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I LOVE MYSELF – When did we lose the courage to believe?

When was the last time you did this? When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and was like, “I love everything about myself.”

Heck when was the last time that you looked in the mirror and didn’t instantly start focusing on all the things you would like to change?

Probably never or at least not very recently I’m guessing.

And that is just sad.

So often as adults all we focus on are the things about ourselves that we want to change – the things about ourselves that we don’t like.

When did we lose the courage to say, “I love myself?”

Because, honestly, I don’t believe it isn’t that we don’t see our good points. We do recognize our good points, we just don’t focus on them because we are afraid that everyone else sees our flaws and will think that we are cocky or full of ourselves or delusional if we say we love something about ourselves.

When in reality, we focus way more on our flaws than ANYONE else out there does.

We are our own harshest critics.  And I firmly believe that.

We set our own limits. We push ourselves down.

We can say that magazines present unrealistic body images. We can can say society presents unrealistic standards.

And yes, those societal standards do seep into our brains as we age so that we can’t, with the same abandon as Jessica, say we love ourselves.

But despite what society tells you, I guarantee that there are traits that aren’t deemed beautiful or wonderful by society that you love about yourself. Yet, because society doesn’t value them, you are too afraid to admit your beauty out loud.

YOU hold yourself back.

When will it stop?

When will you muster the courage to admit that you love yourself? Flaws and all.

When will you stop picking and pushing and start enjoying and celebrating?

When will you stop setting boundaries and limits and instead look at the world and yourself for all that you have to offer?

Society isn’t going to change. Magazines. TV. Ads. Aren’t going to change….

Until we do.

So start creating change by changing your opinion of yourself. Tomorrow, look in that mirror and focus on what you LOVE not what you’d change…

And if you happen to do a little dance while looking in that mirror…well that is fine too!

No one’s judging except you.

Slowly Circling

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve spoken A LOT about mindset.

I’ve been slowly circling the topic talking about being “All Talk” or saying “No” all too often. I’ve talked about how you make the workouts hard based on your mental toughness and how you determine whether or not a change will stick by knowing WHY you are doing it.

And while all of these talk about different aspects of mindset the biggest point to take away from all of these posts is that MINDSET IS KEY.

If you don’t have your mind under control, how do you expect to be able to stick to a diet or exercise program? How do you expect to maintain self-control if you aren’t confident and don’t believe in yourself?

Thoughts beget actions.

So negative thoughts mean diet and exercise failures while positive thoughts mean looking and feeling great!

So here are 10 tips to help you turn a positive mindset into results!

  1. Figure out your WHY – Why do you really want to change your diet and/or exercise more? If you know the real reason, not your “just to be healthier reason” you are way more likely to stick to your plan. If your WHY is powerful enough, you will MAKE things work!
  2. Use the positive momentum – There is something that got you motivated to start the diet or exercise program in the first place. What you need to do is capitalize on it. Don’t say, “Yes I’m going to do it…I’ll start tomorrow!” START NOW! Don’t wait! Do everything you can to keep the momentum going. Start eating healthy the moment you want to start a diet. Even if you ate badly earlier in the day, you can still turn things around! Use your momentum. Map out a plan. Do small things to start. Place your motivation up on the fridge and keep it going!
  3. Make goals big events – When are you most likely to really stay committed to your diet or exercise program? WHEN YOU ARE WORKING TOWARD A BIG EVENT! Think about it….when you are losing weight for a wedding or getting ready for a competition you are going to work your hardest to look, feel and perform great on that big day. No big event in your future? Create your own event! You can create an event by planning an outing when you achieve your goal. You can make your diet and exercise program a competition with friends with “testing dates” which would be events to prepare for. Whatever it is, the more of a “BIG EVENT” you make it, the more likely you are to stay committed!
  4. Surround yourself with believers – Surround yourself with friends who SUPPORT what you are doing. Surround yourself with people who will push you and encourage you not with people who complain and skip workouts. Getting the people around you in favor of what you are doing will  make it so much easier! That doesn’t mean your spouse has to do your diet, it just means he/she has to support you! Support means you won’t give in to temptation. When you feel down, you will have someone to pep you up!
  5. No more “Nos” – Start paying attention to how many times a day you say no to yourself. Then start stopping yourself when you are about to tell yourself “no.” When you realize you are about to say “no,” stop your thought and say “yes.” Yes you can. Yes you will. Yes you have the strength/self-control/WHATEVER. You CAN do it!
  6. Be the tortoise – Don’t expect perfection. You don’t have to go cold turkey and zoom ahead like the hare. Slow steady changes will make the difference in the long run! If you want to create a lifestyle that you will stick to in the long run, you need to take your time. Small swaps, little changes will turn your new diet and exercise program into a habit! If you create a plan, plan in times to indulge and enjoy. Don’t seek PERFECTION!
  7. Visualize! – So I’m not telling you to close your eyes and visualize your body looking splendid and you jumping and running through the fields happily. Visualization can be a lot of different things. For me visualization means looking at my lifting numbers and trying to match my best or beat it. For me visualization means posting pictures of myself where I look my best and trying to make sure I stay there. For me visualization isn’t imagination – it is putting something solid in front of you that you WILL attain. It is putting a picture in front of you of a woman who is the weight you want to be. It is putting the lifting numbers of a woman you want to beat in front of you. You aren’t picking out outrageous things, but things that tangibly represent your goals! It is showing yourself your goal in solid terms!
  8. Post, share and make your goal be known – Post your goals on the fridge, on your computer, by your bed, wherever you can see them each and every day! Share your goals with friends and family. Create a blog. Make a Facebook page. Do whatever, but make your goals be known! You are way more likely to retain self-control and stay positive when you know that you won’t only be letting yourself down but the others who know about your goal if you quit!
  9. Breath and refocus – That downward spiral of negativity can ruin a day. It can ruin a week…Heck it can ruin years! So what do you do? You have a negative thought. You cheat on your diet. You skip your workout. Stop, breath and refocus! Sometimes when I get into a downward spiral I mentally tell myself to “STOP”…or “shut up” depending on my thoughts. One slip up doesn’t ruin anything. It doesn’t excuse the slip up but it doesn’t ruin anything. What RUINS your diet or exercise routine is if you let that one incident spiral out of control. Remember, if you have a negative thought or a slip up, just stop breath and refocus! The key is to implement something that stops the negativity in its tracks!
  10. Start acting the part – Thoughts create actions, but actions can also create thoughts. If you start acting the way you want to be, you will start thinking of yourself in that way, which in turn will mean you act the part. Sometimes the best way to become what you want to be is to play a part. Make a list of 10 things a person like the person you want to be would do and then do those 10 things…Not once, but every day!

