Fitness | Weight Loss, Your First Step For Getting In Shape
Fitness, Weight Loss, Body Building And Getting In Shape, All Require The Same Basic Skill. The Ability To Have The End In Mind.
How do you do it?
FITNESS, WEIGHT LOSS, BODY BUILDING, and GETTING IN SHAPE require the same basic skill.
The ability to have
‘Your End Results In Your Mind.’
To achieve either of these goals requires the following skill:
Fitness and Weight Loss
You must learn how to combine your mental imaging power, past emotional experiences and your natural ability to breathe deeply.
This combination becomes a powerful force that can automatically and naturally pull you towards your desired fitness, weight loss or body building goal.
Sounds like magic to me. But it does work. Plus, you will find it an empowering experience.
Most of us have associated food deprivation, physical pain and monotony with fitness, weight loss and getting in shape.
Imagine if your feelings were positive and empowering every time you thought of exercise or eating right.
If exercise was so pleasurable, everyone would be beautiful, trim and sexy.
Guess what, some people are…
Getting in shape is something we all want. Is it too difficult for us to imagine feeling positive about exercising and eating a healthy diet? That’s how many professionals in the Body Building and Fitness World feel about fitness and getting in shape. What does Weight Loss mean to professionals? It’s a planned event from the first pound to the last ounce. Meanwhile, most of us are worrying about the pounds.
Imagine that! Go ahead. Just Imagine ‘What if’?
Imagine feeling that weight loss and fitness is enjoyable and fun. Kind of like eating cake, cookies or ice cream.
We have always been told ‘it’s only in your mind’, guess what, IT IS!
The question you should be asking yourself is:
‘How do I use my mind to feel EXCITED and POSITIVE about fitness, weight loss and exercise?’
The 1st Step to Basic Fitness: It’s ALL in your Head
You may have used or learned about Mental Gymnastics at some point in your life. Now you are about to use some Mental Gymnastics to improve your fitness, loss weight and to start getting in shape.
We will begin by defining what the ‘End Result’ you desire from your new Fitness Program.
Think about what ‘YOU WANT’ to achieve and then write it down.
Some examples are:
- lose 10,30,60 pounds
- start a fitness program
- work all day without becoming tired
- keep up with the kids
- gain 5,10,20 pounds of Muscle
- lose the belly fat
- firm and lift the butt
- look like a model
- look like Charles Atlas
Be very definitive about what it is you want to achieve with your program. Then write it down on a note card. Include a time frame to complete your objectives. Add any adjectives that help crystallize and define what it is you want to achieve with your new program.
You need to have a crystal clear, rock hard, detailed image of the results you want to achieve.
Now, do your objectives fit that criteria?
If not rewrite your objectives until they are solid, clear and unwavering.
Your Mental Images
What are your THOUGHTS?
Most people fail in their fitness and weight loss programs because their thoughts are easily scattered by the daily events that are occurring in their lives. When a person’s thoughts are undefined, unfocused and scattered they usually end up living their lives by default. They may complain about what happens to them, but they accept the results life hands them.
Creating your mental Images
There are two images of yourself that you need to create within your mind.
- Create an image of yourself as you currently appear
- Include all the defects that depress, anger and annoy you.
- Make this image as NEGATIVE as you can. You must learn to hate this image and it must piss you off!
- Notice the feelings this image evokes. If your image doesn’t have these negative emotions, adjust your image until you feel both of the emotions strongly.
- Create an image of yourself after you have achieved you desired goals
- Make this image as POSITIVE as you can. You must feel proud, joyful and sexy with this new image of yourself.
- If any of these emotions are missing, adjust the image in your mind until you feel these three emotions strongly.
Fitness | JUST BREATHE
You need to breathe some life into your Mental Pictures. The easiest and fastest way to breathe life into your Mental Pictures is to practice the ‘Art of Deep Breathing’ while using your mental imagery and emotional transference.
Deep Breathing exercises can be performed in numerous ways. Each one has a unique result. We will focus on just the basic form of Deep Breathing for now.
The Basic Version of Deep Breathing involves the following
- Inhaling deeply, filling your entire body starting at your feet and inhaling through the top of your head.
- Holding your breath for a few seconds.
- Then Exhale from the top of your head, through your body and out your feet.
- Hold for several seconds.
- Then repeat.
How to use your Mental Images
Now you need to practice using these images within your mind.
- Deep Breathing
- Close your eyes, relax your shoulders, then breathe ‘IN’ deeply. Start at your toes and breathe up through your scalp.
