Both Fitness expert Michelle Bridges and Dietician Susie Burrell have recently released excellent books on how to lose those last pesky 5 kgs. Many dieters lament that it is the hardest part of a weight loss program. If you have those books you have loads of expert advice for your fitness and nutrition strategies. Though still it will be difficult if you are making these common mindset mistakes.
Here are my top 10 mindset and motivation tips to switch your thinking and make gaining that slim, lean body a breeze.
That old quote from Henry Ford: “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” pretty much sums it up. If you tell yourself you’ve plateaued and that it’s hard to lose the last 5kgs then it will be hard. Your unconscious mind follows the instructions that your conscious mind gives it, to the letter. Even if the instructions are not serving you. So if you say it’s going to be hard, your body will make it hard. If you say and believe it’s going to be easy then it will be. Really! You might think this sounds hocus pocus, but it REALLY works. Whenever you think about it, just tell yourself it’s easy. Keep saying it until you begin to believe it.
When you think about losing weight, you’re focussed on an “away-from” motivation, i.e. moving away from what you don’t want, if you’ve lost a lot of weight already to get down to the last 5kgs, then you’ve already made a massive amount of progress (Congratulations!) But, if you’re only motivated by not being fat then the less fat you get, the more your motivation will decrease. Instead think about gaining slimness and focus on the slim, sexy you that you are moving towards.
This is where semantics will really play a role in your success. I would wager that as you get close to your goal weight, what you really want is that lean, toned look. That has to do with your percentage of body fat, not so much your weight. Weight is a great measurement at the beginning stages of your program, when you have very high levels of body fat, because it is very simple and easy to measure. However, as you get close to your goal your weight will not be an accurate measurement of your progress, and may even throw off your motivation and disillusion you. As you get closer to your goal there may be little or no movement on the scales even when you are making massive progress in dropping body fat. Be accurate with your measurements, get a DEXA scan, get your PT to pinch test you, or get some Accu-Measure skin fold calipers that you can use at home to measure your body fat levels more accurately. When you are accurately measuring your progress you will be able to see the improvement in your results and will be able to tweak your program to stay on track, thereby avoiding the “plateau”. So shift your focus to leanness and measuring body fat percentage, or measurements, rather than only kgs. You will get better results and keep your motivation up.
I have written a lot recently about the power of visualisation, and self-image. You may have never been this lean before, and find it difficult to imagine your body being the way you want it. Being able to see this result in your mind is absolutely critical to your success. I recommend looking online or through fitness and health magazines to create vision board of lean, sexy fitness models to give you inspiration and focus, so you can better imagine what you will look like when you reach your goal.
Let’s be honest, it requires a lot more discipline to get really lean than it does to just maintain a ‘healthy’ weight, which you are probably at now. It wouldn’t be that hard to get complacent and talk yourself out of this goal. So a big key to increasing your motivation as your reach the last lap, the sprint to the finish line, is to focus on all the benefits that will come when you achieve this for yourself. Write down all the ways that your extra body confidence, achievement, determination will help you in all areas of your life. How will it help you in your career? Help you to be a more inspiring and energetic mum? How will it help to spice up your relationship? How will it help you in all those areas when you feel simply AMAZING for having achieved this goal?
If you have already dropped a lot of body fat, or even if you are just a ‘normal’ weight and you want to get leaner, you may notice people saying things like: “Ooh don’t get too skinny!” People say these things for two reasons, either because they are genuinely concerned for your health or because you getting that healthy and lean makes them uncomfortable about their own food and activity choices. Either way, what they say can have no effect on you unless you let it. You choose your reaction. You can choose to smile sweetly and say “Thanks. I appreciate your concern. I’m happy with my health and my goals.” Then change the subject.
As you near your goal you will need to re-assess and adjust your self-identity. You are not a fat person with no motivation anymore. You are an achiever! You have achieved success where many millions of people still struggle. Celebrate your transformation! You may notice people complimenting you, or asking you for fitness and weight loss advice. Give yourself permission to step into this role and be an ambassador for healthy living. Allow your identity to shift, shedding the old, outdated ideas you have about yourself and claiming the new identity you’ve created. Claim your athlete status, you’ve earned it.
When you get close to achieving your weight goals, the key is to then maintain your newly found leanness by setting new challenges for yourself immediately. Now that your weight loss journey is nearing completion, the temptation will be to ease up a bit, or to focus on other areas of your life, and it is true that it will take slightly less effort to maintain your weight than it does to actively slim down. However now is not the time to slack off, celebrate with loads of food and sabotage all your work. Immediately set yourself a fitness related goal, a never-ending positive goal that you can constantly improve upon, like setting a personal best for a race time, or improving your flexibility with yoga, or improving your stamina and endurance with marathon training.
I have written a lot about self-sabotage. One secret to overcoming sabotage is to embrace your life, and remember that your worth as a human being is intrinsic, and it has absolutely nothing to do with how much you weigh. Broaden your focus and embrace your health, embrace your success, embrace the new possibilities that open up for you now you are achieving this. You’re worth it. You deserve every success. And now, having overcome this, think about all the other challenges you can overcome. Let your light shine, be the best you can possibly be!
When you achieve your goal it’s time to celebrate!! Plan a wonderful, healthy celebration that you can look forward to when you are training. Booking a professional photo shoot is an amazing way to celebrate and also gives you a definite deadline to have your body in tiptop form! You may like to treat yourself to a luxurious massage, buy a new bikini and sexy jeans or something that makes you feel super special. Or all of the above! Enjoy.
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