Well, they've done it again. They've published the findings of another one of those "rodent tests"; this one with the apparent intent of convincing millions of people that they could possess a gene that makes them lazy. That's right - a "laziness gene". The problem I have with the conclusions of such studies is their tendency to implicitly absolve us of personal responsibility.
Hmmm… at a certain time in my life, those close to me might have sworn a laziness gene was my affliction. Now those same people would likely assert the damned thing had mutated - into a formidable antagonist no-less. What was it that transformed me from a one-time couch potato to someone who you'd be hard struck to find even near a couch unless he's helping someone move it?
Try an answer that's counter-intuitive; a change in 'values and beliefs'. In fact, 'assessing personal values and beliefs' is one of the best first steps I can think of for firing up your mental power for getting in shape. It's only counter-intuitive to the extent that we don't understand the inextricable link between mind and body.
Values are what's important to us and beliefs are what we think is possible for us.
We're not referring to moral values here, but the ones of a worldly rather than spiritual nature. They reside within our subconscious minds - ensconced within life contexts in hierarchies that, when combined with beliefs, create attitudes about those contexts. These attitudes help determine many of our behaviors.
Why is this important for fitness? Because assessing personal values and beliefs can be the first step toward enhancing them to fit your desires. If you desire a nice physique but have leisure time as too high a value, this could be a conflict that stops you from working out. Moreover, you could be mistaking 'laziness' for a simple disempowering alignment of values in this situation.
What about beliefs? These can be crippling to values as they can render them unrealized. If you strongly value having a nice physique yet don't have the belief in your physical prowess to make it happen, you might be stopped before ever getting started. In fact, a strong value that's been unrealized due to stultifying limiting beliefs is too often the cause of unfulfilled dreams and unnecessary angst among many people.
Assessing personal values and beliefs is one thing, but what about changing them. Is it difficult to change them for the better? What about enhancing them for the purposes of fitness?
It's not difficult at all. In fact, we do both of these things throughout our lives without even thinking about it.
But that's a topic for another entry. Simply 'assessing personal values and beliefs', within physique enhancement or any other life context you want to improve, is enough to reveal the absurdity of some of that "rodent research" (click here for article).