- Then hold your breath for 5 seconds.
- Next, slowly exhale, starting at your scalp and out through your toes.
- Relax again.
- Continue Deep Breathing this way for at least 10 times. While you are breathing, perform the mental exercise in the following steps.
- Image Gymnastics
- Place the NEGATIVE image foremost in your mind and push away all other thoughts, sounds and feelings.
- Observe the undesirable image of yourself in your mind and feel the emotions that go with it. SEE AND FEEL this image of yourself for about 5 seconds.
- Push the Negative Image away from you and watch it shrink as it quicky disappears in the distance.
- Place the POSITIVE image of yourself in your mind. Pull the Image UP CLOSE and make it BIG. WATCH AND FEEL this image of yourself for about 10 seconds.
- Practice switching the two images and their associated emotions, back and forth. View each image and feel the emotions alternately, the negative for about 5 seconds and the positive for about 10 seconds.
Think of this as a game as you are playing with your mind and your emotions. Your goal is to quickly and easily view and feel each version of yourself. Practice until you feel the emotions as quickly as you see the images.
You may feel silly playing this mind game, but nobody will know what you are doing, except us. We promise not to tell.
Something to ponder
One of the BIGGEST differences between animals and humans is our ability to manipulate our minds.
The ability to manipulate the mind defines the differences between those who achieve their fitness and weight loss goals and those who don’t succeed.
The choice is yours.
Here is another way of looking at it.
FITNESS & WEIGHT LOSS are powered by EMOTION
It’s now time for you to learn how to supercharge your desire to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.
Any amount of Emotional Intensity that you apply to your Mental Imagery makes a significant difference in the apparent reality of your imagery. In other words, is this image real or just wishful thinking. Most people fall into the wishful thinking category.
One of the Keys to Mental Imagery is to make any associated emotion as strong as possible. The greater the intensity of your emotion which is associated with an image, the more real it appears to your mind.
If your emotions (think of emotions as energy that moves you in a particular direction) are Negative, such as Anger and Disgust, your natural desire is to move away from that image or attack and destroy it.
This is a great way to develop a natural repulsion for any given image.
Positive Emotions are a natural way to pull you in a given direction, it also helps you feel good and powerful.
The stronger the emotion the greater your drive to obtain the associated imagery. (That’s why sex appeal is used heavily in Marketing and Entertainment).
These natural emotions exist for everyone to use to their benefit. If you don’t learn to use your emotions you will be used BY your emotions. You can easily observe how emotions use people by watching young children and teenagers.
An excellent method to increase your emotional power associated with your positive and negative imagery is to use the Psychology process of ‘Transference’. The normal use of the term Transference, involves an unconscious redirecting of your feelings, fears and emotions onto a new and different object.
What we need to do is to consciously redirect our feelings, fears and emotions onto our chosen imagery. The stronger the emotions, the stronger and more compelling our imagery.
Here’s how to do it.
- Pick a ‘Strong Negative’ event in your past that completely turns you off.
- Next, associate that ‘Strong Negative’ imagery with your negative image related to fitness and weight loss. This transfers those past strong negative feelings to your negative fitness imagery. This makes the most compelling image and feeling you can possible achieve. Fear it and loathe it.
- Next, pick a ‘Strong Positive’ event in your past that totally turned you on. (Some of our strongest emotions are associated with Sex and Love).
- Next, associate that ‘Strong Positive’ event with your positive image related to fitness and weight loss goal. By transferring those strong positive feelings to your positive fitness imagery, you have made the most compelling image and feeling you can possibly achieve. Love it and desire it.
- Practice your imagery manipulation until you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now comes the fun part.
Start your Deep Breathing Exercise.
- During the first 3 cycles, work on relaxing your body and clearing your mind.
- On the Fourth cycle place your Positive Image in your mind related to your fitness and weight loss goals.
- On the Fifth cycle include your Positive Emotional Transference. Continue until you reach the count of 10 then relax.
You should be feeling excellent and a very strong desire to achieve your fitness goal will be coursing through your body.
Now it’s time to get to work.
Repetition will guarantee your success. Practice this exercise frequently. We recommend you perform this exercise at the following times for best results.
- First thing in the morning when you awaken in bed
- In the morning facing the bathroom mirror before your morning shower
- Whenever you get tired or lack energy
- Before each meal and before you exercise
- When you go to sleep, perform them in bed
- Whenever you want to feel great
Remember, repetition will drive these images and emotions deep into your mind and body. Breathing will put life into your goals.
