When talking about fitness, I get this question A LOT: “I understand your approach to fitness and moderation, Pahla, but YOU’RE doing more, aren’t you?”
I absolutely understand the comparison game – heck, I’ve done it myself too🙋!
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast🎤, we’re chatting about WHY this is an unhelpful question and WHAT you can do to get the results you want (hint: it’s not MORE).
Ready to dig in? Listen👂 now!
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6imJpTKfuvU
Ep. 089: Mind MANAGEMENT
Ep. 073: The BEST FEELING
Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group:
Don’t forget to SHARE this podcast so that others can get the fitness results they want too! RATINGS and REVIEWS are appreciated as well! 💛
Doing MORE (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode number 91, “Doing More.”
That sounded so earnest, didn’t it? Doing more. My friends, welcome to . . . I almost said welcome to the workout. That was hilarious. You guys, sometimes my mouth has a mind of its own, and I know you know what I’m talking about with that one.
Anyways. Hi, welcome to the podcast where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I happen to know that this one matters because you guys ask me this question all the time in various ways, in various places, but very, very, very frequently. I hear the question, “But Pahla, I hear what you’re saying about exercising moderately, but you’re doing more, aren’t you?”
I totally get where you’re coming from with this question, because I have . . . Let me back up just really quickly here. There are certain parts of this podcast that are going to sound, I don’t know, braggy or something. You can take that how you will. I’m not intending to brag, but here we are. Here we are with me talking about how I have what you want, and here’s what I’m going to say.
I think that sometimes you look at me at my healthy weight with lots of muscle and lots of energy and doing well and you may not be where I am. That’s why you’re playing the comparison game. Here’s the thing. We all play this comparison game. Trust me. So, so often we do this, and there are a couple of really practical reasons, and I totally apologize.
I’m distracting myself in the middle of what I’m saying here because Rosie [Pahla’s cat] is singing me the song of her people. I feel like I’ve talked about this somewhere before that Rosie really recently just really needs me to know when she’s going to the bathroom. She just needs to tell me that she’s going to go use her litter pan. It cracks me up. But also she doesn’t need to tell me that when I’m in the middle of recording a podcast, does she? Yes, she does.
Anyway, what were we talking about? Comparisonitis. Let me tell you, here’s the thing about comparing ourselves. It is a very natural thing that your brain does. It’s not unavoidable, but it’s unavoidable unless we know what’s going on. It is avoidable, and I’m going to tell you how to avoid it later in the podcast, but it is a very natural thing that our brain does automatically all the time. Our unsupervised brain will always compare us to others, always.
Now that you are in the midst of supervising your brain, because that’s what we do around here at the Fitness Matters podcast. We talk about mind management and how we can feel better about our fitness journeys. Your brain will automatically compare where you are to where other people are because that’s actually a survival mechanism. If other people are doing something important to survival, then we want to be doing that too. That’s why our brain does that.
Our brain looks at other people like, “Hey, maybe they’re doing something better that could help me survive a long, cold winter with no food and no shelter or whatever.” This is a caveman brain thing. It’s completely, completely normal. It’s completely okay that your brain does this, and I really want to start with that before we even get into the practicalities of it.
I love learning about the brain because it makes me feel so much better about the crazy stuff my brain says to me. When I hear my thoughts and how irrational they are sometimes and how illogical they are – and very frequently, how emotion-driven they are – I just love to know that this is exactly how your brain is supposed to work.
It’s completely, completely okay that you suffer from comparisonitis. Sometimes it does feel like suffering. Doesn’t it? That’s what we’re going to eliminate today. We’re really going to try to eliminate some of the suffering. Let me tell you in a really, really, really, really, really practical way. Here’s why I’m doing something different from you, rather than more. It might be more; it totally might be more. It might be less. It might be exactly the same, but it’s still not going to be exactly the same.
Here’s why I’m doing something different from you. Number one, I don’t do my own videos. I do, obviously, record them, but I don’t watch them over and over. I have other things to do and to record. I don’t do my own videos as my own workouts.
That said, there was a video that I recorded that came out in July, and it’s a strength workout that I just loved. There was something about it that just really made me feel amazing afterwards. I kept it on my whiteboard, and I still do that one. Right now I’m on three days a week of doing strength, and I’m going to get into this in a second.
But anyway, I do strength training three times a week, and that is the one I do. I don’t watch the video. I just do the workout. Anyway, I don’t do my own videos. I just don’t. Number two, I’m not losing weight. My goal is really different from your goal. If I’m telling you to do something to lose weight, then I’m not going to be doing that thing because I’m not trying to lose weight.
