Enthusiasm is Contagious

“Having enthusiasm is contagious. Not having enthusiasm is also contagious.”

– Fortune cookie

You know, in Spinning there’s a concept that if you try really hard to push the pedals on a hill it’s more likely that you’ll be fighting them than actually succeeding at making them go round. It will actually be harder than if you relaxed your body and just went with the rhythm of the cycle. Instead, you’re supposed to relax your shoulders, back, and elbows, and make yourself heavy in the saddle (seat). When you do that, it almost seems as if the pedals have a mind of their own and your body ends up having more energy to power through. By tensing up you only sap your body of any power that it has, because it seems that you’re fighting to push the pedals forward, but what you’re really doing is fighting against them.

It’s the same with weight loss and living a more balanced and positive life. The more you complain about working out and eating healthier, and the more you tell yourself that you’ll never feel good about yourself the harder it will be to actually get there. You need to embrace it and run right through your challenges and not go around them. You’ll find that success breeds success and that you’ll get nowhere fast by complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Look towards the future and know how great you will feel after you struggle a bit to get there. That kind of happiness is priceless and is worth any pain you might have to suffer now.

The Only Way Out Of A Tunnel Is Through It

you might even find some amazing things along the way

“By referring to previous struggles and using them as reasons for not getting on with your life today, your assigning responsibility to the past for why you can’t be successful or happy in the present. The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into reality.”

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

I’ve heard from some of my clients in the past that they are afraid to even try to lose weight, because they’ve tried before and failed. They’re afraid of judgement from their friends, because what if they try and don’t succeed, then everyone will look at them as weak, lazy, and having failed. The thing is though, you’re letting the past and everyone else dictate what you can and cannot do. And the only purpose that’s serving is to keep you where you are today, which is overweight, unhappy, and self-conscious. You’re avoiding the pain of failure and replacing it with failure to try. And so you’re still in the same place that you’ve always been and it’s getting you no where near happy.

Don’t let past failure in losing weight have so much control over you and be the reason that you don’t try. Everyone will fail at least once, if not multiple times, on their way towards success. It’s the only way you learn. I’ve “failed” so many times on my way to regaining control over food and eating and I often wanted to just forget the whole thing and not even try, but I realized that I was even more miserable without trying, so suffering the possibility of failure and judgement from others wasn’t as bad. It was the choice between taking the “easy” road of staying sick and depressed, in order to avoid all the painful feelings that would come up, or doing the work to feel comfortable in my body again. The trick for me was to look at these failures as “flops”, rather than something so finite (flop has a softer and friendlier ring to it, don’t you think?). And to come up with my Victory Vision.

I often talk about writing a Victory Vision. This is an honest and heartfelt statement that you write to yourself about the things that frustrate and piss you off about where you are today. Seriously, I want you to get mad when you write this and think about all the things that you feel helpless over and what that’s doing to you. How does it make you feel and how unhappy are you feeling that way? Do you hate how you keep saying that you’re going to stop overeating, but then don’t, or are you upset that food has such a hold over you that it’s the first thing that you run for when you’re lonely or need comforting? Are you sick of living a life of yo-yo dieting and staring at the numbers on the scale or your imperfections in the mirror? What does it feel like to put on a dress and hate the way you look in it? What’s it like going into a dressing room and not being able to find anything that you feel good in? What makes you cry? Do you want to get rid of these things and feel better about yourself and have more confidence? What are these things doing to you mentally, emotionally, and physically? Write it all down and get it out there. Then, using the present tense, as if it were true already, I want you to describe what your life is like after you’ve gotten rid of all these problems. Write about your happiness, your confidence, your strength, and anything else that reaching your goal means to you. Make it as real as possible, so that you’ll want more than anything to get there.

You’re the only one that can change your life, so stop letting the past have such a hold over you. Stop avoiding failure and pain and start tackling these problems, because the only way out of a tunnel is through it.

No Shortcuts

To go along with this week’s theme of being positive and doing all that you can do to lose the weight once and for all, check out this quote by Michael Jordan:

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things halfheartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect halfhearted results. But that’s how a lot of people approach things. And that is why a lot of people fail. They sound like they are committed to being the best they can be. They say all the right things, make all the proper appearances. But when it comes right down to it, they are looking for reasons instead of answers. Part of commitment is taking responsibility. That’s not to say there aren’t obstacles or distractions. If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them, everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

For this week’s challenge, take inventory of yourself and think about all the excuses you’re making. Look for your weaknesses and see what you need to improve on. Instead of having so many “reasons” for why you can’t lose weight, can’t exercise, can’t eat properly, can’t take care of your body and mind, find all the ways that you can.

It’s not enough to just show up to the gym or to have a healthy lunch, you have to really internalize your goal, really believe that you want to lose weight once and for all and feel confident, and then don’t let anything stop you. I live in New York and I know how there’s never enough time in a day, but still, even that’s no excuse for not following through. I get it that you might have kids who suck the life out of you sometimes, but still, if you want to win then you have to fight! Stop whining about how you can’t. You can, you’re just looking for reasons to quit.

We’ve been taught since we were children that you “get an A for effort”, but that’s a bunch of crap. When was the last time you put in just an effort and dropped 20 pounds? The truth is you get an A for effort after effort after effort after effort, and so on. You won’t win this battle otherwise and you certainly won’t see results. There are no shortcuts, so accept it and fight!

Believe And It Will Come

“You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.”
— David Viscott

You ever hear the concept of mind over matter? Well, it’s true. It works. I promise you this. I remember once taking a job at a gym that made me nervous, because I would have to talk to many people that I didn’t know. I specifically took it, because I was shy and I knew that if I got over my fear I would be that much stronger in the end.

A few weeks before the job started I made sure to go to the dog run every day and talk to as many strangers there as I could. I had to psyche myself up and tell myself that if I acted confident people would believe that I was and would have no idea about my shyness. And you know what happened? I became pretty popular there and knew everyone’s names and everyone knew me. All I had to do was BELIEVE that I was more than I thought I was.

Even better though, on my first day at the gym one of the members asked me if I was the new fitness manager. I said “no, what made you think that?” and he replied, “you just exude authority”. Wow! That’s the power of belief!

You must think of yourself as a skinny person, capable of so much more than you think. You must KNOW this and OWN it. Keep telling yourself that you can do this and you will! Belief breeds success and the more you believe the more success will come.

Transcend Limitations

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
– Pantajali

Think of your fitness goal. Feel it. Need it. Want it! and make it become an obsession, so that you won’t be able to avoid it. You need to think about your goal every day. Repeat it to yourself every morning and every night, so that you’re inspired and invigorated by it. Sometimes it’s tiring and too challenging to lose weight, but you need to know that you have so much more in you than you realize and you CAN AND WILL SUCCEED! Just be persistent and relentless, because you are AMAZING and capable of everything you desire!

Fail AND Succeed

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

The NBA calls Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time. The Associated Press called him the second greatest athlete of the century (Babe Ruth was first), so take it from a guy who spent his life perfecting his game. He knows exactly how hard it is to reach your goals, but remains persistent and relentless, and look where it’s gotten him! You will reach any size, inches, or pounds you want if you remember to keep pushing through the failures, mistakes, and setbacks. If you want it enough you won’t let anything stop you.