If I were to explore my mind a year ago of the most common thoughts that went through my head it would be something like this:
I can’t eat that much, I just worked out!
I am tired but I need to work out, or I will gain weight.
I need to work out to lose weight.
How come I’m not as good as they are? I must be a failure.
Do you see a common theme to these negative thoughts? I was so obsessive with my weight; I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture. It sucked the fun, the joy and life right out of my life because I was more concerned about how I looked then my quality of life.
So why do we have this fixation with being skinny? Before the media had reprogrammed our brain into thinking thats the way we had to be, our primal instincts were to be fit and strong. Being fit and strong meant we were more likely to adapt, protect, provide and basically survive. The perfect mates were the ones that were able to survive because they were prepared and strong mentally and physically. We evolved to want to be strong and healthy but somewhere along the way we lost touch of what strong and healthy looked like.
Now I will revisit those compulsive thoughts I mentioned above and will convert them into positive thinking. Instead of the obsessive thinking about being skinny, let’s look at them with the mindset of wanting to be strong, healthy and positive.
Instead of: I can’t eat that much, I just worked out.
Think: I need to fuel my body after my workout to make sure my body has what it needs to recover.
Not eating after a workout is the worst thing you can do. Your body needs food in order to build muscle, and if you don’t eat, your body will eat away at your muscle. Also it slows down your metabolism because you are depriving it from nutrients it needs. Within 30-60 minutes after a workout it is important to eat a well-balanced meal to ensure your body has everything it needs to repair and rebuild strong muscles!
Instead of: I am tired but I need to work out or I will gain weight
Think: My body is tired because I’ve been working hard, I should take a rest day.
I am totally guilty of over training my body thinking if I didn’t work out I will ruin all progress. Rest days are critical for many reasons. When you put stress on the body it needs a period of recovery to adapt and adjust. Rest days will prevent injuries from being fatigued or over trained and it is necessary for muscle building. I used to work out 7 days a week no matter what, and now I make sure to get at least 1 if not 2 rest days a week. Listen and respect your body, it knows best.
Instead of: I need to work out to lose weight.
Think: I WANT to work out to get better at ___.
Going to the gym is boring. The only incentive I had to get my ass to the gym was so I could eat. Don’t go to the gym with a mission to burn calories, go to get better at a skill. Whether it’s to run a faster mile, or work on your push-ups. Go with a goal, something you can aim for so that you have a purpose to go to the gym. It will motivate you more because you will see yourself improving. If you are a cardio junkie, do cardio to improve your cardiovascular endurance not your calorie expenditure.
Instead of: How come she is better at that then me? I must be a failure.
Think: Use someone who is better at something than you as motivation
It is natural to compare ourselves to others, but I have learned it’s not effective. Instead of comparing, use them as motivation and learn from them. This way of thinking is something I have changed recently. When I started Cross Fit I would get down on myself for not being able to do something that another girl could. Now it is nothing but motivation for me. I respect these girls’ abilities and hard work and I aspire to be able to do what they can do. So take someone who is better at something than you and learn from them. Everybody is different; everyone has something they are good at. Encouragement and learn from each other to be the best you can be.
Moral of this blog: Strong (mentally and physically) is the new skinny. Take each day with a positive attitude, an open mind and be the best you can be. Have a great Monday everyone!!!