Conquering the mental blocks to wellness/fitness


Weight at the beginning of the program (Feb 15th 2015) = 197.5 lbs.

26th April 2015

Weight 190.5 lbs. BP  
Body fat 31% SpO2  
    Autonomic Dysfunction  

I will be maintaining a scorecard like this and will publish it weekly with every blog. I will fill in the missing values as we move along.

I have come to the conclusion that the only thing stopping us from taking the necessary steps to be healthy is just the absence of willpower. We have a mental block.

Let us face it. There is no instant gratification here. We, in America, are so used to instant gratification that we are just not mentally equipped to handle programs that take a long time to produce results. This is the reason that most people start on programs after seeing the before and after advertisements on TV. When they realize that this is hard work and will take a long time, their enthusiasm is diminished and that is where it all stops. They want the result but do not want to put in the hard work.

The logic behind wellness

I had mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that weight gain or loss is simply a matter of the difference between calories in and calories out.

Calories in – calories out = daily difference

Any weight gain or loss is a function of this difference i.e.

Weight change = function of daily calorie difference.

The mathematicians would say weight change = f (calorie difference).

Final weight = present weight + f (calorie difference)

If the calorie difference is negative then your weight will reduce. If it is positive, your weight will increase. It is as simple as that.

What affects calories In and calories out?

Calories in depends completely on your food intake.

Calories out depends on your activity level. Exercising is an attempt to increase the calories out. The more you exercise the more you increase calories out.

It should be clear that a program that solely depends on modifying your eating habits is not going to get you anywhere.

One has to increase one’s daily activity level. Yes, people tell you to use stairs rather than elevators, park your car far away and all that. All this will do is to help you maintain your weight but not decrease it. I have tried all this. When one is overweight, then more drastic measures are called for.

The bottom line 

  1. You have to exercise
  2. You have to manage your food intake

Both of these are fundamental changes to one’s lifestyle. We’ll talk about exercise first and talk about food later.

I found that it took a lot of effort to start an exercise program, especially if you perceive that nothing is wrong with you.

So how did I deal with the mental block?

My wife and I started walking down and then up a steep hill that we live on. We started doing this for a half hour every day. This helped me drive up my heart rate to almost 140. Then I realized that this was not enough.

I had a dormant membership to a health club. I forced myself out of bed very early in the morning and have started going to the health club at 6 am every morning. There is a reason for doing it first thing in the morning. You get it out of the way and things that come up during the day (and they will come up I assure you) will not interfere with your exercise program.

I told many friends that I was doing this. This was an open commitment. I do not want to fail so this gave me some initial motivation to stick with it. Writing this blog is a major motivation. Now I am telling the world. I have a scorecard at the beginning of the blog. I have got to be taking off weight to write this blog. Obviously I want to be successful in the eyes of the readers.

If you can keep going somehow for 4-6 weeks you are going to see a weight loss. The program I am following typically drops 1-2 pounds a month. When I saw my weight drop, I started getting a feel of success. Now I am motivated to keep at it, as long as I can see a continuous drop in weight. It is now a self-fulfilling program. This is where you want to get to.

We’ll talk a lot more about all this. Till next time…..


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