Before I started Raise Healthy Eaters (now MaryannJacobsen.com), I briefly had a website called Do it Yourself Nutrition. While searching for article ideas, I ran across a study examining what motivates women to maintain exercise. I interviewed the author of the study, Michelle Segar, PhD, and we’ve been in contact ever since. She feels the same way about physical activity that I do about nutrition. It should be an enjoyable, irreplaceable part of one’s life instead of a chore that is riddled with self-doubt and guilt.
No Sweat: How the Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness is filled with the fascinating research of motivation that explains why some people maintain healthy habits and others don’t. As a dietitian who tries to positively impact people to make healthy choices, this resonates with me. Most can muster up the motivation to start exercise, but few experience the type of motivation that keeps them going.
No Sweat helps readers realize that their motivation to exercise is directly related to why they do it. I fact, the most de-motivating why’s are the ones we all are all familiar with: I need to exercise for my health…I need to look good in a swimsuit this summer…I need to lose weight…I need to age well. In this two-minute video, Michelle explains why all of this results in what she calls the “vicious cycle of failure.”
The book helps people create lasting change by going through the MAPS process. First readers will think about the Meaning exercise has in their life and whether it’s helping or harming their current efforts. For example, someone who exercises to lose weight may find they always stop when their weight plateaus. But someone who exercises because it helps them sleep better and be more productive is more likely to do it even on the tough days. Awareness is the process that helps readers turn negative beliefs and wrong whys into new, more motivating ways to think about exercise.
Next, she helps readers give themselves Permission to put their well being and self-care at the top of the list. This is exactly what holds so many parents back — putting their kids’ and partner’s self-care before their own. The last part is the actual doing or Strategy to help people develop a realistic plan of action. This is all about small steps that work with a person’s life instead of against it.
When it comes to exercise, after having kids, I’ve found parents tend to fall into one of these three categories:
-Still loving it: Exercise is really important to me. It’s changed after having kids but I still do it and have found it really helps me not just be a better parent, but get more done!
-Used to love it: I used to love exercise but with all the demands on me, it just isn’t a priority. Every time I get back into it my crazy life always sucks me away.
-Never really loved it: I never loved to exercise so now that I have kids it never seems to happen. I have times where I’ll start it back up but any excuse and I’m out of there.
No Sweat is a must-read for anyone who desires lifelong fitness but is challenged by the craziness of life. It’s also perfect for health professionals working with clients on changing their habits. It will completely transform the way you look at healthy habits, making them less about willpower and more about how they make your life better. I will recommend this book again and again!
Don’t miss my podcast interview with Michelle Segar on Sustainable Behavior Change.
Ann Dunaway Teh says
Love this! It completely resonates with me. And I agree that exercise must be enjoyable and have deeper meaning/motivation for it to continue. I fall in the Used to Love It category! I’d love to win a copy to turn my “used to love it” into “still loving it!”
I would love to win a copy of No Sweat, because it sounds like exactly what I need to keep myself motivated to build exercise into my every day routine. I eat really well, but, since kids, I’ve never been able to keep exercise in my day. I’m looking forward to reading it, going through the MAPS process, and taking my health to the next level.
Would love to read this.
also liked on facebook
My desire to exercise comes and goes, I’d love to learn how to keep motivated.
For a second entry, I liked the facebook post. Thanks!
I would love to read this book! I am a psychotherapist who works with women with disordered eating. I’m always looking for ways to help my clients revamp their approach to exercise. Thanks.
As a Registered Dietitian, this book and the MAPS process would be most helpful education to learn and to share with my patients.
Rebecca Gilmore Phillips says
This is a perfect book for all busy people…to understand why we must exercise.
Mental health is also a beneficiary of good nutrition and exercise.
I’d love to read this and put it into practice asap
We are a physician couple with crazy work schedules. We have started an exercise regimen several times but something comes up and we go off it for period of time and then it gets really difficult to get back on track. Would love to read this book to keep ourselves motivated and to help us better guide our patients as well.
Sounds like a great book. I could definitely benefit from reading it!
I miss exercise! Since my son was born, I just have not figured out how to weave it hack into my life. I work outside the home full time, so the little time I have I usually spend with my son. Mommy guilt! And after I put him to bed, get our lunches packed for the next day, and sa6 a few sentences to my husband I’m ready for bed.
Kristen Husk says
This book sounds like just what I need. I have struggled to stay active after having kids, going to college and looking for a job. I feel great after I excercise but it’s not always a priority for me. I want to set a good example for my kids. I hope I win this book, it sounds great!
Valerie Schucht says
I have become very interested in reading about habits lately. This book is on my wish list and I would love to win a copy.
Valerie Schucht says
I also tweeted this
I love this topic and I would love to win a copy of this book.
I liked this post on Facebook.
This’s book sounds like gold! I would love to have it for a resource for patients that come to me needing help with weight loss.
I would love a copy of this for myself and eventual clients in my nutritional therapy practice that I will be starting. However, I need it most for myself because I have a special needs kiddo who I need to care for for the rest of my life, and I need to stay alive and able to keep up with her. I just started working out, so to get the motivation to keep going would be great!!!!!
Lindsay D says
I am struggling to make exercise a priority and a habit and hope this book would help!
Caitlin Kiarie says
Very interested in reading this book and would of course love to win a copy! As a dietitian specializing in parents and children, it would be very helpful to learn some additional tactics to help motivate clients and teach internal motivation. In addition to helping the community I serve, it would also be amazing to help my immediate family who are all struggling with the motivation to start or maintain exercise as a regular habit. Perhaps even encouraging them to all read it and then have book club style conversations to keep the motivation going! =)
Kathy B says
I need this book! I have never liked exercise.
I would love this book! I like to exercise, but have difficulty being motivated consistently.
I am always looking for motivating to exercise, and lately I’m having trouble finding it. I’d love to learn more about how to stay motivated!
Daniela G says
I would love love a copy. I have three reasons why I would love it so much. One I can fall under the category of prioritizing my kids and spouses self care time over my own, I find that extremely difficult to break. Another is I am just finalizing treatments and surgery from breast cancer. This whole year has been a life lesson in that I NEED to take better care of myself and even have to prioritize myself over my kids right now, so strange. Lastly I use to teach Pilates and once I start teaching again I would love to pass along this valuable information to my clients.
As a nutritionist and coach I am always intrigued by motivation and what it takes for people to change as it must come from within. Interested in this book as your blog write up seems intriguing to know more:)
This book sounds like just what I need to make exercise a regular habit, instead of just seasonal goals to run with my children’s school running club.
I’d like to win because these are issues I am working on myself and I would like to set a good example for all the children in my life.
Vera K says
I would love a copy of this book. I used to be in great shape and I need motivation to get back!
It sounds like a more holistic approach to fitness, taking into account not only parents’ time constraints, work-life balance, and other “middle age” issues, but the mental/behavioural factors as well.
As a “do it when I can” exerciser, I would be very interested in reading this book, thank you.
Donna Whitham says
I’d love to win this book. I’m interesting into exploring this topic more and getting tools and insight to help clients and myself. I have personally evolved my “exercise philosophy” to be similar to how I counsel about Healthy Eating. It would be nice to have this book to offer to clients /friends to help them too!
Linda HO says
I am 67; I exercise 5 days per week so that I will be able to get out of the car by myself and get up off the floor without help as I age. Still would like to win a copy of your book!
This sounds like a great read and would help me reach that balance!