Updated: Dec 21, 2018
This is one of the questions that I’m asked a lot. First, self-awareness. I recognized the mistakes that led to past fitness failures, the foods that I absolutely cannot eat because I’ve eaten so much of it dieting, and my belief system. Second, I, then, developed the habits to help fight off any excuses, distractions, and temptations. I isolated myself in the beginning to learn how to combat these things and to build the routines that I needed to succeed on this path.
So let’s start with the diet. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that if I don’t meal prep I’ll push it off for weeks and go out to eat. Getting the momentum back is harder than keeping up with it. To avoid this, I always meal prep when I have 1–2 days left of food. There’s always food ready to eat in the fridge. This also helps with cheat meals. Since the food is there, I’ll immediately go back to protocol after a cheat meal.
I DO NOT force feed! I only eat foods that I enjoy. Aside from the hunger pains and cravings, this has and still does make it easier for me to stick to protocol. I WILL NOT eat foods that I don’t like or cannot eat. The few things I can’t eat no matter what are canned tuna, plain cooked oatmeal, and hard boiled egg whites. This is the quickest way to get me off track so I stay away from these three.
This next thing is something that I think we’re all guilty of eating our foods bland. Another quick way to get thrown off track. What is the go to? Plain chicken breast, rice, and broccoli. Am I right?? This was my go to. Now, I use all herbs and spices and use sea salt to taste. I season the hell out of my food!! When I’m tired of any of the food I’ll switch it up with the options that are given to me. If I need new ideas Alex (IG: alex_ritelife) will help me with that.
Now, the biggest challenge of all…going out to eat! How did I build the habit? I started by isolating myself. I had to…there was no other way. I barely went out. The only BBQ’s and get together’s I went to were the one’s next door with my family. It was easier for me to bring my food over and eat it instead of stepping into a restaurant or going to a party where I knew I would give in. I’m starting to step out now since this has become a lifestyle for me. Even though the temptations are still there it’s not as hard to fight them off. If I’m going to a restaurant I’ll look up the menu beforehand to get an idea of what to order. Other than that, any parties or get together’s I’ll bring my food unless it’s a “cheat meal” day.
It’s a battle for me to get to the gym 97% of the time but it’s a must. Sunday nights I write out my workout schedule for the week. I set specific times when to go to the gym as if it were any other appointment. During the week, I prepare my supplements, clothes, and gym bags (boxing and strength training) the night before. If I don’t do it the night before I’ll prepare them first thing in the morning. From here, all I need to do is go. There’s no dreading to get my stuff together and less of telling myself to go “later” or “tomorrow”. These steps make it easier for me to push myself into the gym because… believe me… most of the time I try to convince myself otherwise.
Although I constantly remind myself of my end goals and imagine the feeling of accomplishing them my primary focus is completing the daily tasks that I need to do to get there. I focus on taking my supplements, eating all my meals, and knocking out my workouts each day which leads to my weekly weigh-ins. On the wall calendar I write down the supplements that I took for that day instead of using x’s to mark my workouts. This creates a chain that motivates me not to break. If I don’t pay special attention to these small tasks I’ll get reeeeaaall impatient and, eventually, I’ll fall off. I’ve found that focusing only on the end goals makes them feel so far away and unreachable especially in the beginning where it is so easy to get discouraged since it takes a while to see results.
The failures that I had in life to include fitness caused me to grow the belief that I was a failure and that I wasn’t good enough. The fear of failure kept me from accomplishing most goals because I didn’t want to feel the disappointment. It was an ongoing cycle of starting something and then stopping as soon as it started to get hard. This also came with a million excuses and reasons as to why I quit each time.
Earlier this year, I started watching/listening to certain entrepreneurs and started reading self-improvement books. The main podcast that I listen to is the MFCEO Project with Andy Frisella. The combination of these has changed my belief system from “I can’t to I will commit and conquer”. I’ve shifted my focus to look at my failures as lessons. I look at my past not for self-pity but to have a better understanding about myself. No matter how physically and mentally tired I am I keep moving, I push through when it gets rough, and find other ways when I encounter obstacles. I adapt and overcome.
It’s important to be aware of your excuses, distractions, and temptations so that you can develop the right habits to counteract them. These habits that I created help me to do that especially on the days where I’m unmotivated and burnt out. It may be half of the effort but it’s better than none. Initially, it’ll feel like a chore or too much work but if you are serious about changing these are the things that need to be done. It’ll become second nature. Implement routines that will help you in your fitness journey or in any goal that you have in life. It’s a must!