Laurie and I were sitting in my office discussing the many different ways people respond to marketing and advertising. Laurie is Integrity's social media diva who by virtue of Integrity's programming and her own self inflicted suffering finally found the long-term pleasure she longed for. You can read her story at /I-was-sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired-----1-2859.html . Anyhow, back to the story. So we're sitting there brainstorming about different ideas to bring in new members. Then I ask Laurie, "You were once in a bad place with your health, what made you decide to stop the abusive ways you were treating your body?"
She said she was scared. The doctor had just sat down and told her that he would have to increase her medications and that she had become diabetic. This she said was the turning point. My question was, "Why did you wait so long?" She exclaimed, that she didn't really think she was in that bad of a condition. She didn't even see herself as being overweight. Now she says she looks back at some of her photographs and wonders how she ever thought that. She stated that at 38 she felt old and now at 43 she feels younger than ever.
Does it really take being "scared" to change to a healthy lifestyle? Does one really have to reach a point where doing something that will bring you long term happiness is the last resort? I know we constantly preach commitment and consistency but even before that choice takes place I want you to ponder this for a moment.
It is human nature to gravitate away from pain and towards pleasure. I truly believe when a person makes a commitment to choose a healthier lifestyle part of the reason is that they are tired of living in a somewhat painful situation. Whether it is a medical situation as in Laurie's case or something related to self-confidence / image the perceptual pain is not bearable therefore the choice is made.
But here's where the "form of masochism" comes into play. I say masochist because a person willing to inflict some sort of pain to gain pleasure may be considered so. Think about it. There are so many people who make the effort to escape "their pain" and find out that they have to go through "additional pain" to reap the pleasure of a healthy existence. This is true.
The most interesting part of it all is that many choose to quit exercising and eating healthy long before they reach the priceless state of vibrant health. In other words, they choose to suffer long-term with NO REWARD (No Pleasure) rather than suffer short-term and eventually be rewarded (Pleasure) for it. So, if you're going to choose to suffer at least get your reward.
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health.