Most people come up with all sorts of excuses, reasons, and stories for why they can’t accomplish something hard. You set out to lose weight so you change your diet but you eventually slip back …
One of the toughest things about losing weight and keeping it off for good is developing a healthy relationship with food. I work with runners every day who admittedly have a very unhealthy …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 202 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners, and today, Unraveling Unhealthy Thought Patterns.
So one of the toughest things about losing weight and keeping it off for good is developing a healthy relationship with it. I work with runners every day who admittedly have a very unhealthy relationship with food, they overeat, they’re constantly making unhealthy choices.
They know what to do, they’re doing something different all the time, and they generally feel very out of control around food.
If this sounds like you, rest assured there’s nothing wrong with you. You’ve just developed some unhealthy thought patterns about food. So one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself is begin to recognize and then start unraveling those unhealthy thought patterns.
That’s what this episode is all about. So stick around, I think you’ll find some very helpful tips throughout this podcast.
But first, I talk a lot about losing weight and improving your health and your fitness. And I know all the stuff I talked about here can feel a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for a good place to start, I’ve created a free hour-long training called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner.
In this training video, you’ll learn how to fuel your body properly to lose weight and improve your running, you’ll learn the incredibly important role that strength plays in being a lean healthy runner.
And you’ll learn how to make changes that are actually sustainable, and a lot more. If you’re ready to get started, get leaner, get stronger, run faster, run longer, and become the healthiest, most badass version of yourself, then check out this free training now go to my website runningleancoaching.com and click on free training and get started. Cool.
All right, let’s talk about this unraveling unhealthy thought patterns. So when it comes to things like losing weight and trying to keep it off for good, there is a big problem out there.
And people talk about that this diet isn’t sustainable, this diet isn’t sustainable. And honestly, any diet can be sustainable, it’s the one that you stick to the one that you can do consistently is going to be the one that works for you.
And it’s going to be the one that is sustainable for you. But a lot of people blame the diet as being wrong, or this one doesn’t work when in reality, it’s all about you. What are you willing to stick to? What are you willing to do consistently?
And so one of the things I work with, with the people that I that I do coaching with is understanding that it’s not about the diet necessarily. Now, of course, there are some things we can do that will help to lose weight. And we want to get you eating whole foods and get you off of the junk food and the processed foods and sugars and seed oils and things like that.
But how do you do this consistently? How do you do this for for life? You know, that’s where the real magic happens when you get to this place where this just becomes pretty automatic for you. And it’s no longer work and it’s no longer effort.
And one thing that stops a lot of people from getting to that place where they’ve developed good healthy eating habits is their own mind. You know, it’s their own thoughts about food, it’s their own thoughts about whether they can sustain this or not, it’s their own thoughts about how they failed in the past and how they’ve tried everything, and nothing ever works for them.
And all these thought patterns are just that they are thoughts in your head. And not necessarily true. They’ve just been things that you’ve been telling yourself for a long time. And so you believe them to be true.
But they are not necessarily the truth. Okay, so we have to understand that the way that each one of us sees the world is a little bit differently.
We see the world based on our own thoughts, feelings, past experiences, and all kinds of other factors. And no two people really see the world the same way. No two people, you know, experience a diet the same way no two people experience food nutrition, and exercise the same way.
So just understand that you are an individual. You have your own thought patterns that you’ve been practicing for decades, decades. And it’s really hard to undo that. It’s really hard to even see that that’s what you’re doing because you just believe all this stuff to be true about how things work.
If you feel out of control around food, you’re gonna see that that’s just an automatic thing for you that when there’s donuts sitting there, you can’t help yourself, you eat the doughnuts.
When in reality, there’s more going on there, you’re not automatic, you’re not a robot, you haven’t been programmed, please sort of programmed yourself in a way to just eat the doughnuts. But there’s a thought and a feeling and an action happening.
And those things happen before you pick up the doughnut and put it in your mouth. There are thoughts and feelings about that donut that are happening in that moment. That happened very fast.
And when I talk about thought patterns, thought patterns, our thoughts and feelings that lead to actions, thoughts, and feelings that drive our actions, those are thought patterns. And you’re really good at doing some thought patterns.
Think about how you tie your shoes in the morning, or in the afternoon or whatever. You don’t even think about it anymore. You’ve developed a thought pattern about how to tie your shoes.
But when you were like four or five years old, and you’re learning how to tie your shoes, you’re in kindergarten, whatever. It took some thought you had to, you know, make the loop and then put it around this, wait, look, no, wait, I did it wrong, that was supposed to go under here.
And it took some thought and some effort and it was hard. And it took a while to do that. Now you can tie your shoes without even thinking about it, you don’t have to think about it, it’s become an automated behavior for you.
Driving a car is the same way. It’s an automated behavior. There are lots of things that we do in our lives that have become automated behaviors. But they weren’t always that way. eating donuts, when you see donuts is not an automated behavior.
I mean, it’s kind of automated, but there’s always something going on, there’s thoughts and feelings that are driving those actions. And we want to start to break this stuff down.
We want to start unraveling the thought patterns that are not serving us the unhealthy ones. The other ones like tying your shoes, who cares, just keep tying your shoes without thinking about it. That’s fine. That’s an automated behavior. You don’t need to break that down and journal about it.
And you know, you know, it’s not causing you any problems most likely, you know, driving a car, you don’t have to really think about that you just do it. So you don’t really need to break it all down. Oh, what am I thinking about backing up in this moment about, you know, parking in this spot, you know, or whatever, like, you don’t have to think about it, just do it.
But there are some thought patterns that are unhealthy, especially when it comes to food. Why is that? Why are there so many unhealthy thought patterns around food? My guess is that it’s just one of those things where we’ve used food.
For years and years and decades, we’ve used food as an emotional management tool, we’ve used food to make ourselves feel better, to soothe ourselves when we’re down to destress us when we feel stressed out to make us feel better when we’re not feeling good.
And you’ve just developed these habits that feel really natural, and really automatic, and, and really out of control. When in reality, you’ve just been practicing thought patterns and actions. And we got to start practicing those things. Okay?
It’s learned behavior that’s going on here. These are things that you have learned. Over time, you’ve taught yourself how to handle stress by using food. You’ve taught yourself that when you see donuts, you eat the doughnuts.
When you see the pizza, you eat the pizza, you haven’t taught yourself that you can have self-control, that when you see the pizza, you don’t have to eat it. That’s no big deal. But that is a thought pattern as well right there.
