I spoke about Fear in my first post. Recognizing fear is important. Tackling fear is much harder… but also much more rewarding. When you seek a healthy lifestyle of bodywork, strength training and good nutrition, facing the reality of our current situation can be extremely daunting.
If we wanted to capture our health measurements properly, we could record our weight, circumference, body fat, waist size, chest size, maximum heart rate, resting metabolic rate, etc. But, we would only end up with a notebook of numbers.
Life is already full of numbers… temperature, speed limit, stock price, taxes, etc…. so let’s use numbers, but not rely on them too heavily. As Peter Drucker, management thinker, said, “What gets measured gets done.” Effectively, we cannot find progress without having a starting point. Plus, it provides a timeline of moments that we can reflect on later.
Time to Write
Find a notebook, grab a pencil, and let’s begin. Our starting point will involve a few necessary numbers, but we’ll also record other insightful information. Here’s what I want to see in your journal:
- Experience level with bodywork, weight training, and nutrition (ignorant, semi-knowledgeable, or knowledgeable. what have you enjoyed and not enjoyed about each?)
- Injury or Trauma history (include everything – physical and emotional pain and how it was treated)
- Biggest obstacle to working out and greatest motivating factor to achieving your healthy lifestyle
- Current confidence and self-esteem level (low, medium, or high)
- Any asymmetries you may have (differences in strength or mobility in front vs back; left vs right)
- Resting heart rate (count pulse for 30 secs as soon as you wake up. multiply by 2)
- Weight (no clothes)
- Network of professionals you can rely on for help (PCP, personal trainer, nutritionist, etc)
- Finally, state your most important goal for a healthier lifestyle (get pregnant, lose weight, gain muscle, etc.)
In my experience, the important information has two main functions – to help keep things safe and goal-driven. Consider how medical professionals always have you meet with a nurse practitioner prior to being seen. They typically get your weight and blood pressure to make sure your baseline is good, but the real story comes out in the conversation you have with the doctor. I need honesty in understanding what your previous history looks like and what your goals and expectations are before proceeding. Writing everything out (or even talking things over with a friend or family member) can help.