Negative Thought Patterns and the Quest for Fappiness.
Blow outs… we all have them, and personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts are no different.
And even though I constantly hear ‘but you are skinny, you don’t need to lose weight’ or, ‘what are you talking about don’t be ridiculous’ on a regular basis, the true nature of the fact is it is just the visual obviousness that makes one persons blow out seem worse than another’s, even though the feelings that come along with said blowout whether its 3kg or 10kgs of body fat, are still exactly the same.
There’s no woman in the history of my whole fitness career that has ever been happy about having gained a few kilos of body fat. Not one. Mix that together with an obvious decrease in physical performance and your self-esteem goes down, self-consciousness goes up and if left unaddressed can lead to emotional overeating and more subsequent weight gain. This is where it’s easy to recognise how negative thinking can easily make someone feel so discouraged that they don’t even bother to try to rectify the situation until the doctors prescribes a lifestyle change threatening you with the thought of heart and cholesterol problems followed by an early grave.
And so with that comes my confession. I had one….. a 4kg blow out. Approximately 10% of my normal bodyweight. Obviously this is in no way serious in comparison with other people’s blow outs, and it’s certainly not life threatening for me, but it is serious enough for me to fall into the potentially fatal negative thought patterns. Being an already small framed person I can just sense the eye rolling of a million people who know or have met me which again is why I’d like to put forward that weight gain, just like weight loss is an individual thing. You might not see 4kgs on me, but that’s not cause it isn’t there nor does it make it any less important compared to someone else’s weight gain because ultimately the result could be the same…That is.. …(upcoming clincher)..if I choose it.
So there-in lies the difference between someone like me, whose blow outs are comparatively small, compared to someone who gains 10kgs in a month, 50kgs in a year, or 100kgs over 20years. I believe when all medical/hormonal and chemical causes have been exhausted it’s all in the delay, prevention and turn around of our negative thought patterns associated with weight gain.
So what to do? Easy…. stop it. You are in control of your thoughts. They are not in control of you. And if you feel strongly different then may I suggest an appointment with a psychologist because this blog will be unlikely to help you or any other personalities you may have existing in there.
Negative thought patterns are sneaky manipulative critters that catch us when we least expect it and we are all prone to them. They will take advantage when you are most vulnerable and stop at nothing less than making you believe them and will penetrate every aspect of your life if you let them. They are the Charles Manson’s of our brainwaves and like Charles Manson we do not have the ability to shut them up completely, but we do have the ability to lock them away and contain them in a small part of our brain, so they have the least possible impact on our daily life.
Unfortunately if you’re already experiencing weight gain from negative thought patterns or feel unhappy with yourself about it, then like me at the moment you are already vulnerable. This means your Charles Mansons are already loose and are currently recruiting cult members whether you know it or not. So to contain them we need to find tactics to fight them off and like Mel Gibsons bottom bearing character on Braveheart, display fearlessness and keep a sense of humour in doing so.
So the following are some of the tactics I use to help me subdue mine which can give you a small glimpse into the sometimes ridiculous mind of a personal trainer. Remember, we are no different to you or anyone else, the only thing is we’ve become relatively good at recognising Charles Mansons and sentencing them to lock up for as long as possible:
1. Surround yourself with positive people. This is so cliché I know, but I mean this in every possible facet of your life. Don’t make excuses for negative people in your social circle, remember you are in control. It’s extremely difficult to face cutting people out of your life, but if you are serious about getting control of your health, your friends should understand and if not you have to ask who’s wellbeing they have in consideration, by discussing this with them you may even inspire them to join you in gaining a positive mindset for your health.
For me this is spending less time with friends who drink alcohol on a regular basis, go out partying or doing any of the activities that are counter-productive to me achieving my weight loss and fitness goals. I avoid unhealthy eaters at meal times in my workplace, including going into the staff kitchen area when people are eating rubbish food or going on ‘coffee runs’. I choose to surround myself with others who are into fitness and healthy eating so I can be encouraged and inspired by them without even having to think about it.
2. Embrace Cheesy Mottos. It’s corny as shit but put the cheesy mottos on your phone, on your laptop, facebook wherever you can think of. You can do it! There’s no time like the present! Like pages on facebook that are conducive of your goals so that your newsfeed is plastered with positive sayings.
Warning: Do not use unachievable images of super fit people if this induces negative thought patterns as this can cause the opposite effect. Stick with text and bright colours or standardised images if you are highly critical or comparative of yourself.
3. Create a visual goal. I also put pictures of upcoming events in my common areas, watch inspiring films, and do everything possible to make myself believe in my ability to get fit, eat well and cut out the shit. I have pictures for a fitness event next to my bed, on my locker at work and a fitness timetable right next to it. If I have a healthy eating plan I stick it to the front of my fridge.
4. Get organised. Have your gym clothes ready, fuel in your car, shoes at the door. Lunch pre made,… anything to be organised to make exercising and healthy eating easy. Although I personally prefer home cooked food, it may be ‘Lite and Easy’ or Jenny Craig that works for you out of pure convenience. Anything that makes it easier for you take on board.
Also get rid of any negative foods in your house. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. So just do it. Take the tim tams and throw them. There’s no, “oh I’ll just finish them and never buy another packet”..that’s Charles Mason halting your progress…. now is the time for change.
5. Develop Judge Judy Thoughts. Take your most motivating quotes and repeat them to yourself when you hear yourself engaging in Charles Manson thoughts. Don’t put up with their crap and deal with them using the long arm of the law. And lets face it ain’t no-nonsense with Judge Judy and you deserve no a nonsense approach. Tell yourself you can do it. Push yourself to be better, and most importantly invest time in convincing yourself you can and will do it, and act accordingly. This along with point number one are the two most people struggle with the most. However the good news is a councillor, positive thinking friend, or even a personal trainer can help you with this one.
6. Talk yourself into being Fappy. Accept where you’ve been and where you won’t go again. Recognise where you want to be and document steps to get you there. This should bring some acceptance and happiness into your life about taking positive steps to where you want to be. I strongly suggest writing it down and again putting it everywhere. Talk to your friends and family about it and engage in anything that will help you to solidify your belief in making it happen. You may still feel fat but accept the choice to be happy ie: Fappy, as this will help you to move forward.
Now I have lost a little bit of weight since developing these tactics in my life over the last few weeks. However I still have a kilo to go so I am certainly no expert nor am I off the hook. However I have found by instilling my Judge Judys in my brain, and by setting a positive outlook, and by plastering my goal everywhere, I can move forward in a state of Fappiness.
Anyway folks I’m off to start my positive and healthy weekend because that is what it will be.
Moving on from my blow out by holding on to the positive and letting go of the negative to move forward with gusto!!
That was my fault on your star rating. I tapped five stars but it only registered four.
I love this post. You cover a lot of great points that I live by myself. Excellently well written and explained.
If I can add one thing: these blowouts are why I try to head the blowout off before it starts. My problem is picking up that first snack, that first six Oreo cookies or that bag of candy. That sets off a craving that can last for weeks before I get a handle on it and back off again. The trick, for me, is to realize that even that first little snack will hurt me so I refrain. It sucks, but it works.
The trouble is, as a cyclist I CAN afford it every now and again. It’s a slippery slope though.
Anyway, awesome post.