Sunday, August 19, 2012

Momentum





Momentum, it’s an amazing thing. So is the power of the mind. I have said it over and over, weight training for me is a mind game, pure and simple, and my attitude and thoughts determine my success. I wonder if everyone thinks the way I do. I don’t believe so.  I have been told by most everyone who knows me that I have a drive, a desire, a mindset that is so different from anyone they have ever met.

The word “crazy” has been used.

Maybe I am? Maybe I am just more in touch with my own mind? Sounds kinda crazy….

I go through periods of exuberance and “up” days and then I also have my own days of self doubt and feelings of being less than accomplished.  For the last couple months I have felt like I have not been “where” I want or need to be, at least not physically.

It all comes down to my head once again.

I am not dieting for a competition, yet I want to look like I am….do you see a problem? I also want to gain muscle, and I have been, I am adding lean mass….do you still see the problem?

When I am on the stairmill, or when I walk my stairs at lunch (no running till my hamstring heals), I think about these things, what can I do to accomplish my goals, to feel good about my physique, and yet still enjoy life?

It’s easy when I am prepping for a competition, there is no question about it - it’s do or die. But when I am not, it’s a lot easier to slip here and there, time and time again, and it all adds up.

I decided there are several things I can do.

First- I need to stick to my “diet” except on occasion. I have been enjoying wine on weekends, and that makes my skin look loose, seriously, I tighten up when I haven’t had alcohol. And I am not talking about binge drinking, I am talking a few glasses of wine, any more than that now and I fall asleep.

I need to stop dipping into the bag of nuts. I keep a huge bag of raw almonds in my office; I eat them with certain meals. I can easily consume 5 of them, several times a day. That’s lots of extra calories. Sure- they are “good fats”, but nobody will look good eating too many calories!

I need to stay away from peanut butter and chocolate. Yes- I am back on “crack”- that peanut butter has got a strangle hold on me….I buy small dark chocolate disks at Whole Foods, they are the size of a nickel. I dip one or two…or three into peanut butter…oh my goodness……

I need to eat better dinners. David and Cooper like to have dinner with me, eating the same foods. But their food is not the food of the gods, Adonis it will not create. Oh I never eat their pasta, their rice, their potatoes, I can eat some of it, but there will be days that I really shouldn’t, like on the “rib” night, or the “super fatty fried in butter rib eye” night.

I need to realize that I have a well developed, proven, and effective meal plan for myself. I should stick to it.  So, I stopped all the snacks, they really add up. I also decided to eat my regular evening meal. When I train at night that would be a whey protein shake with a very small banana blended in and when I don’t train at night, it would be egg whites (1 cup) and some lean meat (2 ounces) and a whole bunch of vegetables.

One day later I look tighter. That’s all it takes, one day of eating right.

Wednesday morning I was at the gym, usually I would walk on the stairmill and train calves since I would meet Roy after work to train. He was out of town so it was squats on my own. I can do that, I do it every Saturday, but on the weekend I get to sleep in a bit longer and I have lots of time. Wednesday it was up at 4:00 am and I only had 1 hour and 10 minutes at most to train.

I have been super tight, I stretched a lot, I warmed up quite a bit, I took my time. It was 5:20 before I could even start with real weight, 135 pounds. 4 sets. 9, 9, 9, 10. All the way down to the ground, knees out, they have been buckling in as I ascend.

I finished with the hack squat, it was a great session.

In the locker room as I gathered my things I watch a woman step on the scale and stand there, staring at it. I said to her “You do the same thing I do. You get on the scale and stand there, just waiting for the dial to move to a lower number, you stand and stare, but it never moves huh? “

She laughed, we both laughed. Then she said “Yeah, but I don’t look like you when I get on the scale!”

She looked fine, but she was right, I did look good. That one day of sticking to it made a difference. It set things in motion, my head felt better, I felt on track, it gave me the mental boost I needed for another day just like the last. It created momentum for me to meet my goals.

Friday when I met Roy he said “You look leaner, did you start a diet?” I explained “sorta.  I basically quit snacking and was sticking to my diet, my healthy, clean diet. I tighten right up when I do that, I am down two pounds and that’s all it takes to make a difference in how I look.” I told him I just cannot stand being this “chubby”.

Both of those comments helped to create a momentum to keep me eating clean, to make me stick to it and not waver.

It got me thinking about creating momentum in the opposite direction, the direction none of us want to travel. One bad day can spiral into another and another and another. The cycle needs to be stopped. It’s easy to say “Oh well, I blew it yesterday, so what’s the difference if I do it again today?” it’s like saying  “I am five pounds overweight already, what’s the use in even trying to lose it?” That thinking will screw with your head, it will ensure that you do not succeed, don’t let that happen to you.

Remember that changes may take time depending on where you are and what you have been doing and for how long. If it’s a couple days of eating poorly, you will bounce right back. If it’s a couple years, or even centuries, it will take longer, but you will succeed, if you have the right mindset, if you can get the momentum going.

Remember- you have to start to finish.