The Body Cannot Go Where the Mind Will Not Let It

Imagine you are a physician and someone comes to you who is in constant pain. What first strikes you when you see them the first time is they are grossly overweight, let’s say they clearly weight over 300 pounds. The pain they describe runs from regular and pronounced pain the knees and lower back all the way to a constant headache which can last for days and even weeks. Sometimes these headaches get so severe that they cannot function and end up taking days off of work. Pain killers don’t provide any reprieve from the pain.

When you inquire, they tell you of their awful diet which consists of frozen pizzas, cookies, and almost constant soda consumption. They also explain they also smoke and do not exercise.

They are coming to you for relief because they want the pain to be gone and want the solutions you provide.

You first explain that smoking is very likely a contributing factor, so you suggest quitting smoking and before you can describe constructive ways to go about that process they intercept you by declaring that they cannot or will not give up their smoking habit. They ask what else you recommend.

You then explain that diet is probably the biggest contributor to the pain, as being grossly overweight is a typical contributor to chronic knee and back pain. You suggest they go about losing weight, and exercise is a crucial component. They respond by saying they cannot or will not exercise, and offer some excuse or set of excuses why not (no time, no money, they hate it, etc.). They ask what else you recommend.

You go to the last option, which is to alter their diet. They must start eating more healthy foods and drastically reduce their soda intake (if not eliminate it completely). You explain that virtually everyone else who has done this has gotten results. They respond by saying they love their pizzas, coookies, and sodas far too much to give any of them up. They cannot even consider the idea of lowering the portion sizes. They ask what else you recommend.

Quite simply, their mind is not ready to do what needs to be done to succeed. Their body will not go there until the mind can accept it.

It is not enough to see what you want to be or imagine you changing yourself for the better. Your mind must be ready to commit to making a change. Change itself creates doubt and anxiety and most people are fearful of it to some degree. Some are so terrified of change that they embrace the bad merely for fear that change would make things worse. The reality is that if you manage change, it will be for the better. Sure, there will be some discomfort and possibly even pain with change but that is the nature of growth. In the end, you will be stronger and healthier for it. Never let fear or apprehension halt you in your path to improve yourself or build your knowledge and skills.

It starts with what is in your heart, which the most powerful force to change your mind. Then, your body will follow.