By Jennifer Nicole Lee,
Fitness Expert & Author
Miss Bikini America 2005, Miss Muscle and Fitness
Health starts in the mind and then flows to the body. In this chapter I prep both the mind and body for the fantastic health advances that lay ahead. You must be 100% ready to be committed in making healthy progress in order to see and keep results! Although it may be hard to be believe, but sometimes it is ourselves who sabotage our own successes because we are not mentally ready and committed to sticking to our wonderful lifestyle improvements. You must create your results before they occur, and prepare yourself for boundless energy, and confidence.
In order to lose weight, get six pack abs, a round butt, fight cellulite, find stretch mark solutions, detox, tone up, firm up and get flat abs you must start with your mind! A close friend of mine already sabotaged her weight loss potential by saying to herself “Why lose weight? My skin will only be flabby if I lose the amount of weight that I want”. She had already set herself up for failure by pre-determining that she was not going to lose weight. Another client of mine once claimed that she wanted to lose the weight but was afraid of all the remarks from those close to her, and how it might affect her family. I told her that she would only be adding quality to her life, and not taking away from it. And that these healthy new changes would actually be helping her family as well. In addition, the other side to this “fear” was rooted in the constant idea that she would never be able to lose weight. What about the added health risks of heart disease, diabetes, and not to mention the added pressure on joints from the additional weight? These are examples of people riding the fence; not knowing what side to get off on. Make a decision to improve your life by being healthy because your mind and body will thank you.
Mental Preparation for the Whole Process: Preparing yourself Mentally to Loose Weight
Start by asking yourself, do I have a healthy mind, or a mind that will thwart my efforts? Am I my own best friend or my worst enemy? If you answered yes to the latter, well we first need to clean your “mental” house! Here are my top 7 strategies to giving yourself the right mental attitude that will allow you to start improving your life.
1. Have a Crystal Clear Vision of What You Want to Achieve
I have heard it so many times: my clients come to me and cry “I’m sick and tired of being overweight!”, or they will complain “I have no energy and I’m tired all the time”. This will not help you! We all know what we want to move away from. But what do we want to move towards? I am referring to the fact that we must realize where our main focus needs to be in order for us to achieve weight loss success from now on. Since we have all taken “Before” picture of ourselves, we need to now have an “After” image of what we want. Envision what you want to achieve. See the new you and imagine what it would feel like to be that new you! Take out your journal and write down what you want to achieve, what you want to move towards and how you are going to do it. Picture yourself with limitless energy, being able to handle your daily tasks, your job, and all the while, still having enough steam left over for your children and your personal life. If you want to lose inches, release stress, sculpt your body, fight your sugar addiction, and get on a low carb diet, you can do it! How will it feel to put on a swimsuit and feel great about what you see in the mirror? Imagine weighing yourself and loving the number that you see! You will start to relish the after burn of your morning workouts! You have to know and understand what you are moving towards, and say goodbye to what you are moving away from to be able to have fitness success and maintain it!
2. Clean out Your Mental House! Stop putting yourself down! That unfriendly little voice inside your head needs to be silenced now and forever! That super critical opinionated alter ego of yours needs to know who the boss is. You are! So what you gained 5 pounds on the family vacation cruise. That does not make you a “fat pig”. Rather than beating yourself up by complaining, instead compliment yourself by saying something like “Yeah, I did have that chocolate chip cookie for desert. But I didn’t have 3 of them like I would have done before.” You need to learn to stay focused on your objective and stay positive. Don’t let the negativity get you down or blur the vision towards your destination! Stop whining and take more control over your actions and your life! Stop playing victim. It doesn’t help you or others around you.
3. Treat yourself with respect: Respect yourself. It is that simple, but we don’t do it. If you had a best friend who you loved with all your might, would you give them a fat laden artery clogging fried cheeseburger with fries, or a crisp and fresh garden salad topped with marinated and grilled chicken? Yes, you would give them the salad. But why don’t you do this to yourself? Most likely because the psychology behind your actions does not allow you to treat yourself with the respect and consideration you would have for those you love. You are self sacrificing; always giving to others and not yourself. Think about this thought: your mind and body are temples and you need to treat them as such. Why would you put something dirty and of no value in a sacred and special place? Well of course you wouldn’t. So start respecting yourself and treating yourself right. You deserve better than processed fast food with little to no healthy nutrient content. Also, you deserve to chisel out at least 50 minutes every other day, for a weight training session with a touch of cardio at the end. Remember, you are the most important person in your life. If you can’t help yourself, than how can you help others? It all begins with you!
