Hey guys, welcome to A Lifelong Habit of Exercise. I'm Coach Kendra, and this is episode 11. Today we are going to be talking about why don't we work out?
Why don't we work out? Why do we avoid our exercising? Why do we avoid our workouts? Even if we get to the point of planning them? Why does it happen where we can plan an exercise, we can plan a day to work out and then all of a sudden, when the time comes to actually do that workout and follow through, we decide to do something else, or we don't ever get to the point of actually working out. Why do we do that? A couple of things with that is we avoid working out because it's not very fun to most of us. Working out is not normally to most of us seen as a pleasant thing. And the way that our brain is programmed is it likes to protect us and it seeks out pleasure. So when it seeks out pleasure, if it's looking around, and it has an option to do something that's fun, and that may be something different depending on who we are. Or it has the option to do something that is not very pleasant like workout and takes a little bit of work, when it's going to choose most of the time, if we give it that option is the thing that seems more pleasant, right? The other thing is, is that working out is uncomfortable to a lot of people - both kind of physically, and the preparation to get there, the afterwards, it's uncomfortable. It's different than what a lot of us are used to consistently doing at the moment and so that avoiding to work out happens, because we're really avoiding the discomfort. We're avoiding the unpleasantness. So something that helps us avoid working out is called an urge and urges happen. And what an urge is, is a desire caused by a thought in our brain. And that thought normally looks like I want blank. And whatever it is, may be different. Like for each of us, it could be completely different and it's individual to you. And that thought is, "I want blank." And normally that blank saying whatever you insert in that blank is going to be anything that helps you avoid working out. So ultimately, big picture, you're like, hey, I want to work out, there's something in you that says I want to work out I need to work out, and so you plan it, you're there. But then urges happen and those help you avoid working out because a thought of I want whatever it is, it could be I want to watch Netflix, I want to do this thing instead. That "I want" is that thought that leads to an urge and urges happen.
Urges vary in intensity, and their intensity depends on how we respond to the urges. So there's a few different ways on how we can respond to urges. And I will also talk about how we can handle them, which is one of the responses. So how we can respond to urges and how we do respond to urges a lot of times is that we give in, we react to them. And when we give into an urge, what happens is that actually intensifies the urges, it comes back stronger next time. When you have that thought I want to say for instance, when it comes to exercising, I want to watch Netflix. I plan my exercise, I'm supposed to exercise, but instead the time comes and oh, that next episode is coming on. But my phone is telling me, "Hey, it's workout time." But there's one more episode that I really want to watch the episode before ended on a cliffhanger. And the thought is, "I want to watch this next episode." And when I have that thought, that desire that's caused from that, that urge happens if I give into that urge and press play and continue watching. What happens is the next time the urge is going to intensify. Urges demand, they demand action. So that urge right then and not instance, that urges wanting me to keep pressing play. It's like no, I want to watch Netflix, I want to watch Netflix, I want to watch Netflix. I want to watch this next episode. And when that happens, and say for instance if I give into it, the next time, all that's going to happen is it's going to be more commanding more intensified, because I gave into it, it knows that, hey, if I continue to beat down the door, I can get my way. And that's how the thought could start as kind of a conscious thought of I want to watch Netflix in that instance. But it can intensify to the point where those urges may seem irresistible. Those urges may seem like we have no control over them. Like the next episode just automatically plays because I've given into the urge so many times. I've had that thought so many times, I don't even realize it's a thought anymore because I'm just already pressing play, because I know that that's the next episode. And it may not even be along the way when it becomes an irresistible urge, it may not even be an episode that I'm dying to watch. But it just is an urge that I just am constantly getting into. Because I'd rather watch Netflix than go do my work.
This is why we don't work out is because we give into the urges. And that response to the urge is we react to it, that means we're giving into it. The other way we can respond to an urge. And we do respond to an urge sometimes as we fight with it, we resist it.
