Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fear and Money Challenge Health and Weight Loss Success

I've been having a lot of shoulder pain lately. Certain motions were excruciating, in fact, which kept me from doing some exercises. Which frustrated me and hindered my health and fitness goals.

Why I waited so long to see the Chiropractor about it, I don't understand. After all, aren't I the one telling other people, "sometimes we all need help--and there is no shame in getting the help you need"? Of course...and the cobbler's kids are the ones without shoes.

Actually, I do know a couple reasons I waited so long:

1. Fear
2. Money

These are probably the two biggest reasons most people do, or don't do, things in life.

In this case I was afraid that he would tell me there was nothing he could do...that I had damaged my rotator cuff. On the surface that seems like a reasonable fear. But I had had a similar pain in the other shoulder a couple years ago that I was able to heal without surgery. So why was this time different? That I truly do not know.

That's the thing about fear. You can intellectually know that the fear is not reasonable, but that doesn't mean the fear will go away. For me there was enough gear of potential surgery that I put off seeing my healer until I couldn't stand it any more. Not smart. I could probably have fixed it a lot more quickly if I had not been so stubbornly stuck in fear.

Then there is money. Going to see a doctor costs money and even though I pay through the nose for health insurance every month I basically have catastrophic coverage. I am very glad that I haven't had to use it, but that means I am really paying out of pocket for my visits to the I wasn't thrilled with the idea of dropping a couple hundred bucks over the course of treatment. Of course, that is not a bad price to pay when considering the alternative (massive pain and/or surgery.) And, if I had gone in sooner, it probably would have been fewer visits and less money.

We do the same thing with our weight loss goals...we put off buying the right shoes because we don't want to drop $100...and then we injure our bodies because we don't have the proper support. We are afraid that we will look stupid at the gym because we are we don't go...and we stay fat.

We all, myself included, deserve to remember that our fears are in our head...and as real as those fears may be, they can be overcome. And usually, when we face them we are so much better off. The truth is rarely as scary as the stuff we make up in our imagination!

We also deserve to remember that the sooner we act, generally speaking, the less it is going to cost us in the long run. I'm not saying throw money around like there's no tomorrow...I'm just saying we deserve to look at the dollars we are spending now (or could spend now) and compare it to the real cost of not taking that action. In my case, getting proper medical care, but it could be buying healthier foods, proper exercise attire, getting some training on how to get the most out of exercise equipment, or even investing in cooking lessons. All these things cost money, but in the long-run will save us money, enable us to reach our weight loss success goals and enhance our lives. And quite possibly save them!


Anonymous said...

Ironic how this blog turned up in my email today. Its my fourth session with a personal trainer. I haven't worked out in 20 years. It's downright painful to do simple things and when I see myself in the mirror and compared myself to the other people in the gym, I look like a blob. I want to quit because of the humiliation as well as the level of difficulty and the money. I know that when these pricey sessions run out I will not have the drive to do this on my own, so what's the point? Time to stop with the negative thinking. Thank you for your point of view, it made me realize that I'm responding emotionally and not rationally. Lisa

Laurie Tossy said...

Lisa--glad my thoughts helped. I also encourage you to be gentle on yourself...if you truly haven't worked out in 20 years then getting a personal trainer to help you over the hump was a very smart decision!

We all tend to compare our bodies and abilities to those around us...but what is a healthier stance is to compare to ourselves.

Just like learning to walk or ride a bike, it might take some trial and error--but you CAN do it!

Think about what will help you to keep your motivation, and what exercise you will be able to stick with. Maybe committing to a workout buddy will help. I encourage you to try a variety of ways to exercise...that helps keep it interesting. I also suggest you track your progress...whether it is how far you walk or how many reps you do of various exercises. Sometimes we don't realize how much progress we are making until we objectively look at it and see that we just went further/faster/more easily than before. That's a great feeling!

Keep up the great work!