We have all heard of the saying ‘mind over matter’, but until this saying slaps you in the face on your fitness journey, they are just words.
You can have the best personal trainer (Rev), and a very knowledgeable nutritionist on your side, but if your mind is not on the right page, you will not see the progress you desire!
It’s one thing knowing that you’re not meant to eat a block of chocolate in one sitting, it’s another thing to use your willpower to prevent it from happening.
Health and fitness is about sustainability, this is a concept that Rev lives by.
Telling yourself that you are ‘not allowed’ something, will result in your mind going into overdrive telling you that you ‘need’ that piece of food.
I, personally, have always been an all or nothing type person. However, it is so important that my mind is in the game before I take any of these routes.
Here’s an example, in 2015 I watched the movie That Sugar Film (highly recommended). It shocked me and made me extremely curious.
I knew I could quit sugar, my mind knew I could quit sugar, so what did I do?
I quit sugar for 8 solid months.
Quitting sugar was easy, why? Because my mind was in the game.
Fast forward two years.
We had to make ourselves a 14 day food task, mine was to only have chocolate on Sunday (cutting it out completely is not sustainable for me).
The task began on Monday, and on Monday night I went on a chocolate binge. My mind was not in it and I was restricting myself which made me want it even more.
I felt horrible the next day, my body felt horrible and I was suffering with regret. Mind to the rescue.
I did not like that feeling, my mind knew that, so I didn’t even bat an eyelid at chocolate for the rest of the week.
In February this year, after 6 months of not running, I tried to go for a run. I got to about 3km and ‘had’ to stop because I was so unfit.
Was I really that unfit? No. I simply did not want to run so my mind told my body that it was sore and tired and that I needed to stop.
I joined Rev’s fitness in March and got my confidence and hunger for fitness back.
3 weeks after that struggling 3km run, I ran 9km easy.
Why? Mind over matter.
I am human, I often question my ability to do things outside my comfort zone, but with a bit of confidence and having your mind on your side, anything is possible.
When I say anything, I mean a realistic anything! Not the ability to fly or to squat a truck!
Your mind is your most powerful possession. Not just in health and fitness, but in life.
If you are going to invest time on yourself, spend it on opening and training your mind to think positively.
One thing that helped me through times when my mind was in the negative zone, was reading.
I went from reading fiction books to reading positive self-help books and I have never looked back.
Do yourself a favour and read Jen Sincero’s ‘You are a Badass. How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life’. This book literally changed my life.
If you are a Kardashian fan, and even if you’re not, read Khloe Kardashian’s ‘Strong Looks Better Naked’.
I am human, I am real, I eat blocks of chocolate in one sitting, I have lazy days/weeks, I tell myself I can’t lift heavy weights and I can’t run a certain distance.
But what I have learned through reading, is that these are just bumps in the road, slip ups happen.
Turn the page, move on and be stronger. Mind, body and soul.
Ever since I first started training and coaching clients several years ago, I always believed that if I could somehow impress upon them the same mindset that I use to stay ‘on the bandwagon’ then ultimately the eating, the training and everything else in between would naturally fall into place and they would see sustainable and long-lasting results.
What I have found to this day is that everyone generates momentum and therefore consistency with their health and fitness goals in slightly different ways.
So I’ve decided to share with you my thought processes and to a degree the ‘techniques’ that I use on a daily basis to remain consistent with the lifestyle that I have chosen.
1. I plan the things that are important to me – Just as you might plan and holiday in advance because you don’t want to get stuck somewhere without an airplane ticket, I plan ahead so that I know exactly when I’m training, what I’m training and how long that should take me. With regards to nutrition and eating, I identify at the start of the week which meals are going to be difficult for me to either make or sit down to eat and I MAKE time to do what needs to happen. Quite often lunch is a tricky one for me so it’s one of the main meals that I prepare on a Sunday.
2. I fucking crush negative thoughts – No one is free from negative, self-destructive thoughts. But everyone has the choice to either overcome them or let them overcome you. I always refer to a very simple and logical truth and that is I probably have less than 60 years left on the Earth to do what means most to me, so do I really have time to let negative thoughts and obstacles slow that down? Obviously the answer is hell…fucking…no. Negative thoughts often manifest themselves when we react to some sort of stimulus or cue. Often times it can be fearful anticipation of something to come i.e starting back at exercise after some time off and thinking you’re going to die in the first session, or simply a fear of the amount of effort required on your part to prep a few healthy meals when you are tired and get back from work. Either way, what is most ridiculous about fearful anticipation is that it hasn’t even happened yet and you have already made a choice to let it cripple you.
3. I welcome change and unavoidable routine-breakers – Inevitably, as much as stick to tip #1, things just don’t go to plan and because my goals are very important to me I make a conscious decision to overcome change and either move with it fluidly or I choose a more productive and efficient path that aligns with my goals. People naturally reject change and it’s because it upsets their routine (whether it be healthy or unhealthy). That’s why starting to eat healthy feels a bit uncomfortable for some people because you are literally attempting to break apart old habits, things that your brain has done automatically for so long that even it probably *sighs* when it has to develop new ones. But ultimately I believe in going into a problem solving ‘mode’. I immediately try to identify what the obstacle is, how to overcome it and most importantly, I take ACTION on it.
It’s these very simple and very basic tips that has gotten me to where I am today. I wasn’t born with this engrained within me, on the contrary I was quite the procrastinator. I always used to put the hard stuff last and hope they would somehow miraculously disappear or sort themselves out. If there is one thing I’ve learned about consistency with anything of importance, it’s that you can’t be afraid to ‘bite the bullet’ and do what you KNOW you need to do.
How long do you think you have left here? Stop wasting your time. Get it done!
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