Sunday, August 26, 2012

Transformation Blueprint

A while back this lady came to the studio to "consider" joining. When she came in, she seemed so fearful and worried. She looked at the machines in a way that made me think they were about to bite her. In talking to her, she had a dozen reasons for being overweight, none of them her own fault. It was her husband, her job and her schedule. She had done Weight Watchers, several of the local fitness classes, hired a trainer and now she was in my studio. After finally getting her into the program she got focused on pounds lost. If she didn't lose a pound each day, she wasn't transforming. Once, she ate some candy and told me that she "deserved" it because she had come to work out three days in a row.

Every time I challenged her to do more weight or to face some new obstacle, she never, ever stepped up to the challenge. Now, mind you she was all "into" the whole workout thing. She bought all the gadgets, had all the apps and talked a great talk. I recall one time when her class was going for a cheat meal together, she refused to go saying that she was too committed to have a cheat meal. Every time that I spoke to her and tried to help her with anything, it was a MAJOR production. She could never just talk. Everything was connected to something from her past and had some major familial dysfunctional element to it. After 20 weeks, this lady had lost lots of weight. But, to me, she had not "transformed" herself. My concern was validated recently when I saw this lady again. She's bigger than ever, looked sad and avoided me like I was from the IRS.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time I've experienced this. You see, for years and years I have been training people in the gym. In every case there is a certain amount of teaching people to use machines, free weights, cardio equipment and such. Quite candidly, any trainer can do that. And, from the perspective of the trainee, there is a certainly a requirement of performing sets of reps, grouped into workouts, mixed with cardio in order to get the job done.

To a particular point, this effort will produce results. Absolutely true. However, if you want to know the REAL truth of personal transformation, then here it is. Real transformation occurs in your head, or more specifically, your mindset. Transformation is not losing some pounds on the scale. It isn't pushing out some reps on the leg extension machine. Instead, transformation occurs on the inside. It has so little to do with how you work out, what method you follow etc. and EVERYTHING to do with your attitude towards all of it.

I’m certain that there are multitudes of psychologists and other "specialists" that can talk circles around me when it comes to this subject and clearly there are an unlimited number of books that claim to be able to "fix you", but I could care less about any of them. I know what I know and what I know is what it takes to transform yourself. If you are not interested, Dr. Phil comes on at 4:00 and Bob Greene has a new book coming out soon. If you ARE interested, keep reading.

First of all, get past the concept that there is some "special' combination of weights or some "special' DVD system or whatever that is magic. Not true. Almost all of them will work. I will agree that there are better and worse, but my point is that you should get passed the thought that there is only ONE way, better than all the rest. Even my UB program isn't the best there is (it's just way up the list.)

Next, get over yourself. The biggest obstacle that we all face is ourselves. How do you get over yourself? First, man or woman up. Take responsibility for being where & what you are and the fact that there is NO ONE else to blame for this. Every extra ounce of weight that you carry around, YOU put there. Also, stop blaming circumstances. I know people who to this very day are going through some hellacious situations, yet they fight on, day by day in spite of them. So, if you blame a lack of success on something as silly as "the schedule just didn't work' or "the front desk girl is just rude" then I am talking to you. Get over yourself. For some, that will be the toughest work out they have had in a long time!

Third on the list is developing a 'warrior' mindset. I don't mean that you have to be some tough guy and kick Chuck Norris's ass to be a warrior. What I mean is that you have to face your fears. I mean eye to eye, face to face, you vs. your fears. THAT is being a warrior. You see, when you are willing to face your fears, then nothing that comes against you will ever prevail. Sure, you will face some things and at times they will gain some ground on you. However, they will not win. Once you have that "warrior" mentality, donuts, chips, beer, laziness, depression...they haven't a chance against you.

Next, get out of your own head. Seriously, for the love of God, please get out of your own head. For some people, completely by choice, they over think and over-analyze even the most basic elements of personal transformation. For them, and maybe you, every step of the way has some PROFOUND meaning attached to it... "Well, my mom was overweight and she made me feel blah blah blah and therefore I've just always seen myself as a loser and so blah blah blah, now I'm overweight."  Just stop all that. Ya, your mom messed you up in some ways. Now flush that nonsense out of your head and get your butt to the gym and throw around some weights instead of all that mental weight. There is no re-do with your mom. It is what it is and it always will be, so you can choose to always be a victim of these things or you can choose to overcome them, and preferably without pie charts and graphs on how to do it.

Along with getting out of your own head comes divorcing every negative piece of self-perception that you hold on to right now. Here's what I mean: thoughts such as 'I'm fat," "I can never succeed," "I'm just not good at this or that" and so on. If you cannot accept the fact that you are an amazing creation of God, a complex and fantastic combination of intelligence and emotions and physiological miracles, then you simply don't get it and never likely will. The farthest that some people can see is to their own limitations. Their world is full of  "I can't" and that’s precisely where the whole show stops. "I can't" might as well be re-written to say: THE END. Open your mind. See what you truly are and accept THAT truth. Unlock this door. It is critical.

Next, be disciplined. What? BE disciplined? Yes, BE DISCIPLINED. We can all practice discipline and that certainly makes us better at it, but the fact is that discipline is a CHOICE for us in the matter of personal transformation. By now, you have lived enough life. You are not a child anymore. Therefore, the concept of "Well, I ate those Oreo's because I just don't have any discipline" holds zero water with me. You ate them because you CHOSE to. Period. How do I know that you already have discipline? Because, you don't shoplift, use drugs, recklessly damage other people's property, and assault people even when you are angry. You have discipline. You know better. Those of you who are the over-thinkers are busy RIGHT NOW over thinking that concept. Those of you who will likely succeed soon just read that statement, accepted it and are now moving on.

Finally, know when to let go. Not let go for good, but let go temporarily. Some people grip it so tight, hold on so hard that it's like the old fistful of sand...the harder you squeeze trying to hold onto it, the more of it you lose. Don't live your every single moment thinking or obsessing over your transformation. There are so many important things in your life that you will miss if you do. Family and friends will be overlooked. Experiences and opportunities will be passed up. So don't.

I often do something that many people would consider silly. Per my desire for even me to get over myself when needed, I will let my guard down and do just that. I love looking up at the "just before sunset" sky and seeing the amazing, blazing orange and purple and blue sky that God puts above us. It is simply breathtaking at times and there are never two alike. It's like a free masterpiece of art painted on the biggest canvas that's just given to us to enjoy. Sadly, I tend to point these out when I see them and most people, not all, but most, just glance up and say "ya, cool" and then put their mind right back into whatever was going on moments before. I do the same with rainbows. Want to see me get excited? Show me a rainbow. For a short time, anything in my life gets put on hold while I enjoy these life moments. This is one example of letting go, even if just for a short time.

In the end, transformation NEVER happens on the outside. It is ALWAYS on the inside. Your blueprint for success is here. Re-read it several times and honestly make the changes that you need to make. I'm not in the business of patting people on the back and telling them "good job" just to make them feel good. I am in the business of helping people succeed at one of life's hardest endeavors. So, please understand my desire. It is one of transformation. YOUR transformation, finally.

If you need more help or want to discuss, you know how to find me.