Saturday, March 19, 2011

Learn from the Past, Plan for the Future, Change in the Moment

What does it really take to get all the way to your most cherished fitness goal?  When you've already reached the the gratifying range of a healthy BMI, no one raises an eyebrow when you step on the scale at the doctor's office, and your kid never says, "Are you sure you want to eat that Mom?"  As I go deep into studying for the ACE certification exam I've been introduced to the terms extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and I realize that the closer I get to my ultimate body shaping goals, the more I will have to rely on motivation that comes from deep inside me.

Living Outside the Norm

Today, when it comes to body image, the concepts of healthy, average, and normal are can get pretty slippery.  Even in the media today you can see a difference between the look of actors, runway models, fitness celebrities, and athletes.  If you look around at the people in your life and your community you may agree with me that the concept of a normal weight, a weight that doesn't cause comment or invite attention, is getting pretty broad.  Extrinsic motivation can easily result from carrying a weight that is beyond the norm, and even though normal can be determined by many different factors like your social circle or your job, the extrinsic cues and signals that it's time to lose fat come from your environment.  I remember very clearly what it was like to be chubby in my tween years because children that age are hardly interested in being tactful.  If you make the mistake of carrying a weight that is outside the norm, most twelve year olds are more than happy to let you know about it, solely for your own good of course.
Right now, at 5'1" and 120 pounds I'm sitting here right smack in the middle of my comfort zone, and solidly within the medical and societal norm.  But I want more.

Was I Seeking Good, or Just Seeking Attention?

Musical Theatre fans may recognize Elphaba's line from "Wicked" above, but even if you don't you will probably guess how it applies here.  As I eat, move, and think my way toward my current goal, which happens to be 116 pounds and 19% bodyfat by April 12th, I know that I will be approaching the other side of normal.  What do I think is on the other side of normal?  Quite honestly I'm hoping that it is a body that qualifies as beautiful, even exceptional.  My fascination with exceptional fitness, for me and for my future clients,  is definitely wrapped up in these two questions: What do we want it for, and how do we get it?  That brings me right back around to the question at the beginning of this post, and the statement in the title.

Managing the Moment 

As I live toward my goals, I am discovering the absolutely crucial need to develop techniques for managing the moment.  What moment is this?  It is the moment in which you choose between your highest hopes and your immediate urges.  And now for a specific idea for managing the moment.  Of course, since this is a blog about fat loss and transformation, the urges I'm writing about are the urges we feel to eat in a way that doesn't serve our goals.

 Know what you should be eating.

 How can you know if you're breaking your promises to yourself if you haven't made any specific commitments?  So for an exceptional body, take the time to plan what you will eat for the day before you eat it.  Most of us are familiar with the benefits of recording what we eat after we eat it, but by planning your meals beforehand you will absolutely know if you are remaining true to yourself in the very moments when the urges hit.  This affords you with a clear choice.  Give yourself every chance to choose well, and develop the habit of choosing for your most cherished goals.

Choice and Change

Know what you want, and learn what you have to do step by step to get it.  The step by step process is technique,  and if you are reading this on line you have access to practically every fat loss technique ever discovered.  Once you have found a technique or plan that you believe in, begin to develop your own tools for choosing well in the moment.  Choose well often enough, and you will change in beautiful and exceptional ways.

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