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How to Beat the Mind Game

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I received an email from a client recently that pretty much summed up the “I surrender” attitude.  In a nutshell, she had allowed the mind game to get the better of her when it came to her goals, and no longer wanted to try and attain them.

If we did this in other areas of our lives, the results would be pretty immediate.  Surrender to working on your marriage? Your kids? Your job? And what happens?  Life gets pretty devastating pretty quickly.

When it comes to health, fitness, and weight loss goals, however, the consequences can be pretty abstract. This is part of the reason why there is such an obesity epidemic in western nations- we don’t see the consequences right away, and we may not realize that what we’re looking at are consequences at all.  Diabetes? Oh, it runs in my family.  Heart disease? That too.  Overweight? Well, I’m just weak.

That makes attaining a weight loss or health goal pretty difficult.  It allows our brains to get the better of us, and that’s never fun! On the one hand, it’s similar to breaking a promise to a child- if you’re constantly breaking your promises, does that child trust you anymore?  On the other hand, the brain can be like the Tempter, always telling us that “this next [insert food item here] will be the best you’ve ever had, and will be totally worth it.”

So what can we do to get our brains out of the game?  By using them, of course!  Here’s the response I gave to that client, and it’s important enough that you should take it to heart as well!

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It’s all a mind game ! The real key is STICKING WITH IT. Not just basing your results on one or two measurements, or on a six week plan, but on keeping it going for the long haul.

Here’s a couple of items for you to work on:

Be clear about your goals.
-A bikini is nice, but it’s not very specific, is it?  What specific weight do you want to see on the scale? What specific size clothing do you want to wear? What specific date do you have to get to these goals? What specific bodyfat percentage do you want to see?

What is your WHY?
-Your why is what will get you out of bed and into your workout clothes on the coldest day of the year, it’ll be the reason you’re punching just a little harder during your workouts, and it’ll be the reason that the vegetables are easier to pick than the junk. For instance, in my life, running my own business is HARD.  There are definitely days when I just want to give it up! However, my WHY is huge: I think of all the people whom I’m working with attain a healthier, high quality life, and how they are depending on me to run classes and my business effectively.  That why keeps me going, even on the toughest days!

What specific behaviors can you do that will propel you toward your goal?
-The behaviors are where its all at. Each time you do a behavior, you build consistency.  What is ONE specific behavior you can do TODAY that will get you toward your goal? What is ONE specific behavior you can do this week?

What obstacles might stand in your way, and how can you overcome them?
-Having a plan helps immensely in keeping you from getting sidetracked.  This is why I talk about having a meal plan set up a week in advance- it’s annoying, but it works because it allows you to focus on other things, like your workouts.  So much of your results will come from your behaviors, and in creating ways to keep your mind out of the game.

What FITNESS goals do you have?
-Do you want to perform 100 pushups in a 3 minute challenge, do you want to run 5 miles without rest, do you want to run after your kids without getting winded? What’s your fitness goal?  Having one of these will help to cement your WHY onto a less abstract concept.  I KNOW when I’ve hit the challenge I’ve set for myself.  It’s a lot more nebulous to think of a number on a scale.

What resources are at your disposal?
-Did you take advantage of everything I had to offer? Did you sign up for the LeanBody Transformation e-book, or look at the recipes on the forum, or read the blog posts I’ve put out? Have you kept a food journal, or spent a few weeks pre-planning your foods?  Did you perform the strength training workouts outside of class? Have you read high quality articles on fitness? These questions aren’t there to make you feel guilty, they’re there to show you how much you still get to try.

I hate to think of anyone just giving up . I honestly want to see everyone succeed, and will do what I can to see that happen!  For so many people, all the changes occur on the inside before they occur on the outside, which is frustrating for those of us who want to see immediate results.

Now. Are you ready to come back to class? 😉

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