Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Employee Health: Positive Self-Talk Can Support Your Fitness Efforts

Are there times where you find yourself saying "I can't" or putting yourself down? This negative self-talk is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you consistently tell yourself things like, "I can't do it," "I'll always be fat," and "I'm such a lazy slug," you are talking yourself out of improving and livinThumbsDowng a healthier life. You're setting yourself up to fail. It's true that everyone has failed at a new exercise program or eating plan. But that doesn't mean that you'll fail every time, or that you need to carry that guilt with you. You need to believe that you will succeed.

Turn Your Negative Self-Talk to Positive

It might sound corny, but pay attention to what you say to yourself. As a corporate fitness manager, I consistently hear people say they are fat, ugly, or horrible at an activity. What they really should be saying is how great it is that they are working out, moving their body, or trying a new activity. Focus on the positive.

Did you mess up and eat a greasy hamburger and fries for lunch? Don't beat yourself up about it. Rather, think of all the good things you've eaten in the past week. Assess why you felt you needed that hamburger and fries and devise a plan to be better prepared next time this craving arises. If you practice positive self-talk, over time it will become more the norm, and you'll be surprised at how good and successful you'll feel.

It's Okay to Stretch the Self-Talk Truth a Little

Beyond rethinking negative self-talk, I give myself positive talk even if it's not completely true. For example, when I'm really struggling or feeling the burn of a worksite fitness class, I just tell myself, "Isn't this fun? I love this workout! It's so much fun!" Even though I may not feel that 100 percent, it gives me the motivation and positive feelings I need to make it through the workout.

So nip that negative self-talk in the bud and start feeling good about you! As Stuart Smalley from SNL's "Daily Affirmations" would say, "I'm good enough; I'm smart enough; and doggonit, people like me!"

Topics: employee health overweight employees corporate fitness nutrition motivation exercise at home