I used to envy those ‘genetically gifted’ guys and guys.
You know, the chicks whose thighs are naturally lean and cellulite free AND meant to rock short shorts? Or the guys that eat burgers and chips AND beer… and as long as they still ‘get to the gym’ they get to stay super buff and ripped.
It’s like the smarts kids at school – who didn’t need to study – and still excelled in their exams.
I’ve come to understand though, like those smart kids at school, our genetically gifted friends get complacent.
They haven’t learnt how to work hard for results, how to overcome those struggle-street times and how to stick with it for as long as it takes. They often let even their lax (in comparison to those of us that have always slugged away at it!) standards for eating and exercising drop… and often, to their surprise and mortification – they chuck on the kilo’s.
At this point Mr or Mrs ‘genetically gifted’ seems to flick on their discipline switch and after 2 weeks of insanely-focused-hard-core-exercise and severely-punishing-food-restriction they are back to lean and buff… rockin the short shorts and guzzling the beer.
And then, they get complacent…
What does this have to do with your weight loss goal?
Today’s post – part 4 in the series – is dedicated to giving you the best practice ways to THINK to make sure you get to keep your weight loss results, easily, sustainably and without complacency.
check out part 3 here: Smart Simple Weight Loss: Eliminate Limiting Beliefs.
check out part 2 here: Smart Simple Weight Loss: Align Your Goal.
and part 1 here: Smart Simple Weight Loss: Define Your Goal.
What we’re going to do is equip you with the tools that make eating great food and exercising consistently natural rather than discipline reliant.
Why? Discipline is limited. It’s never a long term solution.
How to ditch a reliance on discipline and ensure your thoughts are HELPING you lose weight.
Step 1: Utilise the power of your language.
The way you talk, especially your SELF TALK, can have a huge impact on how you feel – whether you feel certain, confident and positive… or, the reverse.
You know Self talk – it’s that lil gremlin on your shoulder – who will often shout down that lil angel on your other shoulder… it spouts rubbish like:
“You always give in at some point – why not just have those hot chips now thunder thighs and be done with it”
“It’s freezing outside and so gorgeously cosy in bed, roll over and have a tad more shut-eye, you deserve it and exercise is soooo boring”
Shut the gremlin down. Because your unconscious mind is listening to – and believing – everything that gremlin says. Your unconscious can’t differentiate between fact and fiction – so it makes sense to feed it language that fuels a positive frame of mind and subsequent positive actions.
In short: Be conscious when choosing your language because it can carry massive emotional intensity.
You can use that emotional intensity:
=> To build the pleasure or intensify the pain.
When I state “I love crispy brussel sprouts” Do I really mean, I love them as much as my family? Of course not!
Or a good Shiraz with a close girlfriend? No way.
Or my most sexy super-fav pair of jeans? Hell no!
However, I’m intensifying the good and the pleasure in the same way that I am conscious to avoid intensifying the pain when I talk about cardio.
“I hate cardio doesn’t make it any easier for me to do”
“I LOVE the way I feel when I finish my cardio” does make it easier to just make a start.
=> To feel possibilities or pressure.
Language filled with pressure is anything that begins with “I have to” or “I should” or “I must”
“I have to go for a walk”
Test it out.
You feel less inclined to DO that that thing you feel pressured to do right?
However a simple switch to “I want to”, or “I can”, or “I choose to” gives you choice and possibilities.
“I CAN go for a walk”
Even that simple one word switch makes me think that Yes it is my choice to go for that walk if I decide it’s a priority and actually I’m really grateful that I can. That I have the time and the health to do it.
=> To find the best in a situation or to focus on the worst.
As just demonstrated, one word can help you filter in the best and filter out the worst.
By ‘filter’ I’m referring to our natural process of filtering the information that hits our 5 senses every moment.
More on that soon… here’s an example, when I say, “Preparing healthy meals in advance is painfully boring, hugely expensive and an absolute time suck” your emotional response is likely different to if I were to choose this language, “Preparing great food lets me feel organised and in control. I know I’m investing my time and money well by creating my most confident and efficient body.”
Step 2: Utilise the power of Focus.
This is where we explore the info that hits your 5 senses every moment – it’s a lot – 2 million bits of info in fact. To cope you filter in around 7 chunks… AND the vital component is you filter in based on your own unique beliefs and experiences – or more so what you’re choosing to make those experiences mean.
In short: When you are intentional with your focus and focus on the positive, the learnings, the opportunities AND on what you can control, then you will filter in more of the same.
Think of your unconscious mind as a 5 year child or eager little puppy dog that just wants to please you and goes hunting for evidence of whatever thoughts you’re choosing to entertain… well how about this – your unconscious mind LOVES questions. If you ask it a question it will just go hunting for evidence and won’t stop till it gets it (loyal little thing!).
So what if you were to ask yourself questions like “Why do I always hold myself back?” Just think of the (nasty) answers that puppies going to come back with. Alternatively if you were to run with something like “How can I be even more confident and focused on living a healthy day every day?” I’m much more excited to think of what that pups going to work for you (24/7!) on dragging back!
