I have definitely noticed lately that it is becoming normal for people to search for the easiest and fastest way to reach fitness success. Fads, gimmick diets and equipment are being marketed only to leave the uneducated consumer even more discouraged along with a slower metabolism and excess body fat. For some reason when it comes to weight loss it is believed that you need to spend countless hours in the gym and eat rabbit food and then the amazing physique results will happen. Unfortunately, this is far from what really happens. You need to eat nutrient dense meals with enough calories to provide optimal energy along with healthy snacks. These meals should consist of foods that include lean protein, clean carbs and healthy fats. Before I get into the details about exercise and diet, I think it’s important to touch upon the powerful mind which controls our thought process, how we address ourselves and what we believe we can truly achieve in life.
I often hear my clients use words that are negative when they are speaking about themselves. This needs to stop! Our psyche, which is our subconscious, takes this in and we end up feeling worse about ourselves which has a negative impact on our ultimate goals.
I also hear my clients say, “I can’t”. The moment those words are muttered, you have done yourself in! The words “I CAN’T” should not be a part of your vocabulary when you are talking about health and fitness. All negative words must be removed. You must address yourself with positive words and affirmations. You will be more likely to treat yourself and your body with a higher level of appreciation that you truly deserve.
Most of my personal training clients have the same mindset. They assume it is all or nothing and that they will have to starve themselves with very little food and train for hours each day to achieve real results. This is simply not the case and it’s exactly what you want to avoid in order to make real gains with your fitness and physique goals.
First, you need to make the choice to commit to the process in order to fix your various health issues. This means eating clean for life, not just for a month or two. Focus on exercising for life, not just fitting into your favorite little black dress. Make these positive changes because you know and believe it is good for you. Once you have made the choice that health and fitness will be yours, then you’re ready to start the next change. This change is one you will need to deal with quite aggressively. This step could very well be what is wreaking havoc on any program you attempt to take on. The next step is taking control of your negative mind!
You must be aware of all the idle words that are floating around in your head. Think about how you address yourself and how you speak about yourself to others. You need to decide right now that you will only use positive words when speaking about yourself and to yourself. The key is to wipe away all negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. If you can do this then you can make a commitment with an exercise program and I believe you will succeed.
Daily affirmations which are verbalized out loud while looking at yourself in the mirror is a very strong exercise that you want to implement. You will slowly feel better about yourself and it’s the perfect way to start your day off.
I have listed a few affirmations below for you to get started. You can adjust or add to the list as you become comfortable with this exercise. In the beginning, you may have to repeat them several times throughout the day which helps saturate your brain with positive words and it really helps to get you to a good place as fast as possible. During those times when you feel you are having battles within yourself or with others in your life, excuse yourself and try anyone of these:
- I am worth every effort that I make to change for the better.
- I am willing to make good choices and make permanent changes.
- I am stronger than this.
- I can do this.
- The power is mine and I will use it to change my life for the better.
- The words “I can’t” is not in my vocabulary.
- Yes, I will.
If you have been invited out to a party, a social gathering or any place where you are fearful that you may lose your willpower and fall back into old traps, you may want to say a few of these several times before you head out the door:
- I will only eat what I need to eat.
- I am in charge and committed to my program.
- It is my choice to live this way and I am happiest when I take control of my life and make positive changes.
If you are at one of these events and you feel weak, then simply step away, take a deep breath, reflect within and repeat some of these affirmations until you feel your strength come back again. These affirmations will help you be more loving, kind and patient with yourself. You must refrain from beating yourself up regarding your weight and remind yourself that you are a work in progress and good things are happening. Don’t ever look at yourself in the mirror and blurt out negative comments about your body. When you feel this urge come on, you can try some of these:
- My body is changing every day for the better.
- I am a fit and strong person.
- My body is a temple and I will not defile it with junk.
- I love my body.
- I am beautiful and I should treat myself and let others treat me with only kindness and love.
These affirmations will help more than you can imagine. Give them a shot for three weeks and see what happens. Trust me, you will feel better about yourself and you’ll be willing to make even more improvements.
Lets now cover the topic of exercise. The decision to start an exercise program should not include an end date. It should be a lifetime commitment. However, it shouldn’t completely consume your life either. There needs to be a nice balance to reach success and maintain it for a lifetime. You need to carve out time every day and do something healthy and active. You can start slow with basic activities like walking. If you do too much, too fast then you risk injury and burnout which are things you definitely want to avoid. Your program should be complete which includes aerobic, anaerobic, agility and flexibility training. To me, nothing is worse than seeing a well defined physique that can’t swim five laps, run a mile, or even do basic exercises without leaving the person totally out of breath. Try to workout 3 days a week when first starting out. As your fitness level increases, try to increase the intensity, frequency and duration. Don’t forget to change up your routine every 4-6 weeks. Our bodies tend to acclimate and they need to be given new challenges all the time in order to grow.
As previously stated, you must make a commitment to your exercise program. Along with commitment, the other important factor is consistency! If you remain consistent with your program you leave your body no choice but to make positive changes. The excess fat on your body is basically a form of energy. The more consistent and committed you are, you leave your body no choice but to burn the excess energy which means burning off body fat. Remember, the type and the intensity of the exercise does play a role in how quickly you will shed the pounds. A great type of training is called “cardio strength”. With this type of workout you are using dumbbells, muscle ropes or any other equipment and executing dynamic moves that accelerate your heart rate and activate several muscle groups simultaneously.
My final advice centers around eating. To make it simple, try to eat mainly low glycemic foods. If you are unsure of what this means, I have written another article about complex carbs that covers this topic in detail. Stay away from white flour and refined sugar. Focus on nutrient dense complex carbs that are high in fiber. A new grain that has popped up in the last couple of years is quinoa. Pick some up at your local grocery and find a few recipes on the Internet. I just cook it like rice and make it with chicken broth and olive oil. This power grain can really help your system find its way back to a healthy place. Try to also cut out soda and processed juices. A great tip is to press your own natural juice. Try to eat more veggies raw without cooking them. It’s important to focus on eating 4 times a day with two snacks. Make sure you are getting at least 25 grams of fiber and 64 ounces of water (more if you are very active). Although I haven’t provided a step by step program, I have given you ideas and suggestions to get you on the right path to make healthy changes. With these tips, I really think you can create and fine tune your own program and then make it a lifestyle change. I also highly recommend that you keep researching more about diet and exercise so you can keep learning.
We don’t realize how strong and brave we are or the fact that we have complete control over our bodies. We can truly make choices that will make us happier and be a positive role model for a friend or family member.
I want to touch upon my own life for a moment. I have had four children. I gained 70 pounds with my first child, then lost it all and gained 30 pounds with my second child. Once again, I lost it all and then gained another 50 pounds with my third child. Then, I lost the weight again and at 32 years old, I had gained 25 more pounds.
My body has only improved since then. Today, at 39 years old I look better than I did when I was 19! I look better than 20 year olds that have never had babies. I know what it feels like. I know the effort and the positivity it takes. I know the drive and motivation you need along with the energy and desire to make real changes. If I can do this, anyone can do this. We have different bodies due to our genetics, environments and stressors but we are all basically the same. We have the same heart, the same blood and the same metabolic system.
Sometimes all we need to do is to get back to the basics and treat ourselves right. Try to focus on making changes and sticking with them. I am always just an email away and I will help anyone who has made the effort to reach out and try to make sense out of all the garbage out there. Today is a brand new day and I hope you can make some new and permanent changes to live a healthier life!