Use your character strengths to help you lose weight
While I was sitting in a waiting room this afternoon I overheard one of the receptionists joking to the others about her failed weight-loss attempts. Because I think relying on our strengths is the best way to approach any challenge, I wondered what hers were and how she might enlist them to help reach her fitness goals.
Based on some of the ways I’ve seen her behave in a few visits to that office, I think she may have the following character strengths:
- Humor: she often laughs with her colleagues; perhaps she would enjoy watching comedy shows while sitting on the exercise bike. It’s easy to download these and watch them at a time that suits you. If you fast-forward through the ads most sitcoms are about 22 minutes long – a great duration for cardio exercise.
- The capacity to love and be loved: people with this strength value close relations with other people; the receptionist seems to have it and so she might like to meet a friend for a ‘walk and talk’ (one of my personal favorites) or do a group class taught by someone really nice.
- Zest: her positive energy might lend itself to doing activities that make her feel adventurous, like rock-climbing or mountain biking.
- Teamwork: because she seems to work so well with her colleagues, perhaps she’d enjoy joining something where the team is central, like rowing, volleyball or soccer.
There are 24 character strengths and everyone has at least a couple that could help them lose weight. Here are a few others:
- Appreciation of beauty and excellence: take an outdoor yoga class or walk in the early mornings so you can experience the dawn.
- Hope: create an inspiring health and fitness vision board.
- Leadership: organize a walking group in your neighborhood; volunteer to lead a class for seniors or children; be a volunteer coach at your local community center.
- Spirituality: various types of yoga offer a dimension of mindfulness while toning and stretching your muscles.
There are so many ways to tap our strengths to meet our goals. Can you think of others that would help you or someone else lose weight?
Maybe I’ll invite that lovely receptionist for a walk one of these days…
The best assessment in the world for character strengths is available free from the VIA Institute on Character.