The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between

Quick Tip #6 ~ Inundated with Information?

At the beginning of January, I read The Paradox of Choice:Why Less is More by Barry Schwartz.  I had intended to write a couple of posts about some of the concepts in the book, but haven’t gotten around to it.  Want to know why?  Because I’ve had too many options and choices of other things to do.

You see, one of the main tenets of the book, is that we have become inundated with so many options that we will literally put off making any decision. A recent article in Newsweek, I Can’t Think, jogged my memory and put this back into the forefront of my mind.

This inability to make a quality decision because of an overflow of information is a troubling phenomenon.  What’s even worst is that the more deliberation that people give to actually making a decision, the more they tend to regret the decision.

Another pitfall of having to make a decision, is that what is most significant in our minds tends to take precedence over the things that truly matter.  Let me explain.

Say you were a woman and wanted to workout and eat healthier.  You decide that since you read the best methods of Fat Loss, that you’re going to walk 45 minutes every morning and do the basic strength training regimen that I gave in the past.  You also decided that you will do an elimination diet and keep a food log, keeping calories around 11 per pound of lean body mass.

You start this workout and eating plan for ONE day.  Since you’re not sure how to do some of the exercises described, you google or youtube “How to do a Deadlift.”

This takes you down the rabbit hole of information on Deadlifts and you see large men performing a deadlift and decide that “this can’t be a good exercise for a woman” and therefore don’t do it.  While on YouTube you click on the right hand side of a promotional video that shows a “killer workout.”

You start to disregard the information that I’ve given and decide that you’re going to follow the “killer workout.”  From that “killer workout” video, you see a video for P90X.

You fall in love.

You decide that instead of doing the killer workout video, you’re going to do it all with P90X.  You order the program and say that you’ll start it as soon as it gets there.

You get the DVD’s and the next morning you start.  The workouts feel great the first week.  By the second week, you’ve ignored the recommendations to eat more in order to fuel your workouts, because you want to lose weight faster.  By doing so, you feel tired and sluggish.  After 3 weeks, you’re still doing the program, but you’re really struggling through them as your energy levels are plummeting.  You step on the scale and realize that you haven’t lost any weight.

You stick it out for one more week.  And what happens next is devastating.  You’ve gained a pound!!!

You decide to stop doing the P90X and look for a better workout routine that you can stick to.  After 3 more months of looking for a “better workout routine,” it’s now June and the beginning of Summer.  You tell yourself that you’ll start working out as soon as the Summer is over.

In September, you buy a magazine and decide that you’re going to follow one of the workout routines, while taking a couple of the group exercise classes per week at your local gym.

After 4 weeks of working out, but not really changing your diet habits, you’ve lost 1 pound.  It’s at this point that you decide that working out “isn’t really for you” and give up on it.

It’s been a devastating defeat for you and you will probably avoid the gym for another year or until you’ve gained so much additional weight that you can’t stand yourself.

What was truly important to the you at the beginning, was a routine that you could see yourself sticking to AND being effective at weight loss.  After watching the YouTube video though, the most significant thing in the your mind was the “killer workout.”  What’s significant isn’t necessarily important though and that’s an important distinction that bears repeating.

What’s significant isn’t necessarily important.  It’s only more recent and therefore fresh in your memory.  This is why I started these Quick Tips with, “What’s Your Point?”

This sad state of affairs is that this is what I see day after day, week after week, year after year.  Despite what I say, despite the reasonings behind why I give my advice (*that you can stick to the workout routine, that you can notice progress on a couple of exercises, that you can adjust from a basic program to see what needs to be shifted and changed next), most people will avoid the advice because they are looking for “something better.”

The question for today is, are you avoiding sticking to one workout routine that you can make consistent progress on in the search for “something better?”

If so, how’s that working out for you?

*Tomorrow I will talk more about how to help change that mindset, as this “Quick Tip” is definitely a bit longer than anticipated.

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