Want to transform your body? What if I tell you, your brain more than your diet and workout determines how this journey goes and where you end up? A rather ignored part of the process is to condition your mind, your beliefs, and to start the transformation in your head well before you actually get aboard following a structured diet and a workout plan.
For many of us, the inspiration to become fit doesn’t come easy. In fact, for the majority, it is the result of external pressure (family/spouse/friends) or internal pressure (body giving you the SOS signals) that goads us into a reluctant mode of action. And that is where we get it wrong! Ever felt lack of motivation? Well to think of it, an external motivation is like soda-water spirit. All the charge bubbles straight up in the initial rush of effervescence, but once that is gone, it becomes nothing but flat water.
What you do need is inspiration. That is when you don’t seek an external force to drive you but you have your own supply of unlimited fuel, whenever and wherever you need. It is this fire that will keep you going and wake you up every morning with high spirits to hit the gym hard, to follow the diet to the T, and the results just follow as a matter of fact!
Get the mindset right
Our brain is conditioned over the years to do what it is comfortable doing. When you want to nudge it out of its comfort zone, there is bound to be resistance. The best way to approach this is to first accept the new model that you are going to implement. Read, watch, understand and tell yourself what you’ve been following all those years was wrong and to get things back on track a new plan is needed.
Before I started my transformation, the first step was to educate myself as to how I will go about it. While all my life I was made to believe that ghee, rice, and fatty food makes one gain weight, I started wondering and asking why do some people advocate eating all this even when on a diet? What is the science behind it? Was I wrong all this while in my conventional approaches? When I sought to find the answer to these questions, my brain accepted that this is the way forward and helped me stay on track.
Announce it to the world
We humans carry this psychological tendency to perform a lot better when we have eyes on us. When we know people are watching us to see what difference we make. So, before you start your fitness voyage, tell people around you that you are going to get fit. Of course, it’ll take some time but you’re setting things in motion. And while shouting it out from rooftops doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do when you’re unsure of the results you can show, it is the one external thing (like a teacher’s watchful eye) that will keep you accountable to yourself.
If you are pretty active on social media and like to keep peeps updated with everything, make a post, attach your current picture. Your brain will then constantly remind you that you have to stay focused. There will be days when you’re contemplating if it is worth to put in so much effort and make so many sacrifices, and posts like these will ensure that you’ll want to give it another shot and not quit.
Loving yourself is THE most important thing one must learn to do, irrespective of what stage of transformation you are in. Compliment yourself for what you’re doing, for taking the first step towards a fitter, healthier life. After getting dressed don’t ask the person around you “how am I looking?” Rather, look at yourself in the mirror and declare with confidence, “Wow! I look so good in this!”
This simple act of reaffirmation will not only give you an immense feeling of accomplishment, but will work wonders to keep you inspired. In women, this entire process will trigger the brain to release Estrogen and you will know what a ride it takes you on. For men you will boost your Testosterone levels – and there is no better pump for a man than that.
Ask the mirror
The weighing scale might show you how many kilos you dropped. But we’re learned individuals, and we know it’s not just about the weight but the overall body fat that you carry. While there are tests to determine the fat percentage, a simple look in the mirror will tell you how well it is working out.
And of course, take mirror selfies, compare before and after pics, and you will have comparable results in front of your eyes. This sense of fulfillment will result in the brain releasing Dopamine in your body; it is known as the “feel-good hormone,” that increases your sense of happiness and well-being. And once you get a hang of it, of your brain will keep you in that state by default. That is, you can actually make happiness a habit!
Set regular check points towards the final goal
Before you start your fitness journey, you’ve perhaps already set a goal in mind that you want to drop body fat to an extent when those rectangles of glory are evidently visible on your abdomen. And enough lean muscle to make you look like Chris Hemsworth or Beyoncé, at least in your own eyes.
But to reach your destination, it is important that you set smaller check points. It can be in terms of fitting into a specific size of clothes after 8 weeks, increasing your lifts by 15 or 20 percent after 6 weeks, and so on. What it will do is give you a constant progress check and with that the feeling of accomplishment as well.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Last, but not the least, you’ve got to give it the due time. Getting impatient, frustrated, or procrastinating, will only let doubt creep up and sabotage your growth. Set realistic targets, know what you are capable of achieving in a certain time frame, and hit those targets as hard as you can. And then aim higher. Repeat. Goal setting like this is sure to direct you towards a constant, progressive, and gratifying transformation.
So, keep grinding and NEVER SAY DIE!
Article Credits – Ankit Mishra