Fitness, Gym, Mindset, Uncategorized

My mind is telling me no…But my body..

Today I was talking with someone close to me about the concept of clearing your mind.

It is so rare for me, that my mind is not thinking about 4 or 5 things at once. My mind races from one thought to the next, making plans, trying to work out times to do things, thinking ideas, planning meals and generally not 100% focusing on the one thing I am trying to do at that time. I have to assume I am not the only one who experiences this!

This is why I love training. 

Going to the gym and lifting is one of the few times I am not concentrating on my thoughts, I’m listening to my body. I am feeling it all. The tight feeling in my muscles, the heart pounding in my chest, the burn and fatigue. 

Don’t get me wrong, as I approach the squat rack with my bar stacked with a weight that leaves me with a lingering feeling of apprehension, my mind is inoverdrive. The moment I feel the weight bearing down on my shoulders, my mind is focused. Focused on nothing but the feeling of tension in my muscles. The alignment of my back, hips and knees. I can feel my core tighten to stabilise my body. Then the moment I finish my set, I realise for those moments my mind was clear. Uncomplicated clarity. Peace.

This feeling is so comforting to me. Don’t get me wrong it’s something I built up. Almost like meditating, the first time I tried to meditate…. I’m listening to my mind go from focusing on my breathing…to wondering if I put the laundry on! 

For me weight training is just as much about challenging your brain to pushing past what is tells you that your body is not capable of. I find that this then translates in to other areas of life.

My brain tries to tell me… “you can’t lift that!”.. I prove it wrong.

If that’s the case, I wonder what else I can do?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not capable…not even you!

Taylor @tgm_fitness_elite

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Gym, Mindset, Uncategorized

The Rut

To say I wake up every day super psyched to take on the day would be a complete lie. And anyone who thinks I walk in to the gym ready to tackle every work out with the enthusiasm of Mr Motivator is also mistaken. In August I lost my mojo. My life had completely changed and I kind of fell apart a little. The “getting on with it” attitude wasn’t cutting it. I thought that by just eating right and exercising my mind would follow suit. For once…this didn’t work. The only way I can describe it is I fell in a hole. I know that sounds odd but it’s like I was trying to dig deep in myself and keep going despite all things and chaos that was happening around me. Instead I dug so deep I fell in. It was dark, lonely and I felt like there was no way out.

Before I fell in

Weirdly it was my training that highlighted something wasn’t right. For some it will make sense when I say the gym is like my church. It’s a place of peace, to work on myself, to push myself in more ways than just physically. The movements and weight that were second nature became difficult, the dumbbells I was benching with ease felt impossible to lift. The 15 minutes on the stepper felt like a life time (to be fair…there’s no change there!). The place I felt like me started to feel unfamiliar, made me feel like a failure. It came to the point where I tried to deadlift a weight, a weight that would usually be a warm up, and I just couldn’t. I remember calling my mum and crying because if I couldn’t even do something I love…what the hell was I supposed to do? I remember sitting on the floor in the gym and messaging a friend saying I suck and I just couldn’t do it. He then asked me why I was training? Why am I in the gym? And for the first time I didn’t know.

Put on the brakes, but don’t stop

The first thing I did was stop. I stopped training… shock horror! This was the hardest but best thing I have done. I needed a time out. If I didn’t know why I was there I didn’t want to associate my negative mind-set with a place I love. So I stopped. But I couldn’t just stop moving altogether, I feared I’d never move again! So I stayed active, dabbled in different activities I didn’t do in the gym. I mountain biked, walked, jogged outside, I even took a few yoga classes. I just needed to feel in touch with my body in a way that I wasn’t putting unnecessary mental and emotional stress through it. 

I slowly started to feel less strain on my body and started to feel like I actually wanted to go back to training.

Get back to basics

Why did I fall in love with training? With weightlifting? Building and sculpting my body?

I forgot how much I enjoyed the feeling it gave me, achievement of mastering my body to perform a movement. To lift something heavy, to move something that weighed more than my body. So I went back to basics. I trained only what I wanted. I bet many of you would think that meant I skipped like a billion leg days! But to the contrary my work outs had no order or purpose apart from me to enjoy it. If I wanted to do hammer curls, then squat, I did. I went back to chasing the pump and the rewarding feeling of a good set.

This gave me a little spark back.

The numbers game

I had to leave my ego at the front door! Forget the numbers! Forget the kg you lifted last time or how many reps you were able to do. It was about feeling it. My muscles right now don’t know the difference between 8kg dumbbells at 18kg. It knows work load and resistance. So I left the note book at home and didn’t log a thing. 