So say on the couch in the same instance, I'm watching Netflix, the thing comes up where it says, "Do you want to continue?" And what happens is I sit there and I'm like why? No, I need to work out. I'm supposed to be working out and I start fighting. But that episode was so good. I want to watch the next episode. But no, you have to work out your calendar says workout and I start fighting with myself. As far as am I going to continue watching Netflix or am I going to do my workout that was planned? And that is me resisting that urge. What happens is it's almost like you become in a battle with that urge. And when we resist an urge, what we do is we wear ourselves out. And what happens is, eventually we wear ourselves down where either we're just completely exhausted, or we're tired and we just give in because we don't want to fight it anymore. And a lot of times what happens is sometimes we give into it and sometimes we don't give into it when we're resisting. And that also intensifies the urge that can also intensify it. So reacting to it and just giving in, intensifies the urge. But then resisting it and fighting with it also intensifies it because then it just becomes like a big battle. Like I said, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And that intensifies, because what happens when you're going back and forth, you're pushing against something and you're pushing a gun something, then you're just intensifying that. And like I said, a lot of times what happens is you do end up giving in, sometimes at least when you are fighting it. And that intensifies it because take a child, for instance, I always talk to you guys about my two year old if I'm with my daughter, and we go to the store, and she throws a fit because she wants candy or she wants a toy or whatever it is that she wants. And I given to her with which the first example of the reacting if I react to her and I just give it to her, then she knows that mommy is going to give me the toy when I throw a fit, and I beg and ask and command and demand a toy, right? So that's me reacting and giving into it. But if I fight with her, and I resist it, and she yells and I yell and we go back and forth, and we're just back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And then I'm like, I don't want to make a scene in the store. And I just give into her, then she knows that all she has to do is continue to do this every time she wants something every time she wants a toy. If I fight with her fight with her fight with her, and even if I fight with her, and at the end, I say no. And I stick to no and don't give in to her, she still knows that it was a fight. So there was a chance at possibly getting that. So it's the same thing with urges when it comes to resisting. If I'm able to give in even once the urge is gonna continue to come back stronger, continue to come back stronger, just like my daughter would if I gave an even once for that toy. Even if it was five times ago, she's gonna know that there's still a chance there.
So the other way that we can respond and that is going back to the Netflix thing too. I know we have two examples here, but going back to the Netflix thing, if your urge is okay, sometimes I'm going to turn it off and sometimes I'm not. It's the same thing with that urge. Sometimes I'm going to turn it off, I'm going to turn off the episode and I'm going to go work out forcibly, but sometimes I'm not, and sometimes I'm going to just continue to watch the show. It's going to continue to come back can come back come back, like just just like my daughter would, for the toy, I have a chance I have a chance I have a chance. That's that same thing with that urge for Netflix or whatever it is that we have that desire to do whatever it is that I want this, right? So the other way that we can respond to an urge, we've talked about the reacting to an urge, which is the giving in. And we've talked about the resisting an urge, which is the fighting with, and that's sometimes giving in and sometimes not giving in. The other thing we can do is we can allow the urge. So say back to the Netflix example, if I'm sitting on my couch, I've watched the show that I was watching, and my phone is telling me it's time to work out, my calendar is going off, it's time to work out. And there's an episode that's coming on. Either it started automatically, or it says, "Do you want to continue?" And I have that option to either continue watching or press play. And I can say like, here's the plan that I had and that was to work out. If I have that urge that says I want to watch the next episode, I want to watch that next episode, I want to watch that next episode, I want to watch Netflix, I want to do this, that urge that I have this, I want this, I want this, I want this. If I decide to just allow it, then what happens is I just allow that, okay, yes, I allow that urge. But I have here's my plan of I'm going to go work out, I can allow it to throw a fit, I can allow it to be there nagging and nagging and nagging, I want to do this, I want to do this, I want to do this, but you do not have to give into it. That urge has no authority over you. And so allowing the urge allowing it to just be there, allowing it to constantly I want this, I want this, I want this, I want this, that's okay. When we are able to allow it and we don't give in. That is when eventually that urge that I want this, I want this I want this will eventually fizz out. It'll go away. Because it sees that it's not getting a reaction from you. It sees that you're not fighting with it. That is like you just already have it, you have your plan. And so that next episode is just not happening. It's turned off, you continue to move on and even as you're going to your exercise. But what about that episode, I want that episode, I want that episode and you just allow it to be there, it'll eventually go away.
