Brain versus Reality

Good morning!

What an amazing start to November!

  • After a few days of dreary rain, we have been blessed with some of the most beautiful weather
  • Our “NFLF Holiday Challenge” is off to a great start and it has been fun to cheer on everyone
  • On my run yesterday I saw Christmas lights being put up

Winding Down 2020

As we wind down this challenging year, nothing indicates that the challenges presented by this pandemic are ready to cease.

As predicted, the number of Covid-19 cases have spiked and will most likely continue into early 21, so it appears we will be dealing with annoying masks and limited social opportunities for a while.

The Good

People are finding ways to bring joy to our surroundings, such as early Christmas lights! I am among those who love Christmas lights and once upon a time would overdue the front yard with Christmas cheer.

Early in the stay-at-home stage I witnessed many new runners out and about and I thought it might be one of the positives that would come out of this challenging time. Gym equipment has been selling at a rate that has made it difficult to obtain, but if it is all getting used, that is a great thing!


There are many other positives which have come out of this challenging time, but the challenges ahead with winter bearing down, seem enormous. Small businesses suffering, restaurants suffer, kids missing out on attending school, valuable social interaction limited, and the list can certainly go on…

Not Helpful

A study of our brain found that when we think about our options, namely sit or exercise, our brain will favor sitting. Apparently, our brain does not consider the bodies need for a fitness or the importance of exercise for our mental health. This disconnect between our brain and our wellbeing is real and unfortunately, we often let our brain win.

Despite increased sales of exercise equipment, Covid-“19” has taken on a new meaning, in that people have gained “19” pounds during this pandemic. Whether it is being at home (closer to the fridge), or the stress, it is happening. One study indicates that alcohol consumption may be the culprit.

For both good fitness and mental health, we need to overcome the easy out our brain will choose every time. I have been guilty many times; in that I plan to workout, only to let my brain convince me at that moment I will find more pleasure in sitting down. It is never a simple thought, it is more covert like, I can run later, I need rest, it is too cold, and etc..

While I have given in to my brain at times, I have learned a few tricks that help me overcome my lazy brain:

  • Schedule my workouts and run and stick to it
  • Workout or run with a partner
  • Decide with the end in mind (how I will feel physically and mentally)
  • Have clear goals
  • Move: Do not think
  • Feedback rewards

Having a plan makes a huge difference. I am definitely a self-motivator and when I have a plan, I do not give my brain much opportunity to sidetrack me. I know it is a challenge for many, which is why people come to NFLF. Buying a Peloton is only 20 percent of the challenge. The muscle between the ears, is the other 80.

The Feedback rewards has huge value. We have marble jars for many of our clients at the NFLF Center and when clients finish a workout, they drop a marble in their jar as a reward for completion. Another “Feedback rewards,” is using technology to track our success. We have been espousing the benefits of Myzone heartrate technology for science based training, but the effort points (MEPS) that are rewarded for each workout are tremendously motivating. Increasing my weekly MEPS helps me personally to overcome my lazy brain!

No doubt about it, we have some challenging days ahead of us and a healthy body will help us feel better physically and just an important, mentally. Overcoming our brain is always going to be a challenge, but if we focus on what we want as an outcome, we can win the battle.

Yesterday I enjoyed a great run, which capped off my goal of 3 runs and 2 strength training workouts for the week. I am so blessed to have the opportunity and capability!

Have a great Sunday and make sure you say thank you to a Veteran this week!

God Bless