So understanding just physically how your body works and when to do certain kinds of workouts and when to do other kinds of workouts, it’s something relatively fundamental that we do actually talk a lot about on the Pahla B Fitness YouTube channel. Any workout can get you any result. It’s how you put them together over time.
The workouts that I put together over time are not for the result of losing weight. And that leads me to number three, basically the same answer but coming at it from a different angle. I have my own goals. Right now, what I am training for are the 30 adventures that I’m doing this year with my husband. We have, gosh, we’ve done like 18 of them, maybe even more than that. We might be over 20. I don’t remember for sure, but we’ve done quite a few of them.
I’m super excited about that, and we’re actually going to be doing another adventure. Well, it’s this weekend for me but it’s going to be in the past by the time you hear this podcast. We’re climbing another mountain, and I’m super excited about that. I’m training to be able to do adventurous things, and that’s very, very different from weight loss.
I’m also – and this is not like a stated goal with a timeframe or anything like that – I am paying attention right now to my muscle mass. Now that I am really in what I consider the thick of menopause, it has occurred to me for several reasons that I really want to be focusing on, at the very least, maintaining my muscle/building muscle mass and maintaining my bone density.
There are a couple of different reasons. Number one is that running doesn’t feel as good as it used to feel. And so therefore, I want to make sure that I’m still working out and still feeling good, and strength training is a lovely substitution. I am still running. I do love to run, but I don’t love to run as long as I used to or as hard or as fast as I used to. Running is changing, and while running changes, that means that other things are changing too.
I’m changing my focus of what I want to look for in terms of results. And one of the things that I’m looking at in terms of results is my muscle mass. That’s the really practical reason why I might be doing something different from you, and not the least of which – I didn’t write this down in my notes, but I’m thinking about this right now – I just have different desires.
Some people love to do cardio. Some people love to do strength. Some people love to do yoga. Some people love to do Pilates. Some people love to go walking. I just have my own personal desires about things that I like to do. I know that sounds funny, but I don’t necessarily like following along with somebody on YouTube. To be fair, because I actually take a lot longer to work out.
I’m not as efficient off camera as I am on. I walk around. I check my email. I have conversations. I listen to music. It takes me a long time to get through a 20-minute workout. Here’s why – from the not entirely practical but still practical because we’re talking about your mindset now – this is a terrible question for you to ask. When you say, “But you’re doing more, aren’t you?” The underlying bias is that you personally are doing something wrong because you think I’m doing something right.
Now to be fair, as we already discussed, I might already have a result that you want. I am a healthy weight, and that might be something that you are looking to achieve. This is what I was talking about back in caveman days. “Hey, you look like you’re going to survive a long, cold winter. What are you doing that I should be doing?” But the underlying bias that you are doing something wrong, when it goes unspoken, is problematic, because you might not be doing anything wrong at all.
But if your brain is offering you, “Oh, hey, she’s doing something different. Therefore, I must be doing something wrong” it means that you are not looking at your own results. It means that you are not paying attention to the results that you are already getting. If you are already moving towards the result that you want, you’re not doing anything wrong.
I’m getting really emphatic here, but for reals, you’re not doing anything wrong. Stop looking around as though you are. You know why? Because as soon as you start thinking, “I’m doing something wrong,” what you’re doing won’t work anymore, and yet it totally was. Therefore, if it ain’t broke, my friends, don’t fix it.
The other underlying bias is that . . . again, this just sounds so funny when I was saying it out loud. When I was taking these notes, I didn’t really think about how this was going to sound coming out of my mouth. But now that it’s coming out of my mouth, it’s hilarious. But here’s the thing. The other underlying bias is that you and I are alike.
I say that, not like I’m some special snowflake, but rather that you are a special snowflake. We all are. You guys, you and I, we have a lot in common. We definitely do. You would not be this far into the podcast listening to me ramble about things if we didn’t have something in common, but we’re also not exactly alike. What’d you have for breakfast this morning? Maybe, to be fair, because I’ve actually made a video about my breakfast, I know that some of you do eat the same breakfast that I do.
But did you dole it out in those same portions that I did? Did you drink the same amount of water right after your breakfast that I did? Did you take your shower at the same time? Did you go for a walk, and do some strength training this morning before breakfast like I did? Did you sleep in my bed last night? I know the answer to that one. There was only one person in my bed last night besides me, and that was my husband, and my husband does not listen to this podcast.
