If you want to transform your body (and who doesn’t?), start with your mind

Remember that saying – if you don’t know where you are going you might end up somewhere else? If you want to transform your body, the same rule applies. You need to think about it, write it down and start taking some action.

1)      Make a choice: Decide that this transformation is what you want, this is the time you want it, and you are ready to do what is necessary. Ask yourself what do I gain from staying the same, and what would I gain from making this change. Write down your opposing gains and think about which gains resonate more for you at this time. Be honest with yourself. I know for myself, when I have embarked on a new self-improvement quest without first really being ready, I didn’t get far. Take that detox diet I thought I wanted to do because it was popular. It didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t really committed and didn’t want to do it.

2)      Visualize the end state you desire – in full Technicolor: Get a vivid picture in your mind of what you want to look and feel like at the end of this journey. Ask yourself “what does success look like?” It might look like fitting into your skinny jeans, or wearing that little black dress your man used to love. What does success feel like? It might feel like not being winded when walking up a flight of stairs. Or it could be the feeling of strength and confidence you will have. Close your eyes and visualize yourself having these experiences.

3)      Create a visual reminder: When I decided to prepare for a figure competition for the first time, I was scared and wasn’t sure if I could get the body I desired, and really wasn’t sure what it would look like. So I searched magazines for photos of bodies I liked that were similar to my body type, cut them out and stuck a photo of my head on to these bodies, and put it on my refrigerator. It was a constant reminder of what I was aiming for, and kept me motivated throughout the long process. The exciting part is that at the end of the journey you can post your own photo on the fridge with pride!

4)      Do your research: Find out what you need to do to reach your goal – what you have visualized above. If you need to lose 20 lbs, do some research and thinking to figure out what it takes for you. It might be joining a weight loss support group, hiring a nutritionist, reallocating your budget to accommodate a gym membership, or buying some home gym equipment. Do the necessary research, and pin down what you think is going to work best for you. No need to figure everything out at one time. Just get the options out on the table for decision making when you make your plan.

5)      Make a plan: Now that you have made your choice, visualized the end state, created your motivational visual and done your research, it’s time to make a plan to get you there. This is basic goal setting. Again, if your goal is to lose 20 lbs, you need to break that down into manageable pieces.  Losing 1-2 lbs per week is realistic. In order to do that, you might plan to work out 5 times per week for 60 minutes doing a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise, to eat 3 balanced meals and two healthy snacks daily, and to log your food in an online app to monitor your calorie intake. Write your list of goals.

6)      Solicit support: Your chances of achieving your body transformation, and sustaining it will go up substantially with a strong support system behind you. Solicit support from your friends (particularly the ones who are healthy and fit and prioritize their physical well being), and be specific. For example, ask your girlfriend to choose restaurants with healthy options if she invites you out for a meal. Or ask a friend or your significant other to join you at the gym or for a run. Finally ask for moral support, a phone call or email to check in on your progress and celebrate your victories.

7)      Go for it! Now that you know what you want and have a plan to achieve it, all that is left is to implement the plan. You will likely face obstacles and setbacks along the way, we all do. To help overcome them, go back over your reasons for wanting to do this, look at your motivational visual, or call a friend for encouragement.



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