Do you feel like you have your exercise routine on point and a food intake which would have a nutritionist giving you a high five, but you are still not seeing results in your weight loss? You might just be missing the “trick” from your hat-trick. And let me tell you, it’s something so simple that it may indeed feel like a trick. You are not flexing the biggest muscle in your body – your mind.
The energy you bring to your exercise (and the words you use about it) can directly affect your results. If you go into your workout cursing that you had to get up early, that it’s a “necessary torture”, that you “love to hate it”, then you are surrounding your experience with negative energy. Release this story of suffering!
The same goes for food. “I’ll be good and order the salad.” “I fell off the bandwagon and ate some chocolate.” Sound familiar? This type of talk is not honouring yourself in an energetic sense. And hint: there is no bandwagon unless you create one. Get off it now and walk proudly and wholeheartedly on your own two feet. Health and fitness is a destination you earn the right to get into; it’s a process and it’s already yours right now! Honour yourself for your commitments, achievements, and obstacles and ENJOY it along the way! Life is way more fun when you come at it from positivity and joy. Play along. Your mind and body are on the same team, so trust in them rather than pit them against each other. Work with your body rather than against it and your results will follow.
Tangible tip: Give yourself an internal high five every time you walk into the gym. Or look yourself dead in the eye in the mirror and say aloud “You are freaking kick-ass!” Acknowledge yourself for the things you can do, rather than focusing on the things you can’t.
I’ll tell you a secret. Weight loss goals are never just about the weight. Ask yourself this question and I bet you’ll quickly find there is a whole other “why” behind your desire to lose weight.
Tap into the the emotions behind what you want, rather than “I want to lose my love handles”, “I don’t want to look so scrawny”, or “I won’t be successful enough until I lose 5kg”, and your experience will be inherently more positive. Our weight loss goals are often fuelled by feelings of not being enough, or of believing we have to change something physical in order to be better. We can even find ourselves being fuelled by a hatred of our current bodies. With these thoughts in our heads as we’re bicep curling, boxing, and running, it’s no wonder our bodies don’t want to play ball! It’s like continually telling a person you don’t like them and then expecting them to be your best friend! You only get one body and you certainly can’t hate your way into loving it, so ditch the weight loss guilt-trips and instead set goals that are first and foremost to FEEL good.
Tangible tip: Write down a list of how you’d like to feel living in your body – vibrant, sexy, confident, or energetic and use these as your motivating fuel. Stick them as post-it notes on your fridge, lunchbox, screensaver of your phone, or in your gym bag as a reminder.
I bet we’ve all shared that moment when we see somebody else in the gym, or the food the person next to you ordered for lunch, and your inner critic pipes up “Roll up! Roll up! It’s time to play the comparison game!” Feelings of not doing, being, or achieving enough can drown your positive mindset and you might wind up doubting all your amazing work.
It’s time to come back to honouring your kick-ass self, or to use the wise words of Dr Seuss “no-one is youer than you”. Remember that it’s not just your body or the way you look which gives you your unique, electric spark. So if your energy is not feeling aligned, don’t blame your weight, other people, competition or intimidation. What is it you are not facing? Dig deep. Sit with the discomfort. Is it fear of not being good enough? Fear of humiliation? Perfectionism? A feeling of not receiving love in your life? Dissatisfaction with your career? Stress about your finances? Once you uncover what is truly driving your comparison game, you can choose to stop playing.
Tangible tip: Every time you notice yourself comparing yourself to someone else, close your eyes and take one deep breath in, and actively exhale the comparison outlet that person and what they have float away.. Open your eyes and give yourself one simple compliment by saying aloud or in your head “I just wanted to tell you that I think you…[insert compliment!]”
We all say we take rest days, but I bet over 50% of you don’t. You get into a routine, and the more you visit the gym the more reward in results you get, right? Wrong. Your trainer will preach about the importance of rest days for a reason. Your body needs them to recuperate and to rebuild muscle stronger and more capable of carrying you through your next session. And reward? Weight loss should not be the reward, it is the by-product. The real reward is the feelings you identified in Tip #2, and you will not be feeling vibrant and energetic if you’re out of action for 3 days because you refused to give it a rest. Not to mention the myriad of mental mind f***s a severe injury will play on you! A little tenderness when walking upstairs is good pain, being downright out of action is not. Honour and respect the importance of rest and modification. If you need to take it down a notch, do not be discouraged – this is a sign of strength and awareness in your body. As a trainer I commend a client for making a modification when it’s needed.