Mind Games

Clients show up at my doorstep because they need a change in their lives. Usually, the easiest thing to change is their body. ( People will get their hair done, change the way they dress, and even buy new cars…all in an attempt to bring something new and exciting into their lives.) I really believe that it is more psychological than it is physical for most. Granted, many have health problems and a physical change is necessary for getting their health back, but for most, whether they know it or not, it is more in their head. I will say it again…the change is necessary for people, somewhere in their soul, and that change is easiest in the body.  

I have no problem with that. Most of us need change and change in a good direction. Looking good, feeling good and being healthy are great ways to change ourselves. The point I am trying to make is that the change people are seeking, while it is physical, needs to be tackled in the mind primarily, because the mind is where it all started in the first place.  I have watched people fail at their attempts to get “fit” too many times to count. Sometimes its lack of will power, sometimes plain laziness, and sometimes they are “sabotaged” by others. Most of the time, people know what to do, but still do not do it. All of these are still mind games. You have to figure out how to play to win.   

With that said, once you recognize that it is your thoughts that will ultimately help you succeed or cause you to fail, you need to get a hold of them and learn to make them useful during quest for physical change.   Things to be aware of during your quest:  Sabotage:

  1. Friends and family members that constantly impeded your progress through sometimes, unintentional ways are one of the biggest examples. Example: A close family member that is constantly telling you that although you look better, you still need to lose more weight and maybe need to do more or something different. The real problem is not you, or your training, or your diet in this case, further more, it’s not the family member either. The real problem is that you will take those words to heart, probably more than any, and convince yourself that you are failing. This will ultimately lead to your real failure unless you learn how to deal with the mind games.
  2. Convincing yourself, through various means, that you are not making progress. Forgetting about all of the progress, you have made because all you are focusing on is the progress you have not made. This is a sure way to fail. Again, it is another mind game and this one is coming from you!
  3. Friends and family that seem like they are encouraging you and on your side with your goals, yet give you a hard time when you go out to eat or socialize. They sometimes make fun, or other times tell you that is OK to have one drink, or a bite of dessert. These are some of the toughest times to be watching your diet. Have discipline here, and if not, don’t get into those situations in the first place

Comparison Shopping: 

  1. When you shop, its ok to compare prices or merchandise…they is how you find the best deals. However, when your goal is fat loss, and you are on a nutrition plan and a fitness training plan, never comparison shop. What I mean by this is that you will always find someone, or some system that is doing something you are not and claiming incredible results. That will ultimately lead to doubts about what you are doing and then eventually steer you away from your plan. Don’t fall for this. Stop comparing your diet or program to other diets and programs out there. If you did your homework in the first place and found a nutrition plan, training program, trainer, etc… and you believe in all of them, stick with it. Stay strong and things will change.
  2. Comparisons to others. You have been told all of your life not to compare yourself to others. We all know that people are different. Very different. While there are universal laws that help us all, we all react and respond very differently to situations, diets, training, etc… don’t assume that your progress should be the same as someone else’s. This is a huge problem and a big mind game that goes on all of the time. No more comparisons. By the way, you are going to look the way your genes (not jeans) permit you to look. Put away the fitness magazines and stop thinking your are going to look exactly like someone else.

Bad Math: 

  1. People ruin their motivation and fail many times with their fitness goals because they are bad at math. Let me explain. People will start adding things up the wrong way. They see that the scale hasn’t moved, and then they figure they have stopped losing weight. What they fail to add in is that they have added muscle. On top of this, some people will even measure themselves and claim that the measurements are bigger, but again, don’t factor in the muscle development in the body. This is bad math. Muscle will take up space. Muscle will add dimension to your body in places that you are not used to seeing it. Embrace it. Know that it is a good thing.  

Once again, these are mind games. Once I explain to the client about simple things like muscle weighing more, taking up space and the client “gets it” mind game over. Well at least until the next one creeps in.  Reaching your fitness goals is never easy in the first place. It takes a lot of discipline, hard physical work and a lot of determination. When your mind starts playing tricks on you, play the game to win. Don’t let others, your own thoughts, or your own bad logic ruin a good thing.

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