One of my favorites movies growing up was The Little Giants, obviously. But there was always a quote that stood out to me on a semi- deeper level. Steve Emtman, an NFL player at the time, said to the boys “Just remember, football is 80% mental and 40% physical.” Huh? That’s 120%. It’s 120% because some things in life require a little more effort than we think. And that effort has to come from the less obvious source.
What am I getting at here? Fat loss and living healthier is not just a physical demand. A majority of it is mental. There are many little things that people often forget to focus on when trying to develop a healthier lifestyle. I’m not talking about reps or corrective exercises, I’m strictly talking about the simple mental aspects that go into a successful fat loss program.
Here a few things you can do to keep you on track and increase your chances of success:
1.) Set goals. Seems obvious, but too often people set out on a journey not knowing what they actually want to accomplish. Set reasonable and measurable goals to stay driven and avoid disappointment.
2.) Develop a plan and most importantly write it down. You have a much better chance of sticking to a meal plan and workout program if it’s written down.
3.) Make small changes. You had to learn to crawl before you could walk. If you try to make too large of a change too soon you may become overwhelmed and decrease your chances of success. Slow progress is still progress. You have to remember you will not lose 50 lbs over night.
4.) Hold yourself accountable. This is a tough one, because it’s always easier to blame something or someone else. Stop making excuses. The only one that can make this happen is you. If you say you’re going to work out, then workout. I imagine you probably hate when someone promises to do something for you and doesn’t follow through with it, so why would you do it to yourself.
5.) Make this a priority. Your health and wellness should absolutely be a priority in your life. We don’t appreciate our health until its absence. So find 5-7 hrs a week to work out, get rid of your candy jar, and take control of your body.
6.) Develop a support system. Find people who will build you up and support you throughout your journey. A negative support system can be disastrous. I could devote an entire post to this, but for now surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. However, be careful not to rely on them for your success, this is your journey, not theirs.
7.) Focus on the positive. Be proud of everything you achieve. All the small accomplishments will take you where you want to go. Insert cliché here, Focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you have left to go.
8.) Don’t compare yourself to others. Living in a world obsessed with social media it’s hard not to compare lives, but you must remember everyone’s journey is different. Focus on you, because what works for someone else may not work for you.
9.) Don’t believe the hype. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Magic diet pills, crash diets, cleanses, body wraps, waist trimming belts… they are money making schemes. They are not sustainable and will not help you lose fat and feel better. Sustainable weight loss is hard, but completely possible.
10.) Control your stress, don’t let it control you. Stress increases cortisol levels, cortisol increases fat storage. Tap into your breathing and take over your stress.
11.) Love the process. Trust the process. Insert cliché #2: it’s the journey not the destination. Enjoy yourself. Try new foods, experiment with different workouts, go on runs with friends, make it interesting and just have fun. Remember it’s not a linear a process, you will hit road blocks, but it’s all part of the adventure.
12.) Be selfish. If you want to get what you want, you have to learn to put yourself first. Be proud of what you are trying to accomplish!
13.) Find your why. What is motivating you? Why do you want to be healthier? Why do you want to lose weight? Find it, hold on to it, and let that fuel you.
14.)Believe in yourself. You absolutely have to believe that you can achieve your goals. If you don’t believe, then you’re not ready to start. This is your battle, you have to own it!
Your journey starts with your decision to be better. Fat loss and adopting a healthier lifestyle isn’t just about your clothes fitting better, it is a character building experience, enjoy and persevere.