Dr. Varga is a post-doctoral fellow specializing in bariatrics. She worked with Dr. Z in a previous training year and now she joins our team!
Thank you for stopping by! Let’s start off by talking about some of the thoughts we may have about the ‘E’ word – it takes a lot of time, it’s really difficult, I don’t know what I am doing, I will hurt myself, I am no good at exercising.
Do you experience any of these thoughts? If so, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
But, what do our thoughts have to do with exercising? Well, our thoughts and beliefs (which are often unconscious and automatic) influence our feelings and behaviors, which in turn, reinforce our thoughts.
Let’s talk more about this - these negative thoughts we have are called cognitive distortions. What are cognitive distortions? They are ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. They sound rational and accurate, but they end up keeping us feeling bad about ourselves, feeling poorly overall, and keeping us engaging in behaviors that are unhelpful or unhealthy.
Here are a few examples:
Disqualifying the good: I did a yoga class, but yoga is so easy.
Catastrophizing: If I do not exercise X amount of time each week, it will never work!
All-or-Nothing Thinking: I have NO time to exercise.
What can we do about our cognitive distortions? First, let’s start by identifying your cognitive distortions! Then, we can start to challenge or change them:
Do I really have NO time?
Does going to a yoga class really not count?
Do I really have to exercise for exactly 30 minutes?
Does working out always have to feel good?
Write down your cognitive distortions and note how they impact your behavior. Challenge those distortions or make your thoughts and self-talk more flexible. Let’s start moving!