Breaking the shackles!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Almost all motivational classes I have attended in India use the following analogy to explain perceived restraints. Elephant represents one the God's in the Hindu religion. Several (South) Indian temples, own elephants which are raised and trained to take part in worship, particularly during ceremonies and festivals and to bless!! people visiting the temple.
In most of these temples the elephants are kept chained when not being worked or trained (Personally I consider this an act of cruelty). The chaining is in fact used a means of training or conditioning the animals right from the day the calf is brought in. Studies have shown that, once conditioned so, even when the chains are replaced by a flimsy rope the elephant does not try to break it and that they rarely try to move away from the distance permitted by the original chain inspite of more length available. Mentally conditioned to the restraint!!
Mental conditioning or self imposed limits is nothing new, right? Well I have been thinking about the nasty habit I have - smoking. For several years now I have been saying, not meaning, that I have to quit but never tried except for once, long back, and failed. Maybe I had resigned myself to the failure and started thinking that I can never quit, that I am not strong enough, not determined enough to quit??
Last night I tried this little thing to break out the self imposed limits - the result was amazing. For 4 months now I have been consistently burning 250 calories (as shown in the machine) after 20 minutes of HIIT on the elliptical trainer. Not once I able to go past 260 cals. Was this because this was the limit to my endurance or was I limiting myself? Yesterday, I made a simple decision to keep my eyes closed during the high intensity portions of the routine (2 mins) so that I don't see the strides per min or the calories burned. Guess what? After 20 mins I had burned 330 cals!! Exertion level was almost the same as the previous day. The toughest thing was to keep my eyes closed every other 2 mins. Simple truth but it has made me realize that I can change myself for the better if I decide so and if I do not set limits, real or perceived, on myself!!
I had decided so when I joined SP and the results are there to see. I am consistent in my workouts; I eat healthy, well most of the time, but getting there. I feel really good about myself and it shows. Come Sep 24th (nothing special just a date) I will be free of smoking too.
I joined SP to make a lifestyle change and I am getting there. This would not have been possible, this soon, without the resources in SP and more importantly my spark friends - their support has been incredible. Actually, it was a spark friend who gave me the push that resulted in me setting the (smoking) quit date. Special Thanks to you, Vicki.