Something that I myself never completely understood, was the connection between your mindset and your body. I always thought it was a simple game. If you want to lose weight, don’t eat so much. If you want to gain weight, eat more. Right? Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
The first time that I attempted to challenge myself with an extreme body transformation, the fat just seemed to melt off. I would weigh in and it would be no surprise, that I would be down a few pounds from my last check in. Dropping enough fat on time, was never a concern during this process. Not once did I give worry to, or wonder if I would be ready for competition date. I was going into this experience with little to no expectations. Sometimes that’s the key to achieving your goals. You hope for the best, do what you are capable of and put as little unnecessary pressure on yourself as possible. By saying that, you also do what is required to achieve such goals and recognize what you CAN control. This was in fact my first attempt at something so foreign, so I was very open minded and had little knowledge of what was expected or common.
My mind set at the time was positive. I was in a relationship where my partner supported me in my current goal. I had started a career that supported and in some ways encouraged what I was trying to achieve. I had low expectations and put very little pressure on myself to succeed . I wasn’t obsessing over things like sleep, water consumption, carbs, fats, or proteins. I didn’t waste time or energy on what anyone else was achieving, or how. I compared myself to no one. I actually didn’t even compare myself to previous check in’s. I put all of my faith in my coach and in the process. I was simply following instructions like I should and not stressing on the potential outcome. If I had a less than desirable check in, I would think nothing of it. Because in my mind, it was out of my control and I was doing all that was asked of me. If I had been slacking on my training and cheating on my diet, that would be something that is in my control and as a result, would cause me to worry. This is what some may call, being care free. Or, STRESS free. That’s right, stress. The word we all know and hate and feel as if we have no control over. Guess what, we do.
Since then, the goal of extreme fat loss (competing) has not come as easy. One main factor is because each time you play with your metabolism, you are pissing it off. You are telling it that you need its help after you have tortured it for 4-6 months and haven’t really given it a rest. You put it through the ringer with more food than you are used to, and then you start to reduce your calories to a point until it finally reacts how you’ve wanted it to. You’re sending it a memo as if you’re in charge. Saying ” Hey little buddy, I know I teased you with food for a while and then just kind of starved you. But are you ready to do it again?” and its saying “Fuck you lady, I’m not ready yet”. But of course, the stage calls.
But the other factor, is my mindset. Each prep or body transformation is going to be different. You’re going to have outside factors that are beyond your control. They’re going to call and text, and wake you up in the night. The difference between my life stresses at 23 and 28 are quite extreme. I had much less stressing me in my earlier years than I do now. Each attempt at leaning out has gotten even harder and more demanding with all of the life’s experiences that come with getting older. This past year I was challenged with the most that life has thrown at me. My mind was full of stress and anxiety and I was constantly focusing on matters that were beyond my control. I would worry about dropping weight all the time even though I had been following my program with out fault. I would give thought to things such as, what someone had said to me earlier in the day with a tone that I couldn’t quite dissect. I would lie awake and scroll through social media looking at other physiques. Studying what they were eating and how far out they were from their shows. I could feel the anxiety rise and begin to panic. I would compare myself to them and what they’ve achieved thus far compared to what I had. Good luck sleeping in this state.
Doesn’t that sound a bit like life in general? We are constantly looking around at what everyone else is doing and comparing it to our own lives. It’s always a race and whoever can get to the finish with the best time, wins. Not only that, no matter at what cost. You have no idea how that person lives their life and what is mentally taxing them as well. They may lie awake at night worrying about things that you can’t even possibly wrap your brain around or imagine being in their situations. All that you can control is what is personally affecting you. To be more specific, how you REACT to what’s affecting you. I am guilty of allowing someone else’s opinion affect me and cause me to react. All that is doing, is bringing yourself down to their level and allowing them the satisfaction of breathing negativity in your headspace. Because now you are feeling insecure and are consumed with self doubt. Realize what is an opinion, and what is fact. What is important to you and what makes you happy in the grand scheme of things.
I hear all the time how stressed someone is and how its beyond their control. But you give life to the thoughts in your head. You breath negativity into situations or opinions by simply just thinking about them for longer than you should. Once you recognize what is your issue, and what isn’t, you realize there’s happiness and possible positivity in every situation. Control your mind and you will control your body. Once you control both, watch the positivity grow.