I’m naturally a pretty skinny dude. I’m tall, have long and thin limbs, a fast metabolism, very little body fat, and overall find it hard to gain any sort of weight. I’m the type of guy who can play video games and eat chips all day and still be one kilo lighter the next morning. If I didn’t work out, I would easily weigh 10 kilos less than I currently do. In professional circles, people would call me a “hardgainer” or “ectomorph” (though they only say that behind my back).
When I was a teenager, I really wanted to put on muscle (Who doesn’t at that time? Ah the folly of youth, today I’m way past that of course – wait, I still want to do that). What do you do when you are 16, have the physique of as supermodel (a female one that is) but want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger? You start lifting weights.
So I went to the gym and I worked out. A lot. Every other day. How much weight did I put on in that time? Not all that much. Of course there were some changes, but not the big gains that I was hoping for (of course I was also yet to discover the role of diet in fitness).
I did what every other reasonable person would do in that situation – finding excuses for my lack of success. I convinced myself that I was genetically disadvantaged, that god or some other supernatural entity hated me, or that “something must be wrong with these weights”. Talk about self-limiting beliefs. This gave me an easy excuse to stop trying and not question what I was doing.
But, as I have been saying before, if we don’t succeed, there usually is nothing wrong with us but with our method. And my method was definitely flawed. Read More
[…] it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly, you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. […] The instrument has taken you over.
Have your ever gotten into an argument with yourself inside your own head? You know when a thought pops up that is uncomfortable or scary or evokes any other negative emotion and you start discussing with yourself whether or not it’s true? Or you judge yourself for having it and think you are a bad person?
I was a master at this. I would spent so much time mired in my own mental processes, jumping from self-judgment to self-judgment and going down the endless rabbit hole. It is a recipe for anxiety, insomnia, mental burn-out, and self-hate.
Maybe you can relate to what I describe above. Maybe you are not as much of an overthinker as I am but you are still kept awake at night by the mental chatter going on in your head. Maybe you are just stressed by the demands of daily life, have problems concentrating and are looking for some peace of mind. In all cases The Power of Now is a book I highly recommend. Read More
“What the hell is wrong with me?!” The question echoed in my head again and again, “Why can’t I get my shit together?”. I was back on the couch. Watching TV, playing video games. Doing everything else but the thing that I had to do. That I promised myself I would do. And I hated myself for it.
“You can do this. It’s not that hard. Just get up and get it done.” Of course I could do it. That was not the question. I had all the mental and physical faculties. But the resistance, oh the resistance. It was just so much easier to do all the other things. And surely somebody had to watch TV? It must be playing all day for a reason.
What exactly was I avoiding? It doesn’t really matter. But I have been in this situation often enough and I reckon so have you. That time you promised yourself you would finally get in shape. Or back when you vowed to give up smoking. Or when you were going to “eat healthy from now on”.
But then you had a stressful day. And you told yourself it would be ok to miss the workout, have “just one cigarette”, or that certainly there must be some vitamins in doughnut glazing, why else would it be colorful? Down the slippery slope it goes and before you knew it you were back to your old routine. Read More
Whenever we try to make a change in our lives, even if it’s for the better, or when we attempt anything that we care about, we meet an old enemy: resistance. Barriers will pop up. Some of them we can perceive, some of them we are not even aware of. This is the way of the universe and the nature of goals. If you care about something, you also fear it. If you didn’t fear it, you wouldn’t care about it. It’s part of the process and the first step is to accept it.
No, it’s not rational, but who ever claimed it was? So don’t despair when in your head you come up with ludicrous excuses for why you shouldn’t do whatever it is you are attempting. Do not use them as a reason to judge yourself harshly either. It’s not a personal flaw. It doesn’t mean you are lazy, incompetent, or any other negative label you can come up with. It is that way for all of us.
There are ways to minimize the resistance and drastically reduce the number of excuses, obstacles, snags, cop-outs, hurdles, and spokes in your wheel which your mind and sub-conscience (those bastards) can throw at you. The keyword here is entrance barriers and to make things easier, it’s important to eliminate them from the beginning. Read More
Goal setting is useless without behavior change, which is where most people go wrong. They think if they have a goal, their motivation and sheer will to achieve it will carry them all the way there. But the exciting momentum of starting something new only gets you so far. If you don’t put a system in place which will catch you and get you through the rough patches and all the way to the end, good luck. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
In order to post one article every week, I have to do one thing: write. If I don’t somehow integrate this into my day, there is no way I will be able to adhere to my desired posting schedule. Figuring it out “later” and doing it “when I have the time” means setting me up for non-compliance. Therefore I need to come up with a detailed plan to move me towards this goal and so do you. The following steps provide a good road map for that: Read More