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When we talk about fat loss or getting in shape, we often think of exercise and diet. Expanding on that, we might think of supplements like fat burners or carb blockers. However, there’s another crucial element that comes into play when we’re looking at a successful fat loss or fitness journey that could literally make or break your results: your mindset.
If you hopped on the webinar on August 2nd (you can still get the replay,) some of this information might be review for you. But, it’s worth repeating in a post because it’s that important, yet it’s not discussed too heavily in the fitness industry. We’re always looking for the next program, the next best protein powder, the next best THING that’s going to accelerate our results and keep us motivated. Instead of searching externally for the results we want, it would be in our better interest to look internally. Here are three crucial mindset shifts that need to happen in order to make your fat loss easier, more sustainable, and more positive.
#1. Focus on your inner motivators vs. your outer motivators.
When most people decide to commit to a fitness program, they’ll usually start with, “I want to lose x amount of weight.” This isn’t a bad motivator, but it isn’t going to be your strongest, either. Why do you want to lose the weight? To feel more confident? Why do you want to feel more confident? Finding your intrinsic or inner motivators are going to be your deeper reasoning behind your actions. When we focus solely on external goals (weight loss) or focusing on pleasing somebody else (“I want to look better for my husband”) we’re not getting to the emotional driver behind why we, personally, want to make this happen. This causes us to lose motivation easily, and therefore demands us to use more willpower to get the job done, (which in most cases, doesn’t get the job done at all!)
For example, my internal motivator to move my body regularly and nourish myself with healthy foods is because I am grateful for the ability to do so. I am emotionally invested into this goal because I love and respect myself enough to make this goal meaningful to me.
If your goals don’t feel meaningful enough to you, you’ll likely struggle to sustain them. Find the deep-rooted, true desire behind your intentions for a healthier life. That is your strongest and most powerful motivator.
#2. Strive for progression, not perfection.
If anybody tells you they have the absolutely perfect routine for you, that nothing else is going to work for you except this, and you just absolutely can’t reach your goals until you do THIS…. Run far, far away. There is no “perfect” routine in fitness, and to strive for such is going to leave you on this constant roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. You might feel you have a “perfect” workout one day, and then it’s completely in shambles the next day because your dog got sick, you slept like crap and you skipped lunch because you didn’t have time to break away at work. In essence, life happened and your training suffered a little bit. Operating around these ebbs and flows of life is the key to sustainable fat loss and sustainable fitness. If you can’t adapt, if you can’t be flexible, you’re going to suffer.
Instead of striving for the best possible program or diet, focus on the progress. Keep track of everything you want to measure. With my clients, I’m sure they get slightly annoyed with all of the objective data I try to collect on them from sleep to stress to food to sets and reps, but this is one of the best ways to actually quantify progress. We know we can’t do it perfectly, so the best we can do is to make sure we’re progressing.
To dig even further, we also have to accept that progress isn’t going to be perfect either. Fat loss and strength gains are not always going to be linear, so focusing on the bigger picture (a 2-4 week snapshot, for example,) is going to give you more details into whether you’re progressing or not—rather than looking from the standpoint of a few training sessions or a week of fat loss.
#3. Shift into an abundance mindset vs. a scarcity mindset.
When we fall into this sense of “lack,” we cause a lot of unnecessary suffering for ourselves. For example, when you’re starting a fitness program, we typically think of all the things we’ll have to sacrifice. Time, energy, maybe finances, or our favorite foods. We also might feel as if foods are “taboo” in a diet. For example, struggling to eat *clean* all week so you can get your *cheat meal* on Saturday. For some, this might work well, but it can also cause some scarcity issues around food since you’re saying “I can’t have this today.”
Instead, what if you allowed yourself permission to eat whatever you wanted, any day of the week, you just selectively chose not to because it doesn’t support the way you want to feel? What if, instead of thinking of everything you’d have to give up (which isn’t always true!) in a fitness program, you thought about all of the things you were going to gain and learn?
Want to learn a few more mindset shifts that will change the way you approach fitness, as well as some major tips on fitness, nutrition and recovery practices? You can catch the recording of the webinar earlier in August by clicking HERE. Working on mindset isn’t sexy like the next new fat-loss burner, but if you really want to change your body, health and mind, it always starts from within.