I’m so glad you’re here, my beloved Bs🐝!
Have you noticed changes happening with your body as the years go by? You may see differences in WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE or with HOW THINGS WORK. My friends, I’m noticing these things too🙋! And sometimes it can feel really easy to view these changes in a not-so-positive light💡.
But in today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re flipping🥞 the narrative and looking at how we can step👣 into the future in a vital way. Like (almost) always, I’m sharing some personal stories and practical tips for how to make that happen.
Tune in🎧 now!
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/bDgIwxjhtnI
The TRUTH About Exercise + AGING (Let’s RUN Podcast):
Ep. 024: The Big “BUT”
Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group:
Do you have friends or family who are getting older, too? Be sure to SHARE this podcast! RATINGS and REVIEWS are appreciated as well! 💛
Your AGING BODY (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B and this is episode 96, “Your Aging Body.”
Well, hello, hello, my friends. How are you? It is so nice to be here with another episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m well aware that some of my audience is younger than others of my audience. And so maybe your aging body is not super important to you. Although I figure if it’s not really important to you, you probably didn’t even click on this episode. So since you did, maybe this one is important to you. And thank you, by the way, for clicking on this episode. I totally appreciate that. It’s really nice to chat with you every week. And I also appreciate when you leave reviews and ratings really specifically on iTunes because it helps me find a larger audience, and it helps all of you in the larger audience get the help that you need thinking about things in a way that is helpful to you.
Here’s what we are talking about, about being helpful with your thoughts. Because here’s what I was thinking about. Here’s why I was thinking about your aging body. I read a lot of comments in various places, as you can imagine with the YouTube audience that I have. And I have a really large group over on Facebook, the Killer B Hive. We’re over 15,000 now, which is so amazing to me, and I’m super excited to know 15,000 of my closest middle-aged fitness friends. But I read your comments about your bodies. And I understand how easy it is to have automatic thoughts about our bodies as they are changing in a way that we’re not necessarily conditioned to believe is good.
I mean, we live in a culture that is youth obsessed, let’s be honest. We prize being young, we prize being beautiful, we prize looking a certain way. And we don’t necessarily prize aging, nor do we talk very much about our aging bodies, and how different they are now and how things are changing, and how gravity is affecting us, and how things feel different and look different and are different. And so I wanted to open up the conversation today, thinking about your aging body, and offer you some suggestions for first of all, noticing the thoughts that you are currently thinking. What we talk about on almost every episode is that my goal for you with the thought work that we do and in the mindset work that we do is for you to find your thoughts and then decide if they’re helpful. And so many of us have so many automatic thoughts that are truly – again, conditioned from society, and maybe more specifically from people you know in real life – that it’s just very easy to say unkind things about our aging bodies.
And I want you to know that I suggest to you that those kinds of thoughts are not helpful, whether or not they’re true. I mean, it is true that I’m sagging. It is true that I’m getting wrinkles in my lips. I don’t know why this is the thing that I have noticed lately, other than . . . so here’s why I notice it. You guys, if you know me from YouTube, you know that I’m on camera a lot. Like I live, not my whole life, but I certainly live parts of my life in front of a camera. And then I watch the videos back to make sure that they’re edited properly and things like that. And so the videos that I make on Mondays are much more close up. It tends to be like a chest up kind of video shot. I notice that my lips, even though they don’t feel dry, they look kind of dry because they’re getting wrinkles. It’s so fascinating to me. I remember as a very young child, noticing my grandmother having wrinkles on her lips, and I was fascinated by them and not in a good way. I just thought that was the craziest thing that could happen to a human body. And I didn’t understand why old people looked the way they looked. And now I’m starting to understand. It’s just gravity. It’s just skin. It’s just the way our bodies work.
And so I notice things about my aging body that I could very, very easily have negative thoughts about, or have thoughts that are not helpful. I don’t want to call them negative. Negative and positive. We’ve had this conversation before, and I’m going to make an entire episode about thinking of something as a negative thought or a positive thought. Because your thoughts in and of themselves are neither negative nor positive. Truly, they’re either helpful or unhelpful. And I don’t find speaking unkindly about my body to be helpful. And the thing is that it’s not just about the way our bodies look. Sometimes it’s about the way our bodies feel or what they can do, where we think we’re just maybe noticing something, like I notice that my lips have wrinkles now. And that sounds kind of innocuous. Like, it’s just an interesting fact.