So let’s break down what we’re talking about here a little bit. So you have some context of what I’m talking about here. So when we talk about thought patterns, I want you to understand there are several layers to this.
The first layer is the circumstance layer or just the stuff that’s going around us in our lives. So everything that’s not you, is just a circumstance in your life. So if you’re you know, sitting at home and you’re in and your kids are running around and your husband is in the kitchen, you know yelling at you about something, that’s all circumstances, you don’t really have control over that stuff.
And maybe a little bit of control over the kids, probably not the husband, but there’s a little bit of control out there, but pretty much know right? Your boss, what your boss says or does or thinks about you what other people do or say or think about you the actions of other people, you have no control over any of that stuff.
All you have control over is your own thoughts, feelings and actions. You don’t have control over anything else in this world. Sorry, I hate to break it to you but that’s reality.
All the circumstances are a lot of our lives are just that they are just circumstances. It’s just the situation we happen to be in at the moment. So if somebody brings in doughnuts to the break room, that’s just a circumstance, it’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s not positive or negative. It’s not healthy or unhealthy. It’s just neutral.
It’s just a circumstance, it’s neutral. You’re making a split decision about what that means to you. In that moment, you’re making a really quick assessment of that situation.
And you’re assigning, whether that’s good or bad, you’re assigning, whether it’s positive or negative, whether it’s healthy or unhealthy. Doughnuts in the break room is a neutral circumstance, it’s not healthy or unhealthy. It’s just what it is, you don’t have to eat those things.
If you don’t eat them, then it’s healthy. If you choose to eat them that might be unhealthy if you do it all the time, the occasional donut is fine. Please understand, donuts, they’re amazing. I love donuts, but I eat them very rarely, I can’t remember the last time I ate a doughnut.
But every now and then eat a doughnut. It’s not a big deal. But we have to get into this place where it’s not an automatic behavior anymore. So anyway, circumstances are the stuff in our lives that we do not have control over and it’s all around us food is going to be around us all the time.
You can’t blame the fact that there’s food there on the reason why you ate it. That’s not why you’re eating the food, you’re eating the food because you have a thought and a feeling about it.
And that is the pattern that I’m talking about here. So the circumstance is how there’s doughnuts in the break room, then you have a thought about it. Oh, I bet those donuts would taste really good right now. I’ve been good all week. And this is my reward.
Or I worked out this morning, I ran five miles, I can do a donut. Like you have all these thoughts about what that donut means, oh, that’s gonna taste so amazing. And then those thoughts cause you to have a feeling. And that feeling is going to be like a craving; that’s a feeling, a craving is a feeling.
So you have this desire, that’s a feeling. You have this desire and this craving to now eat the doughnut. And you think that, that feeling that desire that wanting that craving is just because the doughnuts are there? And it’s no, it’s not just because they’re there, it’s because of your thoughts about the donuts.
I know lots of people who don’t eat donuts who see it on and they’re like, no big deal. Like I can look at donuts and be like, no big deal most of the time. But I understand that if I start to have those thoughts about how amazing that’s going to taste and how it’s gonna make me feel good because it’s a bunch of sugar and, and fried dough.
Oh my gosh, like sugar and fried dough together? Oh, yeah, that’s gonna taste good. That’s gonna light up my dopamine receptors, you know, that’s gonna make me feel amazing, you know, for a short period of time, then I’ll probably feel terrible.
So our thoughts are what’s causing those feelings that desire, the craving, the wanting, those are all feelings. Other feelings we have are our stress, anger, sadness, and anxiety. Those are all feelings as well, their emotions, feelings, and emotions, they’re interchangeable.
So we have circumstances in our life, and we have thoughts about those circumstances, those thoughts cause us to feel certain feelings or emotions. And it’s those emotions and feelings that drive our actions. So then when we feel the desire, we want to eat the donut so that we can enjoy that, you know, and, you know, take part in that feeling.
When we feel sad, we want to eat something that makes us feel better. So that sadness will drive actions, the anger that we have will drive us to take action, you know, maybe lash out at somebody.
Or, you know, like you’re in traffic and somebody cuts you off and you flip them off out the window or something like that. Like, that feeling of anger is what’s driving that action, not what that person did, because that what that person did is a neutral circumstance. They cut you off in traffic, but who cares, big deal.
Some people are like whatever. Other people get all upset and road rage happens. You know, road rage is caused by people’s feelings. Rage is a feeling. Okay? So circumstances are neutral, we have thoughts about them. That’s what creates the feelings that we have inside those feelings drive our actions, and the actions we take will create results in our lives.
Right, you don’t have results in your life if you don’t take action. So the behaviors we engage in will cause us to have some sort of a result the actions that we take on a regular basis will cause long-term results.
So if your goal is to lose weight, and you’ve cut out sugar, and every day you abstain from eating sugar, that action will get you the result of losing weight. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, and you’ve abstained from eating sugar, but you can’t stop yourself from eating sugar every single day, that’s going to cause a different result, you’re going to probably gain weight in that process.
I’m guessing that result is not in alignment with what you want for yourself. Okay, so that would be what I call a misaligned result, you know, so misaligned actions will produce misaligned results, and aligned actions will produce aligned results.
So you want to be taking actions that are in alignment with your long-term goals. Okay. So the results that we’re getting are not due to our circumstances, but they’re due to our thoughts feelings, and actions.
So whether you’re able to walk away from the pizza, or walk away from the doughnuts in the break, room or not, has to do with those thought, feeling action patterns that you’ve been practicing and practicing forever.
You know, one of the best ways to create a habit is to repeatedly do something over and over and over and over again. And we’ve repeatedly done the same things. We’ve had a feeling we get stressed out, and we go to the cabinet, and we look for something crunchy or salty or sugary to eat.
Nobody stress eats, like broccoli out of the fridge or leftover chicken or something like that. I’ve never heard anybody say that. They’re like, oh, I got to stop the snack and like, what are you snacking on? Is it like, hard-boiled eggs? Or chicken? They’re like, oh, no, I’m going for the salty stuff, crunchy stuff. I’m like, yeah, I know, I know what you’re doing.
But if you’re really hungry at that moment, you know, a piece of cheese would satisfy you or, you know, some leftovers from the night before.
