Mental Muscle – The First Muscle To Train is Your Mind

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Many 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 a change.

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!

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About Author

Dr. Bret Emery

Dr. Bret Emery entered the field of Behavioral Medicine with an athletic background and a specialty in physical conditioning. Beginning his cycling career at the age of 14, he went on to live at the Olympic Training Center and represent the United States in international races across America and Europe. See my profile page for more information!

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