Change Your Mind, Change Your Body

By Rachel Langley – Providence, Rhode Island

 

What if I told you, the gnawing thought in your head that tells you “you can’t” was a lie? Every negative thought you reflected onto yourself from day one could be thrown into reverse? That you could come out the other side of it…stronger, healthier, happier and full of hope? Would you believe it?

 

Well, believe it. Because I’ve learned a lesson, the mind is an important part of getting yourself on the other side of the fear. That fear of failure in our endless pursuit of “healthy”. I use quotes because I’ve learned healthy is not something that looks the same for everyone. We all have our visions of our best self, our healthiest and happiest image of what we “should” be. Yes, that one is getting quotes too! We tend to be a slave to the “should”. 

 

I should lose 10 pounds.

I should put this cookie down.

I should go to the gym.

 

Sound familiar?

 

Turn the “should” into CAN and see what happens.

 

I can lose 10 pounds.

I can put this cookie down.

I can go the gym.

 

Just a bit more empowering with that handy, dandy “can” in there. And this may sound a little crazy, so brace yourself…but you control your body. Yep. YOU. Not the cookies and the oh-so-comfy couch cushions…you are the boss. You “should” not do anything, but you CAN do everything. And the great thing is, you can make your body anything you want. Notice I said what YOU want? There are no cookie cutter standards in my health and fitness world. We are all working together to become the best version of ourselves.

 

As the saying goes, your body will do anything you ask of it, it is your mind you must convince. Here are some helpful hints to kick off a happier, empowered and more positive you:

 

– Find someone that inspires you. Find a realistic role model. Although I like Jillian Michaels, her level of intensity in her DVD workouts somehow left me feeling inadequate. All an inner reflection of course, at no point did she step through my TV and tell me I was failing miserably. But, I couldn’t relate to her or her six pack abs. For some, you may find her very inspirational but for me, she was a poor fit. My inspiration came in the form of Holly Perkins, a celebrity trainer out in California. Her approach to exercise is smart, strength-based and challenging enough to keep me reaching for new goals.

 

– Vision boards. I hear the sighs! I’m not a huge vision board fan, but by using Pinterest I was able to create something similar. I pin articles, inspirational quotes, workout gear and recipes – all things that encourage my journey.

 

– Support system. By finding friends and family members that have either similar goals or can reinforce and support yours, it sends that pesky pessimistic voice in your head running for the hills. It’s hard to be discouraged when you have cheerleaders in your corner.

 

– Make a list of “There is No Way in Hell I Ever Would, But Wish I Could” events. Whether it is your first 5k, a half marathon, an obstacle race, a mud run…the sky is your limit. You are full of wonderful possibilities if you just get your mind to believe it!

 

– Find an activity you enjoy doing. No use forcing yourself into the gym 3 times a week if it is making you miserable. This is a chance for some much needed “you time” so make the most of it! There is a wide variety of classes that will keep you hopping…zumba, kickboxing, boot camps, dance classes, beginner running groups, and the list goes on. You want to elicit a positive response to however you are moving that magical body of yours, so make sure you are moving it in a way that brings joy.

 

Once you take control of how you feed and move your body, it sends the signal to the brain that you aren’t going to operate on auto-pilot anymore. And more importantly, that it is time to tell the negative committee living in your head…to sit down and hush up.”

 

Rachel Langley is a passionate fitness enthusiast, runner and dedicated blogger. She is proud as pie to have completed her first half marathon in September of 2013 and is training for her next half marathon in the Spring. She is currently studying for her personal trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. You may follow her health and fitness adventures at www.bodymadebetter.com.

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