Instead, no, we’re going for those things that light up our dopamine centers that make us feel good. And usually, it’s the stuff that’s unhealthy for us, right? So you’ve just developed these coping mechanisms. And the coping mechanisms are just thought patterns.
That’s all they are thoughts, feelings, and actions. So you have to understand that this process happens in a split second, once you’ve developed good habits, kind of like tying your shoe, right, you can tie your shoe very quickly, you don’t have to think about you just do it.
Same thing with food, we’ve developed these thoughts, feelings, and action patterns that happen so fast, that we just do them automatically without even knowing that this process is happening.
So one of the biggest keys to unraveling all this for you now that you understand the pattern is to start to become aware that you’re doing it, that’s all just start to become aware of what you are doing and the and the and the thoughts and feelings that you’re having that precede the actions that you’re taking.
So when you’re about to grab that donut, just pause, and hit the pause button for just a moment. And ask yourself what is the thought and feeling that’s driving me to reach for the doughnut right now.
That little step right there is going to go a long way in helping you to start to change your relationship with food to stop, start to help you change these thought-feeling-action patterns, and start to develop some other patterns, which is I see the donuts, I have a thought about the donuts. They look amazing.
But they taste great. You have a feeling like a desire that happens. And then you take the action of not eating the doughnut. That’s a different thought pattern altogether.
What if the thought was instead, I bet those donuts taste great? But you know what, that is not on my plan today. So I’m not doing the doughnuts, maybe another time.
That’s a thought you could have. What feeling might that thought cause? Oh, it might cause you to feel proud of yourself for sticking to your plan in that moment. And if you’re proud of yourself in that moment, and you and you’ve boosted your confidence a little bit.
That’s another feeling, by the way, pride, confidence, those are all emotions. That’s going to drive a different action, the action is going to be I’m sticking to my plan. I brought my lunch today. I don’t need to eat doughnuts, my body isn’t that stuff.
So you can see that your thought-feeling-action patterns can shift over time and go from being unhealthy, you know, thought patterns to healthy thought patterns. And when you start to break it down and hit that pause button, you can really start to go a long way in developing those new thought patterns and those new behaviors and start to repeat those behaviors over and over and over again and develop those as your new habits.
Okay, now this whole process begins As with that self-awareness of like, here’s what’s going on. The doughnuts are just a neutral thing in my life, they don’t have any control over me. I’m always in control, I have agency.
You know, I’m making decisions on my own here. I love it. I think Tony Robbins said, “The direction of your life is determined by tiny little moments of decision.” Tiny little moments of decision, thousands of them.
It’s not about one big decision, oh, I’m gonna change my diet. It’s not that it’s about those tiny little moments of decision that you make, over and over and over and over and over again, thousands of them.
That’s what makes big change in your life, that can change the whole direction of your life, you can go from being an unhealthy person with an unhealthy relationship with food to somebody who is healthy, fit, feels good about themselves has confidence and has completely changed their relationship with food.
All it requires is lots and lots and lots of repetition of these tiny little moments of decision, hitting that pause button, and becoming aware of the thoughts and feelings that are driving that action that you’re about to take.
Okay, that is your work for this week, is to hit that pause button and start to see what it is that’s driving this behavior. Why am I choosing this decision at this moment?
Really ask yourself that, sometimes it helps to stop and write a few things down. That’s not always the case. It’s not always practical to do that. But if you can stop and write some things down, that’s very helpful.
But if you can’t, you know, maybe just think about it, like what am I thinking and feeling right now in this moment? Is this a behavior that I’ve been practicing for a long time? And how can I make a better decision in this moment, okay, that is step number one.
And when you do that, you’re going to be on your way to becoming a different person. Because once you start practicing these things regularly, and you start changing those thought patterns on a regular basis, and you start doing things differently consistently over time, you can become an entirely different person, for the better, cool.
And as always, if you’re looking for help with any stuff, we can talk about coaching, just go to my website runningleancoaching.com, and click on Work With Me.
You’ll fill out a short little application we’ll get on a zoom, we’ll talk about what coaching might look like for you and we’ll just see if it’s a good fit. Cool. That’s all I got for you today. Love you all, keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.
Today is a very special episode - number 200 - and I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate this milestone. I’ve had a look over the last 200 episodes and picked out the most …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 200 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners, and today, Mindset Principles Every Runner Needs To Know.
So today is a very special episode number 200. And I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate this milestone. So I’ve had a look over the last 200 episodes. And I picked out all the most important mindset principles that I feel runners need to know in order for you to crush your running goals and crush those weight loss goals, too.
I’ve featured each of these principles in different parts of podcast episodes over the last few years here. So you can easily go back through the archive and search for each of these principles, you’ll get a deep dive on each one of these so that you can do that anytime.
It’s super fun putting these podcast episodes together for you every week. And my hope is that they’ve helped you to improve your health, your fitness, and your mindset in some way. So here’s to episode number 200. Yay, and to the next 200 to come. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for listening, I really do love you all.
But first, I know I talk a lot about losing weight and improving your health and your fitness. And I also know that all of this can be a little overwhelming. So if you’re looking for a good place to start, I created a free hour-long training that you can go through it’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner.
In this training video, you’ll learn how to properly fuel your body and lose weight and improve your running. You’ll learn about the incredibly important role that strength plays and being a lean healthy runner, you’ll learn how to make changes that are actually sustainable, not just short-term, quick fixes, but actually sustainable, and so much more.
If you’re ready to get leaner and get stronger, if you’re ready to run faster and longer than ever before, if you’re ready to become the healthiest, most badass version of yourself, then you need to check out this free training now just go to runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training.
Okay, so 200. Episode 200. This is kind of hard to believe for me because this has been almost four years of podcasts. If you do a podcast every week, which I have done now for almost four years, that equals about 200 episodes.
And looking through some of the stats, 1.6 million downloads, that’s crazy. And I should add that that is just continuing to grow every single day. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to the podcasts and making this something that you listen to every week and that you’re committed to listening to.
I know a lot of people reach out to me and they tell me how much this podcast has improved their health and their fitness. So they’ve taken a lot of the principles that I share here. You know, I talk about diet, I talk about strength training, and I talk about running and I talk about improving your health and your fitness from a variety of different angles.
They apply the principles, and they get some good results. I think that’s really cool. And people reach out to me, I probably get a few messages every week where people are like, hey, you’ve literally changed my life. I’m in much better shape, I lost all this weight, I feel great, my health is improved, my strength is improved, my running is improved, and my whole life is better, just because of the stuff you shared on your podcast.