I know for most athletes, body builders, people who love to train will perhaps think this was a little odd to not track any progress but the progress wasn’t about anything other than pulling myself out of the hole. 

Phone a friend 

One thing I did that really helped was phone a friend, not just for a chat, but to organise a work out together. To put some fun, some friendly competition and banter back in to the work out. Training with someone different with a different style, different routines means you can bounce ideas of each other, push each other and even learn something new. As much as I love a good lifting session with my headphones in ignoring the world it’s nice to work out with someone else.

Invest

Personal training. This will likely sound biased based on the fact I’m a personal trainer haha. But it’s a worthy investment. I would not have even been in the situation I am in now without the first encouraging sessions from a PT. Having a good Personal trainer can help you push past boundaries, know when you are close to your limits, encourage and motivate you. Not only that, but it’s so easy to spend money on other people, stuff for the house, your partner, your child, your car. But how often do you invest in yourself, your own wellbeing and fitness. It’s valuable and empowering. 

Seek help

Seeking help can be such a taboo subject. The hole I fell in was a lot deeper than I could get out of alone. I needed some guidance. Some people hate calling for help, they will try to slap on a smile and get on with it. I learnt the hard way it doesn’t always work out that way. The way you have to see it is like someone throwing down a ladder. Someone can help you by doing so but you still have to work to climb out. So I see a therapist once a week. I used to feel a bit embarrassed about saying it. But there is no need. If you have a bad shoulder…you’d see a physiotherapist. If you have an illness…you’d visit a GP, if you don’t feel right, mentally, if you’re struggling see someone! It’s like a massage for your mind. Sometimes its uncomfortable, sometimes it feels good but you always come out being able to function a little bit better.
I decided to share this with you guys because I’m sure there must be so many people stuck in a rut, not necessarily because something bad has happened to trigger it, but because it happens! You are not alone. All I can hope for is that something in this blog can help or resonate with 1 person. If it’s done that, it’s worthwhile. It’s important to recognise everyone has their own battles. So when you see someone at the gym and they are working hard or struggling, if they make eye contact, smile. They might just need it. 

Taylor @tgm_fitness_elite

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Mindset, Uncategorized

Change

Change.

Verb- “to make or become different”

Noun- “an act or process through which something becomes different.”

The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind of change, growth and  learning. Change is something that I have always thought I had embraced. It was only until recently that I discovered that for me, change in my life has generally been a negative. Something that I have not chosen, or I should say, has generally been chosen for me. The changes I have made have been adaptations I have had to make. The recent changes in my life have been choices. Choices that take courage, confidence and strength. Change is something that happens when you are not ready to settle any more. When you have decided you deserve more, that you want more in any aspect of your life. Real change happens when you are ready to go get it.

We seem to live in a state of wanting, hoping and wondering but not actually doing. I hear people talk about their goals, as if they are dreams and are unobtainable. They talk about what they “wanted” to do with there life or what they “wanted” to be, in the past tense. As if all possibility is gone. As if this is unachievable. Most of us naturally seek consistency, stability, sometimes even in an environment that is detrimental to us purely because it is the known. Change can be scary. Change means something is uncertain. As soon as you realise that nothing is set in stone, nothing is certain, anything can happen. Change takes place. Change means things can be different.

One way to commit to change it to set goals. To make steps towards those goals at any chance you are able to. Any steps count, whether it’s a leap or a baby step. It is better than standing still or even going backwards! Every goal is important. Big or Small. To be fair, “size” of the goal doesn’t matter because it is yours. If you own it and it’s yours, it is important. Whether your goal is to become a primary school teacher, a football coach, Mr Olympia, to generally eat healthier, to be able to walk up the stairs with out being out of breath or to loose 5 lbs. These are all important and all more than achievable, if you make the changes.

Making a change means learning to love yourself. Don’t apologise for loving you. Make you a priority, look after yourself. Eat well, and move. One saying I have heard for before which I always follow is “Don’t diet and exercise, eat and train”. You are important. Don’t settle for less than you want or deserve. Have some faith in yourself, don’t sell yourself short. You have something unique to offer the world.

We have 24 hours in a day, (although some days, I have to admit I would love to have a couple more) Have you done something today that will help you achieve your goal? Don’t get me wrong there have been days I have sat in bed watching Star Wars in my PJ’s! But there are still small changes you can make in that day that you can be thankful for tomorrow. What changes can you make right now to move you in the direct you want. Stop hoping and start doing.

If You Change Nothing…

Nothing Will Change.

 

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Taylor @tgmfitnesselite

 

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