By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Member
Your daily attitude dictates everything, even your ability to reach your fitness goals. Scratch that. Especially your ability to reach your fitness goals!
CULTIVATING A HEALTHY MINDSET
I’ve been working with my 10-year-old son with both his running (he is in the Run Hard Club at school, and I’m an assistant coach) and resistance training a few times per week for about 15-20 minutes. This is just a normal part of his life, as I’ve wanted to help instill healthy habits that will hopefully last him a lifetime. I quickly realized that a big part of that is teaching him to develop a positive mindset about his workouts and food choices… and just life in general.
A few weeks ago, I could tell he was getting into his head while we were running up a hill. The harder it got for him, the more he thought about how hard it was, then the harder it was and the more he started drowning in the difficulty of the run. I talked to him the whole way up the hill, encouraging him to focus on how lucky he is that he can run and that there are kids who are sick, confined to hospital beds, who would give anything to just be able to get outside, feel the sun on their face, breath in the fresh air and actually feel the pain of a hard run. And that even though the struggle is hard, he is lucky to be healthy enough to actually go through the struggle and will come out stronger. “One day,” I told him, “this hill will be easy for you and you will remember how hard it was. That’s when you know how much stronger, healthier and fitter you’ve become.” 👍
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
We all know what it’s like when you’re sick, or you’re “sidelined” from the gym due to injury or surgery or a crazy schedule where you just can’t get your workout in. Good Lord, what you wouldn’t give to be able to workout when you’re bed-ridden with the flu or a sinus infection, right? So be grateful, be thankful during your workout – especially the really hard ones! You have two arms and two legs and a healthy heart and lungs to be able to get in there and move some weight, right? If you can physically go through a hard workout, you are super lucky!
PEP TALK IT
I actually have to give myself pep talks ALL. THE. TIME. No one is immune to negative thoughts, but keeping a positive outlook on your day, and on every moment of your day, is so crucial! Of course we’re not always going to have good days, and we will have moments of doubt and negativity, but being able to pull yourself together is, I believe, one of the incredible, valuable life skills we learn along our fitness journey.
Many of you know my background is a competitive runner. In my running days my favorite distance was the half marathon, but a foot injury in 2010 took me off the running scene all together for about two years, which is what turned my attention to bodybuilding. I had to channel my passion and drive for running somewhere, so I threw it all at weight lifting. I look back now and am beyond thankful that I injured my foot, though by no means did I feel that way at the time! And now, it turns out, bodybuilding is my primary passion and running is secondary. 💪
I had been wanting to take a stab at my former favorite distance for about two years, as I hadn’t run a half marathon in eight years since before my foot injury. At the beginning of this summer, I decided it was time to plan my race and start training, of course with reservations and fear that I would not do well, or worse – I would re-injure my foot. Several times throughout my four months of training, I felt like maybe I was pushing my luck. These are the kinds thoughts that go through my mind sometimes that I have to squash and replace with positive thoughts. 😬
On October 13th, I ran the Palmetto Health Foundation Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon in Columbia, SC. 🏃♀️ I decided to hang with the 1:45 (1 hour, 45 min finish time) pacer, because even if he left me in the dust, I’d still finish in a decent time. My goal was to finish between 1:45 – 1:50 and still feel good – not like I was dying – after I crossed the finish line.
Things started to get pretty tough at mile 10, with some nice steep hills the last 3 miles of the race. I had to talk to myself the entire last 3.2 miles and kept thinking “You are so lucky you are out here doing this! Remember when you couldn’t run, and all you wanted to do was be able to run? How many people would love to be out here doing this but can’t? Quit being a whiny little baby, and put your all into these last few miles! You didn’t crush the first 10 miles only to wimp out now!”
On the outside, it may have looked like I breezed through that race, as I was smiling when I crossed the finish line. But no one knew the battles and struggles going on in my head to get me to that finish line and be able to smile. Now, apply this to strength-training and lifting heavy: choosing the weight you will use for each set, following through with all the sets, all the reps, giving your workouts all the intensity you have and pushing as much as you are capable of. 🏋️♀️
CHANGE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
1. No One Is Immune Everyone has some level of doubt, insecurities, negative thoughts and other mental and emotional obstacles and struggles that can and will directly affect physique changes or target performance. On the plus side, if you “turn that frown upside down” you get the opposite! • Negative thoughts = Negative outcome/learning experience = Goal most likely not reached. • Positive thoughts = Positive outcome/learning experience = Goal most likely attained.
2. Visualize Your Daily Achievements Every morning, write down what you are proud of achieving for that day, as if you’ve already achieved it! Don’t leave room for question or doubt, because this will be what you are proud of achieving that day.
3. Lower Your Standards for Gratefulness It isn’t often we talk about lowering our standards, but when it comes to being grateful, I feel this is important. Be grateful for the little things, like having a healthy heart and two legs. Enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning. Being able to afford a gym membership, or home gym equipment, or even being grateful that you have a positive support network to help you through your fitness journey struggles.
4. Positives and Negatives In Everything There will always be positives and negatives – always! I have known some amazing people in my life who had some really bad things go on around them but even through really hard struggles, were able to see the smallest positives to get them through. By the same token, I’ve known some people who had pretty much everything they could possibly want but still complained about so many things and were very skilled at finding the worst aspect, even in positive situations.
5. Inner Strength, Peace, Happiness This may sound cliché, but it is something that can never be reiterated too much: positivity is power. With solid inner strength, a grateful and peaceful heart and mind, and a general happy outlook in your life and your fitness journey and everything it entails (yes, even the diet part, 😉) will help you reach your health and fitness goals more than you may realize.
Your attitude, your outlook, your self-talk, your perspective, can completely dictate 100% what choices you make with regard to your health and fitness, how you perform, if and how well you follow through, and how much you put into each moment of your day, each workout, each rep, each meal. All of these things will directly impact your physique.
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.