Tag: goals

How to Do Hard Things

wp-15982246820477307322353735808460.png

The Most Common Statement

Sometimes when people ask us questions about controlling their weight, regardless of what we tell them, they will inevitably say, “But, it’s SO HARD!” No matter how hard you perceive it to be, it’s easier than staying obese when you consider the consequences. While no one wants to do hard things, there are things that you can do to make it more likely that you will be successful in a difficult taskwp-15982276175617220010816211388207.png

1-Focus on the outcome rather than the difficulty of the moment.

When I feel the weight of a heavy bar of iron pressing on my shoulders, everything in me says to ditch that bar and run. However, failure is not an option for me until I know that I have exhausted every effort to successfully stand back up with that bar. I focus on my goal of having a fit, healthy body. Nothing will increase my lean muscle or shape my body like that heavy iron. As hard as life can get, nothing is any harder than standing up under that load. Focusing on my goal, makes me much more likely to successfully complete a set under the iron. That same strategy works for other things. When my job is so stressful that it seems almost impossible, I employ the same strategy. I just do what I know to do. The hard part will pass and I will accomplish what I set out to do. When I first quit eating sugar, the struggle with walking away from the dessert buffet was nothing compared to the victory of watching the scale plummet and my body being reshaped. The hard factor is relative. It begins to dwindle in the presence of victory.

wp-1598298397560540069297528947579.png

2-Choose your mood.

When we are confronted with difficult tasks, we are inclined to go with our initial feelings and be miserable throughout the task. That will short circuit our efforts and cause us to quit before we reach our goal. Instead of dwelling on the misery of the task, choose your thoughts. If you cannot change the discourse in your mind, you might need professional help. When faced with a hard thing, instead of hating every moment of your existence during your execution of the task, think about something that makes you feel good. It could be an old memory, or new plans for something special. If you’re using your mind, use it to your betterment, not your demise. When I’m under the iron, I focus on my goal, the body that I want. I think about the benefits of continuing to earn a good income rather than the mediocre finances of retirement. I think about good times with friends and plan my healthy menus. When I struggle the hardest, I remind myself that I have chosen to do this. I have chosen my path. If you genuinely don’t like the path that you’re on, go a different way. Make your world small and there’s less junk to distract you. The difficult task may not be the cause of your agony. It may be your life. Fix it.

wp-15982985018975149973529529327345.png

3-KEEP RECORDS!!!

Oh, my goodness! When we’re engaged in a hard thing that’s going to take a long time to accomplish, it’s easy to get discouraged and think that we’re not making progress. Sometimes we lose ground, especially if you’re a heavy weight trainer. I do believe that Satan created the Overhead Press just to give me bad days. Too bad, it didn’t work. I make progress and lose a little progress, one pound up and 3/4 of a pound back. It would be so easy to think that I’m not getting anywhere with that damn lift except for my written records. I can go back and see where I’ve come from since I pushed that standard bar over my head the first time. I use an Olympic bar now with more weight. David taught me to keep records before I did my first lift and it makes all the difference in the World when the going gets tough. In some endeavors, the going is always tough.

wp-15982987394357645417771827194502.png

4-Be aware of your position in the task.

When I first begin a difficult lifting session or any other hard thing, I go into it just because I have chosen to do it. If the “hard factor” persists well into the task, at some point, I will begin to look forward. I remind myself that I have already done the hardest part, I started. I made the initial commitment to begin. Once you begin, you will walk through a lot of your task by rote memory. Everything is more effective if you focus on the activity, especially lifting, but if you are having trouble with your focus, just do it anyway. At some point, the focus will kick in and time will pass. Then you can tell yourself that you’re almost finished! If looking forward to completion is not applicable, such as in long-term goals like weight management, you can still look forward to finishing THIS workout or navigating THIS meal or this day. Break your long-term goals up into short term goals and when you reach those milestones, it will give you the boost you need to keep going.

wp-15982988369507426072058330696686.png

5-Add something positive to the task.

Adding something that you enjoy to any task makes it easier. That’s why so many people listen to music when they’re cleaning the house or digging a ditch. Weight trainers do the same thing but loud, aggressive music actually increases dopamine production which is conducive to picking up heavy stuff with better focus. The dopamine also helps us to remember all of the prompts that we need to recall to perform at our best. I recently bought new workout clothes so that I feel like a Diva when I lift. Don’t judge me. It helps. Whatever will give you a positive re-enforcement during the performance of your task is what will work for you. It may be music, conversation, clothing or even pictures of what you’re trying to accomplish. Just make it something that gives you a mental boost.

wp-15982992281244915937098007974735.png

6-Remember where you started.