WHY!?!

So before the weekend I wrote a post about you PUSHING YOURSELF – about you MOTIVATING yourself.

I wrote that you need to motivate yourself if you really want to get the most out of any workout that you do. I wrote that you don’t need fancy moves or to do things at break-neck speed to have a great workout.

But I didn’t get into HOW you motivate yourself.

Then this weekend I attend a Training for Warriors certification course, which was absolutely amazing. (I’ve honestly never enjoyed a seminar so much! Anyway, more about the course later…)

But one thing I really want to discuss now after my post last week is what Martin Rooney said about motivating yourself….He said you have to have a big enough “WHY.”

Saw this on the Innovative Results facebook page and just had to steal it! :-)

Saw this on the Innovative Results facebook page and just had to steal it! 🙂

When you have a big enough reason as to WHY you should do something, you will do it.

So if you have a big enough reason WHY you should push yourself during a workout or WHY you should eat well, you are going to do it.

Which honestly makes perfect sense. Saying you want to be healthy or be in shape isn’t a clear WHY. There also is no TIMELINE in which you want to accomplish the goal so why work hard right now?

But a wedding or a competition or any other BIG EVENT is a great motivator because it does give you a reason, a WHY, you should be committed and work hard right now.

So then the question arises of, “How do you motivate yourself when there is no big event, BUT you still need to eat well and workout because you logically know it is the right thing to do and you want to live a long healthy life.”

How do you get that sense of urgency that a big event creates when realistically you are just trying to make healthy habits a way of life?

You create that big event. You don’t allow yourself to slack off and put things off. You set immediate and pressing goals that force you to get started!

They don’t have to be huge daunting goals they just have to be something that you can measure that have some sort of reward or consequence.

I know I definitely am more committed and focused when I have a “big” event. When I wanted to hit those VersaClimber mile-markers, I did everything I could to reach that goal. I stayed focused on working hard each and every workout. I made sure to do the proper recovery in between. I made sure to get enough sleep and to eat well EVEN when it meant not binging on Thanksgiving.

I had a big enough WHY. I didn’t just want to hit the mile-markers…I also wanted to be the first woman to do it at our gym, which meant that I couldn’t wait – I needed to start training and do it NOW.

I had a sense of urgency which made my reason for working out even more important – it gave me a big WHY that wouldn’t let me put off training and made me give everything I had each and every day.

So even if you don’t have a big event coming up, create one. Give yourself a real reason to do all the things you want or know you should do, but haven’t done.

Create “tests” at the end of each month to monitor your progress. Have weigh ins. Have performance evaluations. See if you can do better each and every time.

Heck maybe even add in a little competition. I know that when I’m competing against other people I definitely push harder!

Take a second and really hammer in WHY you should achieve some of the things you’ve been slacking on…like eating well or working out. You may just then get the results that you’ve always wanted!

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