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I must admit I have been reading a lot recently, soon I will publish a reading list to help guide people out there who may be interested in helping themselves along the road to change...the most recent book I have enjoyed is The Weight Loss Prescription by Ali Zentner MD, its written so that anyone can learn from it. No its not a diet book. One of her most interesting sub chapters is called " Stop Asking Why".It starts with the line" we are creatures of habit" , that got me thinking . With a client you can notice " habit " behaviours really quickly...ranging from cancelling often to bringing me in a treat...everyone has a set routine that they live by.Good or bad! However many clients are seeing a trainer because they want something to change, often they know that if behaviour changes the so does outcome. Getting someone to change behaviours is hard especially when , for example , as a trainer you are well versed in exercise and maybe not so much in counselling.
Zentner continues to discuss why people do things? And concludes if asked people answer by saying " I just do" and that there are no answers to " why " questions . A common misconception she explains is that in to modify behaviour that you must figure out why you do what you do in order to fix it..but suggests that " we often discover the cause by finding the cure" . I thought that made perfect sense.If if you do find out why you do something, maybe through counselling, then she believes that people are conditioned to think that " I know the why.. now I can fix it" Countless times I have seen that thought process fail because people dwell on the " why" and get stuck when they should be doing something differently.When you find the " why " you need to take action.
For example: " Why don't I eat Better?"... "What can I do to eat better?"
" Why don't I exercise more?"....." What can I do to exercise more?"
The " what " is your way forward!! A place to start.Its great to know why but unless behaviour changes nothing happens.You can learn more from loosing weight than by talking about it!. Our behaviour is a reflection of who we are and how we think. Taking action can prompt our inspiration and our thoughts which in turn continues to promote our actions. And so on in a beneficial spiral.Actions are a powerful tool to reshaping how we think.
In future trade in the question " why am I unhealthy right now?" to " what can I do today to be healthier tomorrow" Ask the right question and reap the reward.
Its a great book ... go read it.