Today I have an intriguing guest post from my friend Mathews McGarry. Below, Mathews describes 9 ways in which unfit people sabotage their health through mindset alone. #6 is the one that irks me the most. Basically, I think it all goes to show that if you just change the way you look at things, your body will change in kind. Enjoy! -TP
9 Thoughts That Are Sabotaging Your Health
Guest Post by Mathews McGarry
Everyone would like to lead a healthy life. But then you wake up with problems caused by an inactive lifestyle, and you ask yourself -- why is it not happening? The transformation does not happen automatically, but rather it requires some effort and a certain mindset.
Mindset represents one’s established set of attitudes. It is somehow daunting, when we find ourselves tired and drained from an unhealthy lifestyle, to muster the energy to shift from an “unhealthy” to a “healthy” mindset.
But remember, everyone has the option to choose what to do in a single day and the ability to make a decision. We owe it to ourselves because health issues can cause problems in almost every other aspect of our lives.
Here are 9 ways fit and unfit people think (and act) differently.
1. Get It Better vs. Get It Over With
Fit people are ready to take some extra time to improve themselves and work harder on perfecting their technique or working on their mobility. Unlike them, unfit people understand exercising as something that has to be done, an obligation, and will rush out of the gym as soon as they're done.
2. Opportunities vs. Excuses
As soon as one exercise routine stops giving results, fit people always have a backup plan -- a new way to push themselves in order to get better results. They will always be intrigued by a new style of training that they have not tried. Unfit people, on the other hand, like to stay in their comfort zone and always have an excuse for doing so.
3. Prevention vs. Treatment
When visiting the doctor becomes unpleasant and your body starts responding to the long-standing bad lifestyle... this is when unfit people begin to think about getting fit. Fit people prevent this from happening entirely. They strengthen their immune system, boost their energy, and keep their mind sharp.
4. Perseverance vs. Impatience
Instead of quitting at the first obstacle (no muscle increase, no weight loss, or a small injury after a short period of exercising), fit people work harder and try to overcome training obstacles in order to achieve the desired results. Giving up is not an option, even when things do not go as planned. Conversely, unfit people give up at the first sign of adversity.
5. Actions vs. Jibber-jabber
Unfit people are those who always complain about their bad health condition but never do anything to fix it. So instead of making an effort to change their lifestyle, they just talk about it. Fit people plan what they need to do; then they do it. They always work on upgrading their training program, have a protein-packed snack ready for an energy refill, and have their exercise gear bag is ready at all times.
[Note from Travis: this is my exact reasoning for always wearing gym shorts and a workout t-shirt. I must be ready to go to the gym at a moment's notice! Plus, I like to be comfy.]
6. Privilege vs. Sacrifice
It's funny how things seem totally different, depending from which perspective you observe them. Fit people believe that they gain much from exercise -- strength and both mental and physical health. On the other hand, unfit people think that they're giving up too many things (pizza, alcohol, free time) “just to be fit.”
7. Willingness to Try vs. Fear Of Failure
If you do not try, you will not succeed. On the road towards success, one has to fail many times and make many mistakes. Fit people know this and are not afraid to try over and over again until they reach their goal. They believe that they do not know what their true limits are, so they repeatedly test them. Unfit people have a fear of failing and, thus, set their bar so low that they never experience defeat. In doing so, however, they also never experience big success.
8. Hard Work vs. Shortcuts
It's simple: if you work hard, you achieve results. Fit people know what they are required to do to get to their goal. They avoid the useless path of less resistance, and they are ready to get tired and sweaty. Unfit people look for shortcuts and easy ways, but building and maintaining a fit and healthy body is not an easy process.
9. Internal Focus vs. Jealousy
Focusing on what others think, on their actions and opinions, does not only hold you back from being fit, but it can also lead to anxiety and depression. If you're too busy with other peoples’ achievements and it makes you feel inferior, it will crush your motivation. Fit people are content with themselves when they make even the smallest progress, for they aim only to impress themselves, not others.
For more from Mathews, see his guest post
About the Author
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Follow him on Twitter.