Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mind games

"Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees."
J. Willard Marriott

I find it interesting that SparkPeople's blog prompt this week is about maintaining your motivation, on the heels of my 'focus/frustration' post.

Most people think this is all a numbers game- calories in/calories out and you'll lose weight. While spot on nutrition and effective exercise is really important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and body, the turning point for me was when I added a 'mental training' program to my nutrition and exercise/strength routine.

Granted, I didn't realize it at the time - I was just going by all the info that said "successful people track what they eat and journal about what they're going through." I did that and started to see some progress, but felt like I was missing something. I started to identify patterns and behavioral issues, but didn't know what to do about it.

Then I joined what I affectionately refer to as The Cult of Tom - I got Tom Venuto's ebook "Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle" and that was exactly what I needed! It came at a time where I felt like I was lost - I'd had been single minded: Get in shape for my wedding. That had passed and wasn't sure what to do next. Then I read the first chapter of BFFM which was on goal setting. It broke down the why and how of goal setting, AND emphasized the importance of constantly striving for something bigger and better, not just one thing and then stopping.

It also reminded me that self "development" and body "building" are the same, and are essential to long term success. It's not something you can do once and be good for life. It's a continual process, a habit that has to be developed and worked on daily. As the popular Zig Ziglar quote says, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

Once I started to work on "building" my best body through cardio, nutrition and strength training, and worked on "developing" my best self though finding the reason "why" I was doing this, and "what" I was working towards through my constantly evolving goals, it all fell in to place. It wasn't over night, and there were definitely speed bumps along the way, but overall, the doubt and indecision started falling away. I knew what I needed to do, and was excited to do it.

I spent time to clear out all the mental clutter: the old habits and limiting beliefs and started replacing them with new, healthy, positive ones. Before, I was destined to repeat the same cycles over and over again. I allowed my default programming to dictate my actions, instead of realizing that you can't fix the problems with the same behaviors that created them.

Something had to change, and that something was me. I started changing the way I looked at and thought about things, and I started changing the people I was interacting with on a regular basis, and my life began to change in the process. I had weathered the storms of my life that got me to this point, made uncomfortable decisions, and found strength to move to the next level.

I finally feel like I'm growing into the person I was meant to be, and while the energy waxes & wanes, my inner motivation is now on autopilot, constantly fueled by the positive energy from my mental and physical training.

No comments: