Get Off Autopilot

This is notice and name in action (I wrote about notice & name earlier this month).  So put on your scientist’s hat, I will be your guide on today’s journey.

I know what you’re already thinking – I hate science.

But the good news is you don’t have to science – you just have to observe.

After all, that’s what notice and name is…observation.  A new term for this is mindfulness, but really it’s good old-fashioned focus.  You know – paying attention.

Your brain likes shortcuts.  It’s a bona fide energy saver.

It’s about 2% of your overall weight, but consumes 20-25% of your total energy – that’s high enough to believe you could think your way thin.

Think about driving a car – you can meander along at 70 miles per hour while daydreaming.  You arrive at your destination not remembering how you got there. Or maybe you missed your exit because you were daydreaming.  That’s pretty amazing (or scary), isn’t it?

We have food behaviors and routines that happen below the level of our recognition.  There are cues that put these into play and later on we’re left with guilt, frustration, and/or indigestion.

We have exercise and workout routines where we perform things in a familiar, comfortable way.  Change is exhausting (notice and name THAT).  We often fall into familiar patterns without challenging ourselves.  Luckily, you’ve got us to push you.

We have automatic thoughts.  We understand and respond to stimuli in a fairly predictable way.  This precedes the behaviors above.  Maybe you even rationalize and justify behaviors in similar, predictable manners.

And so we continue along the path, unaware of how our behaviors and routines are leading us in an unconscious way – perhaps the wrong way.

Today, we’ll start with something familiar to you: your workout.

Our challenge to you is to increase the quality of what you are doing.

  • How does a movement feel? Does if feel effective?
  • What does the right position feel like? Can you feel yourself trying to find a different, easier position?
  • What level of exertion are you feeling?
  • Does it feel like high quality effort or are you struggling excessively?
  • What does it feel like if you go a little harder?  What about a little easier?
  • Do you feel tight anywhere?  Do you feel the target muscles working?
  • Are you carrying too much tone in your shoulders, hips, or neck?
  • What does it feel like to breathe through the exercise instead of holding your breath?
  • Are you here now, focusing on the movement? Or are you building your honey-do list while you go through the exercise?
  • What does being present feel like?  Strong? Confident?

If you want to build a better body, you need higher quality movements and behaviors.

Quality comes firstAlways.

So today, think about what behaviors and practices might move you toward higher quality movement and nutrition.

It’s just a question to digest.  No need for action now.  Start thinking about where autopilot is steering you off course.

For today, practice paying attention.

And just for a test … what is your tongue doing right now?

If you are interested in assistance with navigating your nutrition journey…we can be your co-pilots…please reach out!

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