In today's post I want to speak to you about some ways you can begin seeing real results with changing how your body looks and feels. I promise you each one of these is a proven strategy and not just random fillers for content. Whatever you read on this blog I want you to get legitimate value from. Without further ado, let's dig in with strategy number one...
The first step of ensuring success with your fitness program is taking the time to sit down and write out a blueprint for what needs to happen. You must be clear with what changes will need to happen in your life and how you’ll accomplish them. What time will you exercise each day? When will you go to the grocery store?
I've found that you really do need to focus on preparation and establishing new routines or things just seem to eventually fizzle out. It has been my experience those individuals who make daily preparation a priority in their lives and work off of planned schedules overwhelmingly do better than those who don’t. Take it for what it's worth.
Being highly motivated to get your body back is a good thing, but you must set realistic expectations for yourself with initial short term goals. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting the bar too high for yourself early on. You didn’t gain all your weight in 30 days, so don’t expect to lose it all in 30 days. Your chances for success are greatly improved if you set several small goals or milestones for your progress. By setting several small markers of improvement along the way you build positive momentum and a mindset of success.
Most individuals would agree that those who write down what they want and expect from life are more likely to achieve those results than those who don’t. But here’s something to note. Just writing down your goals is not enough to do anything! Writing down your objectives only becomes powerful if you refer back to them regularly and consistently and read them with dedication and purpose.
In other words, you need to tap into your emotions. It’s the constant programming of these statements mixed with emotion that programs your subconscious mind. Sure, you’re going to have good days and bad days, I’m not talking about blowing sunshine here. It’s not about living via your emotions; it’s about living via your beliefs. Think about that last statement for a minute and let it sink it.
You want to continue reaffirming your beliefs but do this also with emotion to program your thinking. Your body doesn’t care if you feel like exercising, it will merely respond one way or another depending on your choice.
Visualization is where you see yourself already at the finish line having achieved success. See yourself in the body you want and imagine everything about how you’ll look and feel. Some will be quick to write this off as wishy wooey, but there’s actual research and science behind it. A good way to practice visualization is to paint a mental picture (see yourself on the beach for example after getting your body back) and imagine the experience in full detail using all your senses.
This practice can be really effective right after a workout session when your endorphin levels are high and you feel great. Your subconscious mind will correlate these positive feelings with your thoughts and begin working on guiding your habits and routines to be congruent. What you put into your mind matters. Tell yourself over and over that you’re flabby, saggy, soft, weak, or whatever, and you won’t be seeing much of a change. It’s not about denying some existence of reality, it’s about not accepting such as an identity.
See yourself where you’re going, not reaffirming to yourself over and over where you don’t want to be. Again my friends, put into your mind what you’re expecting! What you put into your mind and what comes out of your mouth matters. Enough on that. I’m done preaching for now. :)
Trying to go it all alone with most anything in life just doesn’t work very well. When you’re making lifestyle changes you absolutely must have someone to support you and keep you accountable to your goals. This can come from a friend who serves as a workout partner, a personal trainer, or someone who is genuinely interested in your success. It’s too easy to make excuses to yourself and slack off from your routines. Get an accountability partner, heck get two or three. The more the better.
This is an extremely effective practice, but so many people miss out on it because they think it’s too time consuming or tedious. I would argue that’s a priority problem, not a time problem. Look, this one simple strategy can literally be a game changer! I’ve seen it time and time again. Don’t overlook the simplicity with just planning out what the heck you’re going to eat for lunch or dinner this week. Amazing how you’ll make better choices when you plan ahead and don’t wing it last minute.
If you’re serious about transforming your body and you have no idea how many calories your body needs or how many you’re eating, you’re basically throwing darts blindfolded. What worked for a friend may not necessarily work for you. Your best bet is to find out your individual calorie requirements and then start eating accordingly.
I’m not advocating for counting every single calorie or macro as I’ve done that and it’s not sustainable from a lifestyle perspective. Quite frankly it’s a total drag. However, this isn’t to say there’s not a ton of benefit of tracking with a food log like MyFitnessPal for 3-4 days to get a ballpark on where you’re at and adjust accordingly.
Make routines with your eating habits and you’ll start to learn things like portion sizes and amounts fairly quickly. The bottom line is you do need some point of reference. If not how in the world would you expect to have a clue on what you’re consuming from an energy and nutrient standpoint? A coach can really help you in this area so don’t struggle alone if you’re not sure how to dial it in.
Sadly, a lot of people have this false belief that one slip up or “bad day” on their diet will some how wipe out all the progress they’ve made for the week. This is simply not the case. These negative thoughts can ruin your momentum and derail progress in a minute by triggering more negative behavior. It’s the ol’ “what the heck I might as well <insert blank> now since I already <insert blank>.” Don’t fall for this trap. Get over it and get on with it. Back on track with what you know you should be doing. The people who are successful recognize they’re not going to be perfect and simply try to get better each and every day. When they have a bad day, which everyone will, they simply put it behind them and focus back on their goals immediately. Go and do likewise .
Ok, so if you read this article hoping you were going to find some secret on how transform your body in record time with a new whiz bang gadget, pill, potion, procedure, or whatever, you’re undoubtedly a little disappointed right now after reading this far.
Give me just thirty more seconds. Please.
I’m not in front of you while you read this so I can’t speak to you face to face, but let me speak to your heart. Even if I’ve never met you, I care for you and want you to be healthy, whole, joyful and content. What you just read are some genuine nuggets of helpful wisdom with transforming your body. Many may sound familiar, but you have to ask yourself, “Am I really following these principals?” They won’t work if you don’t practice them. I know there’s nothing sexy or flashy here, so my article won’t be blowing up social media. But it’s written from a lot of experience with the sincere intent of hopefully making a positive difference in someone’s life.
When it comes to working out and what to eat, there’s nothing new under the sun there either. What works is what has worked for a long, long time. Consistent habits doing the right things mixed in with some good old fashioned hard work. If you’re not sure where to start or you feel like you’re just bogged down, stuck in a rut, I’m more than happy to help. It would be my honor and privilege to be at your service if there’s anything I can do to help you turn your objectives into reality with fitness and fat loss. Be blessed and have great day. – S
Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He has over 24 years' experience with fitness coaching and consulting and specializes in training programs for middle age and mature adults. If you live in the Charleston, SC area you can schedule a no-obligations consultation.
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