Sometimes it’s not just diet or exercise that is holding us back from reaching our health and fitness goals, it’s our mind. Our mind is a powerful thing that can push us to new heights when we approach things in a positive way, and can prevent us from reaching our goals when we let it interfere and convince us that what we want will never happen. Before you attempt to transform your body, you have to transform your mind so that it functions as an ally to getting healthy – not a hindrance. Use these five tips to get your mind in the game so that you can start working towards a better body:
- Stop: thinking of healthy eating as a diet. The problem with thinking that eating healthy is a diet is that a diet is something that you go on… and eventually go off of. Eating healthy, on the other hand, is a way of life, not something that you should only do for a predetermined amount of time. Changing the way you view healthy eating can make all the difference in how you approach nutrition.
- Stop: the idea of cheat days. Many people operate under the belief that they can eat healthy for six days of the week and reserve one day for a “cheat” day where they are able to eat all of the unhealthy fare that they’ve been avoiding. This is setting yourself up for failure, though, because it sets you up to binge. It’s hard for most people to confine a cheat day to one day, and many people end up having a cheat day that extends for days, or even weeks. Instead approach eating with the mentality that you should eat clean, whole foods the majority of the time. Indulging every once in a while is OK, but you shouldn’t dedicate an entire day each week to it.
- Stop: the belief that you deserve treats. A lot of times people will view having a treat as something that they deserve, approaching the treat with the thought, “well I worked out today so I deserve this treat,” or “I have been eating so well lately that I deserveto have this slice of cake.” What you deserve is to treat your body with respect. You may deserve a reward for putting in a lot of hard work and eating clean, but make the reward a trip that you’ve wanted to take or a day full of relaxation. These types of treats will be much more beneficial to your quest to be healthy.
- Stop: comparing exercise to being a chore. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to the mentality that all exercise is torture. If your workout is something that you dread every day then that doesn’t mean that all exercise is terrible, it just means that you haven’t found the workout that works for you. There are so many different ways to work out; find a way that you enjoy instead of forcing yourself to engage in activities that you hate.
- Stop: looking at the big picture. When you try to tackle getting fit with the mentality of “I need to lose 100 pounds”, the whole thing can be overwhelming. Instead of looking at the big picture, set smaller goals – like losing 10 pounds – and work towards that instead. Having a huge goal that you are constantly thinking about can end up being so daunting that it causes you to throw in the towel. Breaking it up makes it much more manageable, both mentally and physically, and having small goals that you can accomplish can help you stay on track. Eventually all of your small goals will add up to your big goal.
Sometimes the only thing that’s holding you back from reaching your health and fitness goals is your mind. Make over your mind and you can make over your body.