Here’s the next chapter in the Guide To Starting A Fitness Program series which may also work for you called mind over matter. One of the biggest and main things I had to do was to get my mind in the place that this was going to be a lifestyle change. The statement above is very true – your body won’t take you where your mind won’t go. We control how we feel, respond and act based on what we are thinking mentally.
So it only makes sense that a mindful change is in order when starting up a new lifestyle and habit in your life. Fitness is part of my lifestyle now. It isn’t a fad, phase or a short-term goal for a temporary gain (i.e. looking good for a beach vacation coming up). It is simply another part of me. It took a while to get here though. I stumbled a bit. I started and then stopped and then started again.
Here are some ways you can begin to “get your mind right” so you too can make this a positive lifestyle change:
1. Write it down. Write down your long-term and short term goals and rewards. Yes, we are not puppies but a little incentive never hurt. And not food rewards either. This will get you concentrating on where it is you want to go on this fitness journey.
2. Conquer the fear. If you join a gym, focus on YOU and not on everyone else around you thinking they are looking at you. Trust me, especially the men, they are looking at themselves in the mirror admiring their own physique. BUT with that said I know it still isn’t easy because it may be a new environment for some of you. Get with a trainer most gyms offer new members and have them show you how to use all of the equipment with proper form. That will build your confidence next time. Also join some group classes. That will further help. If all else fails – try and locate a female-only gym.
3. Don’t believe the hype. Learn the truth about fitness and nutrition and don’t rely on your own ideas of what is healthy. You may or may not be right and sabotaging your own progress. Did you know 1, 8 oz glass of orange juice (not from concentrate) can have as much as or MORE sugar than a 12 oz can of Coca Cola? Get with a professional to find out how to eat clean and the modifications you need to make. That way all of your hard work won’t go down the drain because you are working out but eating all wrong. And vice versa – learn the proper form and purpose of each exercise and don’t rely on your own thinking or opinion.
4. Accept it. Accept where you are – at the beginning of your journey and the fact you may not be able to finish everything. This is where you are starting, not where you will stay so keep trying and you will get better, TRUST ME! This workout thing will have you feeling uncomfortable. That extra rep will feel impossible to do. Focus, concentrate and push through. You can do it.
5. Love yourself. First and foremost realize you are doing this so you can be an even better and healthy you. If you don’t love yourself then it doesn’t matter what you do – you will never be happy with the results. Take good care of yourself and remember if you don’t take care of you, no one else will. You have to make yourself a priority in order to be there for your family and friends so take the time, don’t feel guilty about it. Your family will appreciate you for it.
And lastly, as my coach always says “WIN THE MENTAL BATTLE”. Oh yeah…..there’s a battle going on. Each and every day in fact. You won’t want to get out of bed, you will say this is stupid I’m going home, you will feel slower and weaker than you ever have, you will get discouraged, you will feel defeated and you won’t want to be doing what you are doing….but do it anyway.
I just shared all of the things I have thought and felt over the past two months yet I did it anyway. That is winning the mental battle. When you feel weak or as if you can’t do another rep and you focus and push through – that’s winning the mental battle. When you feel tired yet you continue with your cardio – that’s also winning the mental battle.
It’s all mind over matter.