That’s pretty cool. That is pretty cool. That is what I want to get out of this. I want to help you I want you to apply the principles I share here on the podcast and make improvements in your life.
And I’m a coach, I work with people every single day. And I help them from a one-on-one standpoint as well. And if you’re ever interested in that, just reach out to me I’m here for you can go to my website runningleancoaching.com, and click on work with me.
But I also want to make sure that I’m sharing a lot of information here on the podcast. And understandably there’s a lot of stuff I share on the podcast that is generalized information. It’s not specific to you as an individual and that’s what I do with my coaching program.
I work with you as an individual. And we put all this stuff together in a way, in a formula or recipe so to speak, that is tailored to you your goals, your needs, your lifestyle, and all that stuff. So what I do share here on the podcast has helped a lot, a lot of people, and I hope that you’re one of them.
Okay, so please reach out to me, and let me know if this is something that has helped you in any way, you can find me on social media, just search for Running Lean Podcast or, you know, Running Lean Coach on social media. And let me know how things have improved for you and how you’ve applied some of these principles. Okay.
One area that I think is very important, and this is why I decided to do this particular episode today is because of the mindset, the mindset is the thing that holds most people back, you know, I talk about running, I talk about strength training, I talk about nutrition, those things are all important.
And, you know, if you want to become a healthy human being, you got to be very consistent with those things. But really, the underlying force that’s driving all of your success that’s driving, all of the change in your life is your mindset.
With the right mindset, you can accomplish anything that you want, the wrong mindset, you’re doomed to failure. Okay, so we’re talking about mindset principles today, that runners need to know that you need to know that you need to apply if you want to make positive changes in your life, to your health, to your fitness, to your presence, to your mood, to the level of satisfaction and happiness that you have in your life. Okay.
So I’m gonna go through this list, I have 20 different mindset principles to share with you today. And I mentioned in the intro that each one of these is, I’ve done a deep dive on a separate podcast for each one of these principles. And in the show notes, if you open up the show notes for this episode, I will put links in there to each of the episodes that I took these from so that you can actually click on the link, and then you can go directly to that show if you want to take a deep dive into each one of these principles.
I’m gonna go through each of these relatively quickly, I’m gonna do a kind of an overview of each of these principles so you understand it. Some might dive into a little bit deeper, but for a deep dive, and each of these, click on the links, and you can go directly to that episode and listen to it.
And you know, usually talk for 20-30 minutes on each of these topics. So these are important. And every one of these principles is something that will help improve your life in some way.
And they’re not all required, I think if you adopted, you know, 80% of these, let’s use the 80/20 rule here, you know, 80% is going to be good, that’s going to be a good amount of principles to apply. And if 20% really don’t speak to you, that’s totally cool.
But start taking some of these principles and start applying them to your life today and see what happens. Okay. So, while I’m talking about these principles here, these mindset principles that I think are so vitally important, think about what it is you are trying to accomplish.
Do you want to lose weight, improve your body composition, get stronger, become a faster runner, and be able to run longer distances? Are you training for your first half marathon marathon ultra marathon? What are your goals from a health and fitness standpoint?
Or maybe this is like, related to your career right now? Maybe you’re starting a business, maybe you’re trying to get a promotion? Maybe you’re trying to improve your relationship? Think about what it is you want to accomplish.
What would success look like for you? And I guarantee you that you can apply these principles to those goals that you have for yourself, regardless of whether they’re related to running, or weight loss or not. Okay, so that’s my little frame that I want to put all this stuff into.
So the number one principle that I think and these are not in any particular order of importance or anything like that, but I just listed them in order of the way I did the podcast. So the earlier ones are going to be the earlier podcasts and the ones towards the end are going to be the later podcasts. That’s all.
Okay, number one is self-awareness. Self-awareness is a principle that you really need to start adopting and start thinking about and start embracing. If you want to make any kind of change in your life. One of the most important things you can do to start any process is to start developing self-awareness.
What does that mean? That means you’re aware of your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. You’re aware of your own behaviors and what is driving those behaviors. Typically, it’s your thoughts and feelings that are driving those behaviors.
Most people don’t do this, they’re not self-aware. Most people go through their lives, thinking that whatever they’re doing is other people’s fault. And that everything is happening to them. And that they don’t have any agency, and they don’t have any ability to change any of these things.
And I have to tell you, that you are in control, you have agency. And the number one step that you can do to start moving towards taking back that control of your life is self-awareness.
What is it you’re thinking about all the time? What’s on your mind? What’s worrying you? What emotions are you experiencing throughout the day? What behaviors are being driven by those emotions?
Start thinking about all this stuff, write it down, I encourage people to write what I call a “thought download”, which is just writing down everything that’s in your head and getting it onto the page.
When you do that, that creates a ton of self-awareness, right? That right there because you can actually look at what’s going on inside that brain of yours. This is a very, very important first step. So self-awareness.
And when you write stuff down, don’t filter any of that stuff, don’t censor it. Don’t try to make it make sense. Just write down what’s going on in your head. All those dark thoughts, write down everything that you’re thinking and feeling.
Do this every day, you’re gonna become a self-awareness ninja, you’re gonna be like, Oh, my God, I’m so in tune with how I’m feeling with what’s going on with me what, you know, what emotions I’m experiencing.
And this right here is huge, it’s gonna go a long way to helping you improve anything, right? You can’t improve something you don’t measure. So you have to build a measure, where are you with the self-awareness thing? Okay, that’s number one.
Number two, you have to learn to love the process. So a lot of people set out to change their diet, let’s say. And they stop eating sugar, and they start eating healthy whole foods. And it’s going pretty, okay, you know, maybe they’ve lost some weight.
Then there’s going to be a point in time, I promise you that this is going to happen, where you are going to experience a setback, or a failure or a stall in your weight loss. And you’re going to get frustrated.
And you’re going to say this isn’t happening fast enough. And you’re going to start to get start to feel like a failure, and you’re going to want to just quit. Because what you’re doing here is you’re basing the way you feel on the results that you’re getting, or not getting, or how fast it’s taking or not taking.
And we have to stop doing that we have to just dive into the process of change, and commit to the process of change and love the process of change. You want to change your diet, you gotta love that new diet, you want to get faster as a runner, you got to love speed work, you got to commit to learning to love that process.
