Anyone who has tried to get in shape or lose weight knows it’s not always as simple as just following a plan. In fact, it is not really ever about following a plan – because if that’s all we ever had to do then there simply would be no struggle. Likewise, we don’t achieve our goals by reciting inspirational quotes or studying the perfect physiques of fitness models. I might argue that usually has the complete OPPOSITE result than we want it to have!
We want to change our bodies because we want to feel good about ourselves. Fat loss is more often about finding a better, more whole version of ourselves than it is about simply getting skinnier or weighing less. We want to aim for our full potential, both in body and mind. But while we focus on Fat Loss through diet and exercise, our MINDS get ignored. Or sometimes we get brain-washed into thinking that our physical progress is all that matters. Our precious minds do not get included in this transformation, UNLESS we make an effort to include them in the process!
A shift in MINDSET can move you from being in your own way, to a position of naturally moving you towards the way of fat loss success. Once you have adjusted your mindset, then the road you travel on will be straighter and not so full of ups and downs.
There are FOUR different MINDSET personalities that I find people adopt as they discover a working relationship with their mind. The Mindset position that applies to you will depend on where you’re coming from right now and how you tend to approach challenges. The key to shifting your mindset lies in realizing that, while fat loss may be your ultimate goal, your bigger picture is developing a healthy mind that can take you through to that end goal. Focusing too much on just the physical results is not healthy. Pursuing a better understanding of yourself and developing an appreciation for your quality of life will provide a much more solid foundation for a change in your body.
The Four Fat Loss Mindset Personalities:
1. CHAMPION MINDSET
WHO: You may have been a chronic dieter or have not been ultimately successful in reaching your goals. You see your progress as “success” or “failure” and you tend to assume that you do not “have what it takes” or you may often feel like a victim of anything from bad genes to a hectic schedule. Your biggest challenge is realizing your own potential and that you can transition your life into what you envision.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: The Champion Mindset allows you to be everything you want to be *in this present moment*. Your mindset moves from of fearing failure or worrying that your effort will not result in achieving your goals, to believing that you already have everything you need to be successful. You have permission to take ACTION in the same way you imagine you would or could if you had already achieved those goals. You do not hesitate or wait for a better time to make changes, because your time is NOW. This mindset is based on creating a new reality for yourself – it is the recognition that you cannot fail because your actions will support the desired outcome.
2. SAFARI MINDSET
WHO: You have a body change goal but are unsure of what you really need to do to achieve it. You may have tried to stick with some weight loss plans, and likely did not get the result you were looking for. You may not actually be all that interested in changing anything, but you know you must. Fitness and nutrition do not make a lot of sense to you, and all the information out there is overwhelming. Your biggest challenge is knowing where to start and how to be effective.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: With a Safari Mindset, you are starting on your Journey. You are exploring your why’s for making changes and discovering new things about yourself. This mindset means that you are becoming open to new ideas and you are spending time getting to know yourself and your body better. You are seeking education, enrichment, and applying and testing theories. There is no right or wrong answer for your own personal fat loss – your mindset is based on figuring out what is best for you, makes you feel fabulous, and what gives you the best results. This process can be best accommodated with a coach or trainer – but the idea is that you are becoming more self-aware, so your choices and actions reflect what you are learning.
3. MARATHONER MINDSET
WHO: You have been running the fat loss race for a while now and have made huge efforts to make it happen. You may feel that “know it all” – or that you already have a working knowledge of what you need to do, and you want to reach your goal NOW. This often results in an “all or nothing” type of approach. You are willing to go the distance as long as you see the progress happen as it is “supposed to”. Your biggest challenge is getting frustrated when this doesn’t happen or it doesn’t happen perfectly.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Quality fat loss requires patience and consistency. Often when the desired result doesn’t happen right away, there is a tendency to want to give up or get upset, especially because you know you are doing everything “right” even though it seems you are getting no where. In actual fact, you ARE making progress towards your goal – establishing the mindset that the process is not “sprint” to the finish, but it is instead a “marathon” that requires a slower. more methodical pace, keeps things in perspective. In this way, sometimes mindset is less about simply staying on track and more about finding a better BALANCE. Your mindset should reflect the idea that progress happens in small steps and that it has more to do with going in the right direction, and less to do with the speed of your progress. The Marathoner Mindset also embraces the idea that there is more to life than *just* your fat loss goals – stop to smell the flowers along the way – you cannot be perfect every single day with your diet or fitness, and that’s okay. Accept the process of change instead of seeking the “magic”. This can be the difference between a permanent change to your body and lifestyle or falling into the yo-yo cycle.
4. RADICAL MINDSET
WHO: You know all the good, current info, programs, and research about fat loss, fitness, and diet. You may have had success in the past, but it was short-lived because it was difficult to make lifestyle changes or keep up with a new routine. Even though you immerse yourself in fitness magazines and websites, you have trouble putting all that knowledge into action. You talk about it, but cannot stick to it for more than a few days to a few weeks. Your biggest challenge is stepping outside the box and developing your new habits and lifestyle into something do-able and motivating.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: The Radical Mindset is based on taking the risk to “do something you’ve never done in order to get a result you’ve never had”. This means taking a huge step out of your comfort zone and finding creative solutions to put your knowledge into action. Often some fat loss and lifestyle coaching and accountability can play a huge role in developing effective strategies and maintaining motivation. Having someone on your side that can reassure you that it will be okay to take a risk and to see you through an uncomfortable scenario can help affirm your Mindset. A Radical Mindset means scheduling time to go out for a run when you would normally default to watching your favourite TV show. It means going on a special grocery shopping trip to stock up on veggies, chicken, and other healthy foods and then coming home to immediately prep your meals so that you are set up for success. The Radical Mindset means looking for ways to oppose complacency so that you can dig deep and act with confidence. The Radical Mindset may cause the ruffling of some feathers by friends or family who aren’t used to you doing things so differently. But that’s okay – right now they are questioning WHY you are doing it, but one day they will asking HOW you DID it 🙂
You may immediately identify with one or more of these Mindset Personalities – sometimes people have a little bit of each going on, depending on your own experiences or challenges. If you feel stuck where you are at, just start with identifying with the approach that appeals most to you right now. No one can change your mind except YOU! Spend some time reflecting on where you are at, and what’s holding you back. Be real. Mindset shifting only works in YOUR reality and within your EXPERIENCES.
One last word about mindset: fat loss is not about forcing yourself to do something. You must WANT to participate in the process or you will always be fighting against yourself. If you really want it, then you will be willing to open up to the possibilities of change and growth.