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8 Types of Attitude Most People Believe Are Essential to Staying Fit

8 Types of Attitude Most People Believe Are Essential to Staying Fit

Do you approach fitness with an ‘all or nothing’ mentality and obsess over the ‘eat clean & train dirty’ motto?

Are you too busy with the gym to worry about developing relationships and having some semblance of a life? Do you feel guilty for eating things that aren’t included in your diet?

If this is you—it’s time to take a timeout and adjust your attitude toward fitness.

Despite what you might have heard, becoming sexy and fit doesn’t equate to making numerous life altering sacrifices, missing out on meaningful events, or living a life that isn’t fun and fulfilling.

Will you have to make some sacrifices? Yes. However, I prefer to look at those as healthy adjustments to one’s life. Approaching life with the wrong fitness attitude will put a damper on your personal life and eventually lead you to resenting fitness.

If you’re new to fitness, stuck in a rut, or obsessing, then take a moment and review the list below of unhealthy fitness attitudes. Develop a positive fitness attitude before you start to pull your hair out.

Attitude #1- You avoid all your favorite foods

The number one complaint by people trying to start a healthier lifestyle is being forced to hand over their ‘unhealthy foods’. Healthier choices are needed in order to lose fat, but you don’t have to give up your favorite foods completely.

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Depriving yourself of your favorite foods is a surefire way to resent fitness. Depriving yourself increases your chances of binge eating. After binging, you’re more likely to feel shame and guilt about your indulgences.

If you’re exercising and eating healthy the majority of the time, indulge in your favorite foods with zero guilt given. This lifestyle of eating healthy isn’t a one week or three month excursion—it’s meant to be with us forever.

Life is too short to never enjoy the pleasures of food.

fitness attitude
    Everybody deserves cake from time to time

    Attitude #2- You take calorie counting too far

    Calorie counting gets out of hand when you start to obsess over your daily choices.

    Calorie counting doesn’t mean counting every little spec of food that you consume. Calorie counting doesn’t mean hitting your exact goal to the tee or it’s a failed day. If you want 150 grams of protein, but only reach 135 grams, then that’s a good job all on its own.

    Calorie counting best serves as a tool to teach you about food and aim for a daily goal.

    Attitude #3- Your confidence about your body hinges on others’ opinions

    At times, the mind is a master of deception. With advertising, people sprouting up in our newsfeeds modeling in their underwear, and magazines showing off the latest celeb diet of ‘this person lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks’, our self-worth is tested everywhere we turn.

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    Relying on external sources to determine our self-worth is a recipe for disappointment.

    The most important fact never stated is that those individuals are professionals—it’s their job to look as seemingly perfect as they do. They have professional chefs, trainers, nutritionists, maids, assistants, and any other kind of help. They don’t have to worry about taking care of their business, family, kids, school, cooking, cleaning, and the whole nine yards, as many of us do.

    Give yourself a break and stop comparing yourself to professionals who have hours upon hours to invest into their fitness. As long as you’re working hard, acting with intent, and being consistent with your habits, you should feel no shame or guilt. Results will happen.

    Will it take longer? Yes. But, who cares? The joy is in the journey and the growing that happens, not the destination. Gaining acceptance and letting go of needing approval of others will land you in a better place mentally and physically.

    Attitude #4- You think fitness is a one trick pony

    The beauty about fitness is that there isn’t only one way to go about exercising. Just as an RPG (role playing game) leads itself to exploration, discovery, and experimenting, your fitness is the same.

    Allow yourself to explore different styles of strength training. Discover a form of yoga that you enjoy. Experiment with methods of eating until you find one that works for you. Fitness is meant to tag along while you live a fulfilling and adventurous life—not become a dictator of your life.

    Attitude #5- You force yourself to do activities you hate

    The majority of people are under the assumption that cardio (i.e. long distance running) is needed in order to lose fat and become fitter. This outdated rule couldn’t be any further from the truth.

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    While some love to run, which I have no problems with, it’s not the only solution. If you make yourself do something you despise or feel uncomfortable with, you’ll stick with it for maybe a week or so. Soon, willpower fades because there’s only a limited amount for each of us. Fitness is meant for exploration—not pigeon holing yourself into a one size fits all strategy.

    Try new activities and see what sticks. Just because you’re not at a gym, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve your fitness. Get creative and go for a hike, explore your city and discover hidden gems that a car won’t show you. Go for a bike ride along the countryside, and most importantly, just stay active and enjoy yourself.

    Attitude #6- You tend to avoid social interactions for fear of ruining your diet

    It’s a Friday night and your friends give you a call to go out for drinks and unwind. You instead tell them, “I’m going to stay in” and use an easy excuse such as, “I’m too tired” or “I have a lot of work to do tonight.”

    How do I know these are common excuses? Because I have used them myself. I was afraid of ruining my diet and losing all of my weeks progress. I was also unhappy and depressed.

    If this is you, then tell yourself “no more!”. Let it be known to yourself that you won’t allow your diet to imprison you and cause you to miss out on activities with friends. Your macros are not worth becoming a hermit and living a life of solitude.

    Go out and have a drink or two with no shame. Keep the big picture in mind. No one in the history of fitness ever lost all their progress from having a couple of frothy cold drinks.

    fitness attitude
      have a couple drinks with zero guilts given

      Attitude #7- You workout to impress others

      What’s your motivation for working out? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your social circle? Your pretend friends on Facebook?

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      If any of those are the answer, you need to adjust your fitness attitude. External motivation will only take you so far. The flame burning to impress others will only light so long before it flames out. Sustainability with fitness comes from a fire within that will always burn—no matter the outside world’s opinion.

      At the end of the day, who cares how much you bench or squat? Who cares if your abs are or aren’t perfectly symmetrical? Who cares if you perform CrossFit, are into bodybuilding, or even general strength training? And ladies, it doesn’t matter if your legs aren’t toned to perfection.

      Don’t waste your time worrying about the minutiae of details—you have a life to live.

      Attitude #8- You quit when it gets tough

      The first few weeks of weight loss were easy like Sunday morning. Now, the weight isn’t flying off, work is stressful, and life is hitting you from all angles.

      Will you quit and claim, “weight loss isn’t for me” and “I’ll start back once life settles down”?

      Those are excuses. And excuses only sound best to those who make them.

      Let go of your excuses. There isn’t a better time to start than right now. Your setbacks and resistances are blessings in disguise to help you grow. Something will always show up and try to stop you.

      Will you let it stop you again or will you keep marching on?

      As W.L. Bateman said “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”

      More by this author

      Julian Hayes II

      Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

      1. The Inner Critic

      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

      2. The Worrier

      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

      4. The Sleep Depriver

      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

      How can you control these squatters?

      How to Master Your Mind

      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

      For the Inner Critic

      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

      • They rile up the Worrier.
      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

      For the Worrier

      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
      • Muscles tense

      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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      For example:

      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
      • Muscles tension

      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

      Breathe in through your nose:

      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
      • Focus on your belly rising.

      Breathe out through your nose:

      • Feel your lungs emptying.
      • Focus on your belly falling.
      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

      For the Sleep Depriver

      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
      • Shut down your thinking.
      • Calm your feelings.
      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

      The Bottom Line

      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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