Believe: The Process and an Interview with Helen Aguirre

May 22, 2013


At Pro-Motion, we understand that every person is 3-Dimensional, comprised of mind, body and spirit. Moved by this concept we have attached small ideas of import to each of the areas. Mind (Be connected). Body (Be Strong). Spirit (Believe).

“Believe” is a central tenet of Pro-Motion. More than a process to better health, functional fitness defines a change in lifestyle, a realization about the interconnectedness of our mind, body, and spirit.

The principle of “Believe” urges us all to understand the spiritual component in our lives — faith in ourselves, others, our environments, and beyond. One way to engage in this idea is through a process we call, “,” a map to creating intention toward change.

Briefly, this process unfolds as follows:


It all begins with decide. Make your goal clear, precise, and strong. Discover the rules that mean success or failure and unlock the pros and cons. There’s no use in creating an impossible and undefined goal. A goal of “losing weight” is important and potentially achievable, but it’s not defined. A goal of completing a marathon within the next month is defined but impossible. So make your goals clear, precise, and strong.


The next step of the process is intention. How can you develop your aim toward completing a goal? Intention could involve minor goals to achieve a larger goal, like walking a 5k before running a 5k. Intention can also mean a plan. This step encourages you to consider the factors behind your goal and the steps you need to take to achieve it. Intention provides the dynamics for behavior and sets its boundary conditions. Intention has spiritual implications. Wayne Dyer says, “Intent is a force that exists in the universe…when those who live of the Source beckon intention, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment.” Additionally, the Bible says, “As you think, so shall you be.” (Proverbs 23:7 paraphrased)


After you decide and set intention, the next part is leverage. Leverage occurs with action. There’s no use in setting a plan unless you enact it. With action, you will gain ground on your intended goal.


After leverage, interrupt the old pattern. Work toward a re-engineered environment and remove the old cues associated with your old way of life.


Additionally, vision plays a crucial role in the goal setting process. You need to be able to see what the future holds, to envision a higher quality of life. Vision offers hope that the work you are doing will pay off.


Action triggers are an easy way to create instant habits. Put simply, an action trigger occurs when you tell yourself you will do X when Y occurs. The path toward a higher quality of life is difficult and action triggers provide the opportunity for you to create effective habits without necessarily thinking about them. These triggers are meant to be easy. For example, order water (X) when you are at a restaurant (Y). Seek to make the process easier for yourself by not overthinking!


From action triggers, you can move to repeat the process, forming a habit. Habits are actions without thought, a natural tendency toward actions you have trained your body to do over time. Forming new habits, therefore, requires practice. Just like a baseball player needs to continually take batting practice to perform well during a game, you need to train your body toward healthier habits.


Finally, it’s important to measure your results. It is crucial to gauge the progress you are making toward your desired goal. If you aren’t making progress, look back over the process and tweak it accordingly.

The process allows you to orient yourself toward a health plus lifestyle. It gives you an opportunity to “Believe,” to see deeper and to trust in yourself and others, realizing functional fitness so that you may achieve better.

One of our lovely patients, Helen Aguirre has recently come to understand “Believe” at a deeper level through this process.

Here is her story.

Pro-Motion: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Could you gives us a quick recap of your story and what led you to Pro-Motion?

Helen: It is difficult to condense my story… It’s difficult to look back and experience feelings such as, “I don’t really have much of a story,” “why is it that the difficult, darkest times are the most memorable,” “sure aren’t many exciting and rewarding chapters in my story.”  But I DO have a story; my life although simple and perhaps plain, has been a full life. And those dark and difficult times have made me who I am today: a strong, positive and compassionate woman.

I returned to Pro-Motion in March of this year. I was in a great deal of pain, overweight and although difficult to admit, suffering from depression. My appointment on this day was for assessment and to develop a treatment plan. I was so surprised with the scope of my interview…  My physical therapist wanted to hear “my story.” He was interested in much more than the pain in my hip. He worked with me to identify my physical pain but also wanted my input in my treatment plan. He also began to probe a bit about my emotional and mental state. I tried to be candid; I hated that the tears came but I stayed with my physical therapist as he thoughtfully listened and guided me with questions that caused me to think deeper. Then at some point during his interview, I had a real break through… for the first time in almost two years I began to understand and acknowledge the source, at least in part, of my emotional pain and sadness. I had to look back at two extremely significant markers in my recent past, my retirement and the death of my niece.

Pro-Motion: Thank you for sharing this, Helen. I can’t begin to imagine the impact of these events. Could you tell us a bit more about how these events became significant markers in your life?

Helen: I retired from my position with the school district in June 2010. I had enjoyed a good career. I worked with a team of preschool psychologists and special education teachers who validated, supported, and depended on me and I took great pride in my work. I returned to the same position as a substitute that same year in December and was just about finished filling in when my niece became ill and was hospitalized at the end of March 2011. My plans for “planning” my retirement went on hold. I knew what it was I wanted to do when I retired but I had not yet formulated a plan of action.

On June 7th, 2011 my niece, who was just 10 years younger than me, died of severe complications from diabetes. I was at her bedside from March of that year until the day she died.  Hers was a long, painful, and ugly illness because she had not done what she needed to do to live well and live longer. Although her last moments were quiet and peaceful, her 2-month hospital stay was agonizingly painful…two leg amputations, losing battle with infection(s), wounds that would not heal. I was there for her, I was brave and strong for her and God granted me my most important desire — to be with her when she took her last breath.


Pro-Motion: How did this experience affect you?

Helen: I resolved to take better care of my health and continue my weight loss regime. Little did I realize that from the day she died, I began to go to a place I had never been before… into a state of depression. How I struggled with the why, why, why’s! I had experienced the death of both of my parent’s, my oldest brother and I had been part of a care group who sat at the bedside of patients dying of aids. I knew what the grief process looked like; I pretty much did it by the textbook. But with my niece, almost 2 years later, I was STILL hurting so much.

Pro-Motion: How has the process helped you in your journey?

Helen: is the tool I am using for making a plan that can help me realize success.  My physical, mental and emotional health is all connected and I have made a plan that positively impacts those three areas. The changes I have made include returning to a regular exercise plan, addressing physical pain through successful physical therapy and attaining and maintaining a healthier weight.


Since the middle of March I have lost 35 pounds. I have much more to lose but with my plan I have an anchor, a vision, and goals. I have more to learn and I will do it. My retirement plan includes doing volunteer work in my community. I will have things to share that will help other women realize that it is never to late to learn about yourself and make the changes needed to attain your dreams. My niece did not love herself enough to take care of her life and I believe I was somehow seeing myself in her. So in summary, what I have learned about myself is that I am a survivor and I want to live a long and healthy life. I have been given a precious gift-the gift of life. I will do better about caring for my gift.

Pro-Motion: Thank you for sharing your story, Helen. Your life has motion and meaning. Thank you for being an inspiration!

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