And stop focusing on the results, the results will absolutely happen if you stick with it. And of course, there are changes that need to be made here and there along the way, which is fine. There’s no such thing as a straight path from point A to point B, it’s going to take a while to get there and it’s going to be circuitous.
It’s going to be backwards and forwards and you’re gonna get up and you’re gonna fall down and you’re gonna get up again. And this is the way that life works. There’s no such thing as success without a bunch of failures along the way.
So we have to learn to love the process of change. If you do that, the results will absolutely happen eventually. But if you’re pissed off about the process, if you’re pissed off about the food you have to eat or the fact that you have to run faster or whatever, you’re going to be miserable, and you won’t get the results because you’re going to end up just quit. So learn to love the process.
Number three, you have to avoid self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is one of those things that people do. I used to, and I see it every single day. And I and I can see it in you. It’s hard to see it in yourself, but I can see it in you.
And that’s one thing I love about coaching people is they start telling me a story about how you know they weren’t able to stick to their diet plan because of this and that and I’m just like, in my mind, I’m going self-sabotage, self-sabotage, self-sabotage. Like I could just see it happening.
And so again, this is like goes back to that self-awareness principle, where if you start to develop self-awareness, you can actually start to see when you begin to self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is a tricky thing. Things like procrastination, like when you’re delaying doing something because it’s hard. That can be self-sabotage.
When you don’t start something because you think you’re gonna fail at it. Oh, why would I even bother to try to lose weight because every time I do I fail? That’s self-sabotage.
I even see people do things where, let’s say they’ve, you know, they’re, they’re losing weight, and they get to some big number like, you know, they want to get under 200 pounds, I work with a lot of guys who want to, they just want to be under 200 pounds again, you know, and they get really close to that number. They’re like 202, 203, 201. And then all of a sudden, the weight starts to creep up a little bit to three to a five to six.
And they’re like, I don’t understand what’s happening. And we dive into it a little bit. And what happens is getting to that 199 number that feels really uncomfortable. And so subconsciously, your brain is going to self-sabotage because it doesn’t want you to be uncomfortable, your brain just wants you to be safe and comfortable and do the things you’ve been doing.
And to be at 190, and it feels super weird and uncomfortable because you haven’t been there since like high school, right? So you got to be aware of that though, you got to be aware that this is something that will probably happen.
I see it with most people I work with, they get to some round number 150, 175 to under whatever that number is for you. And they will begin to self-sabotage. To avoid that feeling of discomfort, the discomfort is just being in the one hundreds again, 199 or whatever it is.
You gotta avoid the self-sabotage, you got to be aware of what you’re doing. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings that are driving the behavior. Again, this is huge, huge, huge, okay, but watch the self-sabotage.
Number four, you have to make healthy habits stick, and healthy habits are how you accomplish all the good stuff you want for yourself, you want to get stronger, you need a healthy habit of hitting the gym a few times a week, every week, consistently.
You want to get faster, you need a healthy habit of running faster on a regular basis. You want to lose weight, you have to have a healthy habit of eating the right kinds of foods, even if you go out to dinner, even if you’re on vacation, even if it’s Thanksgiving, or Christmas or whatever.
Of course, there are some exceptions here and there. But for the most part, when you develop habits, it’s so much easier to stick to your plan because it’s just what you do when you have developed good habits.
Then going to the gym is a no-brainer because that’s just what you do. I go to the gym five days a week. It took me a while to get in the habit of doing that. But once I did, it’s like I look forward to it. Now, even leg day, I used to hate leg day.
I even talked about this recently on a podcast, I was like, oh, I hate leg day. But now I love it, it’s actually my favorite day because I can feel my legs getting stronger. And I can see the results. And I’m like, Yeah, bring it on, let’s lift some heavy weights today.
So you have to make healthy habits stick. And you have to learn how to do that. And you know, that requires getting your reps in, it requires a lot of discomfort, you got to get uncomfortable doing these things. Because for a while it’s going to feel uncomfortable, it’s not going to feel like a habit, it’s going to feel like work.
You know, getting up early to run four days a week or whatever is hard. You know, especially if you got kids, you’re trying to get this in before you go to work. That’s hard to do, it’s gonna be really uncomfortable. But once you do it for a while, it’s going to be no big deal. It’s just who you are and what you do.
So many people I work with love getting up at like four o’clock in the morning and they work out. I don’t get up that early, just FYI, but they love it. And I’m like good for you. Because they can get their workout in and then the kids get up, they can have time with their kids or husband before they go to work or wife or whatever. And then they feel much better about their day and it has become a habit.
Do you think getting up at four o’clock in the morning is easy? No, it is not, especially when you first start out doing that. But over time, it gets easier. Not suggesting you get up at four o’clock in the morning. But you have to learn how to make everything that you do that you want to do consistently has to become a habit.
Speaking of which, one of the best ways to develop a habit is what I’m going to call making decisions ahead of time. This is mindset. Principle number five. When you make decisions ahead of time, you’re using that thinking part of your brain, your pre-frontal cortex, when you make decisions in the moment you’re using your primitive brain, your amygdala, that’s like your fight or flight center.
That’s responsible for making those questionable decisions because you’re using that primitive part of your brain that just wants to feel good and wants to avoid pain.
So you’re seeking pleasure avoiding pain, that’s your amygdala is responsible for those kinds of decisions. Like there’s doughnuts, Heck, yeah. Like that’s a decision made with your amygdala.
When you decide ahead of time when you when you planned your lunch the day before. And you know you’re gonna have you know, chicken and broccoli and that’s what you’re eating for lunch and you brought it with you and you’ve made that decision ahead of time you planned it. You wrote it down. You prepped for it, you brought that you’re going to eat the chicken, the broccoli that you promised you.
And that’s how you’re going to make these healthy habits stick is going to be writing things down making decisions in advance 24 hours in advance has to be and I tell people this all the time you do this, I promise you, you’re gonna stick to that plan. Much, much easier to stick to the plan when you’ve decided in advance, okay?
Number six, the all-or-nothing mentality just has to go. This is not about all or nothing. One big problem people have when they set out to change their diet is they they have this thing thinking of like, they’re never going to be able to eat, you know, their favorite food again, like they’re never gonna have a piece of pizza in their life, or they’re never gonna be able to eat a french fry.