I know you – you personally – did not sleep in my bed last night. I know that you personally did not get up and feed Rosie at 10 o’clock last night. I know that you personally did not . . . well, unless you are my husband or my son – which I don’t think my son listens to my podcast either – you didn’t swim in my pool last night, and by swimming, what I really mean is just floating.
Every single thing you do all day long contributes to your results. You have literally billions of inputs a day, every day, that are unique to you. Even other people living in your same house have different inputs in different ways. The combination of those billion different things that you do every single day – it’s an utterly mind blowing number that I don’t even know has a name.
You are unique. That’s a good thing, and it means that this underlying bias of asking the question of, “Well, you’re doing more, aren’t you?” Meaning that, well, whatever you do is exactly what I should do. Therefore, I can get the same results. No. You should do what works for you to get your unique expression of the human body, the results that you personally want.
Trust me, I get plenty of comments on YouTube about my body. Not everybody wants the body that I have. Some people say that I’m well . . . I don’t need to go into comments about what people say about my body.
Anyway, when we have these underlying biases, when we ask questions about what other people are doing, it really takes away your power. They are disempowering questions to compare ourselves with somebody else. Really specifically, the nature of this very particular question about whether or not I am doing more is disempowering in a really specific way, and that’s what we’re going to get into now.
In fact, I’m going to talk about not just this question, but any disempowering question that we ask ourselves. Really specifically, the word “more” I want to point out to you is completely nonsensical. It is not a number. It’s not something practical or objective or a target that you can hit. When you’re asking me, if I’m doing “more,” you’re not asking me what I’m doing. You’re simply making a comparison with yourself, wherein you come up short and I’m doing more.
I might be doing more. What I’m actually doing is something different, and I want to be really clear that your brain is not going to offer you that as an option. Your brain is not saying, “I wonder if she’s doing something different.” Your brain really thinks that more is better.
Now, this has biological roots too. We live in such abundance. Again, from a long, long, long time ago, we didn’t have that abundance all the time. There was famine. There were times when we could not eat for days. There were times when water was scarce or resources were very scarce. Therefore, “more is better” became almost like a biological imperative.
It was almost like this: if you have one, but you could get three, we should definitely take three because who knows when we’re ever going to get one again. We have such deep roots in this “more is better,” and it shows up in a lot of different ways in modern life.
I’m thinking really specifically of addictions that we have, where, again, if one is good, then five must be better. If five is good, then 10 must be better than that. More, more, more is how our brains operate. But why that is disempowering and nonsensical is because it doesn’t have an end. It doesn’t have an actual target to it.
When you’re asking me if I’m doing more, that doesn’t make any sense because I’m doing, relatively speaking, the same things every day. That’s not more for me. The reason I’m not doing more is because I’m doing less. Again, coming back to that whole thing about how running doesn’t feel like it used to feel; even strength training has changed. My body is changing. My body doesn’t want to do more anymore.
But here’s what we can do when our brain asks questions with unintentional biases that really are disempowering to us, and really specifically, these comparisonitis kind of questions. When your brain wants to know whether or not I am doing more or whether or not somebody else is doing something more or better, there is a way that you can, I’m going to say, counteract this.
I think that lots of us think that we have to get rid of comparing ourselves. I hear that one frequently too. “Oh, I’ve just got to stop comparing myself.” And we think that simply stopping our brain from having these thoughts is the answer.
I will offer you that, because there are so many biological roots in these questions, you’re not going to stop your brain from asking this question, and that’s completely okay. Again, this is just how your brain works. It’s okay that your brain compares you. It’s okay that your brain has unintentional biases. It’s even okay that your brain offers you unempowering or disempowering thoughts and questions. It’s completely okay.
What you’re going to do, is you’re going to notice that your brain is doing this. If you’ve listened to any of my recent podcasts . . . which one can I point you to? It was mind management (Ep. 089 Mind Management https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-089-mind-management/), where we talked about noticing what you’re thinking. Then you’re going to decide whether or not it’s helpful.
This one definitely isn’t helpful, and here’s what we’re going to do about it. When your brain asks you or offers you that you should be doing more or asks you if somebody else is doing more in comparison, you’re going to come at your brain with some questions. This is where I refer you to The Best Feeling episode, where we talked about just being curious (Ep. 073 The Best Feeling https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-073-the-best-feeling/).
Your brain is offering you some thoughts out of its own best interests. Your brain always wants the best for you, truly. It always wants the best for you, and that’s why it offers you disempowering questions because, according to your brain, maybe there is something better.
Maybe you are doing something wrong, but since you are not, the way that we’re going to approach your brain with these disempowering questions is to simply ask questions in return. Like, “What do you even mean by more? What exactly do I think more would look like, and why do I think that would be better? What results would I really get from doing more, and are those results that I actually want?”
