No Sweat - Michelle Segar PhD

No Sweat - Michelle Segar PhD

Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes 

No Sweat

“There is a mountain of information out there about health and fitness, but most of it is just not working for people." 

"I wrote this book to help you understand the science-based reasons why it’s not your fault that you’ve failed to stick with exercise and other health-related behaviors, as well as to give you a new, simple framework for sustainable success."

"Opportunities to move and enjoy physical movement are, quite literally, everywhere. I hope that the information and practical approaches in this book will enable you to find them, choose them, enjoy them, and use then to energize your life for a lifetime.”

Why, with so much information is it still hard to stay fit and healthy?

More information might lead to more knowledge but it doesn't lead to wisdom..

Essentially this thread is pulled through all of our lives now adays..  

Currently we have more information now than any other time in history!

Why then are we unable to execute on things that we say are important to us?

Well..  There is a difference between knowledge and applied knowledge!  There is also a difference between applied knowledge and wisdom!

This book is about health and fitness..

But it's also about so much more!  

It's about how to take what you know and put it into action.. 

It's about what you need to do to take information and truly make lasting change with it!

What motivates us to choose healthy behaviors?

Dr. Michelle Segar is an expert on this topic and has a really refreshing approach..  

A simple framework for sustainable success with health and fitness..

Inside this book we're going to learn:

  • Why it's so easy to not stick to healthy behaviors!
  • How to design our environment to best stay healthy!
  • The mindset you need to be successful for the long term in almost any area of life..


“As it turns out, research shows that even reasons that sound very sensible and important may not lead us to the results we’re seeking."

"Some years ago, my colleagues and I conducted a study in which we examined the impact of people’s reasons to start exercising on their actual involvement in exercise."

"We first asked the participants to state their reasons or goals for exercising, as I just asked you. Then, to uncover their higher-level reasons for exercising, we asked them why they cared about obtaining those particular benefits."

"My colleagues and I found that 75 percent of participants cited weight loss or better health (current and future) as their top reasons for exercising; the other 25 percent exercised in order to enhance the quality of their daily lives (such as to create a sense of well-being or feel centered)."

"Then we measured how much time they actually spent exercising over the course of the next year. The answer may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true: The vast majority of the participants whose goals were weight loss and better health spent the least amount of time exercising overall—up to 32 percent less than those with other goals."

"Think about that for a moment: Our most common and culturally accepted reasons for exercising are associated with doing the least amount of exercise. How can this be?”

The reason why you exercise is the most important factor in whether you'll exercise!

But why is this true?

  • “Human beings, it turns out, are hardwired to choose immediate gratification over long-term benefits.”
  • When we try to make decisions that will help us in the future - with no connection to today we struggle!

Think about it! 

  • Often we don't save enough for retirement because we want to spend our money today..
  • People smoke even though they know the long term effects to relieve stress now..
  • Often we eat too much right now without thinking about the long term effects..

How can you connect your desired behavior to an immediate gratification?

  • Instead of coming up with a vision of what you hope to accomplish at the end of the year..  
  • Connect your desired behaviors to instant gratification!
  • Examples:

Exercise helps me clear my mind.. 

Eating a healthy lunch keeps my energy up..

Meditating allows me to be calm instead of anxious..


“You may think I’m crazy. Here I am, a professional in the health field, and I’m asking you for now to forget about health factors as your motivator."  

"But I don’t ask lightly. I ask because I don’t want you to fail now, or fail again. If you fail, it doesn’t matter how good your intentions were when you started."

"Right now, let’s really pin down your personal Meaning for exercise: When you think about exercise, does it feel like a chore you have to do? Or like a gift you can’t wait to open?"

Let's look at your personal meaning..

Do you feel like it's a gift or a chore?

  • Do you feel like everytime you exercise you're dragging yourself into it?
  • Or do you look forward to it?

This doesn't just need to be for exercise!

  • What is your personal meaning for working?
  • What is your personal meaning for meditating?
  • What is your personal meaning for reading?

