoughts and feelings (or shame and guilt, etc.) into the arms of Love and I open to loving and forgiving myself.”

Directing your attention to your heart infuses your words with calming, heart-based energy. It is as if you are wrapping your self-contempt in a blanket of love.

3. Connect to Your Heart, Literally

Become quiet. Place your hand on your heart. Feel your heart beat. Now, while keeping your hand on your heart, say to yourself:

“I totally and completely love and accept myself with all my problems and all my limitations.”

Feel into this process. Repeat several times daily.

This exercise helps you connect with the loving energy of your heart. Your heart doesn’t judge you for overeating or for talking harshly to yourself. It simply keeps beating on. Feel that beautiful, consistent heartbeat and know that you are loved by the pure energy within it.

Practice the above steps faithfully and you’ll begin to create a lightness of spirit within you.

Be patient and have faith. Over time you’ll notice that the love you give to yourself on the inside will be reflected in the ways you care for yourself and look and feel on the outside.

Will you practice self-forgiveness?

Turn “Cheat Days” in “Treat Days”…

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

4-hour-body-cheat-day-chocolate-fondant-e1330344637290I sometimes hear people say they eat a healthy diet most every day and then designate a “cheat” day to eat foods they normally avoid. If this applies to you, I really want you to reconsider this practice.

Why? Cheating suggests dishonesty and getting away with something you know is wrong. Losing weight permanently requires a consistent lifestyle change. It’s not a trial you’re enduring with cheat days to get you through. When you get rid of the “cheating” label, you free yourself from judgmental thinking that only sabotages you.

Create Balance with Treats (not Cheats)

As you intend to lose weight, you don’t need to cheat at anything because a healthy, balanced lifestyle allows for occasional sweets, French fries or pasta… if that’s what you want. If you choose to eat a piece of cake—or whatever food you desire—simply give yourself permission to do so as if it’s no big deal. Eating what you want mindfully and in moderation—any day of the week— keeps everything in balance.

Watch Your Words

Your words are powerful and define your actions. Cheating means to reward yourself for being dishonest. By designating a cheat day, you give those foods unhealthy power over you because you’re labeling them as wrong. This adds unnecessary guilt or shame. Even if you don’t feel this way on a conscious level, using the word cheat nevertheless erodes your integrity for empowered change.

Think about it…

Would you take a cheat day from wearing your seatbelt?
Would you take a cheat day from brushing your teeth?

Would you take a cheat day from taking your vitamins?

My point is that using the word “cheat”—and telling yourself your lifestyle change is something you need to take a break from—goes against everything you’re creating: healthy habits for not only losing weight but for life-long optimal physical and emotional well-being.

Normalize Special Occasions

You do have a life and there may be occasions that involve foods you especially enjoy and look forward to eating. For example, Aunt Sally’s white chocolate coconut cake at Easter or the Friday night pizza special at your favorite Italian restaurant. If you want these foods, eat them… and enjoy them. Instead of thinking you’re cheating, view them as special holiday treats you eat only occasionally or favorite restaurant dishes you order from time to time. Eating healthfully doesn’t mean you’re cheating when you eat the cake or pizza. The thing is to normalize these foods so they have a place in your nutritional plan while not feeling obsessed by them.

Regain your Power over Food

Along with the notion of cheat days comes the question of whether it’s best to avoid certain foods altogether. If certain foods trigger binge eating episodes, perhaps you need to make a decision to stop eating them. I know that may feel hard—or impossible—to do, but when certain foods hold that much power over you, you regain your own power by letting them go.

If your relationship with food feels addictive, you may have a hard time eating certain foods in moderation—and having a cheat day may make you continue to obsess about that food. Just as it’s best for someone trying to stop smoking not to have a cheat day to smoke a cigarette, or an alcoholic not to have a cheat day with a glass of wine, it’s in your best interest to avoid eating the trigger foods you know will set you up for out-of-control eating. To learn more, read breaking up with your trigger foods.

Give Yourself a Real Reward


While a balanced life has room for occasional treats, consider giving yourself a reward that makes you feel great instead. Getting a massage, taking a walk in a place you love, or buying a luscious skin-care product usually feels better in the long run than risking an episode of overeating, or just feeling guilty or lousy after eating food that’s not healthy for you.

You’re doing your best to be healthy, feel good and enjoy your life. Why would you want to cheat on that?

Will you end the cheat days?

Don’t Reward Yourself with Food.

dontrewardwithfoodFood is not a reward; you are not a dog.

Even so, the practice of using food as reward is very common – particularly as people work to achieve their fitness and nutrition goals. Having a good workout could mean treating yourself to a cookie. Taking an afternoon walk could translate to a slice of cake for dessert.

When we associate achievement with unhealthy food, we’re going to crave things like pizza or doughnuts or pie every time we do something good. It’s a dangerous way to train your mind, and it’s certainly not in alignment with your goals. Not to mention, unhealthy foods can negate all your hard work at the gym. It can be like taking one step forward and two steps back.

Want a better alternative?

Replace food with rewards that actually support your goals. If you stuck to your workout routine for an entire week, reward yourself with a new pair of running shoes. If you set a new personal record for a mile run, treat yourself to a massage. Or a lovely walk in nature. Or a new exercise shirt.

Food plays in an import role for all of us. And that role isn’t to reward us for doing great things. It’s to nourish and fuel our bodies so that we can continue to do great things.