Or they’re never gonna be able to eat Ben and Jerry’s or chocolate or whatever it is, whatever your thing is. And I just have to tell you that I don’t think that’s, I don’t think that’s rooted in reality.
First of all, because you’re going to do that, you’re going to eat the french fries, you’re going to eat the burger, you’re going to eat the pizza. So this all-or-nothing mentality has to go out the window. And instead, I like to employ the, what I call the 90/10 principle when it comes to food because I think the 80/20 is a little too lenient.
If you’re trying to lose weight, and you need to stick to a healthy food plan, then I think 80/20 is a little too loosey-goosey there. Okay, so let’s go with about 90/10. 90/10 equals about one meal a week.
One meal a week, do what you want, eat some pizza, have some ice cream, whatever, it’s fine. It helps to kind of release some of that pressure. It’s like a release valve, you get this one meal where you can just eat some pizza and have a little bit ice cream. Okay, good. Now get back on track the next meal.
Don’t ever have two bad meals in a row. Don’t ever miss two workouts in a row. But this all-or-nothing mentality has to go. It’s like, oh, I’m either eating all healthy foods every day for the rest of my life. Or I’m not.
Another area a lot of people struggle with is in drinking alcohol. And they think that they either have to drink all the time or never drink. And there’s an in-between there. There are lots of people who drink very moderately, maybe once a week, maybe once a month, maybe not even that often, maybe a couple times a year. Why not? Why can’t that be a reality for you? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Okay, so let’s just throw that one out the window.
Number seven. This is gonna sound contrarian, but it is not weight loss is not the goal. If you’re overweight, and you’re like, okay, I need to lose 30 pounds. Your goal, you might be thinking your goal is to lose weight. That’s not really what the goal is.
The goal is for you to become as healthy as possible. The goal is for you to get to this place where your body is operating the way it’s supposed to operate, that your body is functioning the way it’s supposed to function as a human being.
I always talk about fat-burning. Fat burning, we have to turn fat burning back on because this is our natural state as human beings we burn fat. When we’re burning fat, we feel better, we lose the weight, running improves, our mood improves our energy levels throughout the day improves our ability to concentrate and think clearly improves.
We need to get back to that natural state. And also when you get healthy, and your body is burning fat and you’re operating on all cylinders, your hormones are all regulated, your blood sugar’s regulated, and you just feel better you’re in, you’re in the best shape of your life, you’re feeling amazing.
And of course, we want to add in strength training and running and other things too. But the goal is not the weight loss, the weight loss is a side effect of becoming the healthiest version of yourself. So that is really the goal.
So that’s what I want you to focus on, don’t focus on “I have to lose 30 pounds” because when we do that, we’re like, okay, I just got to get this weight off as fast as possible. I’m going to go on the cabbage soup diet, which I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but it sounds terrible.
I’m going to just lose the weight as fast as I can. This is not sustainable. Can you eat cabbage soup the rest of your life? No, and nobody would want to be around you if you did. Anyway, think about that for a minute.
Okay, now put that image in your mind. So the goal is not to lose weight and lose it as fast as possible goal is to become the healthiest version of yourself and be able to sustain that long term.
So stop focusing on weight loss. I know sounds contrarian, right? Focus on becoming the healthiest version of yourself, the weight loss will happen as a beautiful little side effect.
Number eight, you have to break the habit of being you. What do I mean by that? That means that you have a certain way that you see the world we all do. We all have what is called a model of the world. So we all experience reality differently. It’s pretty, pretty trippy.
You know, the way that I see things is based on my past, my family of origin, one where I was brought up, my religious beliefs or non-religious beliefs, my goals, my successes, the people, I spend time with, the things I watched, the things I listened to, the books I read all that stuff and, and you have a whole different set of criteria that you are filtering the world through.
So your model of the world is going to look different from my model of the world. And I love this example of two people standing at the ocean. So you got two people standing at the ocean. One is looking out over the ocean and thinking, oh my god, this is the most beautiful, serene place, I love the ocean so much.
That’s me, by the way, I love the ocean. I need to live by the ocean, I just need to do that for the rest of my life. I just need to be by the ocean, and I’d be so much happier. Anyway, I’m in the Midwest, it’s cold, it gets cold in the wintertime. I don’t like that.
So two people standing by the ocean one thinks it’s beautiful, serene, loves it, and the other person is deathly afraid of the ocean. Why is that? Why do they have such different thoughts and experiences about the ocean?
Why do they see it as being one sees it as being blissful, and peaceful, and beautiful? And the other sees it as being dangerous? And it brings up all kinds of fear.
Well, maybe the one person used to be a surfer. And they surfed every day, and they loved it. And they just loved being in the water. And they love floating in the ocean and have lived by the ocean their whole life. And it’s just like a very calm, serene place to be, it’s their happy place. Again, that’s kind of me.
The other person maybe had a near-death experience as a kid, they like almost drowned in the ocean and were told never to go back in and that the ocean is dangerous and to stay away from it.
And just that simple, little act, that little bit of trauma maybe and the reinforcement from parental figures, authority figures, whatever, could really cause them to have completely different ways of looking at this thing that everybody would just agree is just water, you know. So that’s just an example.
But think about this, everybody in our lives has a different way of filtering the world. And I bump into this all the time with my girlfriend because we have different ways of seeing things.
I’m like, Oh, my God, this show we’re watching is so amazing, or this movie or this piece of artwork or whatever. And she’s like, no I don’t get it. I don’t like it. And I’m like how? You’re crazy. This is the best movie I’ve ever seen. Like, it’s just we just see things differently. I’m usually right though, just by the way.
Okay, so we got to break the habit of like being ourselves, we got to break the habit of doing the same things all the time, using the same filter to see everything, we got to open ourselves up to seeing things a little bit differently, we got to open ourselves up to doing things differently.
If you get up and do the same things every single day, and you do them the same way, you’re never going to break out of that you’re never going to expand past your own comfort zone, like we got to get out of the comfort zone.
That means doing things differently. That means pushing yourself everything you want, but don’t already have lies outside your comfort zone. So you got to break the habit of being you and you got to start to become someone else.
And I don’t mean like you got to put on a wig and like glasses and a fake mustache or something like that. But you have to start changing, we should always be changing and evolving and growing and becoming more.
And so that means that you got to break the habit of just doing things the same way every single day, start doing something different start, you know, pushing past your horizons, start changing your habits and start doing things differently and start becoming that different person.