Assigning a meaning changes everything..

  • That is right you get to choose the meaning! 
  • Don't exercise 'because I need to lose 10lbs' or 'to look better naked' that's not empowering!
  • Instead exercise because it makes you feel good afterwards or you enjoy pushing yourself and seeing how far you can go!
  • These little meaning switches are everywhere in our lives.. 

HINT: Think about WORK and all that comes along with that word..  

What if we turned WORK into PLAY?


“Finding opportunities to move (my clients abbreviate this as OTMs, so I will too) throughout the day is surprisingly fun." 

"You’ll be amazed at how soon you begin to become aware of the free spaces in the day that present themselves and the surprising places that are conducive to movement."

"You may think that your day is crammed so full that you can’t fit in one more thing, but believe me: It’s not true. If you’ve got one minute, you’ve got time.”

What a great concept! 

Don't have time to workout for an hour?

That is fine!  You've got more than an hour worth of 5 minute blocks looking at your phone..

Some examples:

  • Park a little further away
  • Take the stairs vs the elevator
  • Take a 5 minute dance break
  • Do walking meetings

One thing I love to look at with clients:

  • What are your downtime activities?  Or in other words what do you do when you don't have anything to do..
  • Most of us now fill it with scrolling on social media!  But what if we re-patterned that.. 
  • There are dozens of small breaks in our days where we have nothing going on!
  • Each of those breaks could be a dance break, a reading break or a breathe break..

How about you? 

  • What are your downtime activities?
  • Recently I have been extremely busy at work..  
  • So I haven't had much time to read/make videos!
  • Now everytime I get 5 minutes I use that to read the book I'm working on..  
  • The funny thing is that I feel I get more out of it than I do reading in long spurts!


“The Successful Cycle of Motivation starts from the “Right Why”—your Right Why."   

"Now you are choosing to move for more relevant and compelling reasons and also choosing physical activities that give you immediate positive feedback:"

"Walking for ten minutes gives you more energy, you’re enjoying being in the present moment when you swim, gardening makes you smile, you’re sharing stories and laughter with your close friend as you work out."

"Physical activity feels like a gift. Instead of a chore it’s now a want because you reap rewards like fun with your family, focus at work, and feeling centered. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And you don’t want it to stop."

"You find that you can repeat these experiences any time you like, and this motivation becomes self-perpetuating. You feel better because you are moving your body in ways that you determine for yourself and you naturally want to keep moving.”

Success in anything is self perpetuating.. 

I love the idea of a cycle here!

  • When you start with the right why you get an immediate benefit from doing the action..
  • Then because you got an immediate benefit from doing the action you want to do it again!
  • That's the success cycle!

How do we make sure we are on the success cycle instead of the failure cycle?

Start with your WHY!

Don't draw your motivation from something in the future like:

  • Losing weight
  • Running a marathon
  • Being healthy

Instead draw your motivation from instant gratification:

  • Clearing your mind
  • Feeling accomplished
  • Connecting with others

Let's setup your exercise cycle!

  • First let's start with WHY you want to exercise!
  • Next let's look for OTM's in your life!
  • Finally let's celebrate the wins and keep the cycle going!

Number One

“Based on the two most important daily self-care needs you identified, which self-care behavior do you think might be able to help you realize those two self-care needs and experiences?" 

"Is it sleep, physical activity, meditation, reading a great book, or taking a bath before bed every night?"

"You might not know now, but you can start experimenting to find out. Take the self-care behavior you think it might be, and list it as your foundational, nonnegotiable self-care behavior at the bottom of the hierarchy." 

"Don’t worry; these hierarchies are not set in stone. They change whenever we determine that another self-care behavior is more foundational to our daily self- care need, which also change.”

What is your number one behavior?

First let's look at your self care needs..

What do you need most in your life right now to continue to bring your best self each day?


  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Reading 
  • etc

Try and identify the two top priorities for you in your life right now..

