Mental Muscle - The First Muscle To Train Is Your
diet and exercise books focus on changing the appearance of the
body. When such focus is placed on the external, there tends to
be a neglect of the internal causative factors. Ninety-five percent
of individuals attempting to lose weight via traditional diet or
exercise will gain back all the lost weight. This is because nothing
changed on the inside. This is because the body is a reflection
of the mind.
If you have a true interest in changing your physical condition,
the first "muscle" you have to train is your mind. Losing
weight or building muscle is as much about motivation, desire, and
discipline as it is about diet and exercise. A person will get more
out of their efforts if they take the time to focus on the reasons
they are making these changes. Focusing on the factors that prompted
the change rather than the change itself provides a constant source
of inspiration and guidance.
Try writing down five reasons why you want to make a change in
your physique or fitness level. Then look at what you wrote and
ask yourself, "are these reasons important enough for me to
make the changes I desire?" Your reasons for change must be
strong enough to get you through to your goal. Review your reasons
often, as they can be a source of renewed determination.
Throughout your fitness program it is important that you remain
focused and motivated. This is sometimes easier said than done.
It is easy to be motivated when everything is new and you are excited
about making changes in your style of living. When the new lifestyle
becomes more of a "routine", motivation may begin to wane.
This happens to everyone at some point. Remain focused on your objectives,
review your goals, and remember the reasons you decided to make
People who have taken this "inside out" approach to fitness
often report that they "felt" better weeks before they
were able to see any major physical changes. People have reported
increased energy, a renewed enthusiasm for life, better posture,
less pain, and improved self-care, among other positive results.
These are signs that the body is changing on the "inside".
It is our attitude and behaviors that determine whether we gain
or lose body fat. When we change our patterns of behavior, we change
the course of our lives. We begin living life "in a new direction".
Success in fitness, weight loss, or muscular gain is dependent
on many factors, all of which are related to our mind. Having the
courage to believe we can lose weight, or finding the determination
to begin a healthy exercise and nutrition program is the result
of the thoughts in our mind. Take a moment to examine the reasons
you have for making the changes you desire. You just might find
that this is the most important exercise of all!
Dr. Bret L. Emery