I’m sat at my desk writing this blog feeling physically tired after doing a 9-mile speed hike across some big hills in Wales today. So instead of taking a long bath and relaxing, I'm writing this with the urge to share my journey and valuable insights with you whilst I still have the mental energy.
Going back just a couple of days ago, I started personal training a new home client on the Wirral in Merseyside. During our first session, I discussed the outline of what needs to be done to achieve true transformation. I told her to forget trying to do endless hours in the gym to burn a load of calories. Although that helps in the short term, in the long term, it simply doesn't work as most people can't sustain that approach. I instead informed her that we need to focus on several critical functional exercises and master them by completing a routine a couple of times a week. I told her the rest of the time should be focused on physical activities that you enjoy doing.
It’s about integrating your lifestyle and things you love with your goals and making them work harmoniously. I then showed Debbie how to structure a lifestyle plan to complement her goals but work in synchronization with her life. This is the process I take all my clients through. After many years of research and experience, I discovered and experienced that it's the people who can keep doing all the right things consistently over time are the ones that win. Therefore, a fitness and diet plan needs to fit a lifestyle, and the lifestyle needs to fit the plan.
This morning I woke up feeling incredibly tired. The week has been filled with workshops and live workouts for my Body Blitz Clients, home personal training clients, my own workout routines, and then dealing with all my other personal responsibilities in life. I had scheduled a big speed hike in my diary, which was essential for me today, but I simply didn't want to. So now, this is the real BIG reason behind this blog. What made me get up, do something challenging, come home, and spend time behind the desk writing about it?
As I pointed out earlier with my client Debbie, there always needs to be multiple reasons why you're doing what is challenging. Therefore an integrated approach to your goals and lifestyle must be employed. Still, I dragged myself out to brew some coffee but then headed back to bed, coffee in hand. As I lay in bed drinking the coffee, I had to start thinking about my approach to overcoming my reluctance to do the speed hike and just stay at home instead. After all, it was raining and blowing a gale outside, so home seemed like the best option.
I took my journal from my bedside table and wrote down the words ‘speed hike – why is this important to you, I then thought about how much of a great day it would be if I could actually get this done. I looked at those words and mind mapped attachments of emotional importance to this task, as I would ask clients to do. Here is how I split this down into the 3 critical components for true transformation:
Speed Hike – Why is this important to you?
This journaling process (something I believe everyone should do), made a psychological shift. Now I was becoming excited about how my day could go, all the benefits I could receive, and the positive impact on my Mind, Body, and Life.
Quick side note. I provide all my online clients with journals to help them navigate their progress. Making daily notes on how you have performed and checking your progress is a simple but effective principle to lose weight, get fit, and strengthen your self-discipline. So I highly recommend you practice this! Back to my day...
I got out of bed, blended some eggs, protein powder, and a banana then drank a water load before jumping in the shower and packing my stuff to hit the hills. Arriving at the car park, the weather wasn't great, and I'll be honest, I wanted to jump back in the car and go back home. But, as quickly as the thought came into my mind, I refocused on all of the above; grabbing my Bergen leaning into the wind, I set off.
During the hike, I had to focus on my old injury to make sure I didn't make aggravate it. I adjusted my pace and footing, which allowed me to still keep going without causing any pain. My mind wandered many times during the hike, from wanting to stop to being excited by my goals, then to my daughters, then to a stupid song I couldn’t get out of my head. I took moments of focus to capture some pictures for social media and recorded the little video for my daughters. A few miles in, and my legs were already like jelly, the thoughts of doubt in my own physical ability come flooding in along with the internal dialogue, telling myself to stop thinking like that, 'just keep going, I'd keep on saying.
When I reached the penultimate hill, my confidence was growing, and my morale was high. Reaching the top, I felt great that I had just one more hill to hit, then it was a downhill jog back to the car park. Once I finished, I felt great, and to my surprise, the time was pretty good, considering it was my first training session on the hills for a long time. I managed to hit a 6km per hour pace and finished the 9-miles in 2 hours 24 minutes, which isn't too bad over hills carrying 15kg.
Sitting in the car, the euphoria hit me like a ton of bricks, and I couldn't wait to get back home to write about the experience of the day. And here I am now, writing this blog to you, hoping it will give you an insight on how you can overcome your demons and do what's hard by using an integrated practice of Mindset & Lifestyle to achieve your body transformation.
Here's the deal, your goals should be complementary to your lifestyle, and your lifestyle should be complementary to your goals. Doing this will draw powerful emotional and psychological forces within you that will help you move through any area of difficulty. Human beings are emotional creatures, and we must pull from all components of life to help us keep moving forward. Without them, goals will be pushed to one side the second you encounter a difficult circumstance in life, which will inevitably happen to us all.
Now it really is time for me to put my feet up for the evening and recover, ready for a brand-new day tomorrow.
Good look on your journey, my friend; I hope this helps you!