Have you noticed that every female seems to be talking about their body fat, how they need to lose weight or how much weight was gained due to water retention? We can read about how to do it in hundreds of articles and blogs online. There are endless fitness professionals now calling themselves weight loss coaches. We follow them and respect their advice, but we still don’t seem to be able to conquer our goal to get lean, slim down, reduce fat or lose weight. The reason has less to do with dieting and exercise and more to do with your MINDSET.
Transforming your body depends on how you approach the obstacles.
It’s less about what you know and more about what you are willing to shift and change mentally and about your lifestyle. You have to be willing to take a hard honest look at what is hindering your opportunity to progress and follow through. Weight loss, fat loss, following a diet and hitting the gym tend to be more mental challenges than physical ones.
Have you ever known you need to workout, but you blew it off, just because you couldn’t move yourself out of what you were doing to follow through on the commitment to hit the gym? It’s like someone zapped you with a stun gun and you just couldn’t get off the computer to get there. Maybe you justified not eating the next thing on your diet because nothing was available in the fridge or at the restaurant you at. The best way to approach these situations is to have a strategy ahead and plan your steps knowing you will encounter obstacles. This can make all the difference when the mindset sets in and you have your solution already in place. If you aren’t willing to make some of the changes, you may not be able to maintain your results long term and live in the body you dream of.
Below are 10 mindsets that may be stopping you from succeeding with your goals and some solutions that may help counter them:
- Stop Wishing and Trying. Instead, start doing and being. No one will fulfill your wish or try hard than you!
- Get out of negative thinking and stop putting yourself down. You create what you think and words are powerful. If what you are doing triggers a negative response in you and you resent it, you will have a harder time sticking to it. It’s important you do something that resonates with you and your lifestyle. You have to get to a place where you enjoy what you are doing because you love the results you are getting and know the plan will work if you follow through. Every day you set the tone to be optimistic regardless of setbacks. You have to be happy to give up the things that do not serve you or your goals. You have to want the best for yourself.
- Notice when you are expecting instant gratification and the unrealistic expectation that may put on the situation. This is the worst mindset because it’s based on how our society reacts to almost everything that brings satisfaction. There is a lack of patience and sticking through some uncomfortable moments. Exercise is uncomfortable to an extent for most and it produces a level of stress on the body. Learning to be comfortable with discomfort and accepting what you must do is a great place to begin what may be a long road ahead. Learn to not look for the outcome as much as work on your progressions and be mindful that you are in the process wholeheartedly so that your mind is not so focused on the end that the moment your in no longer is your friend. You create your tomorrow by what you do today. That moment is what matters and you won’t get there any faster rushing things. In fact, your body may rebel if you don’t give it the respect it deserves.
- Pay attention to the procrastinator that lives in you. Stop putting off what you can get done today for tomorrow. Beware of the opportunity convince yourself that taking the weekend off or a whole day is in your best interest. You don’t want to get so far off that you are spending your time trying to catch back up to where you left off. You have to want your goals to take less time than more. Of course you do! By continuing down a slippery slope you set yourself up for a harder effort ahead. You have to fix or make up for the time you lost. We are creatures not just of habit, but also of our moods. We go by whether we feel like it or not. We eat because we want pleasure out of our food. The issue with this is we react quickly to our emotions rather than realizing that it’s our emotions that set the tone for why we are on a weight loss kick to begin with. Our stress levels caused us to release cortisol and caused us to crave the foods that created the problem. We can’t trust our feelings all the time. There are the subconscious and conscious feelings. We procrastinate because we find ways to excuse ourselves out of confronting what we know we must do. You have to make better choices and when that voice pops up that says “tomorrow”, you counter it with “NO TODAY!” Today is the day to do as much as you can towards your goal so tomorrow comes even faster!
- You have to be willing to work hard when it comes to your workouts. Unfortunately, many people are not burning enough calories in the gym because their conditioning is low. They are not even in a place to make a dent when it comes to the calorie intake of their diets. If you are not sweating and elevating your time in the gym so that you can burn more calories, you can expect slow progress. The harder you work the more calories you will burn and eventually you will become a fat burning machine. If you want it easy than that’s fine as long as you are willing to take your time, which could be a very long time, and you may burn out or get bored. No one should be on a diet or hard-core training program over 15 weeks at a time. It’s just too much to have to watch every calorie, work super hard and not have breaks. I always suggest you do more of a periodized method and vary your workout phases so that you can pace yourself. You need at least 20 – 30 mins of every workout to involve a level of intensity that causes you to sweat and you must do something’s you don’t love. The reason is because some of the things you don’t love are probably some of the very things you need. Your body will adapt otherwise and stop shifting and changing. It needs some confusion and shock to change so pick some things you like to do, even if it’s fast and fun dancing, like Zumba or kickboxing. Pick some things that involve different routines each and every class so your body gets nicely confused.
- When people think of losing weight, they instantly go into feeling they will be deprived. It means letting go of all the foods and things you love. It means being miserable. It should not feel like that. In fact, you can have cheat meals, you should be able to have sub options in most cases, but you do need to learn the appropriate time and you do have to put in some time. If you identify being on a diet and training program as deprivation you will dread having to do it. If you get into the mindset of this is exciting and I am organized so that I can reach my goals, it’s empowering. When you know by X amount of time you will be where you want to be with your body. If the vision excites enough you might be able to find a fit lifestyle as an enjoyable way to live because it’s rewarding. The longer you fumble with giving things up the longer it will be for you to reach your goals. There are some who will never see their potential because they spend their life living with wishes, dreams and excuses.