I always tell people that I love it when they set a big goal like running their first marathon because they can’t run a marathon today, maybe their longest run is like five miles, and they want to be able to run a marathon. It’s going to require a lot of work, you know, four months or so of training, and they’re going to have to become a different person that process and just doing the training and showing up at the starting line of that event.
They’ll be a different person than they are today. What is that for you? What is that going to look like for you? What can you be in six months from now? Who do you want to be you got to be somebody different. And you need to work towards that. Okay, it’s got to break the habit of being you.
Number nine, you have to overcome your limiting beliefs. This kind of ties into what I was just talking about. But we all have limiting beliefs about ourselves. Limiting beliefs just means that there are things that limit our potential.
So there are things that we believe about ourselves that are actually holding us back. So it’s things like I can never lose weight because I’ve never been able to do it in the past. Um, I don’t have any willpower. I’m just a sugar junkie, you know, I have a sweet tooth so there’s nothing I can do about it.
Those are all limiting beliefs because they’re limiting your potential, or I could never run a marathon, or I can never qualify for Boston, I’ve heard people telling me this.
I had a woman I worked with a long time ago. And she told me that she wasn’t a real runner. She never felt like a real runner. And this was really holding her back. And I asked her about her running and she said that she’s been running every day 5k at least every day for like, five years. But she’s been a streaker, she’s had this long-running streak. And I’m like, what the what? Like you are absolutely.
What a limiting belief that is, though, that I’m not a real runner. Because I can’t run fast like some people are, I can’t qualify for Boston, stop doing that to yourself, stop having these limiting beliefs.
Take a look at what things you believe about yourself. And see where you can make some changes there and let go of some of that stuff. Just drop it like a rock, okay?
Number ten, you have to choose your struggle, you can choose the struggle of being unhealthy, being overweight, and not feeling good about yourself. Because that is a struggle, you can go through your life struggling with all of that, you can go through your life struggling with not living up to your potential, you can go through your life struggling with how you feel about yourself.
There’s another struggle you can choose though, that is the struggle of getting up early and going to the gym. That’s a struggle. That’s hard to do, of sticking to your food plan when everybody else around you is eating pizza or doughnuts in the break room.
And it’s going to be a struggle to not eat that stuff in that moment because you chose chicken and broccoli for lunch. That’s a struggle. Choose that struggle, though, because that one is actually going to improve your life.
Choose the struggle of going to the gym and lifting heavy weights that hurt, it hurts to lift heavy weights, it’s hard. I was at the gym this morning. And I was listening to a podcast and I was lifting weights and doing a bunch of reps. And I’m listening to my podcast, with the noise-cancelling headphones on, so I can’t really hear other people too much. And I can’t hear myself either.
So if I’m making noises, if I’m talking, I can’t really hear myself too well, I have to take out my ear pods, whatever you call those things if I want to talk to somebody, but anyway, I noticed today that I was doing all these reps, and I was grunting and like making noises.
And I kind of caught myself and I was like I think I’m being a little too loud here. But it was kind of funny because it was a struggle. It was hard. And I sort of caught myself. And you know, I had my eyes closed and I was grimacing on my face. And I was like, ah, you know, and making noises.
And people around me probably heard it because it’s pretty loud. But whatever. I mean, that’s what you do when you’re at the gym. But that’s a struggle going to the gym every day, lifting those heavy weights, it’s a struggle. But what do you get in return, you get a better body composition, you get more energy, you feel better, your metabolism improves, your ability to burn, fat improves, your running improves, you get faster, you get stronger, you can run longer distances, you look better naked, all that stuff because you struggled at the gym.
Instead of struggling by just sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself, don’t do that, choose your struggle every single day.
That leads me to number eleven, which is battling the resistance because this is going to happen. As soon as you start to do something different, the resistance is going to rear its ugly head, it’s going to come up and it’s going to be there and you’re going to be like, I really want to do this.
But that’s the resistance, oh, I really want to lose weight. But you know, changing my diet is hard. Or I really want to get stronger, but going to the gym, you know, I don’t want to pay for a gym membership or just too many people that gym, well, this is all resistance. It’s just excuses.
It’s BS, it’s your mind saying I don’t want to do anything that’s uncomfortable. Remember, your brain has one job, keep you safe, avoid pain, and seek pleasure. That’s it. It wants the familiar and it will, it will avoid the unfamiliar and seek the familiar every single time.
And all this stuff is called the resistance and Steven Pressfield talks about that in his book, The War of Art, I would definitely check it out if you guys are interested. It’s a it’s a great book. It’s about breaking through blocks, and you know, for creative people, but really, it applies to everybody.
And he really does a good job of talking about the resistance. So you have to go to battle with the resistance every day. Because it’s going to show up you’re going to be like I don’t feel like running today because blah blah, blah. That’s the resistance coming up.
You know, I talk to people all the time who want to work with me, and we have a conversation we get on Zoom we have a conversation. And I tell them all the reasons you know, or all the things that they can accomplish and they’re telling me all the reasons why maybe they can’t do it or it’s not the right time. That’s the resistance. It’s the right time. There’s no right time, right?
If you want to start and you want to change, today’s the day to do it, now is the right time. But that resistance comes up here like, well, maybe I’ll wait till after the holidays, like what you’re gonna wait like three months before you change something?
No, start today, you got to go to battle against the resistance. Every single day, every time that shows up, you got to beat that foe, okay?
Number twelve, is you got to get into the gain and out of the gap. So this is the gap versus the gain mentality, right? When we talk about the gap, that is the gap between where you are today.
And where you want to be, there’s a gap there, I want to lose 40 pounds, I want to be healthier, I want to change my eating habits. So there’s a gap between where you are today, because you’re not there.
I want to run a 9-minute mile instead of a 10-minute mile. There’s a gap there. When you focus on the gap, you’re constantly focused on where you are not. You’re constantly focused on the fact that you are not where you want to be. And I see this all the time with people who are trying to lose weight.
We’re working together for a period of time and they’re like, but I’m still not at x weight. I’m still not there. I’m not there. I’m not there. I’m not there. I’m like you got to stop focusing on that. Let’s look back and look at your progress instead.
What have you gained? You know, how is your mindset different? How are your energy levels? How are you sleeping? How are your clothes fitting? How are your measurements, your inches?
How many inches have you lost? Yeah, the scale might be going a little bit slow or whatever, who cares? Let’s focus on all the gains you’ve made. You’ve changed your relationship with food, you no longer crave the junk food like you used to. That’s a magical place to be.
