Wednesday, September 19, 2007

About Mindset

There is so much in the way of what you need to do to get your body in shape out there in the fitness world and a very sad amount of written word devoted to what it takes to get your mind in shape. No, I'm not suggesting that there are brain exercises. I'm talking about having the proper mindset in order to achieve your fitness goals. I started this year out weighing between 157 and 160 lbs. I wasn't satisfied with my body for various reasons which I'll discuss later. I wanted to get bigger and I set my sights on getting myself up to 180 lbs by the end of the year. I just recently accomplished that and looking back on it now, my mindset was probably more responsible for my success than my eating and exercising. Where the mind goes, the body follows and the mind needs to be set right before any success can be obtained.

Focus is needed. You need to develop a plan of attack in achieving your fitness goals but without focus, you'll never follow through. We live in a world that sorely lacks it in many places and especially in getting fit. We can taylor a diet and design an exercise plan but societies are becoming notriously unhealthy and it's far too easy to falter. We need focus to keep our minds on what we want to accomplish. You can't rely on restaraunts to show you what's healthy and what isn't. You can't rely on your friends to help you stay on track. What is going to make you healthy is ultimately re-establishing your lifestyle habits. Habits are are hard to change and focusing on your fitness goals is the catalyst that changes your habits.

Of course you can't get anywhere if you don't know where you're going and having a decent base of knowledge will get you to where you go on your fitness goals. It's a sad state of things when most people don't even know what a calorie is except to say that it makes you fat if you eat too many. The more you learn about your body, the more you understand how it works, the more you'll understand how to get to your goals. Read about nutrition, learn about what vitamins and minerals do for your body, get a basic understanding on how your body creates energy, learn about it's systems, and figure out what a calorie is! Don't necessarily rely on fitness books and magazines to give you these facts. Often times, they're subject to fads and trends (right or wrong). Look up medical reference books.

You're not going to do any of this if you're not determined though. You've got to be driven to do this. If you don't want to do it, you're not going to. You need to maintain your drive to do this, it won't happen. Changes in your body take weeks of consistent effort. I went one full month without gaining any weight at all but I still maintained my determination to gain mass. Patience also comes into play here. You have to understand that the body isn't a machine. It's an organic mass. It doesn't adhere to patterns, it doesn't follow rules, and it doesn't always move in a predictable manner. Therefore, you will have major successes, plateaus, setbacks, and steady progresss. It won't come in that order either and some of what I just listed may not even happen to you. Patience and determination is what is going to keep you moving foreward in your manipulations of your body.

Above all, and most importantly, if you don't believe in yourself, FORGET IT ALL. It's was written a hundred years ago and science is proving it so just now that your body responds to postive stimulus and produces better results if you believe that you can accomplish something. This may sound unrealistic but trust me, it is so true. It's hard to believe though. Society rears it's ugly head again to try to crush belief in yourself. It's conventional wisdom that states the body is at it's physical peak in the 20's and 30's. After that, it's all a horrible downward slide towords weakness, sickness, and weight gain for the next 60 or so years until you drop dead. Then the genetics talk comes into play. If you're fat or skinny, it's because of genetics and nothing can change that either. Granted there's some kernels of truth in both but to buy into the notion that you're dead in the water with no chance of succeeding because natures laws just won't let you is ridiculous. Many peope have defied and thumbed mother nature in the eye for far longer than conventional wisdom claimed that it was possible to do so when it comes to physical fitness. Monohar Aich, Jack Lalanne, Paul Bragg, Berarr MacFadden, and Dan Depasquale are all great examples of this. Michelle Berger ( is a fitness model after having kids. None of this will ever be so if you don't stop listening to others and believe in yourself.

Now, these attributes of a proper mindset aren't the definitive list and they're not in any order of importance. They're simply what helped me get myself to where I wanted to go.


Joe said...

Nice work Justin, congrats on reaching your goal! I appreciate your insight on focus and mental power. Right now I weigh about 150 and I'd like to get to about 175. I just bought Isometric Power Revolution hoping that it will help. I would like to see you write about your exercise methods and eating habits over the past several months.

Justin_PS said...

Hi, Joe, thanks for stopping in. I covered my eating habbits already here.

I´ll get to my exercise routine later. Check back in!