Where the Mind Goes the Body Will Follow
Do you think I can really do a show? Do you think I am going to be ready in time? Do you think I will look good on stage? Do you think I can really lose the amount of weight I want to? These are all pertinent questions I hear from my clients throughout the course of their contest prep or nutrition program. Man, if only the crystal ball could tell us the future, we’d all be a lot happier and more confident individuals. The truth is the answer begins and ends with our thoughts and perceptions. How we perceive our goals and the arduous task of accomplishing them can very well be the deciding factor in our success! I know its sounds clichéd when we are told to refer to the glass as being half full, but that glass often represents our willingness to visualize ourselves as go getters. All of us at one time or another has not exactly relished the idea of doing countless hours of cardio while trying to bring about the highest degree of conditioning possible so that we will look our best. To succeed can be as simple as telling yourself, “HOW can I make this happen?” This progressive attitude approach is what it takes to get you through those sticking points where you sometimes just don’t know how you’re going to go on. The thought process of HOW versus IF can lead to the discovery of countless remedies such as better time management of cardio sessions; better choice of atmosphere’s to allow your mind to be occupied by things other than the difficulty of your training, trying different exercise vehicles that are not commonly used in order to stimulate new interest and vigor. These are just a few simple changes that can be made to redirect us from destructive thought patterns that lead to failure. Always look to make things happen!!! We all have the ability to succeed; we just need to look for the best methods to help us accomplish our goals. When designing a nutrition and exercise program for clients, I always look for ways to help set up the best possible atmosphere for that client to succeed. If my thought process were, “I am sorry, but you’re just going to have to do it my way and adjust your schedule accordingly”, I can promise you my client’s success would be severely challenged. You must take the same approach when applying your nutrition and exercise program to your particular current life situation. Look to create ways to enable yourself to have the proper time and energy to devote to your exercise and training. If you have a hectic schedule that occupies your day during the typical 8 to 5 work day arena, teach yourself to discipline your time management to arise maybe a half hour earlier so as to fit cardiovascular exercise in before you go to work. Also, keeping late night hours can make it difficult to arise early and get your day started properly to allow for pre and post work day exercise. Nowadays I hear a lot of arguments that it’s just too hard to get up early and go to the gym and get back in time to get prepared for work. Well, the good news is that we have a number of cardiovascular equipment at our disposal that can be purchased rather inexpensively, both new and refurbished, so to allow us the freedom of time and convenience needed to make pre-work cardio a reality. Weight training programs are sometimes also included in this type of dilemma, as we sometimes just don’t manage our time well during the training session itself, which leads us to a reduction of much needed free time used for important prep work. If your weight training is taking an hour and a half to two hours to get finished because you enjoy sharing thoughts with colleagues at the gym, or because you just take too slow a pace while completing one set and going on to the next, I promise you this time will add up to countless mismanaged minutes that will cause you much aggravation and distress. By shortening your day this way, you put yourself into negative thought mode late in the evening as you still may have to rush home to prepare meals for the next day, etc., thus going to sleep with a lot of thoughts on your mind which robs you of that much needed peaceful recovery sleep. Then when we wake up in the morning we are already behind the preverbal eight ball with our thoughts, and bam--------------negative thinking at it’s best! It’s amazing how a little extra positive thinking on how to make our day easier and more efficient can really help us to accomplish all our days’ goals, without the stress of rushing! Nutrition practices need to follow the same positive approach to afford us the highest degree of success. One thorn in our sides in contest prep is travel. I have seen my share of unprepared athletes that struggle with this problem. Whether it’s for a business trip, pleasure or contest, again we need to look for ways to allow success while on our trip. Call ahead to see what your accommodations provide in the way of healthy menus, acquire about healthy restaurants that are in the area, local heath markets or grocery stores near by, will you have access to a microwave and a refrigerator? Answers to these questions provide us with the necessary tools to make smart decisions on what to bring to prepare in the room and what is available for pick up at nearby markets and restaurants. The same philosophy applied to exercise and training should also be utilized with nutrition planning. Allow yourself to be in a positive mind frame when you plan how to fit meals into your daily schedule. I know everyone has certain dilemma’s that occur from time to time in our work day, but most of these can be solved by how we set our program up to fit our day. If you have hectic days with constant movement, meetings, or unfavorable atmosphere’s for eating, create a plan that is easy and quick to fit your specific needs. Use meals which are prepared in advance so as only needed to be reheated for convenience, use meal replacements where only water and a shaker is necessary, use simplistic foods such as fruit, peanut butter and rice cakes, non-fat yogurts , to enable you to quickly get your meals in and return to your work priority. These are all tools available to help us maximize our time management and give us the best atmosphere conducive for success. All of these helpful ideas come from one basic thought process, “HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN”. The mind is our most powerful weapon and it’s a shame to let if fester in a sea of negativity! Let’s put our thoughts to good use, as we’re going to have to exercise and diet anyway, it may as well be in a positive and effective mind set.