As many of you probably know, I'm in the middle, well not the middle, but the beginning stages of the P90X Workout Program. You can read all of the posts in the P90X category if you wish, but this post has a different goal.
I want to let you in on a weight loss secret that all of the people out there who have had success with weight loss and getting in better shape have mastered. This may be the single thing that is keeping you from being in the kind of shape you want to be in, and I absolutely mean that.
It's not about some magic exercise. It's not about some magic food. And it's not about some magic supplement.
The Right Frame of Mind is Vital to Successful Weight Loss
It's about the way you think each and every day about your life. It's about avoiding rationalization. You see, we all have the built-in natural tendency rationalize why we can do certain things. For example.
"I worked hard all day, so I don't have to mow the grass when I get home." - Think like this too long and your yard ends up a foot tall and you have to pay someone to mow it.
"I got a lot done today, so I don't have to do as much tomorrow." - Think like this too long and you'll get into the habit of never getting anything done.
"I've been eating really well lately, so this pint of ice cream is ok." - Think like this too long and you'll eventually be eating nothing but junk.
I have seen multiple nutrition and weight loss programs fail not because they were poorly designed, but because the people couldn't fight the urge to rationalize their habits. You can't allow yourself to rationalize why you have poor habits if you want to succeed not just in weight loss, but in life.
If you think that because you have had some small success that you are now entitled to go back to the way things were (which probably got you to the point where you're at now) you will absolutely fail.
Now don't get me totally wrong here. There's nothing wrong with working really hard for a week and then rewarding yourself with a "cheat meal," but you must be 100% disciplined about it. You must stick to it. You cannot allow yourself to fall into the trap that most people fall into.
Why We Rationalize and How to Beat it
Why does this happen? Why do we rationalize? Because we need a "reason why" we do the things we do, but most of the time those reasons why are detrimental to our lives, because most of the time they're making us more lazy.
If you say to yourself, "I worked out today, so I'm going to have this cheeseburger," that's not getting you anywhere. That's just erasing all of the hard work you put in with your workout. You might as well not do anything at all if this is the way you think. You're coupling positives with negatives, and that means NOTHING for progress.
Eventually you'll get into the habit of over-rationalizing. You'll think because you ate that cheeseburger yesterday and it was "ok" that you can do it again today. Then you have an over abundance of negatives.
This is exactly how people fall off the wagon.
The Key to Being Successful With Your Weight Loss
To be successful with weight loss, you must be disciplined enough to resist and overcome your rationalizations.
Instead of coming up with reasons why you can eat junk food or be lazy or whatever, you should be thinking about how to turn your positive behavior into more positive behavior.
For example, you should say to yourself, "Hey, I worked out today, so I'm going to reward my body for it's hard work by eating healthy, and then I'm going to do it again tomorrow."
"Hey, I got a lot done today, there's no reason I can't work this hard every day."
This way you're following up positives with more positives and you WILL make progress each and every day.
This one thing is what separates the successful and healthy people from those out there who struggle with health and weight issues every day.
The key to fighting rationalization is the AWARENESS that you are doing it. If you catch yourself saying something to yourself to rationalize a poor behavior, think of what that poor behavior might lead to if you keep it up, and think of what you can do to turn that rationalization into a positive.