Thursday, February 12, 2009

Face Clinging Aliens!!! They're EVERYWHERE!!!

I found myself in a situation not too long ago that made me do some sincere thinking about the oh-so-real feeling of fear/pain…and what “fear/pain” really is.

I’m going to use the example of health & exercise due to the fact that this is a bit more common than the situation I was in…

Side Note, and nothing to do with this post but need to share it: I don’t care what someone’s “weight” is. There are gals who are 120 lbs and couldn't’t run to the end of the block…starting from the ½ way point. There are gals at 160+ lbs. who can run 26.2 miles, for fun, on any given weekend. So, this is more about feeling like an athlete vs. looking like a model.

Real vs. Perceived

The natural man can perceive fear and pain, this is healthy. It’s what keeps us alive day to day. If we didn’t understand that stepping out in traffic would be painful and could kill us, we’d walk into traffic on a daily basis, if we survived.

So now I’d like to look at the, real or not, perceived fear & pain of choosing a healthy life style vs. sedentary. Why should I choose being healthy? Because I KNOW exercising will:

-Reduces the risk of dying prematurely
-Reduces the risk of dying from heart disease
-Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
-Helps to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
-Helps older adults become stronger
-Helps to control weight, build lean muscle mass and reduce body fat
-Prevents or delays the development of high blood pressure
-Helps release stress

Ok, so why is it that I DO NOT choose a healthier lifestyle?

- I’ve got a health issue, and I’m sure I’ll make it worse by exercising incorrectly, and I don’t have the $$$ to get a trainer/dr. to help me.
- I’m afraid of looking stupid at the gym
- I don’t have time
- I don’t have the right cloths
- Eating healthy and taking vitamins and supplements is too expensive.
- (maybe you can think of more reasons why I shouldn't’t work out?)

Now, as I lay in bed and think about working out, my highest perceived pain, comes from the reasons NOT to work out. It’s the most tangible and immediate consequence. So, I avoid, just like I would stepping out into traffic, and I lie in bed for another 30 minutes, to stay “SAFE”.


Let me re-evaluate my options…my perceived fear and pain?

- premature death
- heart disease
- depression and anxiety
- weak and brittle bones
- high blood pressure
- more stress
- the lame excuses I just noted on why I shouldn't’t workout… L-A-Z-Y!

Fascinating how our minds work, isn’t it?!

I remember a story I heard about "perceived" pain. Scientists were studying rats. They didn't feed it for a few days, and then put it in a container with food, now automatically it went straight to the food to eat, releasing itself from the pain of hunger. Ok, so they take the same rat, make it go hungry for a few days, then put it back in the container with food, BUT this time they put a little grid in the floor that as the rat runs to the food and crosses the grid it sends a little shock to the rat and the rat runs back to the side in which he started, not getting the food. (The shock would not have killed it.) The scientists then remove the metal grid that causes the shock, puts the rat back in. What does the rat do? It sits in the opposite end of the food and actually dies from starvation. The rat perceives his highest pain is the shock, that doesn't really exist, and chooses starvation without trying again.

Now, I think this is mean to the rat, but, it proves a good point. Many times in our, much more significant, human brain, we perceive greater pain than is really there. And then we seem to forget to look into the future of what real pain we will cause ourselves for avoiding the smaller, or perceived pain at the moment.

So, here is my new challenge, please feel free to take it with me, the next time you need to do something you KNOW you should do; -working out -calling someone you haven't spoken to in awhile due to hurt feelings, -roll out the slip and slide, put your swimsuit on and play in the water with your children, or -THAT one dream, THE one that burns within... But suddenly this "Alien" jumps on your face and clings to you screaming all the reasons why you shouldn't, just ask yourself, OUT LOUD, "oh, com-on, is this REAL, really?"

and then ask, "What are the consequences of NOT doing it?" If you need, pull out some paper... write out all the fear and pain why you shouldn't, and then, all you REALLY need is just 1 reason why you SHOULD!

Once you have conquered that, once thought to be real, face sucking alien...
This is how you will feel, and this will be how you will protect yourself from future face sucking aliens... !!

Rock on!


Keli said...

That was good!! I struggle with those same exact things... wondering why in the world i am not doing something when i "want" to do it.. and know i would feel better if i DID do it... and yet continue to NOT do it. LOVED the alien on the face. FONKEY! (funky)
Now....go work out!

Stephanie and J.C. said...

Holy cow, where do you come up with these wonderful insights? It's so true. You can put what so many of us are feeling into something that makes sense. WOW.
I'm way impressed and want to go conquer something now.
Love ya

Perla said...

great post, jen. i always love what you have to say and the way your brain works. you are a great example and an inspiration. love you!

Bryan said...

Y0u Cr@zy!

Heather said...

Oh how I love this post! Love the alien on the face. That will be my visual from now on. I wish I would have had it before I ate the Valentine's candy because I had been doing fabulous at avoiding junk like that.'s to doing what needs to be done. For me that is facing a room full of tired, onry boys who need me to lovingly put them to bed, the alien on my face wants them to put themselves to be while I watch a chick flick and eat candy...I will let you know who wins!

Jon and Janice said...

Well Jen you have managed to pull off another great post. I read this post to dad while he ate lunch yesterday. We both got some good laughs and ideas from it. Thanks for putting your thoughts and feelings into EVERYTHING you do and say. SLY mom

Bean said...

That's very good Jen!

Hait-through the eyes of my own camera - 2003