“Sometimes, we need to hold onto faith while letting go of the outcome”
Are you training for a competition, event or getting ready for your wedding? That moment when you reach what you have been working toward and you are living in the quiet time. I call it quiet time because there is no more hustle or rush, there are no deadlines and pressures, the game is over. Usually when I was training for a show I look forward to the quiet time, but this time also scares me. It is a time that really tests your mental toughness more so then being in training. For me, keeping the balance of food and training was tough because I work best when training for a specific goal. I liked having the pressure of being ready for that one day, the game if you will.
I am sure many of you know what I am talking about—you are so focused, tunnel vision, and no distractions, determined. The show or whatever you were getting ready for is done and you relax a bit. Start to become unmotivated, “allow” yourself a reward with food and you tell yourself you can because you trained so hard for months. That turns into a vicious cycle of overeating and extreme dieting till before you know it you have gained 15-20 lbs and miserable.
That is why you can’t treat “health” as a quick fix or something done for a short amount of time. To me, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, consistency and being good to yourself. You cannot be good to yourself with extreme behavior and feelings of guilt and shame.
Why does this happen? It is something I have dealt with over the years, I know something very familiar with my clients as well as many people out there. I feel this happens because of our outlook on the whole process. You train for a show, or get ready for an event, reach your “goal weight” and deprive yourself for months, think about all the things YOU CAN’T have, then when event is over you eat everything in sight and have the mindset of “allowing” yourself a break.
I believe that this mindset is what sets us up for failure. Think about it, you train for months eating very strict and very regimented with your training program. It takes over your way of life and thought, thinking about that big day. Then it comes to an end and the next morning you wake up and you don’t have to do infinite amounts of cardio and you can eat whatever you want. Well, why not change that mindset?
Here is an idea…DON’T DIET. I often think if my older self could go back and tell my younger self a couple of important messages it would be…DO NOT DIET. Eat HEALTHY AND YOU WILL GET THERE.
What constitutes a great body? Is it being lean and tone? Or is it being healthy from the inside out not really putting emphasis on weight or body fat, etc.? For me, in the beginning of my career I would put so much emphasis on being lean and tone that I would go to extremes to get there. I was so focused on my weight and body fat that it took over my mind and created unhealthy habits. We all want a great body and we all want to feel healthy, and today that is what I am trying to focus on. I try to focus now on my psychological health and, in turn, that will help my physical health. When you constantly beat yourself up over calories, become obsessed with body image it starts to affect your self confidence leading to depression, binge eating and being unmotivated to bring yourself out of it.
Here are some tips that I try to stick to and I tell a lot of my clients
1. Make health and fitness, rather than body aesthetics, your goal. Think, “Strong is the New Sexy”!
2. When negativity creeps in, shift your perception. Journal or write. This has helped me tremendously because when I write, it puts things in perspective for me and allows me to challenge my self-critical thinking.
3. Appreciate your body for what it is capable of today, and strive for better fitness and strength in the future.
4. List all your successes, big and small. Being mindful of personal victory, even if it is just showing up to the gym for the first time or getting a walk in after dinner, will give you more confidence to keep on going.
5. Show your confidence, even if you don’t feel it. Smiling and projecting a positive vibe can affect your brain over time and boost your mood.
6. If you’re not committed to loving your body right at this moment, commit to respecting it. Eat healthy nutritious foods, because I always tell myself that I only get my body once and I must respect it.
As long as you are alive, you’ve got the body to thank for every heartbeat, every breath, every step … each and every single day!
Thank you so much for reading!