What drives you? What motivates you? What makes you feel alive?
Have you ever wondered how empowering it would feel to make a commitment to yourself in fitness and/or nutrition and fully follow through with it? Forget resolutions, forget starting Monday. You are fully capable of becoming fitter, faster, losing weight, gaining weight, running a half-marathon. Whatever you put your mind to. What it comes down to is if the 5 per cent of your conscious, rational, logical mind making this decision to better yourself is in full unison with your subconscious mind, the single most powerful part of us, often untapped.
We've all been there. Regardless the time of year, setting new visions for ourselves. The desire seems so strong in the beginning. But as the hours, days, weeks, and temptations present themselves, often times we find ourselves sabotaging that very goal we thought we were capable of. But why? How do we go from wanting something for ourselves so badly, to down right self-doubt?
The conscious and subconscious mind. As a competitive athlete since 2010, I am a firm believer that the body will achieve what the mind believes. Over the years I have worked with mental coaches who have backed my beliefs that in a sport I love, Crossfit, anyone can be fast, strong, fit, and lift 'x' amount of weight, but what it comes down to is who can remain calm, collected, and focused when the clock hits 3, 2, 1, GO! That's 99 per cent mental.
"I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner" - John Donne
I love sharing these 'ah-ha' moments with my MGM Fitness & MGM Fit Foods clients. With the help of a woman I deeply admire for opening me to awareness of my own potential in fitness and health, I'm happy to dive in a little deeper with personal mind coach and hypnotherapist, Rosa Livingstone.
M: How do we end up self-sabotaging when we want something so badly?
R: Self-sabotage is all about programming. It's about the negative self talk that takes place unconsciously, when you are NOT consciously aware of what that nasty voice is saying in the background of our minds. It's when the fear of making a mistake, screwing up, or getting it wrong, overtakes your ability to take assertive, inspired action. Truth be told, when we're in doubt or afraid and aren't sure what to do, we often end up do nothing at all. Overwhelm sets in and the downward spiral overtakes us; sleepless nights, anxiety-attacks, and stress 24/7 becomes our reality. The doomsayer of the mind is the part of us that is protecting a belief that may be contrary to what you logically want, like getting back into fitness after an absence or just getting into a gym for the first time! And that's the subconscious mind. This part of your mind is programmed to find the goals that fit your beliefs.
M: What about willpower? Doesn't that account for anything?
R: Willpower can drive a thought such as "I'm quitting smoking/taking sugar out of my diet/eating better/joining a fitness club/hiring a personal trainer"....and the list goes on. And off they go using their willpower and logical knowledge to make it happen. But after a day, a week, a month, the will to make the change or to stick to the plan peters out and deflates like a week old birthday helium balloon. Procrastination sets in like a buzzard over a carcass. Why? Because will power is coming from that 5 per cent of your mind, your conscious, mind. But procrastination is a function of the 95 per cent of the mind that drives our feelings, accompanying thought patterns and resulting actions, and that's your subconscious mind. Within this mind is the belief or program that is contrary to what you logically desire. And because it runs our behaviour, if the conscious thought (I am losing 15 pounds before Christmas) is not in alignment with the feeling subconsciously (losing weight means you will be exposed, vulnerable), then the subconscious finds a way to sabotage because it knows you don't believe in yourself, that you don't believe in yourself enough to reach the goal.
M: What's the first step to stopping self-sabotage?
R: Become aware of your internal chatter. Once you begin listening to your self-talk, you are able to catch the theme behind the thought. Even if you can't change it overnight, becoming self-aware and simply saying to yourself "that's interesting" gives you the opportunity to stay neutral vs. engaging it emotionally.
M: Okay, so you've become self-aware, now how do you get rid of those nasty negative thoughts?
R: First, notice when uncomfortable feelings occur and begin to analyze your attitudes and behavioural patterns. Ask yourself what could be causing these emotions. You'll begin to see the pattern unfold. Self-awareness begins the process of creating something different. How can you change something if you're not aware of it?
First things first, set small and realistic goals. Break down the steps and find the actions you need to take in order to achieve what you're looking for. Never hesitate to seek help. Find a mentor, a personal trainer, a hypnotherapist, a gym buddy, who can help you overcome your habits so you can be healthy, in touch with your feelings and beliefs of your own capabilities, and enjoy life to the fullest. Nothing is stopping you but your own limiting mind chatter.
Is what you answered in the first paragraph about what drives you, what motivates you, and what makes you feel alive supportive of your goals? If so, the world is in your hands!
For information on Rosa Livingstone:
Owner of A Load Off Your Mind Hypnotherapy & Mind Coaching
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Certified Instructor, Educator and Guest Speaker
Happy wife and loving mom to two sons
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Holland feels that this is one of the most misunderstood aspects of exercise. “This myth actually plays into the No. 1 reason people cite for not exercising, namely lack of time,” he said. “There is now significant research indicating that smaller bouts of exercise done throughout the day can yield big results.” He also explained that even breaking 30 minutes of activity into three separate 10-minute sessions throughout the day can produce the same effect. “Even one- to two-minute, short bursts of exercise have significant value over time,” he added. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See More Fitness and Health Myths You Need to Stop Believing
“Research has shown that combining healthy eating and diet is the ‘secret’ to losing weight and keeping it off long term,” Holland said. “Burning a few hundred calories through exercise and reducing caloric intake by a few hundred each day will lead to one to two pounds of weight lost per week—a realistic and sustainable goal.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock
“Many food companies have made making healthy food choices increasingly difficult over the past few decades with increasingly bold, and often confusing, marketing tactics,” Holland explained. “Just because a product is advertised as healthy does not necessarily mean it is.” He suggests that you always read labels carefully and choose foods that have the least number of ingredients. Also, aim to buy products made with ingredients that you recognize. “Look for total calories, and try to choose foods that are the least processed and in their most natural state,” he said. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See More Fitness and Health Myths You Need to Stop Believing
Holland debunks this myth in plain and simple terms: “You cannot ‘spot-reduce’ and ‘tell’ your body where to get rid of fat stores by doing exercises that target that region.” He explained that yes, crunches will help to strengthen your abdominal muscles, but ab exercises alone will not result in belly fat reduction. “In order to flatten your stomach, you need to decrease your overall body fat percentage along with the fat layer,” Holland said. “This comes from a combination of healthy eating and doing regular cardiovascular exercise.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock
When it comes to achieving true health and fitness success, Holland stressed the importance of incorporating both exercise and diet into your daily routine. One isn’t necessarily more important than the other. It’s important to create a balance that includes both. “Trying to achieve weight loss through either diet or exercise alone is extremely difficult, and it’s also one of the main barriers to achieving your health and fitness goals,” Holland said. Click Here to See Fitness and Health Myths You Need to Stop Believing Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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