You can focus and filter your experiences in 3 ways:
=> To Generalise to your advantage or disadvantage.
I used to generalise that ALL cardio was hideous and that ALL salads were bland, boring and pretty much a waste of time. I’d filter in evidence to support my belief (because there is a lot of evidence right?) and the vicious cycle perpetuated of either avoiding any cardio and salad or feeling resentful and hard done by when I put myself through either.
What have you been generalising that has been a convenient excuse?
=> To Distort to your advantage or disadvantage.
Regularly I meet ladies who have distorted that to lift weights will result in a massively bulky, chunky physique. They filter in evidence of figure models or body builders who look bigger than ‘their personal’ ideal. And surmise – incorrectly – that picking up a dumbbell or having a protein shake will lead to a radical change in their body. If only it was that easy!
What have you been distorting that has been sabotaging your efforts?
=> To Delete to your advantage or disadvantage.
For years I deleted any pesky evidence that soy was not a super food. I guzzled a litre of soy milk a day and around 200gm of tofu. I loved it. I had my blinkers one so far as any research to suggest that perhaps this star of my daily eating routine could be not so awesome for my physique.
Eventually I decided to look into it… to my disappointment I learnt that soy (along with toxins and other stressors of day to day life) can mimic the effect of estrogen in your body and in doing so send your estrogen levels outta whack. AND as a result, lead to extra fat storage in estrogen sensitive areas such as your hips and thighs!
My response was immediate: Soy was deleted (!) from my regular eating routine.
What have you been deleting that if filtered in would help your create your best body?
Step 3: Utilise the power of Physiology.
Have you noticed that happy, positive, healthy people tend to get around all slumped over and lethargic?
Yeah, me neither.
The fact is motion creates emotion. Whether you’re by nature an enthusiastic and high energy type of person or not – you can cultivate and nurture these qualities.
You can use your physiology to initiate changes in your physique:
=> Recognise that when you’re feeling flat your posture is painting that exact story.
Test it out. Recall the last time you felt absolutely exhausted. Totally wrecked, nothing left to give. You know – when you’re dragging yourself home after a huge day at the tail-end of a huge week at the tail-end of a huge month and you’re so tired – your body feels so heavy – that you’re are tempted to just drop to the ground, curl up on the footpath and go to sleep…
=> Acknowledge that taking responsibity for getting moving or choosing to wallow in your fatigue is 100% within your control.
Yes, there are times when your body just flat out needs and deserves some chillaxation! However, dragging yourself through super-slow-mode need not be your default speed!
I bet you all know someone who drags them-self through their day… and their life. They do everything slowly and with maximum effort. Even watching them is tiring. Likely you also know the person who always seems to be bouncing outta their skin energized? Its your choice which one you are.
And, Yes it really is that simple. If you’ve never been the bouncing outta your skin person, I’ll let you in on a little secret… those people sometimes have to fake their bounce! They do it because they know motion creates emotion and acting ‘as if’ will likely lead to them feeling as if. Equally, indulging slow and tired will always build on itself.
=> Commit to some simple additions to your daily routine that making moving more natural.
You just will not drag yourself to happy and energized. So, the question becomes “Which is the more enjoyable way to spend your day?” It’s an obvious answer right? So here are some actions to implement or better yet, take the time to come up with some actions of your own.
Perhaps, getting up and stretching for a couple of minutes every hour or so at work.
Maybe always taking the stairs or walking up the elevator.
Maybe getting off the bus a stop or two early or even better – walking to work.
Investing in a stand-up desk or insisting on walking meetings.
Finding the song that makes you want to get up and move whenever you hear it and having it ready to play at your natural slump time of the day.
You guessed it – action taking time.
First though, you may be thinking these seem like fairly inconsequential steps to take so far as creating your best body.
Perhaps you’re tempted to ask: Kate, just tell me what to eat and what to never eat!
The thing is,Your Language, Your Focus and Your Physiology have so much power over your results – I can share what to eat, what to avoid and even the very best way to exercise HOWEVER:
1. You have a fairly good idea of what to do anyway. Although I have my personal beliefs around ‘The Best Ways’ the fact is many ways to eat and exercise will work – if you stick to them.
2. Each step we cover in this 6 part series is designed to make it easier for you to stick to whatever way to eat and exercise best fits into your lifestyle.
Here is your implementation point:
Track your language, focus and physiology for a day. One day. That’s all I’m asking.
Once you have an awareness of what you’re choosing to FILTER IN to your life then you can decide whether you want more of the same?
Whether it’s worth the intitial effort required – a period of manufacturing the best case way to think (even if it feels fake and staged) for long enough until it comes naturally without effort or discipline – to make a change and ensure your thoughts are helping you lose weight.
I’ll be back next week with Part 5… Smart Simple Weight Loss: Most Effective Strategies.
If you dig this info and would love some help putting it into practice check out my 30 Day Plant Strong Jump Start: