“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
There will be times that you are tempted to skip a workout or binge on food. This is especially true during holidays since food plays such a huge role in many cultures. When you are faced with these temptations you are going to need the self-discipline to keep you on the right path. Self-discipline simply means to overcome yielding to weakness and to do the things you should do even when you don't feel like doing them. The fifth most common cause of weight loss failure is the desire for instant gratification. People want results without putting forth the time and effort. However, those who've successfully become fit and healthy did not seek shortcuts. They put in the work, they celebrated each milestone, they remained focused, and they had self-control. They had the ability to put off pleasure and satisfaction in order to get the results the wanted in the future.
A famous quote by Aristotle says "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit". Self-discipline and self-control can be much easier to have once you've begun to replace old habits with new habits. In the next chapter, I am going to talk about how habits stem from learned behavior patterns that can easily be replaced with the help of hypnotherapy.
“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” ~Muhammad Ali
Motivation is needed to maintain momentum. Becoming motivated is a lot easier than you might think. Here are 3 key factors, and it all starts with baby steps.
1. Baby Steps
Break your goals down into smaller increments and assign a time frame for each increment. For example, if your goal is to lose twenty pounds, you may consider losing two pounds per week over a ten week period. Write that down and begin checking your weight once per week. The same goes for exercise. You don't have to jump into full 2-hour workouts to get started. Instead, schedule yourself for 15 minutes the first week and allow yourself to build up endurance, stamina, and strength. Then schedule 30 minute workouts the second week, 45 minutes the third, 1 hour the forth, and so on. Schedule all of this on a calendar and mark off the workouts as you go. Celebrate each and every milestone and enjoy the journey. Notice how you are starting to feel stronger and more energized with each passing week. Let that inspire you to work harder.
2. Anticipate Road Bumps
Road bumps can not only slow down your momentum, it could put it to a halt. That is if you don't anticipate them. Most people don't expect to cross the road bumps that will inevitably exist on their path. Let's say something comes up that prevents you from doing your scheduled workout. Or say you cave in and eat the slice of chocolate cake you've been craving. If you have not considered the possibility of road bumps, then you are likely to tell yourself "ah, what the heck" and allow yourself to fall back into old behavior patterns. Start your journey with reasonable expectations and foresee yourself overcoming obstacles. Life happens and we are only human. Tell yourself that when setbacks occur, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. Better two steps forward and one step back than to fall back to square one.
One of the most effective ways to become and remain motivated is to have a source of inspiration. I personally enjoy the documentary Hungry for Change. It has a variety of people who tell their story of overcoming health obstacles by changing their diet. They address the obesity crisis in America which is higher now than it has ever been. Overall, I found it to be an interesting film, very informative, and truly inspiring. Find something that inspires you and expose yourself to it every day.
“Strength doesn’t come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. ~ Mahatma Gandhi.
Nutrition is going to play a key factor in determining your success. Therefore, you will need to have the willpower to help you overcome cravings and temptations for bad food. Good nutrition is the foundation of all other goals, including fitness goals. You will see a difference in your energy level, mood and clarity once you begin to replace processed foods with good nutrition. You will notice the fatigue and mental fog beginning to vanish. Once you experience that sense of clarity, you won't want to turn back. You will start to develop the natural energy that is needed for exercise and everyday tasks.
Have you ever wondered why energy drinks have become a multi-billion dollar industry? It is the bandage that covers the symptoms that the standard American diet has created within our bodies. We are putting these toxins into our body in efforts of counteracting the effects of other toxins. This only contributes to the issue. Energy drinks provide a boost of energy for a few short hours only to end in a crash. What's even worse is that once you've begun drinking these products on a regular basis your body builds a tolerance and loses the effect. You then have to continue drinking these products because your body has stopped producing natural energy. Which means you will have to consume more and more as it becomes an endless cycle. Rather than masking the symptoms, the best thing to do is to begin treating the source.
Before beginning any new diet, talk with your doctor to make sure there are no dietary restrictions. Address any concerns you have and express your desire to lose weight. Seek his/her advice and then do some research. The wonderful thing about modern technology is that it grants us instant access to information. There are documentaries you can stream on Netflix such as "Hungry for Change" which I found to be very resourceful. There are podcast stations, YouTube channels, blogs, articles, and other endless amounts of information regarding health and nutrition. Do some research and decide on a path that works best for you.
If you are not sure as to where to start, just start by eliminating processed foods and consume more natural foods like fresh produce, seeds, nuts, and lean protein. Seek information from credible sources and try to avoid fads and gimmicks. There is no such thing as a “get fit quick” solution. Most likely it took some time to get where you are now, and it's going to take some time to get the results you are seeking.
“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed,
the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed.” ~Tony Robbins
Momentum is necessary to get started on your fitness goals. The more you exercise the better you will feel and the more energy you will gain. However, the hardest part for most people is that initial push towards the right direction. Hypnosis is an excellent way to get that first push. As a hypnotherapist, I like to address this issue by using suggestions to boost self-confidence. I find that the more a client believes he is capable of losing weight, the more likely he is to start moving. All you need in the beginning is a strong belief that your goal is possible to achieve.
Once you see those first few pounds come off you will become inspired and motivated to work even harder. Even small results work by telling your brain that weight loss is possible. With that confirmed belief you began to take more action, working harder towards your goals, therefore, producing more of the results that you desire. Anthony Robbins talks about this in an interview with Frank Kern and John Reese. It's the cycle of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A strong belief prompts you to take action which leads to results. And those results will confirm your belief prompting you to take further action.