- Constantly being on a diet is discouraging and makes you feel abnormal. It’s isolating. No one enjoys being around someone who never lets their hair down and is always on a diet at every party, every family event and while on vacation. No one should have to live like this. If you do your homework and get some results, let yourself have a weekend off and take it easy. Recovery and breaks can help you gain momentum. This keeps the fear out of fun things and it also makes sure that you are managing your program in a way that is realistic and manageable. No one should have to eat poorly every meal and drink his or her life away on every vacation or event. I would hope you would make some wise choices overall and give yourself some allowances. That’s more normal than binging because you feel deprived. Indulge a bit here and there, but what is the need to go hog wild? The objective is really to make lifelong changes and create new good habits right?
- What about feeling like you are missing out? The #1 thing that people seem to worry about missing out on is alcohol. It’s hard to negotiate diets vs. alcohol with people because they get very attached to the “feeling” that alcohol gives them. The issue with this is alcohol is something that causes many people the gain of fat. You can lose weight with alcohol, but fat is the issue. You can be “skinny fat”. Alcohol is poison to your liver. The more you drink in one sitting the more you flood your liver of sugar and you gain fat. Your body can’t process all that sugar in one sitting so it will make you fat. You also have a few days to a week of a sluggish metabolism to contend with. If you have a hangover than you have a double whammy because the next day you won’t eat the way you should or have the energy to burn calories and be active. You also lose valuable sleep, which helps aid, your ability to lose body fat. It enhances your growth hormone for muscle gain and body fat reduction and ensures your cortisol stays in check. So how can alcohol be a great thing for anyone wanting to reach these goals? Some find it easier to give up all alcohol and situations around it and some cut back. The fact is you are going to be around it the rest of your life in most cases so you have to learn how to better management and not want to drink it because of how it makes you look and feel. This is no one’s fault, but the grapes. So blame the grapes for why they wreak havoc on your body and accept that this is a big reason many gain weight that gets out of control aside from all the other issues around those who over drink it. Sipping wine here and there is managing it. It’s when you get into drinking to get drunk or drinking over two glasses you can count on water retention and fat gain.
- Having a healthy outlook when it comes to food is important. You don’t have to starve yourself or be a vegan or vegetarian to get lean. In fact, you will only lose muscle and increase your body fat. I would assume you want some shape and you want to preserve your muscle for good posture, energy and to support your skeleton right? So this is something that you have to be mindful of doing. You never want to eat under your Basal Metabolic Rate or you lose muscle. You also set yourself up for binge eating and cravings. A great way to cure someone of binge eating is to ensure they understand the importance of eating every 2.5-3 hours so that they don’t go into starvation mode. When you do, you get hungry, you will want to eat more and you will be starving. This is what creates cravings, not your lack of will power all the time. No one wants to be fat so starving and eating plant food only without the right amount of nutrients and calories can make you ill and make you fat. It’s important that you spend your time with a nutritionist who can guide you on calorie and macro intake, how to time your meals and ensuring you know some basic guidelines to keep your body burning fat and gaining or maintaining some lean muscle.
- You have to know why you want something and feel an attachment to it. If it’s not something that has value to you, you won’t respect it and follow through. If you feel it will enhance your life for the right reasons and you feel comfortable with those reasons, you will do all you can to achieve your goal. There are many people who come to coaches wanting the plan, but expect the coach to be the MOTIVATION. You have to motivate yourself. The coach can give you some solutions and ideas on how to approach things, but you are your WILL POWER, YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS, YOU DECIDE what you are willing to do and not do. The outcome lies in your hands once you have been given the information. Otherwise, if you don’t embody the goal wholeheartedly, you risk gaining back weight or not following through. You may even be dishonest with your own coach who you hired. No one wins when you really don’t want it.
The mind is a very powerful thing and it can be convincing.
It can convince you that someone who has your best interest at heart does not. It can mold your life into things you are desire to be and it can defer you from dreams for instant gratification. If you can’t harness the power of your mind in order to achieve your own happiness, you risk living a life unfulfilled. The greatest way to defer this is to study it more. Recognize the patterns in your mind and know your own weaknesses. Learn your strengths and when you find yourself making excuses or falling prey to the weaknesses than step in like a warrior. Take charge of your own well-being. The only way to a success is to take a hard look at yourself and your excuses. The obstacles have less power over you when you do and at some point we all get tired of beating our heads against the same wall.
Decide which one of these you are most identify with. Remember the rewards of feeling and looking great. Strive for excellence, but keep the pain and misery out of it. When you let go of the things that are hindering your success you have a great opportunity to free up your time and energy and get back to enjoying your life in a way that you feel empowered and in control. Gaining body fat and weight are a symbol of something out of balance. The longer you ignore the signs and the imbalances the harder road you will have ahead physically, mentally and spiritually. If you pay attention to one thing, let it be what happens to you mentally when you have to face reality. Do you procrastinate, avoid, go into denial or do you face your fears, gain courage, seek solutions and create a success plan. How your mind handles having to face reality has a lot to do with your level of success when it comes to the most important relationship you will ever have…the one with yourself. Even if you do avoid confronting your mindsets, in time you will be in a situation that forces you to and my only hope for you is that it’s not because of doctors’ orders.