Watch your words

Nawaz Modi Singhania
Sunday, 7 January 2018

Don’t use self-defeating statements that prevent you from exercising. Remember that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can make a choice

A is for… Apple
B is for …Big belly
C is for …Can’t be bothered

Is this the language we feed into our brain making us fat? How precisely are we psychologically affected, as a result of the things we say to ourselves? Let’s take a look at some of the common self-defeating statements we feed into…
- I can’t exercise because I just don’t have the time.
- I can’t exercise because I have to look after two kids.
- Now that I have kids, my days of having a good figure are long gone.
- I can’t exercise as I suffer from arthritis/asthma/cardiovascular disease/knee problems.
- I can’t exercise as I work late.
- I can’t exercise as I’m lazy and have no will power.
- No point in exercising and trying to be slim, as I have an emotional eating problem.
- I’m a chocoholic.
- I find exercise so boring!

Your words will make you fat and unhealthy! As the saying goes — ‘You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think’. The truth is you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.

So while everyone wants to look their best, be slim, toned, healthy and energetic, why do we keep feeding ourselves negative language? Is it because that somewhere we feel the effort won’t be worth it? Do we feel it’s all too tough? Or do we feel it’s not going to yield the result we want? Or we feel we don’t really need to be or to look any better?

My personal feeling is it’s because we don’t truly understand how fabulous it feels to be an ideal size, shape, tone, at an optimum level of health. For instance, how would you ever explain the wonders of sight to a blind man? It’s just not possible to truly understand, till you get there yourself! 

So what are these unparalleled benefits? They include fat and inch loss, increase in muscle endurance and strength, a variety of cardio-respiratory benefits, lowered risk of Type II diabetes, stroke, some types of cancers, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Exercising also helps in improving sleep pattern, in countering osteoporosis, delays ageing and so on.

Is all that worth it? Of course it is! Reasons and motivation examined, let’s delve a little deeper into what really keeps you from making exercise a part of your life, and see how you can alter that.

If your struggle is time, there are many ways to work around this. Try using most of the lunch hour at the office to workout instead of only eating through it, or exercise early morning, or on the way to work, or on your way back home. On days when you are so stretched that you can’t even do that, make sure you generally stay more active. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk down the road to your next appointment instead of driving there, or do a few simple exercises even when sitting at your desk! If you can’t workout because you have children to look after, exercise at home with them around! If you’re under the illusion that after pregnancy and delivery, you can’t have a good figure, look around you and think again! Many women have far better figures post their children than they did prior to pregnancy! 

Exercise can to a very large degree either reverse health ailments or at least give you much relief from the pain and disability. If you feel you can’t exercise, as you’re lazy or have no will power, you probably just need to find the activity that you enjoy doing, so that exercise doesn’t seem like a chore. That might be dance, martial arts, roller blading, biking etc.

Many of us have emotional eating problems. These can be easily overcome by keeping healthy snacks ready and cling-filmed in the fridge, so when these attacks come about, you still don’t do yourself damage. These might be healthy, low fat, sugar and gluten free snacks such as soups, salads, wraps and so on. If you’re a chocoholic, try switching to chocolates that are sugar-free but contain stevia or malitol instead.

Where there’s a will, there’s always a way. Most importantly, start right now. Excuses never burnt any calories. Watch in amazement as you transform completely into a superhuman version of you!

(The writer has trained, taught and certified in America as a Fitness Professional by American Council on Exercise and International Dance Exercise Association. She founded Body Art, the Fitness Centre in 1992. For more information, log onto

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