Tom Venuto has an excellent article on how your attitude should be framed around building your skill related to any fitness goals.
Building A Better Body One Brick At A Time
By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
The quest to develop a stunningly fit, lean and attractive body is a long, slow journey. It’s not something you achieve overnight by popping a few pills or strapping an electric gizmo to your belly.
Which reminds me, did you know that by the time the FTC finally blew the whistle on the electronic ab belt scam, the makers of those “ab zappers” had swindled over $100 million dollars from unsuspecting consumers? Fortunately, some of those companies had to pay it back, and then some! The FTC charged three companies – Fast Abs, Ab Tronic and Ab Energizer – with false advertising and deceptive warranty practices for these “Abs-urd” products.
But I digress, back to what I was saying about the journey to a better body…
Last week I looked out my window, and where there was once nothing but a dirt-filled empty lot, there stood a sprawling six story brick condo complex. If someone looked at this massive completed structure for the first time, they might not be impressed. However, since I observed the entire construction process unfold from my living room window, I was impressed – amazed even – at what goes into erecting this kind of structure.
I remember watching the crew humming around diligently every day like busy bees, laying one brick after another. From one day to the next, it didn’t seem like much changed. But slowly, over a period of a year and a half, I watched the building gradually morph into the finished product.
When you look at someone with an incredible body as a finished product, you often tend to dismiss the long, arduous journey and hard work it took to build that body. Unless you were side by side with that person in the gym (and in the kitchen), observing the work involved, it’s easy to attribute such a chiseled physique to genetics or give credit to a supplement (they just took product XYZ and voila – overnight abs). What you don’t see or appreciate are all the months and years of sweat and hard work.
Getting in shape is a lot like a construction project. First, there must be a picture in the mind. Then the vision goes onto paper as a blueprint. It takes months just to lay the foundation. More months of work will follow. On a daily basis, it doesn’t seem like much is happening. You look in the mirror and appear, for the most part, the same as you did yesterday. But sure enough, the small improvements are slowly accumulating like compounding interest in the bank. One day, you look in the mirror and “suddenly,” your blueprint has become reality.
The body of a fitness pro or bodybuilding champion is no more likely to be built overnight than a high rise is to be built overnight. It’s not physically possible. Accepting the idea that any type of pill, powder, drug, supplement or machine of any kind will make it happen sooner is pure folly. You can’t force it.
Growth and development of any kind always requires a gestation period. For a baby, it’s nine months. For corn, I believe it’s about three months. If you were an expectant mother, would you want to hurry the process? Could any new development in nutrition or medical science speed up this wonderful miracle even one iota? If you were a farmer, would you try to harvest your crop before it was ripe? Would you dig up your seeds to see if anything was growing down there?
The answers are obvious. If only we would adopt the same patient, nurturing “mother’s” or “farmer’s mindset” towards getting in shape, then no one would waste their money on “fast abs” or “exercise in a bottle” or any such silliness ever again. We would understand that one must sow first, then reap the harvest, but that you can’t sow and reap in the same season.
If you ever get frustrated with your rate of progress (and who doesn’t), just remember; success is always guaranteed to the persistent. Nothing in the world can stop someone who knows what they want and is willing to continue paying the price until they get it. It just takes time.
Become the architect and builder of your own dream body. You WILL build the body you want eventually if you’re patient enough and you refuse to quit. And set your goals HIGH! Create a fantastic blueprint. Michelangelo said, “The greatest danger is not that we set our goals too high and miss them, the greatest danger is that we set our goals too low and we reach them.”
Envision a castle – a veritable Taj Mahal of a body! There’s nothing wrong with building castles in the sky, as long as you patiently work at putting the foundations underneath them. There are very few unrealistic goals; only goals with unrealistic deadlines. So keep laying those “bricks” – every day – one at a time – and sure enough, eventually, you’ll build yourself a palace.
About the Author:
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom’s Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefat.com
Phrases to Remember and Ideas to Act On
- Mental Imagery, Emotional Transference and Deep Breathing is at the heart of any fitness, weight loss, bodybuilding or getting in shape program
- Weight Gain doesn’t happen overnight ( Sometimes it feels like it does )
- Weight Loss cannot occur overnight
- It takes CONSISTENT WORK plus TIME to get any RESULTS
- Building your body is like building a Building, do it wrong and the results will not be pretty
- LEARN and DO each Brick (skill) you need to lose weight and build your body
- Master your NUTRITION
- Master your PSYCHOLOGY
- Master STRENGTH EXERCISE
- Master CARDIO EXERCISE