Wanna know the biggest hurdle you’ll have to “jump over” to accomplish the fitness or even life goals you’ve set for yourself? Hint: It’s not the extra weight you’ve been carrying. It’s your brain. Overcoming the mental aspect of changing your life is the difference between success and failure.
Here are some interesting facts on the brain:
1. Your brain is about 2% of your total body weight but uses 20% of your body’s energy.
2. The energy used by the brain is enough to light a 25 watt bulb.
3. More electrical impulses are generated in one day by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world.
4. How much does human brain think? 70,000 is the number of thoughts that it is estimated the human brain produces on an average day.
5. The human brain has about 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) neurons.
6. There are no pain receptors in the brain, so the brain can feel no pain.
7. A study of one million students in New York showed that students who ate lunches that did not include artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes did 14% better on IQ tests than students who ate lunches with these additives.
The brain is powerful. So how do you go by overcoming it?
Numero Uno: I had to come to the realization that I was reason that I weighed 325 lbs. I could make all the excuses in the world for why I gained 100 lbs in 7 years but the HUGE BLINKING ARROW was pointing squarely at me.
Taking ownership of my own failures gave me the clear head needed to achieve success..No excuses = mental success.
Make A Realistic Goal
Setting a goal that is attainable is huge. Don’t start out with a certain weight to reach. If you are someone who needs to lose over 30 lbs, the thought of having to lose that much weight can be overwhelming. Heck even someone who needs to lose just 20 lbs can get frustrated. Eventually, once eating right and exercising regularly has become routine, you can then set that long-term goal.
I suggest starting with a 10 lb goal. Once you’ve lost this, move on to 20 lbs…then 30….etc etc. If you only need to lose 20 lbs, start with 5 and then progress from there. By doing this you will see results MUCH faster and before you know it, you’ve dropped a ton of weight.
This works for exercising as well. If you want to be a marathon runner, start with running a mile, then 2….5…10 etc. FYI Trying to run a marathon right out the bat would be a bad idea.
Create A Plan
A plan is different from a goal. Think of it as the blue print for your success. Hint: Starving yourself is not a plan.
Before you get started, sit down and write out your weekly schedule. What time you get up, eat your meals, start and leave work, church activities, personal plans, meetings etc. This way, you can see what times you are able to exercise. This will also allow you to develop an eating plan that fits your lifestyle. If you don’t have time or the availability to eat 5 small meals a day, this is probably not your best option. If you have no time to get to the gym, joining one is probably not the right choice.
For instance, if you know EVERY friday you go out after work and have drinks with friends, go and have drinks. Don’t give up something you enjoy just to work out. You might have to wake up earlier to run, walk or lift weights, just don’t give up something you really enjoy. (unless it’s unhealthy)
Either way, forming a plan that will set you up for success and not failure makes a whole lot of sense.
Stick To It
Consistency is key. If you eat great 3 days a week and the other 4 days are a little sketchy, you’ll probably struggle. I can guarantee you working out one day a week will not get you the results you want. No one says you have to work out 7 days a week but the more the merrier.
The first 10% of your overall weight loss will be the toughest. Routines are hard to get use to and most people quit before they even get started. The plan you set above should revolve around your ability to stick to it. If you aren’t a morning person but your plan is to get up at 5 am to run, the chances of that lasting more than a few days is slim. The worst thing you can do is start a plan that is virtually impossible to accomplish.
Don’t Make Excuses
This kind of plays into the “Own It” part but I feel it comes in after the fact. There are going to be days where you don’t want to eat right or exercise. You’ll be sore, frustrated, depressed or just busy. OK, we all have these days. If you find yourself overwhelmed, then take a mental day, go for a walk, run or do anything to help relieve the stress. Just don’t use it as an excuse to quit. There’s an old saying (not really but i like it) that says “Quitters never achieve anything”. I can say without flinching, if you quit you’ll never achieve your dreams.
Over the course of losing 100 lbs I had to overcome every single one of these “mental blocks”. Losing weight or getting healthy isn’t just about a diet or exercise routine…It’s about changing how you think as well. So in the spirit of “mental health”, I leave you with the following:
Eat right, exercise regularly, die anyway. ~Author Unknown
If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself. ~Leon Eldred
In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. ~Author Unknown
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. ~Redd Foxx
If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. ~Elbert Hubbard
When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no “I’ll start tomorrow.” Tomorrow is disease. ~Terri Guillemets
In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible. ~Cicero
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity -Author unknown
TIMING is ALWAYS more important than hunger. There are no junk foods, only foods eaten at the wrong times- Jon Pearlstone, creator of EET.