Now let's find one behavior..

  • What is one behavior that when you accomplish it will serve your most important self care needs? 
  • Need some help?  What is the one thing that if you don't do it means you're less likely to have a good day?
  • Once we have that behavior we need to make it non-negotiable..  Something we do everyday no matter what!

What is your #1 non-negotiable behavior?

  • Write it down!  Make it easy..  Make sure you've got your WHY in the right place.
  • Here is an example from my own life:

My #1 non-negotiable self care habit is morning mediation with coffee..  It keeps my mind clear all day so I can make better decisions in the moment!

This is something I don't miss!  Even if I sleep in this is something I do it's that important!


“With a learning mindset, setbacks and failures don’t enter the picture." 

"They are naturally reframed as opportunities we mindfully learn from. The first time a child touches a hot stove, she doesn’t consider herself a failure—she simply learns not to touch the hot stove again. She adds that bit of learning to her lifetime store of knowledge and then moves right on to something else."

"In this mindset, we’re not sapping energy by adding up our failures but fueling ourselves with the positive energy that comes from figuring out new ways we can do things. We discover strategies and build skills and resilience that we can use when we inevitably encounter new challenges in the future. And it can even be fun because we get to be creative when we devise novel ways to negotiate with our challenges.”

Are you adding up your failures?

That is generally what we do when we're trying to accomplish something or learn something new..

  • Instead of viewing each failure for what it is a learning experience and nothing more.. 
  • We attach some kind of judgement on ourselves if we fail!  
  • Which is extremely draining and energy consuming.. 

That is not how we stay on the success cycle!

  • By continuing to pass judgement and blame on ourselves for not doing exactly what we set out to do..  We make continued success impossible!
  • Even if we come from the right WHY we're still constantly beating ourselves up and ruining the mini-wins that we need to sustain success!
  • "Focusing on achieving specific outcomes won’t help us sustain our success. Instead, long-term success necessitates focusing on learning how to sustain the behaviors that create our desired outcomes."
  • "Learning redirects us from achieving arbitrary goals to engaging with ‘learning goals,’ mastering new tasks such as learning how to be active for fifteen minutes on most days is a good first step.”

What can you learn today?

  • Instead of taking your #1 self care habit and judging yourself if you don't accomplish it..
  • Take the challenge to LEARN how to accomplish it!  
  • If you don't get it one day examine why, think of ways you could overcome it next time and LEARN from the entire experience!


“If you are going to learn how to balance physical activity within your life, the most strategic thing you can do is create small, realistic plans that you can more easily learn how to navigate." 

"For example, mindfully choosing to add even an additional five minutes of physical activity into every day, if that’s all you feel you have time for, will slowly build the realization that you can fit it in. And when you understand how to do that small amount consistently, you can think about ways to fit in a little bit more."

"Creating lifelong behavior is your goal, so your focus needs to be on learning how physical activity can fit and stay in your busy life. And that’s not an easy task. People who join a gym and start out with modest plans to attend just a couple days a week are more likely to keep coming and stay members than those who begin with grandiose plans to come every day during the first couple weeks. If you are seeking a lifetime of fitness, it’s important to start smart.”

Creating lifelong behaviors is our goal..

So it's best to start small and build!

  • Everything we've spoken about today is important!  The WHY, The Cycle, Number One and Learning Mindset..
  • But it can all feel like a lot when just getting started!  That is why we need to start small..

Instead of coming up with a 'perfect' plan after watching this video..

  • Come up with an imperfect, easy and realistic plan!  
  • Something that even on your worst day you know you could do..  
  • Spend your time perfecting small before you set out to build!

Start small and forgive quickly..

  • Starting small is important!  And I know it's changed my life in a lot of ways.. 
  • But self compassion and forgiveness need to be a part of the process as well!
  • Even if you start small you're going to miss sometimes.. 

When that happens the game should be 'how quickly can I forgive myself' and move on..

NOT how brutally can I beat myself up again so I never want to do it again?

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