As a fitness professional, I began paying attention to my clients differently after I was exposed to this idea. I thought if I could listen to their words more attentively, I could figure out the basic thoughts behind their words. For example, if I have a client who says things like, "I can't lose the weight," "nothing works for me" or "I can't do it," the biggest obstacle between them and their success is what they believe to be true!
Let's examine some of the common justifications, stories and beliefs that many of us have heard or even used when we deviate from healthy eating and exercise behaviors.
a) The "Busy Disease" is the belief that one has no time to eat or exercise due to work, projects, family, events, school or just about anything. Life is a series of priorities. We choose where we place ourselves on the totem pole of life! Please remember, Food is one of the highest forms of self-care and movement is a gift! Schedule your "health time" like you are your most important client! The truth is, you are!
b) "Diet Mentality" is the belief that one must be "on a diet" which also means that one can be "off a diet" too. Other thoughts include, "The diet starts on Monday," "I can't eat past 6 pm," "I have to cut my carbs," "I'm good when I eat salad and I'm bad when I eat cake." These are all extreme "rules" that can create very odd and potentially harmful eating behaviors. Remember extreme deprivation causes extreme over-compensation and an unhealthy relationship with food. Move daily, eat foods close to Mother Nature and eat reasonable portion sizes. Nutrition is medicine to the body. Take on an attitude of making your food fun and tasty!
c) "Playing the Victim" is the belief that someone or something has "made" them deviate from the program or their healthy lifestyle choices. Example: "My husband made me eat dessert when we went to the restaurant." Understanding that we are not a victim of circumstance allows us to see the power of choice that we truly have! Know that you are "at choice" every moment. How empowering is that?
d) "Myth-Information" is believing information that is false, as truth. For example: "Doing a lot of abdominal exercises will melt the fat off my stomach." I admit that it can be challenging to sift through all the TV infomercials, info on the Internet, the rags at the checkout counter and the info you hear from friends, to find solid, science-based facts. I always say, "Consider the source." Hire a nutritionist and/or trainer. Take a nutrition class. Educate yourself so that you can know the difference between what is true and what is just a gimmick.
So, if our belief system and attitudes are not in alignment with our desired end result, this is the challenge. The work begins here. "To think is to create." Put this slogan on your fridge, in your exercise journal and anywhere else you will see it throughout your day.
What positive thought will guide your fitness today?
Sandra Blackie has 27 years of experience in the Health & Fitness industry. She has a B.A. in Recreation & Leisure Studies, a major in Sociology, and graduated with distinction, from Concordia University in Montreal. Sandra is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. Her certifications include a) the Advanced Personal Training certificate from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (A.F.A.A.), b) the Primary Sports Nutritionist certification from the National Association of Sports Medicine (N.A.S.N.) and c) is AED / CPR certified. Sandra is a retired I.F.B.B. Professional Bodybuilder who has competed in the very prestigious Ms. Olympia three times in the 1990s. She has written for various fitness and bodybuilding publications since the 1990s, is the author of her own educational materials and has recently created a DVD entitled, "Feel the Freedom of Fitness: 10 Steps to Living Lean & Serene." Sandra's formal education, years of experience and passion for fitness give her great insight into helping others. For more information, please visit her website at www.freedomoffitness.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.