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Why You Self Sabotage, and How to Stop It

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Today’s guest post come courtesy of personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach, wellness coach, and owner of more certifications than anyone on Earth, Paul Levitin.

I’ve crossed paths with Paul several times throughout the years. He’s attended a workshop or two of mine and most recently we connected again at the Raise the Bar Conference down in Orlando, FL a few weekends ago.

We got to talking on a bevy of topics while down there and he expressed some interest in writing a guest post for my site on self-sabotage.

Not a light topic by any stretch, but I think you’ll enjoy his writing style. I know I learned a few things!

Enjoy.

Why You Self Sabotage, and How to Stop It

“…Hey you.

You, yeah I’m talking to you…

Why do you keep doing that?

That thing you do… where you say you’re gonna do something, but don’t? Where you talk yourself out of things, give up before you get a result, or commit to obligations you know you can’t fulfill? You keep getting in your own way! STOP IT!…”

That’s me, talking to myself in the mirror, after yet another in a long line of instances of not following through on my commitments, doing what I said I would to, or achieving my goals.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a diet, sticking to a workout program, building an online business, or literally anything else. 

Working out

When it comes to achieving goals, or rather NOT achieving them, it really boils down to one simple thing:

We get in our own way.

I say “we,” because this is an inherently human trait.

Since you are reading this, I can assume that you’re either a human, or an incredibly smart dog, monkey, or octopus, in which case, idk, maybe self-sabotage is a thing for you too. If my hunch is correct though, and you ARE a human, then the fact of the matter is, you have a tendency to self-sabotage (see, I’m doing it right now, talking about octopus in an article about self-sabotage!).

via GIPHY

We can make all of the excuses in the world, from lack of time, to not knowing where to start, to a million things in between.

If we are honest though, those are all the same. Different versions of self-sabotage.

  • Who controls your time?
  • Who controls what media you consume?
  • Who controls everything about you? 

(That’s not a trick question)

It’s YOU.

Therefore, if you aren’t getting your shit handled, it’s your fault.

YES, there can be external factors. YES some people have kids and jobs and families and pandemics and global economic crises. BLAH BLAH, I get it.

Those things are real, but they still don’t negate the one truth, the truthiest truth, that the only things you have control over in this life are yourself, your actions, and how you spend your time (to an extent). 

It may seem abrasive when put so bluntly, but trust me, I am not being judgmental. That’s why I started all of this by telling you a little of my own personal internal dialogue. A wise person once said, “the best research is actually me-search,” and let’s just say I’ve done a shit load of ME-search on the topic of self-sabotage.

I am the one who most holds ME back, and chances are, you are the one holding yourself back.

People don’t like to hear it. However, when we do hear it, we inherently usually (if begrudgingly) tend to admit this to be true, because well, it’s true. You can’t really argue against it (RIP my inbox, I know the keyboard warriors are coming for me).

Spartan warrior in the woods

There’s a keyboard somewhere in the background. Look closely. See it?5

I’ve spent this much time hammering this point because it is imperative that we get past this right out of the gate if we are to move forward. 

Now that we are on the same page, let me lay out three key mindset shifts that you MUST adopt if you want to have a chance in the battle of self-sabotage.

The First Key Is Acceptance

Acceptance lies at the root of all positive change. Acceptance of what is.

If I want to lose weight, I have to first accept that I am at a weight that I am unhappy, or otherwise uncomfortable at. I must accept that my decisions around food and activity up until this point have gotten me here.

If I want to build a successful fitness blog, I have to accept certain realities as well. I have to accept that I need to practice writing. I have to accept that an established blog like the one you’re reading this on, has a huge readership and trust that I don’t have yet, and that my clicks will pale in comparison.

I need to accept what IS, and what IS NOT.

What is a FACT.

Because, on the flip side of acceptance, is blame. Blaming others, blaming algorithms, blaming genetics. 

