Mind Over Muscle: How To Really Stick To A Workout And Diet Plan

Today is the day to take action. Lisa Hostetter shows you how to stop thinking about your fitness and diet goals and make them happen.

Woman working outSo you are ready to take that leap. Today is the day you are ready for the new you. You have used the slogan "I will start on Monday" one too many times, and for whatever the reason, you made the decision that today is game time. No more waiting until Monday; it starts right now!

It makes no difference if you yearn to build serious mounds of muscle, or want to melt off the fat - it is a slow but rewarding process. Recently I have come off a 10 month layoff from the gym. I came across the quote "destiny demands diligence." I was so inspired by this quote that I put it in my bathroom and on the sun visor in the car.

I repeat it to myself constantly. Not that I need motivation, as I love lifting, but I do need inspiration. A 10 month layoff is not kind to the body at any age. I have my eye on the prize, and I will stop at nothing until I get there.

It wasn't always this way.  I was one of those I will start on Monday types. But as we all know, Mondays came and went and the months passed by. Suddenly one day I made up my mind: there was no turning back, and no stopping me.

Once I made this decision, I started pulling pictures out from Oxygen Magazine of fit women. I posted these pictures everywhere in the house, from the bathroom to the refrigerator - they were to remind me of my mission, a new me!

I started to keep a food journal and track my meals. This was an eye opener. There it was in black and white, a lot of gaps in my food journal.  I was determined to make it happen this time, and it did.

In the beginning I was excited and wanted to share my vision with others. Needless to say, I was ridiculed. How could someone who weighed a little over 80 lbs soaking wet have this vision of becoming “a muscled up chick.”

I was laughed at. Most people told me that it was impossible and I would never achieve my goals. That was even a greater motivation to make my vision become a reality.

I don’t care if you are skinny and weak or fat and frustrated; it is not an easy journey either way. If you are in the same boat, you know what I am talking about.

You commonly hear it is easier to lose weight if you are overweight, or easier to gain if you are thin. There is no such thing as easy. It is called hard work, day in and day out. No matter what your situation, once your mind is made up there will be no stopping you.

Even now, returning to the gym with my new goals, I find it is best to not say much anymore. I’d rather focus on the task at hand. I still tend to get so excited and want to share my desire with others.

Some individuals have a lack of vision and no desire or passion to change and when you decide to make a change; they may resent you wanting to better yourself. Don’t let others lack of vision take away from yours.

It all starts in your mind. If you can envision it you can achieve it - no matter what the obstacles are.

You should not have to justify yourself to others who have no clue. When going out to eat, request what you want, such as specific food on the side. If you are overweight and trying to lose weight, or if you are working hard to gain muscle and have not achieved your look yet, don’t get discouraged when you are ordering dinner. Over time, consistency with clean eating will pay off.

Once you get in a routine and are consistent over a period of time, you will notice changes and so will others. It will get easier to say no.

Those same people who discouraged you may put you down or question why you have changed. They may become resentful of you and the changes you have made to better yourself. Some people can’t accept change. This will determine who your real friends are.

Woman working out

How Do You Get There?

Take little steps, and set daily goals. How are you going to train today and how are you are going to eat for the day, week and then the month? These little goals will lead to the bigger picture and obtainable goals. Daily, weekly, monthly, they will add up.

Search through magazines and start to pull out pictures of your dream body. Place these pictures in a prominent place. These pictures will provide a constant reminder of what your mission is. Eventually these pictures will change as your vision becomes clearer.

Surround yourself with positive and like-minded individuals. Search out forums and connect with others online who share your vision and goals. I have met some wonderful people this way. These people will provide encouragement as you continue to push for your goals.

In the gym focus on the task at hand. Don’t worry about what others are thinking or doing. You are there for you. As time goes on, you will feel more comfortable.

I have come to realize I just don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I have a job to do. I put on my iPod and tune everyone out. I am sure people look at me like I am nuts, but when it’s all said and done who’s making progress? You will be!

After my 10 month layoff this became even more apparent to me. I saw the same gym goers who looked exactly the same 10 months prior. What does this tell you?

Be determined and patient and focus on yourself. Throw all of your self-doubt out the window. Believe in yourself have faith in the process. Be consistent in your nutrition and your training.

Most newbies have the tendency to overcomplicate the simplest things. Start one program and stick with it for 10-12 weeks and the results will come. If you start changing things up from your diet to your workouts, you will not know what is working and what is not.

Constantly educate yourself. Read articles on motivation, nutrition and training. I take an hour each evening to read articles and educate myself.

Before I go to bed each night, I mentally prepare for my morning workout. I visualize my entire workout, every rep, each set and how it feels. Trained athletes use this approach as well to achieve success. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are to become. Create who you want to be.

Tonight when you close your eyes before you go to bed, focus on your goals for tomorrow then the ‘bigger picture’ one week, one month, and a year from now. Do this consistently, day in and day out. The results will come.