Behavior ChangeMindsetUncategorized

In Response To: How Do You Feel About This

By August 22, 2009 14 Comments

I want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions from my last post, even the ones that said, “I’m really shocked at your ego here and horribly offended by your reaction to this woman”, and “I’m just so livid at your reaction to this stranger and I know I’m not the only one.”

If I offended anyone I apologize.

Click the link to read original article->->->->

For those who know me, you know that I have a deep passion for helping people and when I see those I love (even if it is a total stranger) not living to their full health potential, it hurts me.  I shouldn’t have used the word “confront” but rather “approach” or “engage.”  I get up each day and live for the chance to help build up my clients and show them that they are special, that they deserve the best in their life.

Many of you are correct that it probably wouldn’t have helped to talk to her at that point.  There are 5 stages of behavior change:

1.  Precontemplation: They aren’t even thinking about changing their behavior.

2.  Contemplation: Giving up an enjoyed behavior causes them to feel a sense of loss despite the perceived gain.  They are weighing the benefits and losses.

3.  Preparation: They might start experimenting with small changes to test the waters out.

4.  Action Stage: They are full engaged in changing the behavior.

5.  Maintenance and Relapse Prevention: They have reached their goal, and find ways to create lasting habits that support the newly developed change.

From all my college studies in psychology, exercise psychology, and behavioral change, it is impossible to know where this woman was by just looking at her, but if she was still in the precontemplation stage, there isn’t really anything anybody could say to her to make her change.

From studying hundreds of case studies of those who have made dramatic healthy changes in their life, there is one thing that they all had in common: they decided that enough was enough.  The trigger is different for every person, but it must start within the person.

My goal with this blog is to write on enough topics that I can get someone to move down at least one level on the behavioral change model.  If I have done that, I feel successful!  I could easily just continue to show exercises and recipes, but those would only be helpful to those who are in the action and maintenance stages.  This is why I show transformations, write about struggles, talk about the environment we surround ourselves in, and the thoughts and feelings we have from the past and present.

There are many deep underlying issues in peoples lives, that I certainly don’t pretend to know, and don’t think any person can fully understand.   We are complex creatures with complex programming and emotional states.  Just because a person is or isn’t overweight, doesn’t mean they are “healthy.”  To me health means a balanced life between the physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational.  Of course as a personal trainer I am focusing more on the physical side, but all sides need to be in balance.

Thanks so much for listening and I am thankful for having all of you in my life!  I will continue to do my best to educate, motivate, and inspire you to be the best in all areas of your life.

-Dustin Maher

PS  Next time I see this type of situation again, I will do what a few of you suggested and just smile and say hi to the man or woman.