Fitness: It starts in the mind

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Working in the fitness industry is one of the most rewarding careers out there. Every single day, I’m able to work with amazing clients looking to improve their overall health and well being. As a Fitness Practitioner, I’ve made it my life’s mission to empower, help, and motivate clients to do things they never thought possible. The fitness industry is ever-changing and new information is always being put out. This information can be confusing, frightening, anxiety-inducing, and downright defeating if you go looking in the wrong places. The purpose of this blog post is not to address all of the myths or downsides to fitness, but to help clients approach fitness in such a way that they set themselves up for success – no matter what!

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The Mindset

For many people, fitness seems to be a fad that comes around each year and lingers for a short time before tapering off until it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions again. For others, it’s a way of life that’s woven into the very fabric of who they are. I’ve always wondered why this is and how we as Fitness Practitioners can connect this “great divide.” One thing that I’ve noticed working in the fitness industry is that, whenever most people start a new fitness program, there is always a sense of apprehension and nervousness. A vast majority of people go into this expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. Now, trust me when I say that I am not making these statements from a judgmental high place, but from the place of understanding. I, like most people, have battled weight issues my entire life. My stance is based on the fact that, over time, I have come to realize something: if everyone approached fitness with the right MINDSET, all of their dreams can come true.

Through my studies, my personal life, and my interactions at work, I have noticed a trend: society is programming us to have things quick, relatively easy, and however we want it–so it’s no surprise that we often approach fitness the same way. We want to see results, put in the least amount of work, and we want the results quick. I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s not how things work… I’m sorry! Don’t hate me, please! One thing I firmly believe is that this way of thinking can change! When and how did things change for me? It all changed when I stopped being unfair to myself and started being realistic about my situation. What do I mean by that you might ask? Don’t worry…I’ll explain.

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The Shift

I realized that I was being unfair to myself and my body by expecting it to drop fat and put on muscle in a matter of months even though I had been abusing my body with junk for YEARS! How is that fair? How can I expect my body to all of a sudden whip into shape just because I decided to get serious one day? The shift for me happened when I told myself it was going to take time. This was by far the hardest thing for me to do because let’s face it: NO ONE likes to wait for things they really want. The first thing I want to stress is that you have to understand that making changes to your body takes time. The body is so complex that you could do everything right, but not see changes simply because you haven’t given it enough time. The moment you accept this will be the moment you are ready to embark on your fitness journey and see success.

The second shift happened for me when I realized that I only have control over the things I can control! Worrying about things outside of that control is pointless. What I realized is that I can control every aspect of my fitness journey–from working out to eating right, going to bed at a reasonable hour, drinking enough water, managing stress, etc.–but I can’t control results. Focusing on the amount of time it was taking for my body to see changes was discouraging and frustrating. I felt like I was putting in all of this work and seeing minimal returns. It got to the point where I had to sit down and have a real conversation with myself. Did I REALLY want to be healthier? Did I really want to set a good example for my clients, brothers, parents, and those that looked up to me? Or was this just a fad I was doing?

After having this conversation I came to the following conclusion: time is going to keep moving no matter what, so I might as well fill it with things that will prolong my life, not lead me to an early grave. The moment you no longer focus on the results but focus on the things you can do daily/weekly/monthly to make yourself healthier, you will unlock a whole new level of greatness you never knew existed. Now, am I saying seeing a 6 pack isn’t still a goal? Absolutely not, but I believe with all of my heart, that all of the body changes I want will happen – if I focus on being the healthiest me I can be.

 

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The Take-Away

If you take nothing else from this post I want you to take the following: Success in your fitness journey is not based on what exercise program you are on, what foods you need to be eating, or even what your overall goal is. Your success is totally dependent on your mindset and how you approach everything I just mentioned. You can have the best program, the cleanest diet, and the best intentions but if your mindset is not in the right place you will fail EVERY SINGLE TIME. My intent here is to empower you, and to let you know that you are capable of making the same mental shift that I did! All it takes is an understanding, and a very real conversation with yourself. I know this sounds a bit weird and crazy, but I want you to try this mental exercise. If you are struggling right now with sticking to your program go into a quiet space and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I being fair to my body with the expectations I have set?
  2. Do I care about being healthy?
  3. Understanding that 12 months are going to go by regardless – am I willing to put in 12 months of solid work to reach my goals?
  4. In a year from now do I want to be better or will I be okay with being just like I currently am?

Finding out the honest answers to these questions will tell you a lot. Your fitness journey is in your hands; approach it with the right mindset and it will yield returns that you will change your life forever.

YOU ARE STRONG, YOU ARE POWERFUL, YOU CAN ACHIEVE WHATEVER YOU SET YOUR MIND ON! I believe it!

Do you???

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