But we might notice something about our bodies and then sort of extrapolate from there. I notice that I don’t run as fast as I used to. Therefore, I’m going to get slower as I get older. I notice that I wake up a little slower than I used to. And therefore, I’m just going to get more tired as I get old. We tend to . . . I mean, because this is just how our brains work. We tend to take what we see right now and interpret what we are seeing right now, as well as extrapolate. And the first thing that I want to point out to you is that neither you nor I can predict the future at all. So when we say things like, “It’s just going to get worse from here,” we don’t know that. We say it as though it is fact. We believe it as though it is fact. We can find lots of corroboration. We look at other people who are getting older, and they’re clearly slower than us. They have more gravity to their bodies than us. Their lips are wrinklier.
We can look and find evidence because again, that’s what your brain does. Your brain has a thought, and then it looks for evidence to prove itself right, because your brain loves to be right. So then we start saying things as though they are facts, as though they are true, as though that is just what is going to happen. And the thing is that we don’t know. I mean, honestly, we don’t know what’s coming in the future. There is every bit as much of a chance that things will turn out fabulous as that they will turn out horrible. So if you’ve got the option to think ahead and imagine the future, why in the world would you imagine it being horrible? Why wouldn’t you imagine it feeling better? I mean, you’ve got just as much of a chance. It’s literally like flipping a coin. Things could be good. Things could be bad. And just FYI, things are going to be both. I mean, just spoiler alerts. I do know a little something about the future. I do know a little something about your current present day. I do know a little something about your past. It’s always been both good and bad.
But when your brain wants to focus on something and find evidence that something is true, why not focus on what could be good about the future? Why not focus on positivity, if you want to call it that, versus negativity? And here’s the thing. Here’s why I was thinking about this. By the way, I started talking about that. And then I got distracted with positivity and negativity. The reason I was even thinking about your aging body is because my husband the other day had a very minor incident. He scratched himself and it was bleeding. And I said something or other about how long it was going to take to heal. I don’t really remember. It was such a throwaway conversation. And yet I thought about it later because it got me thinking. I had . . . oh, maybe he was asking me about my minor incident. Both of us, we just, we have minor incidents. These sorts of things do happen. It has nothing to do with age, or maybe it does.
But this one actually did not have to do anything with age. I was emptying the dishwasher. I opened up the dishwasher and stepped right into it. And my shin ripped apart. So it was so painful. It was the craziest, weirdest, most random accident ever. And it was bleeding. And it took . . . well, it’s still healing. And this was three weeks ago, at least. The scab has come off and it’s completely fine. But I noticed that my skin still looks like it has an injury. And I’m pretty sure that maybe that’s what my husband was asking me about. And I said something about, “Oh yeah, my skin just shows injuries longer than it used to. It takes longer to heal. My body is less efficient now than it used to be.” And he just kind of looked at me like, “What? That’s a thing?” And I’m like, “Yes, this is how aging bodies work. We become less efficient at things.”
Now for me, this feels like a really helpful thought. The word efficiency, I mean, I come at the word efficiency from a fitness trainer’s perspective. My goal is to be efficient at things, unless it’s a negative thought. But for physical things, like in order to get better at squats, you just want to be more efficient at them. You get more efficient by practicing and by practicing well. So, I think about efficiency a lot as it pertains to the human body. I notice that we get efficient at things that we don’t necessarily mean to. Like somebody who has bad form with a specific exercise, for example, like squats, is going to continue to perform squats exactly like that in spite of the fact that they get injured or have troubles with it, because the body has become efficient at moving in a certain way. This is how we have things like chronic pain or even injuries like overuse kinds of injuries. It’s from our bodies trying to be efficient in a way that is not helpful.
So when I think about efficiency and losing efficiency over time, because of aging, to me that doesn’t feel scary or unknown. I understand what efficiency is. I understand how we gain it. I understand how we lose it. I understand what that means in a way that doesn’t feel frightening or negative in any way. And so therefore to me, it’s a really helpful thought to think about aging as the process of getting less efficient. And the thing about efficiency – and I really, I love this idea specifically – is that maybe when I was talking about that, that you were thinking, “But I don’t want to be less efficient.” And I totally get it. Totally get that. But “I don’t want to be” is a thought. It’s always a thought. “I don’t want,” or “I do want.” Always a thought, and worth paying attention to. How do you feel when you think, “I don’t want to get less efficient?”
For me, I think I’m going to go with “frightened” just because when we’re talking about less efficiency, we are talking about aging. And being frightened of what is coming in the future doesn’t feel helpful to me. So therefore that thought, “I don’t want to be less efficient,” doesn’t feel like a helpful thought. And here’s something that might feel helpful to you. It’s a fact. It’s an actual fact. I know. Most of the time we talk about facts. But today I’ve got an actual fact for you. Even as we become less efficient overall, we are still biologically driven. It’s a biological imperative. We are still capable of becoming more efficient at specific things. And here’s what I love about this thought. No matter how inefficient I become overall, up until the day I become completely inefficient, meaning up until the day I die, I could still be making improvements in some area of my life.
Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that amazing to think about that? Your brain is always willing to learn something new right up until it can’t because of your final destination. Your brain and your body are willing and able to get more efficient at specific things. And here’s what that means for me really specifically. And I’ve talked about this, oh my gosh. It’s such a long time ago. And this is, I mean, I have not watched this old video in a really long time. This is an old Let’s Run podcast. We’ve been talking about this a lot lately. And here’s the part of the podcast where I’m going to tell you today is number 96. We’ve only got a couple more until there’s a big jump in numbers because I’m going to count up all the old Let’s Run podcasts, even though I don’t think there’s any way to go back and retroactively put numbers on them. I suppose I could. There’s no reason why I can’t, but I think that would be even more confusing. For now, I recommend that you check out my early podcast regarding exercise and aging (Exercise and Aging https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXnZv7o58MI&list=PLxEW_OukMMspWIB_XL54luy5yDODs9zFc&index=25).
I remember filming this video. It was a walk and a run, because it was the Let’s Run podcast. And I was talking about getting older. And I was talking about this exact concept about how there’s a bell curve for everything and how throughout our lives, we can still start new bell curves. And this was before I had ever done any kind of real thought work on, honestly, anything other than money. I came to thought work regarding money. And that was the only work I did for probably the first four or five years of doing any kind of mindset work. I didn’t think it applied to other things. Come to find out, it applies to everything.
I filmed that video sometime in 2018, if I had to guess. 2018 was a really hard year for me. Like just hands down, this is the story that I am telling myself about my past: 2018 was a hard year. My sister had just died, my kids had gone off to college. Lots of changes. And I did not cope well at the time. That was actually interesting. Here’s how I’m going to revise my story as I’m even thinking about this. 2018 was a really good year because I had so much uncomfortable change going on that that was when I really, really, really started doing all of the mindset work about everything else in my life because I realized just how much I needed it. So 2018 was a great year.
However, at the time, 2018 felt rough, which I mean, you guys, that’s what mindset work feels like. Just so you know, if you are in the middle of just feeling absolutely miserable right now, you’re exactly where you need to be. Whether we’re talking about aging or money or business or fitness or weight loss or anything. There is a point of growth and it’s usually right as you’re kind of starting off or right as you’re making really important changes. It just feels awful. It’s so uncomfortable to change because your brain is really efficient at thinking something new feels hard. It just does.
But when you push through that difficult-ness, you get to a point where I am, three years later, and oh my gosh, everything feels amazing. Like this topic, here’s why I didn’t watch it again. Oh my gosh. I’ve distracted myself numerous times from actually finishing the story. I didn’t watch it again because I remember all of the feelings that it dredged up. I cried on camera because I was talking about getting older and how I was sad about getting less efficient at running really specifically, and exercise kind of in general and just being older, and what that meant for me. And I mean, like I said, I was in the throes of grief. I mean, truly everything made me cry in 2018. Let’s be honest. Everything makes me cry now, too, but in a really different way.
But here’s the conversation that we had then that did not feel helpful. The one I am having with you now feels so incredibly helpful and hopeful. You guys, you can do something new forever. As long as you are on this earth, you can do something new and you can get better at it. And yes, the corollary of that is the thing that I felt sad about in 2018. That might mean giving up something old. It might mean feeling really uncomfortable. It might mean that it doesn’t feel amazing right away. In fact, I’ve already told you, it’s not going to feel amazing right away. Growth and change feel like growth and change. Whatever that means for you. Maybe it feels sad. Maybe it feels uncomfortable. Maybe it feels hard. Maybe it feels like something else that isn’t coming to me. Whatever it feels like for you is what it feels like for you.
But yeah, here’s the big “but,” everybody’s favorite podcast episode (Ep. 024 The Big “But” https://pahlabfitness.com/the-big-but/). If you continue to strive to do new things, you can continue to get more efficient at certain tasks, not your whole body, not your whole life, but specific things as long as you want to. And so really the only question you need to ask yourself is, “What do I want to get more efficient at in time? What do I want to get better at? What can I do next? What is my next great adventure?”
And you guys, I actually want to know. That’s a real question. That’s really where I’m ending this podcast. Tell me what is your next great adventure. What are you going to get more efficient at? What are you going to get better at? What are you excited to do next? Tell me, and thank you for listening. I love talking to you every week. I’ll talk to you again soon.
So are you totally loving this mindset work and you really want to do it like 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.