This is a three part series to help men like you BREAKTHROUGH the barriers and myths of training, nutrition and mindset so you can create a DRAMATIC and LASTING body transformation.
PART THREE: How to Create a Warrior Mindset
Now you are embarking on a life changing journey, it’s important to give yourself the best possible chance of keeping all the positive habits you’ll develop as you read this blog series...
…and just in cased you missed them, click here for PART ONE & PART TWO
Creating Mental Space
An important concept you’ll want to consider is that of creating more mental space. Giving yourself ‘room to think’ is an age old concept, and one that we must grasp!
Firstly, tidy and clean your home. Starting a new diet and exercise plan is an exciting time, if the rest of your life reflects a change you’ll feel better and are more likely to stick with it.
Throw out or give away all clothes you don’t wear anymore, get rid of old magazines and books. Find anything and everything in your home that you haven’t used in the last year and get rid of it! Be sure to spend extra time throwing out junk food and cleaning in your kitchen, because this will help your Sunday prep!
Having more physical space will literally give you more mental space. Get rid of the clutter in your life and your mind will follow. Now let’s turn our attention to your thought patterns…
Think of a typical dieter…or think back to a time when you tried and failed a diet …and imagine what is going through their/your heads on a daily basis; ‘I’m too fat, I must eat like a rabbit to get thin’, ‘I feel so guilty because I ate that chocolate cake’, ‘I must remember to go to the gym today, I can’t miss another workout!’ And so on and so forth.
If you have to remind yourself to go to the gym, or if you feel guilty after unhealthy eating etc. then guess what…that diet isn’t going to work! When diet and exercise become automatic AKA a habit, then you will have the body you’ve always wanted and it will be easy and enjoyable too! It all starts with simplifying the process…
Simple plans are often the best, for example, the Sunday Prep Day is a simple way of preparing a load of healthy food each week. BUT, if you were performing an unhealthy version of the Sunday Prep Day and made a week’s worth of pizza and ice cream, it would still work as a method of keeping you on the pizza and ice cream diet! Put simply, you will always take the easy option. If food is there you will eat it, it doesn’t matter what you’ve made.
So how do we use this to our advantage? Well, get a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of the page. Now on one side of the line make a list of all the things that will help you get a great body; healthy foods, more sleep, more exercise etc. On the other side of the line, list all of the opposite things that will stop you getting a great body; unhealthy foods, less sleep, missing a workout etc.
We know that your mind will always choose the easy option, so you must find a way of turning each good/evil decision into a no-brainer. Make it easier to choose the positive option and harder to choose the negative one.
Here are a few examples:
Make it easier to take the positive action
||eating junk food
||Throw out all junk food, prepare a weeks worth of tasty and healthy food
||Lunchtime workout with training partner. A more time efficient way to exercise with added accountability from partner
||staying up late, not sleeping
||Get a regular bedtime routine, read an enjoyable book in bed, make your bed really comfortable and inviting
Now work through your list of actions and work out a way to make it easier to complete the positive than the negative. The best thing you can do is make it fun! Think of fun ways to do lots of positive things for your body transformation.
We are our emotions. The way you think has a profound effect on what will happen each day. If you think you’re going to have a bad day, you usually do! On the other hand, if you think you are going to have a great day, you usually do! Let me put it another way; Thoughts + actions = results.
We’ve covered actions enough so far (diet, exercise, sleep, habit changes etc.) so let’s take a look at your thoughts and see how they can affect your results…
An emotional trigger is when something you do changes the way you think. For example, looking at your naked body in the mirror thinking ‘I have let myself get really fat, I’m not happy and I want to change!’ This ‘triggers’ your emotions from standard thought patterns into highly motivated and positive thought patterns.
Keeping your mind in this ‘triggered’ way of thinking will increase your chances of losing all your weight and will help change your lifestyle for good (which is the goal of all this isn’t it!). You’ve probably experienced this at some point in your life and hit the gym hard and ate really healthily……for about 2 weeks! The trick is maintaining it for good.
