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What's your high cost day?

Do you have a day of the week that is traditionally your bad day? For me it tends to be Friday. I’m very lucky that I have a lot of freedom in my life and one of the keys to having this freedom is that I have to be good at managing my time. When you don’t have anyone telling you what to do or setting deadlines for you, the danger is that you end up wasting time. Over the years I have learnt how to be productive but Friday is the one day of the week where I have traditionally struggled partly because I often have less scheduled time which inevitably means I have a bit more spare time. I find that I check Facebook too much, watch pointless YouTube clips, have too many snacks on unhealthy food and then I stay up too late because it is the eve of the weekend! I often find myself getting to the end of Friday wondering what I have done with my time and feeling slightly dissatisfied with my day. 

I read some research a few weeks ago which identified that most people put on weight over the weekend and while I had never really thought about this, it is kind of obvious why this is the case. I started thinking about my bad day of my week and came up with the concept of your ‘high cost day’.  

Your high cost day is the one where the costs from your actions or behaviours are a too high; you may have too many snacks, you may stay up too late which means you are tired for the following days, you skip that walk or run you had planned on doing earlier in the week and emotionally you may be dissatisfied or disappointed in yourself. It’s the day where there is nothing to show for it, it may even be the day where you regret your behaviours on a larger scale. 

A lot of damage can be done in a high cost day but at the same time life could be dull if we never let our hair down and moved towards temptation a bit. To go out for dinner and then have a boogie with friends may mean we eat and drink a bit too much but it can also be a valued experience with friends. The way we want to look at a high cost day is to identify and understand what our limits are and stay within them by creating some habits around them. 

Going back to my high cost day, I identified this was the day I needed to be aware of a few years ago. I got sick of being dissatisfied with it so I developed some plans around how to get to the end of my day feeling that there had been value in it. Although if I am honest Friday is still the weakest day of my week but I’m now ok with the level I have. 

When you think of your week can you identify a ‘high cost day’? If you do what are the costs that come with it? Are these costs acceptable to you or ideally would you like to reduce them? By thinking about these questions you may determine that you are happy with the level of cost on this day and so you can maintain your current behaviours, but if you aren’t happy it’s time to do some work. 

If you are in the latter group, the first step is to determine what the healthier level is and then develop ways to stay within this level. It may take a bit of trial and error to get it right but if you work on it you can get to a place that you are happy with.   

By identifying the time of the week where you are vulnerable to a day where the costs are high, you can then start to develop healthier behaviours and you will be doing less damage to yourself and perhaps those around you. This is definitely worth thinking about and working on, ultimately it leads to a healthier you. 

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Episode 44 Fitness Behavior - The book is out!

My book, The Fitness Attitude, is out! In this months show I share an important lesson I learnt in my life that ultimately lead to me writing this book. 

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It's easy to laugh at them

Many of us have secrets about ourselves that we hold back from the world, we keep them secret because we may be concerned about how people will see us if they knew the real truth. This is understandable, we fear we may be rejected so it’s easier to suppress and hide rather than confront and reveal all of the truth we hold within ourselves. Being in this place can be crippling in ways that restrict us in many aspects of our lives and it is intriguing to watch when someone finally finds a way to release these inner thoughts, how the weight gets lifted off their shoulders and they become liberated. They can finally express freely and explore life without that veil of secrecy that they have lived behind for so long. 

Recently a girl I know did just this and revealed some very dark secrets, to say she has been to hell and back is an understatement.  Her story included rape, domestic violence, massive weight problems, and a huge amount of internal negativity and conflict that comes with living through such a life. 

When we think about bravery we think about sports stars, war heroes, iconic historic leaders, but an area of bravery that I believe deserves more credit is when people like the girl I know open up to the world. She opened up through a blog post where she shared her journey and what had helped her get to the point where she could now reveal her experiences and it was horrifically revealing. When I read it, I was thinking how brave she was, I was experiencing courage as I read her words.  

There were many deep insights that came from reading her piece, there's one in particular that I want to share with you. In talking about her weight problems she wrote; ’This is an important thing to consider, that extra 40-odd kilos that I carried on my body for many years - that’s not all sloth and laziness, that’s fear and protection, lack of self worth, pain and suffering, comfort sought in food. Eventually, the weight becomes part of your identity, it becomes ‘who you are’, or perhaps more accurately, ‘who you think you are’. It is your shield and as uncomfortable as it is, it’s where you feel safe. More people need to understand that a person who struggles with their weight is not necessarily just lacking in willpower.’ 

What an incredibly honest insight to a place where people are quick to judge without considering a deeper level or meaning. The overweight person has always been a target. Examples of this include how it’s acceptable for comedy shows to allow overweight people to bare the brunt of jokes, or how some people make fun of the overweight person in front of others in ways that are hurtful. If you are overweight, you may have the feeling of social disapproval and what my brave friend reminded me was just because someone is overweight does not necessarily mean they are a weak person, there may be deeper reasons for the place they are currently in.

Unfortunately many of us have been conditioned to have certain thoughts when we see particular things in our life. We see the overweight person and may instantly judge them as having a weak character and we close off to what that person can offer, this can have negative effects on both the overweight person and the person judging. 

There are overweight people who just need to sharpen up, but so often there are deeper, much bigger hurdles to overcome for people who struggle with their weight. I believe we should all aim to become aware of when we have judgements that restrict us and hurt others. Ultimately we need to catch ourselves when we are doing it and remind ourselves that we are better to try to gain understanding into another person’s life and show acceptance towards their struggles. 

When I think back to my friend’s blog, one of the reasons she was able to be so brave and honest was because she had people around her that showed her that they would accept her unconditionally. Through her opening up she has been liberated, it’s been amazing to see. If all of us can learn to shift the way we perceive overweight people maybe we can be the person that helps them address what they may hold secret inside. 

If the next time you see an overweight person and you find yourself judging them, maybe you can stop your thoughts and try to see them in a different light, you can be kinder and try to gain understanding which could lead to a healthier place for both you and them.

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