where a woman can build her strength and freedom

How Can We Start To Get In Shape?

The photo shows a woman in a gym, smiling as she does an exercise while being assisted by another woman, her ally.

There comes a time when we have to bite the bullet.
We finally realize we gotta get in better physical condition.
Maybe we had a physical exam and the doctor read us the riot act.
Maybe our partner admitted they no longer find us attractive.
Maybe we caught a glimpse of ourselves naked in a full length mirror.

Whatever happened, it was a shock.
Our denial evaporated.
We saw the awful truth.

In this pivotal moment, we have three choices:
–go back into denial
–go into depression
–go into action

Chances are we have already tried denial and depression.
How about we go into action instead?

Are you with me?
Let’s DO this!

A Conversation

I was at a party a few days ago, sitting next to a friend I haven’t talked with in a while.
When I told him I’m training for a triathlon, he told me he has to start moving, too.
He said he had a physical exam recently and the doctor told him he’s at risk for diabetes.
That he has to make changes, including starting to exercise.

My friend told me he had previously hired a trainer, but found he couldn’t work
with him. “He made me feel like he was the superior one who was in shape.
I felt pathetic by comparison. I just stopped and didn’t go back.”

He shared further that his father was very athletic, and he wasn’t.
At one point, he volunteered that he does have a teacher he really likes,
who is teaching him to play French horn, and that he is making good progress.

I was aware that my friend was hoping I would offer him some thoughts
on how he could start to get in shape.
So I did.

Getting Started

I told my friend that the challenge he is facing is far more psychological than physical.
Getting in shape requires making a vow to yourself.
A commitment, much like a marriage vow.
We have to make a vow to love ourselves.

In his case: “I love myself too much to allow myself to get diabetes.”
For someone else it might be:
“I love myself too much to allow myself to stay weak and flabby.”

Finding Our Ally

Once we have made our commitment, we need an ally to work with us.
As I explained in a previous post: What can possibly convince us to exercise?
we need constant continuous encouragement to launch and maintain our efforts.
So, yes, we need to find a coach.

But what kind of coach?

One with the right personality.

To know what that means, we need to know ourselves:
What kind of personality do we work best with? What kind do we need to avoid?
A review of our previous teachers, coaches, trainers will tell us.

I explained to my friend that an athletic male like his father would be unlikely put
him at ease. I said: “But look how easily we are talking! You need a female coach!”

He grinned.
“Or a male coach who relates to you the way your French horn teacher does!”
He agreed.

I said: “I had to test my swim coach. I’m very emotional. When the going gets tough,
I shed tears. So, the next time I cried I didn’t hide it. I watched what he did.
He was great. He asked me what was wrong. I told him something he said hurt my
feelings. We worked it out easily, and I was fine. I decided: He’s a keeper.”

Don’t settle

“Don’t settle,” I told my friend. “Keep looking until you find the right person.
We need a person who can handle us, and whose vitality brings out our energy!”

I suggested that when he goes to the gym, he could watch the way different trainers are
interacting with their clients. Watch how they work, watch how their clients respond.
“You will know it when you see the kind of teacher you want for your ally!” I said.

The person we need is the person who inspires us.
The one we will strive to do our best for, because we want to do them proud.

We’ll get there

At first our energy level isn’t very high. But over time, it improves.
Our developing well being and pride give us momentum.
Our energy and our confidence just keep increasing.

The key is to make our commitment to ourselves, and find our ally.
A year from now, we will not even recognize ourselves.


What is the most important quality you will look for in your ideal trainer or coach?

Write and tell me!

Dr. Hall