4. Be creative: What does she mean by “be creative”? I don’t mean to be an artist or a philosophical thinker. But we are in this for the long run. Being healthy is a process, a journey, not a one-time event. Fitness and health is going to be your new lifestyle. Therefore we need to make it fun, different with variety, and interesting. Ask yourself “what are my favorite foods and the exercises that I love to do most? If you answered Italian food, then go out there and buy a low-fat, low-carb Italian cookbook and learn how to remake over your old favorites! And if you love to play tennis, join a tennis club or hire an instructor who will help you strengthen your back hand or give you a better edge on your game. If you love nachos, be creative and re-invent the recipe using low fat ingredients rather than the real stuff. Just open your mind to new and different tools and use them as a bag of tricks that will help you fight the war on fat. By being creative, you will make it fun, refreshing, interesting, and there will never be a dull moment in your new healthy life.
5. Put fitness first: Well not exactly first, but make it a top priority. It should be a rock in your life. If your car breaks down, exercise. If you get a job promotion, exercise. If your husband leaves you, exercise. No matter what happens-stick to your routine! Of course we all will have bad days and get off of our diet-but refocus yourself, look at your compass, and get back on track! And prepare to be tempted. This strategy of “thinking five steps ahead” will allow you to win at the game of fat loss. You know that you have to attend your family’s barbeque dinner with non-stop servings of hot dogs, potato salad, and sugary deserts. So be smart and execute your fitness plan: munch on a crispy apple before the bbq, this will fill you up cutting the edge off of any uncontrollable hunger pains that might set in while you are there. Then opt for the grilled chicken breast with no bun, a side salad, and an ear of corn with no butter. You put fitness first and you are still able to enjoy your family’s social activities without ending your fitness goals!
6. Set yourself up for success: Put health on the shelf and the gym bag in the car! Stock your fridge and pantry with the latest guilt free snacks and treats. Low-carb and low-fat foods are tasting better and better. Try something new today. Have your gym bag ready to go in the car for a pre or post work-day workout. Throw in a towel and a change of clothes and you will not have an excuse, to not make it to the gym. Everywhere you go and no matter where you are, your healthy habits will follow you! Therefore it will be almost impossible to not stick to your plans and reach your goals. Buy used exercise DVD’s for little to nothing online and have them ready to go in your family room. Have your running shoes right there by the bed so all you have to do is roll out of bed right into your morning run!
7. Compel and Coerce Through Pain:
Yes, pain CAN be your friend! Use it to your advantage as a tool to get you motivated to make a positive change in your life. I said that my technique to losing the fat and getting in shape would be painful-well almost! I created my success through constantly reminding myself of what I looked like before, and the pain I experienced when I was at my heaviest. Get some leverage on yourself. First, it is absolutely necessary for you to take a “Before” picture of yourself. Secondly, it would be best if you took this “Before” picture and put it somewhere where you can occasionally see it when you need to feel the “pain” and that frustration associated with that picture, to get you motivated. When you feel your motivation and desire weakening-glance at those pictures and remind yourself of the despair that you felt when you were at your unhealthiest. To make yourself take action, you have to be at the doorsill of pain looking directly at it, straight in the eye. This is where your power and supremacy over your future decisions will come from. Pain will be your friend because you will learn how to manipulate it and use it towards your advantage. The pain that I revisited often was surrounded by my overweight “before” photo. I deliberately glanced at my “before” image to use it as my pain, that then coerced me into taking positive action. This pain was the vital vehicle which propelled me into fast forward mode; making sure I never pushed the rewind button. I used the pain of feeling overweight, frumpy, and not being able to wear the beautiful clothes that I wanted, as a therapeutic medium to get me towards my goals. These were all the methods that lead me to my weight loss achievements. Again please use these techniques to stay on the right path. They are as follows:
· Look at my Before Picture
· Remember how I felt to carry all that extra weight around
· Remember how I was treated differently when I was heavier
· Remember the confidence I started to experience when I felt stronger
· Compare my old lifestyle with my new improved one and how great it felt to be healthy!
· And as I speak from experience, I can’t say it enough, but it is necessary to stop playing the victim and start making those improvements in your life now to become victorious!
Fitness expert and author, Jennifer Nicole Lee (JNL), has become an icon for women and fellow moms across the world with her amazing 70-pound plus weight loss success story. To ultimately improve her physical and mental health and become more active with her children, JNL began a regimen of exercise drills and performance nutrition. Training as an athlete, JNL's goal was to lose weight, with the ultimate goal of entering a bikini contest. Less than one year later, JNL entered the ultimate figure competition and was crowned Miss Bikini America 2004, realizing her goal and proving that mothers can still be sexy, fun and fit!
This empowering experience catapulted Jennifer Nicole Lee into the health and fitness industry and gained her the respect of countless professionals. She has shared her compelling weight loss story on national talk shows including Oprah and Inside Edition, and has proudly graced the covers of over 15 fitness magazines. Please visit www.jennifernicolelee.com for more information. Also visit www.jnlbook.com and www.getfitwithjnl.com for her Weight Loss Programs.