Unless you make a constant effort to keep your momentum going in the right direction, gravity will slow you down and then, without fail, you will lose ground until you are right back where you started. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fitness program or cleaning your house. This is a fact. If the thought of going back to where you started is terrifying, that should give you a little boost. For me, I was working for a major weight loss company, riding around to meetings and missing workouts. I was also losing muscle and strength. My muscle loss had become so profound that, although I was at the goal weight that they prescribed, I was beginning to lose mobility. There was more than one time that I almost fell going out my back door as I rushed to my car to drive 300 miles in one day to tell people how to lose weight. There was something missing, it was commitment to health. I had forgotten why I began that journey and did not have the proper tools to get myself back on track until I came to David’s Way. Remember your beginning and don’t ever go back. There’s nothing back there for you. Health is almost always yours for the taking. Push ahead and put as much distance between yourself and the beginning of a hard task as possible. Before you know it, the hard thing will be your new normal.

 

 

Setting Goals

screenshot_20190517-200154458591968550364193.png

I have set different  goals at different  times in my life. When I was in my teens and early adulthood I just wanted to be really thin. As I matured mentally and learned more about health, I changed that goal. I developed a strong desire to be strong and to look like it. I began to want noticeable definition and in recent years I developed  a desire to have noticeable deltoids, specifically deltoids. As we achieve our goals, we need to reassess our methodology and our thinking to determine  what we really want. If we are clear in our desires, our goals will be crystal clear. We will work harder to achieve those goals and they will become a reality. Now, with noticeable deltoids, my latest craze is to deadlift and squat 200 pounds. I’m in hot pursuit of that goal. It’s  hard for me and if I don’t define that goal and push in that direction, it won’t happen.

As I began to make progress over the past year, I have made changes along the way depending on how my body has responded to my current program. I have recently  returned to Intermittent  Fasting to continue to sculpt and strengthen. When I eat all my calories in an 8 hour window I’m fully fueled to lift at the end of that period. The sixteen hours that I’m not eating allows my body time to eliminate excess fluid and sodium and I begin to look a little more defined. I also burn through the calories that I’ve eaten with nothing to store so I wind up a little lighter on the scale and looking a little more lean.

When we assess our progress towards goals we get to know our bodies and develop lifelong skills for managing our health. We learn how to measure our success and make the necessary changes in  order to continue to make progress. Self assessment is a strong motivational tool. We must be willing to make changes that are appropriate to meet our goals. As we get closer to those goals, our work may get harder so we must be realistic in our goal setting without setting the standard too low. If our goal is just a little high, we will push harder. If it’s too high, we will get discouraged. Push yourself and be realistic.

In order to have continued success we must take responsibility for our success or failure. If we fall short it’s something  we did, not anyone else. However, when we meet a goal, it’s  because we have been faithful to our program. Whatever happens, own it. Be responsible. You are the only one who can change any part of your world. Take responsibility and make the changes that you need to make to reach your goals.

Develop a growth mindset. People with  this trait believe that body characteristics  and health issues are not fixed. They believe  that they can be changed through effort and persistence. They have a desire to improve and actively seek out learning opportunities. The blog here is a great learning opportunity, stay with us! These growth minded people push themselves and develop effective learning strategies in order to continue to make progress towards their goals.

People who achieve their goals willingly take on challenges and think about strategies that worked for them in the past. With time they learn how to apply those strategies to the challenge at hand which results in increased strength and resiliency. Resiliency is mandatory in a lifetime journey to optimum health because life happens. Every day is not ideal to reaching our goals. Developing resiliency is necessary.

Never be content to stay the same. If we are not pushing to go higher, we will fall down. I was at a comfortable goal as defined by the major weight loss company that I worked for at the time and over about 1 year I began to lose strength and muscle simply by thinking that where I was in my fitness was “good enough”. It was not good enough and after a year of thinking that it was, I began to lose even that. Thank God I found David’s Way  and bumped up my program. It has completely  changed my life. There is no “good enough”.

There are goals to reach and seemingly impossible achievements to attain. Get on board. We will be with you every step of the way.

 

 

The Importance Of Goal Setting

Sometimes the simplest of behaviors can make a huge difference! If we wander aimlessly down a country road, we may look up and be in an unknown destination. We need a map or Google to guide us. That’s how goal setting works. You decide on your destination and then do the things that you need to do to get there. You dress and find you car keys, leave your house and go get gas. As you head down the highway you may plan where you will have lunch or what shops or sights you want to enjoy. Without a plan, your day off could be wasted along with your gas money. Goal setting is imperative for the success of any venture.

There are good, practical reasons to set goals.

1-Goals trigger behavior. If we say that we want to be healthy that’s a fine goal, but it’s too vague. We need to set specific goals to motivate specific behaviors. Personally, I really want to be at 15-17% body fat. Since I have specified this goal, I know to curb the carbs because in order to continue to get more lean, I simply cannot go over about 100 grams of complex carbs in a day.

2-Goals sustain momentum. When we achieve a goal we have a release of the reward nerotransmitter, dopamine. Achievement is literally addictive. We get into flow, wanting more of that feeling and get that “I’m on a roll!” feeling. We naturally move from one goal to another in this blissful state.

3-Goals guide your focus. Whenever we set a goal, we naturally think ahead to the next step ahead of where we are. The body truly achieves what the mind believes. The body follows the mind. When I focus on being at 15-17% instead of 18%, I naturally try harder in my workouts.

4-Goal setting and achieving those goals continually guide us and define who we are. We become the person who masters. We master small pieces of our lives and then those pieces go together to make a beautiful picture of who we are and who we want to become.