John Maxwell has a great quote on leadership that goes “we don’t solve problems that we didn’t create.” If you can pass the blame, pass the buck, you will also find reasons not to find the solution. 

So if you want to stop self-sabotage, and get out of your own way, it starts with accepting the realities of your current situation.

The Second Key Is to Set Better Goals

A big reason I’ve found myself, and my clients self-sabotaging in the past, is because we tend to work towards goals that don’t really matter.

When I say “don’t matter,” what I mean is, they don’t have a deep internalized meaning.

Sure you want to lose weight. Who doesn’t? If I had a magic wand and said I’d wave off a couple kilos of fat for you, pretty much everyone on the planet would take that deal. 

via GIPHY

But when you set a goal to lose weight, are you thinking about what it really means?

  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • Is it truly for you?
  • Why 20lb, not 10, or 23?

Is it because you want it, or is it because society told you that you’re supposed to look a certain way?

When you have chest and arm day scheduled, but would rather sit and eat a bag of Cheetos, is that you being lazy, or do you have no real connection to the goal of having bigger pecs?

Who said that was the ideal physique?

(NOTE from TG: My wife would call this “should’ing on yourself.” I should look “x” way, I should follow this training split, I should watch Yellowjackets on Showtime. Stop should’ing on yourself.)

We understand that fitness is important, and movement and exercise are a conduit to that. But does that mean you have to bench press?

Maybe you’d be better served doing pilates twice a week, and dancing to Zumba with your kids during playtime?

Trying to force-feed yourself goals, because they are accepted as the “standard” seems smart on the surface. However, deep down, your subconscious mind is all “uh, fuck that noise. I don’t even want any of that result, so why would I put myself through the stress of doing the work?”

When there is no connection, you’ll find it very hard to stay motivated.

If instead you have goals that aren’t just arbitrary, and are actually built around you, and make you feel GOOD, and make you EXCITED to go out and do the work it will take to achieve them, then you’re setting yourself up for success.

Lastly…

The Third Key to Stop Self-Sabotage Dead in its Tracks, Is to Embrace Failure

The biggest, most pervasive form of self-sabotage, is undoubtedly perfectionism.

We want things to go well, we want everything to work out perfectly. We expect them to, and when they don’t, the little thought gremlins come in saying “well, no point now!” or “see, I knew we couldn’t do this!”

via GIPHY

This is the dieter who lets one meal off plan turn into a day, which turns into a weekend, into a “i’ll start next month.”

It’s the lifter who has five workouts scheduled, and when a life event causes him or her to miss three, decides the other two aren’t worth doing.

Logically, it’s easy to see why this fallacy holds us back. However once again, this stuff is human nature. This isn’t me or you, it’s just how our brains work.

To combat this, we must lean into failure. You have to understand that not only is failure probable, it is GUARANTEED. There is no world, no universe or time lines in all of Dr Strange’s multi-verse, where you are not going to fail.

It is as certain as the sun rising each morning, or as me clicking “I’m still watching” on netflix. There is no other way around it.

You cannot be perfect. You cannot be perfect.

YOU.

CANNOT.

BE.

PERFECT.

Once you accept that (hey, that’s key one, that’s a callback!), then you don’t have to be so afraid of failing anymore. You’ll be able to push yourself more, to try things that normally you might not (key 2), and most importantly, when you do fail, which you will, you won’t let it get you down, because you’ll remember that it’s all part of the process (key 3).

Get out of your own way, and there will be nothing else in the world that can stop you!

About the Author

Paul Levitin spent a decade as a personal trainer & strength and conditioning coach, becoming the number one trainer in his entire company, while collecting over 30 certificates (CES, CSCS, PRI, PN1, FRC, & many more).

Wanting to better serve his training clients, he began to study behavior change, and eventually became a Board Licensed Health & Wellness Coach (NBHWC). This led him to create his education and mindset coaching company “The Healthy Happy Human Academy,” where he now helps clients deal with things like self-sabotage and perfectionism, to allow them to build a healthy, happy life.

