Today I am touching on a topic that is perhaps one of the most fundamental to fitness and getting shit done. It has taken me years to form the habits I have, but they are crucial.
It’s understandably easy to throw up barriers that counteract your good intentions. In fitness there are so many challenges to be faced. Let’s admit it; these challenges hurt.
Training takes time away from fun but also costs a certain amount of productivity in other areas. Yes, you can be beautiful productive after a great workout, as there are countless benefits. For the sake of this conversation, however, we are going to focus on the things that actually stop us from jumping wholeheartedly into our workouts day in and day out, relentlessly.
Some days, we just honestly drag our feet. To get around these mental barriers, we have to, in a sense, reprogram our minds to react to these challenges in a way that benefits us.
Practice the fine art of detachment.
When you’re en route to the gym, or attempting to get your butt en route to the gym, view it as essential. Not in a whiny (Mmm wine)-I-need-to-go-but-don’t-want-to kind of way.
Take a breath, and and recognize it as an opportunity that you won’t afford yourself the option of missing.
You need to build baby steps each and every single day to gain any benefit, and for this you cannot hum and haw and get yourself into a terribly unproductive panic putter. I stole that term from a friend and it’s recently become my favorite.
Use this technique during your workout as well.
When you’re at the end of your set and you would really rather stop at 8 instead of 10, detach yourself from that painful burning sensation. You can do it. Think of something else for a moment, do those last 2 or 3, and then it’s over.
Imagine having several little buckets in your mind that don’t talk to each other. The pain exists in one bucket. Bring your focus over to another bucket and you will feel a sense of detachment.
Remember, it’s only a matter of time, usually a few seconds, and then it will be over. This technique will not only improve your pain threshold over time, but program you neurologically to push through.
When you quit every time your muscles start burning (which is where you get the biggest results) you are actually programming your muscles to quit. This creates a nasty habit and you will never be able to push through when you want to.
Try to avoid passionately wishing you were elsewhere during your break in between sets. If you need to, make your workout quick and dirty. Just get that shit done.
It’s far easier to check your mind out of the game, once again. Don’t let yourself get emotionally involved. You’re at the gym, you need to workout. If you feel yourself getting angry, MOVE. It’s the best thing you can do. If you feel that anger and, again, transfer it into a separate bucket, it could very well transmute into one of the best workouts you’ve had. Just use that energy positively to diffuse it.
Always look forward, not back.
Finally, diet control
Lastly, this is a wicked technique when it comes to changing other habits in your lifestyle as well. Build good habits, build strength, build discipline.
Would you love to change your diet, but either don’t trust yourself to follow through or are unable to get over your cravings?
I will talk more about changing your food lifestyle in another post, but for now I need to touch on it because it definitely pertains to this conversation.
One massive reason that changing your diet is so hard is the unwillingness or inability to deal with the emotions that come up during these changes. Especially for emotional eaters, admittedly like myself, the lack of comfort food will leave you with an array of surfacing crankiness.
Detaching yourself from these emotions can be key to getting through the most difficult stages when all you want to do is eat Oreos.
Juuuust like me a few nights ago.
Sometimes allowing yourself to feel upset or sad or angry is all it takes to actually make everything okay. Acceptance and acknowledgement is all an emotion needs to be processed and go on its merry way.
To clarify, it’s okay to feel angry, as long as you don’t be angry.
Focusing on a different bucket is allowing yourself to feel the emotion without letting it consume you. If emotions consume you, they tend to stick around longer.
In short, BREATHE, and it will all be over soon.
These things all take time, and if it pisses you off, that’s totally fine.
Just get it done anyway.