The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between
Quick Tip #18 ~ Break Free from Faulty Thinking

Quick Tip #18 ~ Break Free from Faulty Thinking

If you didn’t read yesterday’s Psych Post ~ Having Problems Sticking to a New Habit? then please do so now.  You can find the link here.

If you have, but haven’t gone through the steps, why not?

More often than not, it’s not the actual eating or working out that is causing us to not lose weight.  It’s the faulty thinking patterns we have, such as, “I can’t stick to a diet and have fun,” or, “How do I go out and not have a drink.”  The list of these faulty patterns of thinking is what will cause us to hit a wall, stall and ultimately fail on any plan.  With that said, let’s go through the steps of your one or two main ways of thinking that are holding you back from either sticking to a diet or workout plan.  Remember, the key here is to actually think about these steps, as you’re reading and write down the answers.  It’ll take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, but by the time you’re done, you’ll be able to actually stick to that diet and workout plan.  Let’s get started.

The steps are:

1 – Why do I want to change? Pick the first or second thing that strikes a nerve or chord with you.  “Because this person can’t be better than me.”  “Because I look disgusting.”  “Because I absolutely refuse to believe I ‘have to’ be fat when I get older.”

99% of the time this is an emotional reason, that if you told it to everyone you met, would think you’re crazy or lame.  I can see it now:  “Really?! That’s your reason?”  YES!   Accept it and embrace it.

2 – What’s holding me back? The most common excuses with exercise is,“I don’t have the time,” which is really, a combination of 4 things: 1 – Low priority of exercise in their lives,  2 – Poor Management of time, 3 – Low Standards for their health and fitness goals (which is different than the priority), 4 – Inconveniences that stand in their ways that make getting to the gym easy.

Some other excuses are:
“It’s too hard,
“I don’t know what I’m doing”
“I never see results.”

Figure out what your one or two main excuses and you’ll already be on your way to fixing them.

3 – This brings us to the third step, flip those excuses to a “higher part” or your identity. Using the excuses above:

A – It’s too hard.
Flipping this reasoning is easy if you have enough self-esteem:  I am someone who meets challenges head on and I know that I won’t allow “exercise” to beat me.  Make it your b*tch, for lack of better words.

B – I don’t know what I’m doing.
Flipping this one is pretty much the same as the first.  It starts with believing that you’re a smart and competent person who may or may not have to try a couple of methods before reaching your goal is essential.
In other words, the way to flip this is:  I am someone who can figure out some of the basics to start working out in a way that I can feel confident in what I’m doing in the gym.   I also know that no one learns anything without making some mistakes and therefore am ready to make those mistakes and learn in the process.

To help you out, you can either go to this post if you’re trying to lose fat.  You’ll find 3 phenomenoal programs that’ll teach you most of what you’ll need to know (go half way down the page).  If you’re a guy trying to put on muscle, start with Starting Strength – it will seriously be the best investment you’ll ever make.  If that’s not good enough, hire a good personal trainer that knows what he’s talking about ;).

C – I never see results or it’s cousin, “I lose weight, but it always comes back.”

Flipping this one is hard because these are very engrained beliefs with some real world experiences backing them usually.

The best way to flip this one though is:  Never and Always are words that don’t deal with reality.  The fact is, I haven’t tried EVERY method and therefore don’t know if the weight will Always come back and I definitely haven’t tried EVERY method out there to know that I’ll NEVER see results.  It’s on me to find methods that work and stop giving into this excuse.

The Bottom line is: You’re better than this excuse.

Therefore, the question remains:  How many times did you try?  Seriously?  Once, twice or even three times with possible half-hearted attempts.

When’s the last time you counted your calories?  When was the last time that you did the things that matter when it comes to losing fat?  Like eating more protein, less carbs, doing heavy strength training with large movement exercises and consistently moving more throughout the day, both naturally and in a planned mode of exercise?  Again, you can go to the post above that has a couple of good programs or hire a good personal trainer.

4 – If then statements.

Pick the times where you’ve had the hardest time sticking to your eating schedule and workout plan.  Now think about them for a minute and come up with a viable options to your normal behaviors that allow you to move along a better path.  These behaviors, combined with your higher standards from your previous step will allow you to finally master those times that have been holding you back.

I’ll use the examples from the last post:

Here are a couple of examples.  The two biggest excuses I hear of not going to the gym are, “I don’t have the time,” and, “I’m so tired, all I want to do is rest.”

The perfect, “If-Then” statement is this:
If, I am really tired or feel like I don’t have the time, Then I’ll go to the gym for 5 minutes to stretch.  This way, I will start to at least to build the habit of going to the gym and being in that environment.  If I feel good after the stretching and have the time, Then I’ll work out for a bit.

From the diet-end, you can have an “If-Then” statement concerning what throws your diet off the most.  This can typically range from your work environment to when you go out to eat with your friends and family.

Despite all these examples being for “beginners” who are looking to start working out, these steps will help you move along the ladder of progression, no matter where you’re at on the spectrum from complete novice to expert.

Therefore, take the 5-15 minutes these 4 steps take and Get it Done.

Keep the changes you want and that work in your life and get rid of these excuses/beliefs that are holding you back.

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