On the other hand, if you’re upset and need comforting the mind will be triggered to help you eat comfort foods and not exercise. So even when you’re happy, because your brain has been set to ‘comfort mode’, you will now eat loads of food and not exercise until you reset your thought patterns.
So how do we reset old (negative) thought patterns and trigger new (positive) ones? Well firstly, get out a sheet of paper and write down:
- Everything you don’t like about your body (love handles, double chin etc.)
- All the bad things you do that help maintain the things on your body that you don’t like (gorging on ice-cream, drinking too much beer, not going to the gym etc.)
See a link there? If not then you will have to dig a little deeper. Spend some time on this exercise until you find a link between your behaviour and your body. Now turn the sheet of paper over and write down:
- Everything you want on your dream body (six pack abs, toned arms etc.)
- Everything you could be doing to help achieve your dream body (eating healthy foods, little or no alcohol, exercising regularly etc.)
Can you see anything here that you aren’t doing? What’s stopping you?
The goal here is to realise that your current thought patterns may be maintaining a poor body image. Being aware of how your thoughts affect your actions is the first step in correcting bad habits. Just like with drug addiction (but don’t worry, I don’t think you’re as bad as a junkie!) the first step is being honest and admitting you have a problem.
So first become aware of your current thinking patterns and then understand the link between your current lifestyle and your current body. Crappy lifestyle choices = crappy body. Let me just clarify; when I talk about your lifestyle I do not mean your house, hobbies, car or anything material, I mean the way you eat, exercise and recover.
Now that you understand the link, it will be much easier to make some really important lifestyle changes so you can lose fat, become healthier and do it permanently! Great lifestyle choices = great body!
The final step is controlling your own thoughts; every time you catch yourself thinking in the old or negative way, say out loud, ‘I am making a lifestyle choice to live and eat healthily, I recognise that this old thought is stopping me from doing so, therefore I will replace it with (insert new, positive thought here)’. Or something similar, just find what works for you!
What do you ‘think’ is stopping you from the body of your dreams?
Stop thinking it and replace it with a new, positive thought!
Don’t Call it a Diet
What does the word ‘diet’ make you think of?
When someone tells you they are on a diet, usually you’ll ask which diet they are doing and why. Diets typically don’t work as they promote eating healthily for a short period of time to ‘drop a dress size’ or ‘quickly lose fat’. So once the goal is achieved or the participant gives up, they balloon back up to their starting weight!
For our purposes we aren’t going to call it a diet; instead it’s your lifestyle. It’s the way you choose to eat, and will continue to do so, for the rest of your life! A few things pop into your head when you start thinking, ‘for the rest of my life’, instead of, ‘for the next 3 weeks’.
Usually starting with panicky thoughts about how you can’t live without cheesecake or lasagne (of course, both are allowed during your weekly cheats! We’ll cover this later), and then followed by thoughts about how long the rest of your life is, surely you can’t be ‘healthy’ for that long?
Well you can! And it all starts with you deciding to change your lifestyle for good. So don’t call it a diet whatever you do, as this will bring up thoughts of temporary changes. Instead call it a lifestyle, get used to the idea of ‘for the rest of my life’ and deal with all the worries and negative thoughts you have.
For example, you may say to yourself; ‘I thought this was just gonna last 4 weeks? I don’t think I can eat healthily for the rest of my life!’
Instead of giving in to these types of feelings, let’s deal with it and get back on track:
First, you must understand that your existing beliefs about diets are probably wrong. For example, if you believe that diets are hard, you’re always hungry, they’re expensive and will make your friends laugh at you then you’ve got some serious issues with ‘diets’. You need to change the way you think…
Understand that whilst the first 2-3 weeks may be hard for you to adjust to, as soon as you find foods that you like, you take advantage of the weekly cheats, you learn that you can eat fun foods and eat out without breaking any rules then you quickly realise that it’s not a diet, you’re just choosing slightly different meals each day, if anything you should feel better and healthier (but you won’t feel hungry!).
So call it a lifestyle instead of a diet, and if you feel uneasy about anything, don’t ignore it, face it head on and stay positive!
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