“Coach, please just tell me what to eat! Write a meal plan and I’ll follow it to a T.”
“I just need a workout routine written.”
“I’ll just train with you 2-3 days a week and eat clean. I’ll be able to lose weight that way.”
I’ve heard these phrases before. Being a trainer and coach many clients that come to be believe they just need to perform a workout or eat different and they will have success in their goals.
But, lets damn face it, you may see a change, results, just working out, or following a diet, but the long term, LASTING success rate in these cases is not very high.
Are you destined to fail, or revert back to your old self then? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
It’s not the physical activity and diet that needs addressing as much as it is our MINDS that do. Habits, beliefs, bias’, emotions and feeling. These all influence our actions and outcomes, and therefore our success in the end.
Think about it, many times you go to a gym, hire a trainer and they hand you a workout. You may choose to workout with them guiding you first hand, they will tell you what exercises to do, how to perform them. You’re with that trainer 1-3 days a week depending on how often you train, or you get a new workout to follow every couple weeks.
You go to hire a nutritionist or dietician and they write out a meal plan for you based on your weight, height, activity, and goals. Tell you foods to eat, servings, times, etc and let you go on your way.
These may work for a while. If you’ve never followed a workout before, or are in a calorie deficit you’ll probably lose some weight.
BUT, there is a large component of success that MISSING in the above situations. No one addressed why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. There is no talk about your habits, if you eat emotionally, what you think about exercise or dieting, your beliefs, fears, obstacles, any solutions or game plans for when time is right or you get bored with your program.
What missing is addressing the MIND! Mindset, Behavior Change, Emotions and Feelings, Thoughts and beliefs, habits, stress and external influences management…
In order to see lasting change you need to focus on these areas. You need to dig deeper than just the surface. It’s really easier to get started doing this than you may believe.
Below are 5 ways to address the MIND component of success and reaching your best self!
1. Journal or log
2. Try the raisin experiment – take a single raisin, square of dark chocolate, or nut of choice. Sit down with no distractions and allow 5-10 minutes. Look and and observe the pieces of food, using all your senses (touch, smell, feel initially). Put in your mouth and feel, smell, taste, listen). Observe what the food is like using all those senses and what your thoughts are while doing this and after. Do you notice any new tastes or textures, do you see anything differently? This is a cornerstone to mindful eating and a great beginner exercise. You don’t need to practice to the extreme whenever you eat, but bringing more conscious awareness to your food and eating could yield slowing down and a change in your thoughts and habits around certain foods.
3. Practice the ‘Take 5’ method – before you jump into eating, or whenever you feel rushed or tense, take 5 deep breathes in and out really focusing on your breathe and body and letting go of thoughts and feelings while you breathe. Then return to whatever you were doing whether it be eating or other tasks.
4. Write down obstacles that are or are potentially getting in the way of where you want to be. Then write down a solution to each one that you begin to practice.
5. Identify negative thoughts that influence your behaviors. Stop that thought in its tracks. Shift the thought to an alternative solution. Come up with 2-3 positive mantras or quotes to keep you on track that challenge or oppose the negative ones. I call this ID, STOP, SHIFT, REFRAME INTO POSITIVE OR “ISSR”.