Playing the Mind Game

Post submitted by Carrie, a contributor to dustinmaherfitness.com

The mind truly does play tricks on you. As I’ve been working the past year to lose weight and be fit and strong I’ve been learning to pay attention to how I think and how I talk to myself.   Dustin talks and writes often about how positive thinking is essential to your success. One of our former trainers talked at every bootcamp about believing you can do something and telling yourself you can do it.

I hate to admit it, but up until the last few months I really wasn’t a huge believer in how much your self-talk impacts your daily life and attitude. However, the more I read, the more I listen, and the more I learn I can now say with certainty that how you talk to yourself makes all the difference. Our minds get stuck on negative “talk”, but I also believe the mind gets stuck on inaccurate perceptions of ourselves, too. Read on!

Beginning bootcamp almost a year ago was one of the scariest things I have ever tried. It sounds silly now, but all I could picture was some drill sergeant yelling at me as I fell behind during every exercise and me collapsing in a heap in front of an entire group of women. I didn’t sleep the night before and nearly backed out. Thank goodness I had a friend who was expecting me and who I told I would be there!! My general goals for bootcamp when I began were to lose weight and get in shape, but my first real concrete goal was simply to not be last. The slowest runner, the first to drop out of an exercise, do the least reps. You name it, I just didn’t want to be last.

After a couple of months (when I reached the point where I could make it through without thinking “when is it going to end???”) I began to strive to keep up with a couple of the fittest bootcampers. I told myself “When I can keep up with her then I know I’ll be in good shape.”

Fast forward many more months and the lightbulb has finally gone on. I’ve been doing bootcamp for almost a year. I KNOW I am stronger and faster than I was a year ago. But recall what I said about inaccurate perceptions. Just a couple of weeks ago I caught myself saying in my head “Pace yourself so you aren’t last” as we set off for a run around the park. But unlike countless times in the past I had my a-ha moment. I finally realized I am not just trying to keep up anymore, I am in the group at the front helping set the pace. How did I not realize after so many months I am far beyond just keeping up?

For those of us working hard to shed weight and get fit, it takes some time for our perceptions of ourselves to catch up to reality. At least that is what my best friend has been telling me. And boy, when she is right, she is really right!! She has been after me for some time to “get some clothes that fit.” On a recent shopping trip with her, she made me try on clothes I would have NEVER selected for myself. I insisted everything she chose would be too small and the stores we went to wouldn’t have my size; which by the way was never the case.  :-)  I was still shopping as if I were the same person as last summer. Again, I know what I  weigh now, I know my measurements, but I still had this perception I am heavy and clothes won’t fit.

Thanks to my best friend for helping me see my new reality.

Think about where you’ve come from for a moment. Are your perceptions lined up with your new reality??

 

Comments

  1. It is a mind game! Self-talk (negative OR positive) definitely affects our thoughts, behaviors, actions and eventually outcomes.

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