Hi, Coach Javier here!👋

🤸‍♀️Becoming Fit for Life #004: Pain, Fear, and Sitting

published2 months ago
4 min read

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how I'm building health

Long time readers know that I've struggle on and off with back pain since early 2020. I've been on a journey to learn more about it ever since then

Here's my latest on that:

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Javier Luis Gomez 🚶‍♂️
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July 15th 2022

My main takeaway: Fear and Stress is my main pain trigger

First thing I had to accept: My pain is not caused by injury

I've had scans and tests done. Nothing was ever revealed that could be causing my pain.

And yet I still feel it every now and then. Is just in my head? Is my pain not real?

The answer is more complicated than that.

With the help of friends, coaches, and books like "The Way Out," I'm learning that my pain is not like a twisted ankle or a broken leg.

My pain comes from my brain that's constantly anxious and worried.

That fear puts the brain on high alert- and sends out pain signals.

My current practice: Calm the brain, manage the anxiety

Whenever I have a pain flare up, I start to panic a little.

"Oh no, what if it never gets better."

"What if this time it's really serious."

"I thought I was doing well, now it's back!"

Every time I start to freak out, I have this little list to help me calm down. It reminds me that my pain is manageable, and it will be okay

My reminder list that there's nothing to be afraid of

  1. My pain started out of nowhere (not injured)
  2. It came at a very stressful time in my life
  3. It moves around from shoulder to back to butt
  4. It resurfaces intensely when I'm overwhelmed

Then I take a few deep breaths and go for a short walk.

It's a learning process, and I'm taking it a day at a time

(Also: This is not medical advice. if you are experiencing chronic pain, make sure you get it checked to eliminate the possibility of any serious health issues)


updates on The FitforLife System

This whole week has been about making more and more worksheets.

My current framework for building healthy behaviors 🫁

  • Step 1️⃣ Commit to it as an experiment (14 days)
  • Step 2️⃣ Find an accountability buddy
  • Step 3️⃣ Record insights after the experiment

A lot of habit trackers are really good at helping keep track of data. But I haven't found too many that do the accountability buddy part well.

(And that ends up being why I stop using a tracker most of the time)

It lacks that human connection

Presenting the "14 day health experiment worksheet"

With accountability in mind, I made 2 versions of a tracker that encourage you to find and check in with a partner every day.

(I made one in Notion and one in Google Sheets)

In the future it would be amazing if I could automate pairing up users with someone who has similar goals and values.

But for now this will do 🙂

If you're looking for a tracking system (or just need a fresh take on it) feel free to take a look.

And if you do end up using it, let me know how it feels. Any feedback is appreciated! (You can reply to this email)


my favorite health things this week

​Red Pen Reviews (Resource)​

Have you ever struggled to find good information for your health?

It feels like when you Google anything you get back a ton of conflicting and confusing information

Luckily I found Red Pen Reviews.

Their goal is to deliver the most informative, consistent, and unbiased nutrition/health book reviews available, free of charge.

I took a peek at their reviews and I already added 3 books to my list 👀


​Exercise is a modern phenomenon (podcast)​

These days we move less, and we exercise more.

But what's the difference?

Movement is more integrated into our day- like walking to do errands or groceries. But these days we move much less than we used to. This was not the case in the past when we had to move to survive (like hunter-gatherers).

So the idea of exercising to stay healthy is completely modern.

Nobody ever did it in the past, or if they did it, they did it very, very rarely.

This podcast episode with Dan Lieberman explores the history of exercise. And how we've come to this point where we need it to stay healthy.


Would you like 60 Different Ways to sit?

Okay 50 of them are really silly (but you should watch it anyway)

But seriously, if you're going to be spending most of your day sitting down, think about adding some variety to your chair time.

It's a quick way to move more without having to add any exercise


Thanks for reading.

Be well this weekend,