Are those results that are available to me, for my lifestyle, for the things that I like and enjoy and want to be doing? What results do I think I would be getting from doing more than I’m doing right now? Do I even really want to be doing more for the sake of more? Or why would I want to do more? How would that even feel in my life to be doing more than I am right now? Would I be able to sustain that long enough to get results or long enough to enjoy it? Would it even be enjoyable to do more? If I was able to do more and get those results, then what’s next? Would I have to do more beyond that? Or more beyond that, beyond that? Where does the more end?” When you can really tie your brain down – and that’s what it comes down to – you’re asking your brain to stop using vague language, like “more” and start being specific.
You might also recognize this, my friends, as making a plan. Like, setting a goal and making a plan for what we can do when we stop asking ourselves disempowering questions with vague language. Doing more is not a plan. Doing more to get where she is, is not a goal or a plan.
When you can ask your brain some – and I’m going to call them critical questions, but I don’t mean critical like making fun of yourself or judging yourself, but really just getting specific. Maybe specific would have been a better word in that sentence. When you can ask your brain for some specificity, you will get a better answer. You will get the answer that you actually maybe need to hear in order to get the results that you want.
I’m going to tell you that 99.9% of you, when you stop looking for a problem or looking to compare yourself to somebody else’s results, you can actually focus better on seeing the results that you are getting so that you can really realize that you’re already doing the right thing. If you are making any progress at all – and I’m not talking about the kind of progress that you want to shout about from the rooftops or the kind of progress that gets people on the cover of magazines. You know, “She lost 50 pounds in two days.” I just saw something, oh my gosh, I was just on YouTube this morning. There was some self-hypnosis video that was talking about how you could lose 50 pounds in a month. I was like, “How did that not even get pulled down off of YouTube? How can people even make a claim like that?” But anyway, that is totally . . . I digress, my friends.
Your brain loves to offer you generalities and comparisons and biases. It’s how your brain works, and that’s completely okay. There is a way that we can get what we want in this world, which is, I’m assuming, to feel better and get results. The way that we can feel better and get results is to get clear about what your brain is saying.
You’re already paying attention to the thought that your brain has offered you, and then you’ve already decided, “Hey, you know what? This isn’t very helpful.” So now you can be prepared for the next time your brain offers you, “Oh my gosh, she’s doing more. Oh my gosh, she must be doing more,” or, “Oh, I’m not doing enough.”
You can ask yourself these critical, essential, objective questions about what more even means, and then your brain will move its focus away from comparing and move into the empowering state of making plans and seeing your own success, your current success. Just to the aside, that’s actually how you get success.
That is the way to get where you want to go. Have a goal, make a plan, celebrate your wins. Do any of these things sound familiar? I believe we’ve talked about them all. If you haven’t been around and listened to every single one of my podcast episodes – which it’s totally fine, as you found out, even my family doesn’t – these are things that we talk about here, and that is really the simple version of how to get anywhere you want to go. Have a goal, make a plan, celebrate your success.
My friends, you do not need to be doing more. What you need to be doing is the right thing to get where you want to go. When you know what that right thing is, it will really help your brain from offering you this more, this comparison.
But you will have information at the ready to be like, “Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for offering me that automatic thought. But remember how we have a plan? Remember how we really dissected this and we asked ourselves lots of questions. We know exactly the right thing to be doing. Thank you so much, brain, for your automatic thoughts. I’ve got this one.”
My friends, you’ve got this one. You’ve totally got this one. I know you do. Thank you so much for listening. Hey, thank you, not just for listening, but also for leaving ratings and reviews. I love that. I love reading them when they come in.
It’s so fun because sometimes I recognize names. I mean, definitely not always, but sometimes you guys have the same screen name on YouTube as you do on iTunes, and it’s close enough to your real name that I know you from Facebook also. It’s fun for me. This is my own thing. It’s fun for me to see you in lots of different places. So thank you for leaving your ratings and reviews because it really is helping the podcast reach a broader audience.
You guys, I hope you have a great day. I hope you heard exactly what you needed to hear. Thank you for listening, and I’ll talk to you again soon.
Are you totally loving this mindset work, and you really want to do it every day in order to get your goal? Then, my friend, you need to join the Get Your Goal group. It is my personal and private, very interactive, coaching and accountability group where every day, we talk about your mindset and we get your goal. You can learn all about it at PahlaBfitness.com/get-your-goal. I’ll see you in the goal group.