He seeks to bridge the gap between the worlds of fitness and nutrition, and the frustrated, overwhelmed masses who just want to move more, feel better, and live a little longer.

https://www.instagram.com/paullevitin/

The Healthy Happy Human Podcast

The Healthy Happy Human Academy FREE Facebook Group

 

The post Why You Self Sabotage, and How to Stop It appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

Motivational,psychology,motivation,Paul Levitin,personal growth,self-sabotage

weight loss

A Complete Arms Workout That Takes Just 7 Minutes

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Looking to fire up your arms, but don't have a ton of time? This HIIT arms workout may be exactly what you're looking for. In less than seven minutes, this routine will target both the front and back of your upper arms—your biceps and triceps.

One time-honored exercise technique for getting a lot of work done in not a whole lot of time is through high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, ACE-certified personal trainer, Sivan Fagan, CPT, owner of Strong With Sivan, tells SELF. HIIT workouts also raise your heart rate quickly because of its programming: You'll be working more than resting. That means you'll also get in some cardio work.

But HIIT programming isn't only for cardio workouts; you can also use it for strength training, too. Take, for instance, this HIIT arms workout below, which was created by Fagan for SELF.

For any effective arms workout—like in this one—you'll want to include moves that target both the front of your arms (your biceps) and exercises that hit the back of your upper arms (your triceps). While traditional arms exercises tend to be isolation exercises (moves like the biceps curl and triceps extension, which work smaller muscles), there is also a benefit for including compound movements (like the Z press and row, which work bigger muscle groups) as well.

In this routine, you'll be using both kinds of exercises with a technique called “pre-exhaustion.” This means you'll first complete an isolation exercise (say, a biceps curl) and then follow it immediately with a compound exercise that hits the same areas as the isolation exercise (like a bent-over row). Following up an isolation move with a compound exercise is effective for really targeting those small muscles in your arms, since they're working hard in both exercises—but they have additional support in the compound move from bigger muscles so they don't tire out too quickly.

A couple quick notes before you get started. First, if you're a beginner and new to HIIT routines, it's super important to pay attention to your form—quality of reps is more important than quantity here.

“If something feels iffy, definitely don't continue the workout or the exercise,” says Fagan. Take the time to reset and rest if you need to, and when you're ready to start back up, slow down. When you're working by time, it can be tempting to try to crank out as many reps as you can in that period, but slowing down and doing fewer reps with better form is the better—and safer—choice. Plus, when you take the time to keep your form on target, you can really make sure you're targeting the right muscles. And that makes your workout more effective.

Secondly, you'll want to choose the weight of your dumbbells carefully with this one. Because HIIT routines are more intense—and that's especially the case in this routine, where you're working with that pre-exhaustion technique—you'll probably want to use lighter weights than you would if you were doing straight sets. For instance, maybe you can use 10-pound dumbbells when doing a set of 10 biceps curls before resting and doing it again. But if you're doing biceps curls for 40 seconds, and then following it right up with a row for 40 seconds, you'll likely have to go lighter to make it through all that time with proper form.

Fitness / Workouts

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creating healthy habits

Sleep Deficiency Hinders Weight Loss, So Try Better Sleep Habits

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Do you wake up feeling tired? Well, you’re not alone. One in every three Americans does not get the recommended sleep needed for optimal health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sleep deficiency is known to cause weight gain, but also contributes to a whole list of more serious health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes, just to name a few.

Why Sleeping Is So Important for Weight Loss

Believe it or not, each and every day the most important thing that you do all day is sleep. Yes, you heard right! Sleep quality and duration are so important that they directly affect everything else you do in life.

“We are nothing but slaves to chemical processes,” says W. Christopher Winter, MD, in an article for Livestrong.

Nearly one third of our lives are spent asleep. During sleep, it is peak time for our bodies to repair muscle and release hormones that control natural processes, including appetite. All this is being done without any conscious energy being consumed.

