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RPE Fitness Blog

Health and fitness rantings...................


Why do we wait until Monday?

Hyperbolic discounting is the notion that we value things today about twice as much as we value things at any point in the future, from tomorrow to ten days, months or years from now. It is called Hyperbolic discounting because the trend follows a hyperbolic curve when plotted on a graph. For example, studies were done on people and they were asked to choose between $50 now and $100 a year from now, many people will choose the immediate $50. However, given the choice between $50 in five years or $100 in six years, almost everyone will choose $100 in six years, even though that is the same choice seen at five years' greater distance, this shows that people value things less in the future. Retail stores do this when they offer 'pay later' deals, people assume that paying $200 per month will be easier next year than it is now when in reality it will probably be the same if not worse after you have brought too many things and have to start paying for them.

Hyperbolic discounting is also the scientific reason why we are always going to start dieting and exercising tomorrow.
Most people when they to start a diet or exercise plan almost always pick a point in the future to begin. It might be a Monday, or the day after you get back from a vacation or New Year’s Day or you might just decide at lunch that as of supper tonight, the diet begins. You may even have a last meal in anticipation of the diet to justify a final trip to McDonald's. It is always at a point in the future.

Hyperbolic discounting explains why we have to have the slice of cheesecake now, but we are sure that it can easily be avoided next week. The same can be used to explain why we decide at night to exercise in the morning, but then in the morning decide not to get out of bed. Somehow it’s a lot harder to get out of bed at 5 am than we thought it would be when we set our alarm the previous evening.

2016-12-13 16:44:25
 

Are you your own worst enemy?

One of the very first questions I now ask a prospective new client now, is do you think you can achieve the goal you are currently describing to me? Whether it’s to lose 30 lbs or run a 10km race if they think deep down they can’t achieve it, then they won’t! They are already defeated before they start, they have a belief that they cannot do and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy!

It is not just with diet and exercise that limiting beliefs are present, they are present in all parts of life, and they can stop you in your tracks from achieving your desires and possible successes. Whether it is in your career, relationships, personal happiness, limiting beliefs can have a very large impact on lives.

Do you believe you are powerless to change?

2016-11-15 17:24:52
 

Why isn’t being healthy an incentive to be healthy?

Having worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years now, this is a frequent topic and something I have often wrestled with too.
My own thoughts on this, which are taken from personal experience with myself and clients and from hours of reading, is that it seems to come down to having the wrong mindset

I hear all the time that people need the motivation to exercise, eat healthy, plan meals etc. But, because of an apparent lack of willpower comments are made like it’s too hard, there’s no time, our lives are busy and it all seems so far out of reach. Although we all know that improving and/or maintaining good health always makes us feel so much better and will be good for us, in the long run, many still cannot seem to maintain it long term.

For example, say someone puts on weight due to poor food choices, a stressful job, being sedentary, etc. and then goes on a weight loss shake diet and joins a gym for 12 weeks, loses some weight and reaches a goal, now what? Well, invariably they then go back to what they were doing before, put weight back on (and usually a bit more for good measure) within a few months and end up back at square one. When questioned why this happened they usually blame it on falling off the wagon, kids, job, motivation… yet in my mind, the plan was a means to an end and they never learned anything about changing their lifestyle for the better which is usually the underlying problem. I don’t think that we are all inherently lazy, it was just that the 12-week program was unsustainable and it was temporary easy fix. I guess we as humans are also like water, we will take the path of least resistance, old ingrained habits are easy and we find solace in the familiar, we do the same things each and every day because it takes less conscious thought and considerably less effort and maybe despite being overweight and physically unfit we still feel relatively healthy, so why worry about it now, there’s always tomorrow!

2016-11-02 21:33:34
 

Are you spinning your wheels?

 

Goal setting is a really important tool for us to use to succeed at most things in life in life, we need a focus point with a beginning and an end so we can achieve our desires. Not all goals will be achieved, but from these, we can learn and modify our next challenge so hopefully we do not make the same mistakes twice.

In a textbook world, this is how to goal set:

2016-10-05 21:01:30