How to Cultivate a Fitness Mindset
I hear it on a regular basis from my students, “I don’t have your natural abilities and could never do what you do.” We all have different body types and physiology but anyone can create a healthy lifestyle.
Having negative self-image and thoughts automatically puts you at a disadvantage. Every thought you have releases chemicals in the brain; negative thinking tells the brain to feel sad and stressed which can lead to self-destructive behaviors: over-eating, poor judgement, depression. Conversely, positive thinking leads to encouraging behaviors. People who workout regularly tend to be more positive since they get regular doses of “happy” hormones, making them feel on top of the world, like they can conquer anything. This feeling can be addictive and doesn’t require excruciating make-you-puke workouts to get it.
Taking control of your brain health is the key to building a healthy lifestyle since your brain controls everything that you do, all the choices you make and how they make you feel. Honestly acknowledging your thoughts, outlook on life, habits and choices is the best way to start making healthy choices. Obviously, you must rid yourself of negative thoughts.
Try these techniques to enhance positive and curb negative thoughts and habits and to validate your feelings and needs:
Keep a journal – This great for helping you navigate emotions, situations and scenarios. They don’t have to be structured or lengthy entries and can be as short as writing down the positive/negative thought on a post-it.
Keep a food diary – Even for just one week, this can help you stay or get back on track and identify what’s going right or wrong with your nutritional choices. (Believe me it’s hard to actually write down that you ate a whole package of Oreos. Oh, yes I did.) It could be you are not loosing weight because you are not eating enough calories.
Workout buddy – Having a partner for one or two weekly workouts helps keep you accountable. Rock climbing, partner yoga, walks with a close friend and so on are great activities.
These suggestions ebb and flow but can get you on the right track. The number one practice to begin is increasing positive and curbing negative thoughts because when the part of the brain responsible for negative thoughts ramps up, the area responsible for balance and motor control is compromised, leading to subpar workouts. The phrase “Believe in yourself” goes a long way. Do your best, appreciate every goal met no matter how small and stop comparing your progress to other people and you will be well on your way to building your core fitness values.
Creator and Director of California Pilates. Lencola is very passionate about fitness, women's health and furthering awareness of the Pilates method and it's many applications. She is a Master Instructor who is a teacher of teachers. She holds certifications in Pilates, TRX, Barre, TriggerPoint, Postnatal recovery and CPR. She is formally trained in Kinesiology/Athletic Training with a sports med focus.