So you want to get lean like this, but you have no idea what to do ,or how to find the discipline and self-control to follow a plan? Let me tell you a few secrets and tips you may not hear anywhere else.
First of all, this photo was taken the day before Nationals where I won my Pro Card. I had been dieting and training for a long time in preparation for this show – I did not achieve this look by accident, it took a lot of hard work! And when you look in magazines and see photos of fitness models online, they all dieted and trained for those photo shoots too.
Do I look like this right now? Nope – I have been working really hard on other things, like having a baby and nursing, taking care of my boys – which is a full time job! I have been eating healthy and exercising at a higher degree than most – but for me and the majority of people, it takes following a more structured diet and training plan to get lean – and that is ok!
Now – how many times have you gotten all hyped up about starting a new diet, only to cheat a day or 2 into it? Where did your willpower go? What happened? Do you beat yourself up and feel like a failure? I have been there and that type of thinking will only bring you more struggle.
Here are some thoughts and strategies that can help you stick to your plan:
1. Understand that developing self-discipline and control over what you eat, takes some practice, preparation and mental training. You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without preparing for it – and just like a marathon, consistency is key. So allow yourself time to align yourself with your goals and get used to following your plan.
And here’s a secret for ya – if you follow your plan 95% of the time, you will still get the results you are looking for! Whatever plan you have needs to be sustainable, so if that means once a week you have a cheat meal, then do it! Only at certain times in certain situations, like competitions or athletic events do you need to be more critical.
2. Do not force yourself to follow your plan. No amount of force or “willpower” will last, and usually results in a rebellious counter-action like bingeing. The harder the force, the harder the push-back. Think about this concept with your kids – how well does it work when you try to force your child to do anything? Doesn’t it work better when they are free to choose and then reap the consequences of those choices?
3. Know that temptation will occur, you will not always “feel” like sticking with your diet. So what do you do when all of a sudden you don’t really want to eat your chicken, green beans and rice? – it’s Friday night and you want pizza and beer! Here is your opportunity to grow your dieting muscles.
Stop going back and forth in your mind!
On one hand you want to stick to your plan, on the other you really want that pizza, so you go back and forth trying to rationalize one choice or force another – and all that back and forth just strengthens this conflict in your mind. Your mind will seek to resolve this ASAP – so you will end up eating that pizza, and way more of it because you stressed yourself out about it! ---
So what do you do?
Tell yourself, “ I love myself too much to go back and forth about this” And you drop the issue. You do not try to force yourself to do anything, you simply let it go. When your mind goes back to it – you don’t engage those thoughts, you let it go. This will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it – you will feel a great sense of freedom.
This applies to any temptation – and this is what the Bible is talking about when it says to flee from temptation. We are not to try to fight it, we are to run from it!
I hope you enjoyed this and find it helpful!