YOU HAVE POWER OVER YOUR MIND

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

– Marcus Aurelius

You guys have heard the old saying…. The mind is a powerful thing. How many of us actually put much thought in to it though.

Reality is, we absolutely should.

It is truly amazing how many studies have come out proving this concept. One Harvard study was conducted on a group of hotel maids. Despite exceeding the daily recommended amount of exercise, 67% of the maids did not consider themselves physically active. Langer, the psychologist, predicted that the maid’s viewpoints about their physical activity were making it difficult for them to lose weight.

To test her hypothesis, Langer gathered half of the maids, took their physical measurements and explained that they were exceeding the amount of exercise recommended by the surgeon general. The other half were given no information.

After a month, Langer’s team returned to the hotel for reevaluation. The maids that were evaluated and given information had a decrease in systolic blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio. The other group’s results were insignificant.

Langer attributes these physical (and likely psychological) benefits to a simple change in mindset.

(In other words, it may be possible to THINK yourself thin!)

In another study that I recently read about they posed the hypothesis that you could maintain strength in a broken appendage simply by imagining that you were working it out. Researchers at the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute convinced 29 healthy volunteers to wear rigid elbow-to-finger casts for four weeks. Half of the group was told to do nothing, while the others were instructed to imagine they were contracting their immobilized wrist (as if they were pushing their hand really hard against a flat surface) for five seconds and then relaxing it for another five. These people weren’t actually moving their wrists (they couldn’t); they were simply imagining how it would feel if they were. They did this mental contract-relax regimen four times in a row, then rested for one minute. The volunteers repeated this sequence a total of 13 times per session, doing five sessions per week for four weeks straight.

When all of the participants’ arms were freed from their casts after four weeks, everyone had lost strength in their wrist flexor muscle. However, the cast-wearers who did not do any mental exercises lost 45 percent of their strength, nearly double the group that imagined moving their wrists. Additionally, those who performed the mental exercises also regained voluntary activation — the nervous system’s ability to fully activate the muscle — more quickly than the other group.

They’ve also done studies showing that continuing to work out one side of the body when dealing with an injury will produce similar results of those listed above. In other words, if you cannot use your right arm because of an injury, continuing to exercise with the left will actually help you maintain strength in both.

I could go on-and-on about study after study that have shown similar results. The point is, our mind is a powerful force that we SHOULD be using to our benefit. I can tell you with 100% certainty that days that I show up to the gym with a positive mindset and “know in my brain” that I’m going to have a great workout, I ALWAYS do. I also know the exact opposite, if I show up with a crappy attitude about my pull-ups or double unders, or whatever, pick a move, I will suck at them.

Now, I’m not saying that I can imagine myself to a muscle-up on the rings, or a 600lb deadlift. What I AM saying though, your thoughts can and will dictate how well you perform daily.

I don’t remember exactly where I read it but, I read this thing that said imagine you will be successful even if you don’t believe it, your brain doesn’t know the difference. I have tried it, and I believe it to be true.

Why not try it? What exactly do you have to lose?

WHY YOU SHOULD STOP TRYING TO FIT IN A WORKOUT

We’ve all been guilty of trying to “fit” our workout into our busy schedules. What I mean by that is, we make time for work, work activities, our kid’s activities, meals, sleep, eating, etc… However, for whatever reason, we seem to forget to, or choose not to, schedule the part of the day that makes us feel SO much better; the part that gives us more energy, that makes us feel good about ourselves, the part that keeps us healthy and fit enough to enjoy all those other activities that we schedule.

Imagine if we put ourselves up there in importance with all those other important activities. Activities that we try to fit into our day often go by the way side. They are the first things for which we decide there is not enough time for.

Aren’t we JUST AS important????

If we feel better, we WILL be more attentive to the other activities of the day.

If, at the first of the week, we scheduled our workout along with the other stuff, we’ll be FAR less likely to miss our workout.

Incentive is the key, the risk for the reward, if each day we wake up and plan our day around what makes us feel better, everyone wins!

If you feel better about you, your family life, your work life and your entire world just flow better.

Every day we wake up and worry about all our ‘to-do’s’, when in actuality if we wake up each day and schedule first what makes us feel better, and be better at life, all of the things that we think are most important will fall into place much easier.

Even when traveling, we can still schedule time for us. The workout doesn’t have to be at a box or in a gym. We all know it’s about being constantly varied anyway. How about go for a run, or do some sit-ups and push-ups in the hotel room, or 100 burpees for time (eeekkkk!).

I guarantee that you’ll feel better.

So, let’s all get up daily make a conscience decision, to schedule time for what makes our bodies work for US.

Let’s live long, healthy, and strong lives together.

Coach Kristie

BUT… OBESITY RUNS IN MY FAMILY

I saw this meme this morning that said “Obesity doesn’t run in your family… Nobody runs in your family.” My first thought was, yep, this is my family in a nutshell. The vast majority of my family and extended family is, at the very least, overweight and for the most part obese and even morbidly obese. Mom, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins…. Name the relation and chances are I would say yep, overweight.

Here’s the thing, I could sit back and make excuses for the fact they are this way or I can speak very frankly as to what I believe the problem is. You see, we are products of how we are/were raised. Everything from our political affiliation, to our religion, to the way we feed ourselves was or is for the most part shaped by our environment. As an example, if you grew up in a Christian home, chances are you will also believe as Christians do.

So why should our food choices be any different?

They aren’t.

Look closely at what you enjoy eating or what you eat at the holidays? Why do you eat those foods? More than likely because you were raised eating that way. I’ll give you a prime example from my own experience. When I come down with a cold I crave processed carbs like a crack fiend. Popcorn, crackers, crappy chicken noodle soup out of a can, anything that is high in carbs. So, why? It’s not because my body needs that, it is not something on a biological level to aid in the healing process. It is simply the fact that when I was a child I ate those things when I was sick. They became comfort foods to me and I feel I need those when I am not feeling well. Again, a direct result of how I was raised.

How am I different now than the majority of my family? First, about 17 years ago I made a conscious choice to change my life for the better and take control of my obesity problem. I was grossly overweight, 325 pounds on a 5’8” frame. I was on multiple medicines for high-blood pressure, acid reflux, depression, and asthma. Not to mention was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Second, I had to focus on changing my bad habits. I still struggle like crazy with food. I love food. I love to eat. I can also easily consume way too much food if I’m not “on top of” my nutrition choices.

So does obesity run in my family? Absolutely. Does it run in my family because it is a disease that needs a cure? Nope. It runs in my family because poor choices. Poor choices lead to poor habits. Then those poor habits are taught to kids that in turn teach to their kids. Until that cycle is broken you will suffer from those poor choices.