So the same thing, going with my daughter to the store, say I go with my daughter to the store. If I allow her to just throw her fit. I want this toy, I want this toy I want this way I want this toy. If I allow her to just throw her fit, and I don't fight with her, and I don't give in and say fine, that's fine, whatever, just have it. If I just allow her to throw her fit, eventually, that fit is going to go away. That constant begging, it's going to go away. I want this, I want this, I want this. But we have to allow her just every single time. Again, remember, like the fighting, or we can't consider doing urges in moderation, because in moderation, We're like, "Oh, just a little bit here and just a little bit there." That is what intensifies that urge. It comes back stronger than next time. But when we're able to just allow it, that's when we're able to just okay, that's okay. I understand that you want that, but that's not gonna happen. And we just allow it to happen. And that's okay. And that's when it eventually fizzles out and it goes away. When we're sitting on the couch watching Netflix, when we allow it to, yeah, our brain is going to tell us that desire is going to say I want to watch Netflix, I want to watch Netflix, I want to watch Netflix, I want to watch Netflix, it's going to just go away, eventually. And urges, here's the tricky thing urges will continue until they don't. But allowing urges every single time eventually they will go away. So that's a skill, being able to allow the urge being able to have that in the back of your mind of saying I want this, I want this. I want this. That's okay.
And then just allowing it to be there. So some of you guys may be thinking, so am I never able to watch Netflix? Or am I never able to do that thing, whatever it is that we are talking about, like am I never able to get my daughter a toy? Am I never able to watch Netflix like the thing is, is that when we plan ahead of time when we use our prefrontal cortex and plan ahead of time, it doesn't become an urge anymore. So if I plan Hey, I'm gonna watch Netflix and watch this show at this time before or it doesn't even have to be right before you work out. But At any time, like, Hey, this is when I'm going to watch Netflix and we plan that ahead of time. Or this is when I'm going to get her that toy, or this is when I'm going to do whatever it is. That is when it's not an urge any longer. The urge is that desire right away that desire that is commanding action in that moment, that is when it's an urge. So the action is not a bad action necessarily, that action can happen as long as you plan it ahead of time. And that's the difference. So when we talk about why don't we work out, the reason we're not working out is those urges that are happening right then and there. And we're getting into those urges at that moment. But if you want to watch Netflix, you can watch Netflix, just plan that ahead of time and decide ahead of time that you're gonna watch Netflix, and when it's not interfering with your workout plan. And that's the other thing too, is like, you have your plan for your workout. And that's what you want to for sure honor. And by planning your Netflix, you can honor that. Or by sticking to your plan for your workout, you can absolutely honor that and understanding that the urge to do whatever it is for In our example, it's watching Netflix, the urge to do that, instead of working out is simply an urge. You don't ever have to give in to an urge - simply commanding request is basically what it is. It's demanding action in that moment. But you don't have to give into it, you can simply allow it and continue on with your plan and honor yourself with the plan that you've had to work out. But again, a lot of times we think that those are irresistible urges, those are irresistible things like you have no control over them, because we do give in to those urges so frequently. And when we give in to them, they actually seem very irresistible. Like it's just happening, my finger just keeps pressing the button, I just continue to sit there and watch it. Those seem irresistible out of our control because we've given into them. But remember, there's that thought of, I want to do this.
Okay, guys. So for the next week, I want you to plan your workouts, plan when you're going to work out and when that workout time comes, I want you to notice and write down the urges that come up with it. What are your urges for? Take note, write them down? What were the urges? Was it, "I want to watch Netflix was it?" What was it? Then I want you to write down how you responded to it. Did you respond by reacting and giving in? Did you resist it and fight with it? Or were you able to allow it and just let it be and I want you for the next week around each of your workouts, I want you to take note of that. And then I want you to kind of look at it you guys will then have it so that you can look at and see what's happening with when your urges present themselves when it becomes time to work out what is happening and how are you responding to it. Alright guys, until next time.
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