I truly believe that getting fit is more about changing your mindset than anything else: you can go and workout, you can eat healthy meals but unless you have the right attitude this will be short lived. I have been inspired to write this blog post by my husband Jay who is a motivational fitness coach (check out his Facebook here, Instagram here, and blog here), and as such he does a lot of reading and research on what is behind motivation and mindset, specifically related to fitness…so obviously I have had it hammered into me on a daily basis. I won’t lie I have come close to punching him in the face when I don’t feel like going to the gym and he comes out with one of his ‘quotes’ (love you Jay haha!), but all jokes aside I have found it extremely useful when working towards my goals. When I reach for the biscuits and I hear a voice ‘think about what you want now vs what you want long term’, that’s just Jay again watching me from the corner of the room…..creepy.
I have condensed some of this into three top tips to help others stop and think about what they are thinking (if that makes sense?)
Focus on what you want
So many times I have looked in the mirror and pinched my flab rolls, complained about my fat bum or saggy bingo wings…even when I have been in fantastic shape, I always found something that I didn’t like about my body. We get whatever we focus on in life, so if we keep focusing on what we don’t want we will get more of it. So true! If you are thinking about how fat you are, then that will make you feel depressed, unmotivated and unlikely to get off the couch and do something about it. If you focus on what you do want, for example to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans, to look great and feel confident at your sisters wedding, to be able to squat 100kg, whatever your goals are then this will shift your focus.
Pain vs pleasure association
It’s weird to think but I now associate having a takeaway with negative emotions: it makes me think about how rubbish I will feel the next day and also how it will be taking me further away from my goals. I will not touch McDonalds now and it used to be something I enjoyed. I used to feel that I was depriving myself and eating healthily was a chore. I also associate drinking too much with the horrendous hangover the next day and the damage it is doing to my health, but this used to be a regular Saturday night occurrence. Going to the gym is a pleasure for me, I love it! It’s my time to escape, meet with friends and I love feeling the burn, however I bet for many it feels like a chore and you have to force yourself to go. It’s much easier to change the way you think about food and activity than have ‘willpower’. Willpower is short-lived motivation…ever wonder why your new ‘diet’ or fitness regime only lasted a week? Start to think differently.
Focus on the things in life that you are grateful for! We complain too much and forget how much we have to be thankful for. When I feel low I start listing all of the things I am grateful for, and it really helps to write them down every night before you go to sleep. This will put you in a good frame of mind and then you are more likely to take positive actions.
I hope that this has been useful and will inspire you to think differently about fitness. We only have one life, lets live a healthy and active one!