Set goals today and become the one who not only tries, but the one who succeeds.

How To Get To Goal

I am a WW Lifetime Member. I was also a “turtle”, a very slow loser, when I was following that plan. I learned all the “tricks”. I have moved on to David’s Way because it is better for me and has enabled me to hone my fitness and overall health. These are the tools that I used to get to my WW goal, and a little more.

1-Realize that joining a group is not enough. You have to actually work the plan.

While this sounds ridiculous, when I first joined WW and every time I started a new “diet”, I felt like I would lose weight just because I was doing all of the superfluous stuff like buying the right books, buying the right food, buying the right workout clothes. I never truly believed that, but there is a feeling of accomplishment that comes with making that initial decision to make an effort to lose weight that creates a false euphoria. In this euphoric state it is easy to forget that we have to change our ways if we want a change. After joining any group or committing to any plan it is imperative to do the work. It’s not easy to change dietary habits that have been ingrained in us for a lifetime but the rewards are well worth it.

2-Commit to following your plan faithfully even when the scales, (or the barbell;-), don’t give you the results that you want.

We are committing to long term change, not a quick fix. Know that the plan works if and when you work the plan honestly. Our bodies respond to our actions and our actions are subject to variability. When you have done the right things enough times, long enough, you will get the results that you want.

3-Work the food plan honestly.

There is a temptation to take advantage of what seems like “too good to be true” details in some plans, WW being one of the most taken advantage of in this respect. If you don’t have to count calories and just acknowledge the points values of the 0 points foods and you overeat those foods, you will not lose weight. This is common sense. I was on an older plan and the first thing that I did was run out and buy massive amounts of fruit because we didn’t count fruit. I gained weight.

4-Apply honesty to your activity as well.

I have seen pictures of the app where a lady was awarded over 200 points for exercise. I never found a way that I could eat that many extra points on a regular basis and lose weight or maintain weight. It goes back to something that Davids says frequently, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” This is the equivalent of eating about 4-5 brownies every day. That’s how we gain weight, not lose. Be realistic. Exercise is wonderful but if you exercise merely to eat more you will be disappointed.

5-Avoid alcohol.

Yep, I said it. Most of us are fooling ourselves if we think that we can have alcoholic beverages and lose weight or maintain a healthy weight because the sugar in alcohol creates cravings. The alcohol creates a social, party state of mind where we think that we’re entitled to eat something delectable and because the alcohol stimulates the appetite and lowers inhibitions, all of a sudden everything is delectable…and lots of it. If you are serious about being your very best version of you, just don’t.

6-DON’T FAST THE DAY YOU WEIGH IN!!!

When I first started going to meetings I would go all day with out eating or drinking anything just to see that magic number on the scale. I would be so hungry, coffee deprived and dehydrated after that meeting that I would just go crazy, eating everything in sight. It would take days to compensate for that binge. Go ahead and eat and hydrate normally. Again, this is for the long haul. One weigh-in really doesn’t matter very much.

7-Plan your meals and snacks.

This way you are never caught starved and hangry, yes, HANGRY, you know, that terrible feeling when you have gone too long without eating and you’re miserable and mad at the world. Hangry sets you up for a major dietary catastrophe. You will also have the food on hand that you need and will be able to reach for healthy meals and snacks on schedule. Your body will stay satisfied and your mind will be better able to turn away from cravings and social pressure to eat too much. Be prepared.

8-Associate with like minded people.

The people that we associate with is critical to our overall health. If we hang out with people who want to eat poorly at every opportunity, we will follow their lead. More than likely, we are not going to influence them for the better. Instead, we will abandon our ideals under social pressure. Choose your comrades wisely. There is power in support groups such as David’s Way. We have common goals.

9-Be ready to upgrade.

When whatever plan you are on is not giving you the results that you want, move on. I was at my goal and had been for a couple of years when I began to notice things about my health that were disturbing. I was on three medications, had anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure and was beginning to lose muscle. At 61, these were critical issues. Muscle is necessary to good health. I asked David to help me and he graciously obliged on one condition, I would follow his plan to the letter. He told me to lose twenty pounds. I was stunned momentarily but readily agreed because I was not happy with my then state of health. I followed his idea of high protein- low carbohydrate eating and completely removed all added sugar from my diet. In no time at all, I dropped those twenty pounds. I also began lifting weights and decreasing the stress in my life. The combination has given me the best health that I have ever had. I am 5’6″ tall, weigh 140# and wear a small or medium. I have managed to keep my curves and I am very strong, quite often the strongest person in the room. I take no medications.

10-Adapt to maintain.

Realize that this is NOT a diet, it is truly a lifestyle. Study and learn all you can about how to get what you want for your health. Be pro-active. Never just accept that ill health is your destiny. Regardless of how long it takes you to see a number on a scale or do what we do at David’s Way, arrive at a desired body fat percentage, always remember that this is your CHOSEN lifestyle and treat it as such. Work it. Work it to your advantage. Dig in and make it yours. We’re here for you. ;-*