Consequently, a deficiency in the sleep column affects everything; more specifically, it cuts weight loss and exercise performance by nearly 20%. This spirals into a decrease in hormone production, (which occurs when we sleep), and ultimately affects our daily eating pattern. Popular studies show that weight gain occurs because more calories are consumed on the following day, because of lack of hormone release. Therefore, a continued deficit during the night will only lead to months and years of unnecessary weight gain. On the flip side, if you aren’t already experiencing weight gain, you may just be unable to lose weight at all. So you don’t have weight gain, but no weight loss occurs, either.

Practice Better Sleep Habits

The best advice is to practice better sleep habits, getting optimal rest and avoiding insomnia.

Start with controlling your sleep environment by setting it at the appropriate temperature. Experts suggest trying between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Try eliminating all computers and television sets from your room as well, since any source of light tends to disrupt sleep patterns. Aim for consistency rather than trying to catch up on hours you might have missed the preceding day. Don’t be afraid to take short naps when feeling fatigued. These should be anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes long to help improve alertness, performance, and mood. Lastly, never consume caffeine in the afternoon because it has the ability to stay in your system and interrupt the natural onset of sleep several hours later (See our blog on giving up caffeine).

The final verdict is in. A poor amount of sleep greatly hinders weight loss and sets you up for other health problems. So do yourself a favor: turn out the light, tuck yourself in, and get some much-needed Zzzs.

This blog was written by Cara Hartman, NIFS Health Fitness Instructor. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

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Beachbody

YES — You Can Lose Weight Without “Starving”!

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The other day, one of my weight-loss clients told me that she’d been “starving” while waiting for lunchtime to come around.

Of course, she didn’t mean that she was literally starving. She was just trying to say she was feeling “especially hungry.”

But I always discourage people I work with from using that word, because — aside from being insensitive to the fact that lots of people really ARE starving — it just creates a terrible mindset for anyone who’s trying to eat purposefully and lose weight.

Whenever you say that you’re starving (even in jest), some part of you begins to panic. And that feeling of panic can lead to bad decisions — like choosing to eat the next thing in sight.

And when the next thing in sight is a bag of chips or a sugary snack — that’s a choice that won’t help you reach your weight-loss goals and probably won’t even alleviate your hunger for long.

So before switching into panic mode, I advise my clients to take a breath — and instead of saying “I’m starving,” — say “I’m okay, I’m just hungry and I need to eat something.”

I always tell them to start by drinking water first (because hunger is very often dehydration in disguise!) and to remind themselves of WHY they’re trying to lose weight.

After that, it takes them just a few extra minutes to think of a healthy, filling option that will satisfy their hunger, nourish their bodies, and still help them reach their weight-loss goals.

Remember, you’re always in control of the food you eat — that’s an amazingly liberating idea!

Learn to eat because you’re hungry — not because you’re “starving” — and you’ll take a giant step down the path to a positive weight loss and mindset.

Be sure to look for my new nutrition program — the 2B Mindset™ — available beginning May 2 on TeamBeachbody.com.

It’s a healthy approach to weight loss that shows you how to coexist with food in real-world situations, outsmart your cravings, and manage setbacks before they even occur.

Best of all, it is designed to help you feel full and satisfied after every meal — so you can lose weight happily and learn to keep it off for good.

Enter your email address below to receive Ilana’s “5 Simple Secrets To Outsmart Overeating,” plus more free weight-loss tips and updates about the 2B Mindset.

Ilana Muhlstein, M.S., R.D.N., created the 2B Mindset as a way to help herself lose 100 pounds — and keep it off — after years of unsuccessful dieting.

After becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she refined her breakthrough approach to healthy eating into a system simple enough for everyone to learn. To date, hundreds of her private practice clients have successfully lost weight using the same powerful principles she developed for herself.

Today, she’s excited to share those secrets with anyone who wants to lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived — with the 2B Mindset.

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