One of the most frequently asked questions in fitness seems to be How? How can I do that? How can I lose body fat the quickest? How are you able to exercise because I have no time. How this, that, who, where, why and again how?
Stealing some work from Dr. Maltz from a very good book I recommend to anyone (Psycho Cybernetics) I will break it down for you using his Picture of Success. In the book Psycho Cybernetics, Dr. Maltz laid out what he called a "prescription" that would describe a success-type personality. For the purpose of this blog, I will go into detail of this outline based on what you need to be successful in a fitness journey.
First here is the "Picture of Success":
Sense of Direction
The first step to becoming successful with your diet or fitness goals is to have a sense of direction. It helps best to know where you want to be. If you want to lose weight, ask yourself why? Going into a diet with a mindset thinking "I want to lose 30 pounds." will not do you any good. You have to go deeper than that.
What will the weight loss mean to your life?
How will you feel when you lose XYZ pounds?
What if you fail?
Who am I doing this for?
Once you have a true sense of direction regarding your WHY, you can then move on.
The next step to success in fitness goal is to have an Understanding as to what is going to be needed and required. If you want to burn fat you need to burn more calories daily than your body needs to maintain it's current weight. If you want to build muscle, you need more... We know that though.. right?
But we go further than that. There will come a time/point when you need to do something different. We have to look at the facts versus the opinions we have in our minds. You may have the opinion that 3 days a week is good for your goal, when in FACT it may be 4 days.. 5 days.. This is why having a Diet and Exercise Journal is SOOOOOOO important. I'll say it every day until it FINALLY clicks.
You also have to come to a complete understanding of the truth. You may never look exactly like Jessica Biel or Channing Tatum. You may believe you need to only lose 10 pounds but in reality it could 20. I could go on and on here but I won't. I leave that to you. If you do ONE thing- UNDERSTAND this takes time.
Once you have an Understanding and a good Sense of Direction as to what needs to be done- PLEASE find the Courage to move forward. It is inside of you. Everybody has the power, the ability, the energy, and the wits to succeed at their goals. Exercise is HARD, dieting SUCKS... but you want to WIN. Have the Courage.
In fact- the best way to do so is to BET on yourself. Place a bet with family, friends, or co-workers and don't just shake on it. Lay the money on the line at that very moment and hand it over to a mutual party. It is not certain or guaranteed that you'll lose 10 pounds in 2 months- but if you bet on it you'll more likely have the courage to continue and fight forward- and if you fail but the other party sees you tried so hard they may not take your money- and.. if you win- don't collect, just smile.
Now comes Charity. I had a hard time thinking about what to write in regards to Fitness and Diet and the only things I can think of are Paying it Forward and Accepting Help. During your journey to fitness success you will learn so much and nothing is greater than paying it forward and helping someone where you once started, and if you're stuck and unsure- ASK and Accept Help.
When you look in the mirror what do you see? Does the reflection cause pain, excitement, anger? It is going to be extremely important in your daily life to have a High Self Esteem (the next step) when you think about or see yourself. Nothing will break you faster and cause failure than a poor self esteem. Dr. Maltz wrote "Of all the traps and pitfalls in life, (quoting Thomas Carlyle) self-disesteem is the deadliest ." No matter how you feel about yourself you need to think Positive and continue to kick ass. You will not win if you say "I can't" or "I don't know how." Just do it and if you're not good at it or weak.. whatever the case.. trying will help you OVERCOME and help you succeed.
While going around saying I am good enough, I can do it, I know I can, I look great- you will still come to those forks in the road that separate you from Can and Can't and this is where your Self-Confidence comes into play. Perhaps you tried to lose fat or build muscle at one point and you failed. This failure may have stuck with you and has led to a poor self esteem and a lack of self confidence, because- well you didn't achieve your goal. This pain of failure hurts and will keep you down in the dumps for as long as you let it. As you find your self esteem and crank it into high gear you have to take your Self Confidence along for the ride. Being confident will help you lift those heavy kettle bells or run that extra 100 meters. Self Confidence will help your mind when you look down at that scale to see the pounds lost or gained. Keep it High and you will benefit.
The last piece of the puzzle, the last step to the heavens of success is Self Acceptance. Put it simple, plain, easy to understand- BE YOURSELF. Leave your ego of hopes to be glorified at the door right now and just be who you truly are. If you can't walk up the steps- don't try to run. If you can squat a 50 pound Kettle bell in a Goblet position- don't try to Back Squat 135.
As Dr. Seuss once said in Happy Birthday to You, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
You are where you are and nobody else. Your journey may take 20 months and your best friends may take 3. It doesn't matter. Accept it, live it, and crush it.
When you begin your fitness journey, or as you continue on your current path, keep in mind that you are different but more importantly- somebody. You have unique abilities and characteristics. Nobody can be you and you can't be them. Apply these steps and use their meaning to help you succeed at whatever goals you have in fitness, life, work, or anything. Always step back and paint your picture first, make your plans, and start at the foundation. No matter what do not quit. We hear it everywhere- NEVER NEVER NEVER Give up. For more regarding this truth I recommend buying Psycho Cybernetics and reading this. It should be school required. Click the link and give it go for what-- 8 bucks? It'll help you understand this more and give you a better picture of life. Remeber also- Burning fat and building muscle takes time. Time you need to enjoy and spend it believing in yourself. You will Win.