Focus on the gain, stop focusing on the gap. Okay, focus on where you have made gains, focus on the progress you’ve made and stop focusing on where you are not. That’s number twelve.
Number thirteen is you got to get yourself immersed into this world, whatever that looks like for you. If you want to change, you want to make some big changes in your life, you have to immerse yourself in the world.
When I was training for Ironman, this was 10 years ago now. I immersed myself in the world of long-distance triathlon. And I read books and I listened to podcasts and I watched videos I was on YouTube.
I was on blogs, I was reading all kinds of articles, I was listening to podcasts and listening to audiobooks and talking to other people and spending time with other people who are into triathlon and training with people who are doing triathlon I immersed myself in this world of triathlon.
I had a training partner, we talked about this stuff all the time. And I encourage people to do the same thing. And I kind of created my coaching program that follows this principle where we immerse you in this world of other people who are all doing the same things.
So there are group coaching calls, where we all spend time talking about what’s working, what isn’t, what improvements have we made, you get to hear from other people, you get immersed in this world of, of people who are trying to lose weight and get stronger and run faster, run longer, they’re feeling good about themselves, it’s such a positive environment to be in, then you get the one on one coaching with me.
So you get this other layer of support and guidance, and encouragement. And then I have a bunch of training materials online, I’ve got this private podcast feed that you can listen to that’s not this podcast you’re listening to. This is like all the stuff I teach on the group coaching calls.
And so you have like literally hundreds of hours of trainings that you can be listening to. So you can really immerse yourself in this world of eating right and losing weight and doing it the right way and getting stronger and improving.
You’re running and all this stuff, right? So immerse yourself in whatever that looks like for you just get into it, do it all, okay?
Number fourteen, you have to live in integrity with yourself. That means that you do what you say you’re going to do. That means if you get up in the morning, and you have a run scheduled for today that you’re going to you’re going to do that run.
That if you are trying to eat healthy and you’ve got a healthy food plan you’re trying to stick to that means when you go out of town for that work trip you stick to that healthy food plan.
Because what happens is the opposite for most people, most people do the opposite. They are not in integrity with themselves. They think you know what I mean? I’m out of town, nobody’s gonna know that I’m not sticking to my food plan. So I’m just gonna eat whatever.
And then when they do that they they told themselves before they went on this trip that they were going to eat healthy. But then when they got there, they’re like, whatever, I’m just gonna eat the pizza like everybody else is eating in the Fettuccine Alfredo or whatever.
What happens in that moment is that they kind of break down that trust in themselves, they break down the integrity, they’re trying to build with themselves, and they no longer have the confidence to be able to stick with it, because they keep breaking these promises they made to themselves.
Being in integrity with yourself means you keep the promises that you make to yourself means you honor the commitments that you make to yourself and to others, but really to yourself.
It’s easier to keep commitments to other people because you got somebody there sort of holding you accountable. That’s another reason why I love coaching people because, you know, they got to show up and tell me what they did or didn’t do. And they’re way more likely to stick to a plan when they gotta report to me on a regular basis, tell you what.
Living in integrity means that you are in integrity with yourself, because it’s easy to just do whatever when nobody’s watching, right? Being integrity means doing the right thing, even when no one’s around to watch to see what you did.
So you got to build this trust in yourself, you got to build this integrity with yourself. That means making a plan and sticking to the plan, even when you don’t feel like it. When you do this on a regular basis, I promise you, you’re going to build so much trust in yourself and so much self-confidence that sticking to the plan is going to be no big deal.
Alright, number fifteen, happiness is overrated. Let’s stop chasing happiness, okay? Because here’s what happens when you’re chasing happiness. You’re going after feeling good. So what do we do when we’re chasing happiness, we eat to feel better, we drink alcohol to feel better, we do drugs to feel better, we shop to feel better.
We do all kinds of unhealthy behaviors because we just want to feel good, we just want to be happy. Here’s a fact, life is not supposed to be happy all the time. It just isn’t. That’s just not the way life is designed.
It’s like 50/50, like for half the time you feel pretty good half the time not so much. So stop trying to avoid half of your life, stop trying to avoid the 50% of life that’s not perfect, or whatever that isn’t like, quote unquote happy according to the movies or to Hollywood or the television shows or whatever.
Just accept the fact that you’re going to be unhappy sometimes. And it’s okay, it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong, it means you’re working, you’re operating the way you’re supposed to, as a human being.
So stop chasing happiness, it leads to all kinds of addiction, and all kinds of bad behaviors. Instead, just accept the fact that life is 50/50 and then move on from there. Okay.
Number sixteen, the other side of endurance. So when we talk about endurance we’re talking about most people think of, you know, running an ultra marathon, you know, oh, endurance, yeah, you got to be able to run for 24 hours straight and be able to run 100 miles or whatever.
Yeah, that is endurance, you know, running a marathon requires endurance, you got to build endurance. And I think building endurance is one of the best things you can do for yourself from a cardiovascular standpoint, and increasing your endurance.
And that could just mean like running a 5k, it could be running five miles a few times a week, and that’s perfectly fine. That’s how you build endurance. And then you could always build upon that if you want to if you want to improve that.
But there’s another side of endurance. And that’s the endurance of sticking with the plan. And we’ve talked a lot about sticking with the plan today. So far, it’s it’s a big mindset principle, a lot of stuff I do with the people I work with, is helping them stick with the plan.
Because it’s one thing to have a plan, and you probably know what to do, it’s a whole other thing to stick with the plan, right? So the other side of endurance is being able to have the endurance to stick with a plan, even when it’s hard. And that means that you endure, you know, days and weeks and months and years of being a healthy eater of somebody that exercises regularly.
Endurance isn’t just about running endurance is about you know, creating good habits and then seeing them out for the long haul, spell sustainability. Okay, so practice that kind of endurance. It’s great that you’re out there running long miles. apply that same principle, though, that you push through like you push through a long run, apply that same principle to sticking with your diet for example, okay.
Number seventeen, you have to overcome your fear of success. So many people tell me that they fear failure when they start out with something like this like I’m I really want to change my diet and lose weight but I’m so afraid I’m gonna fail. And and I get that because maybe they failed a lot in the past.
But the other thing that people fear is success, they fear being successful, they fear losing the weight because then they say, well, okay, I was able to lose some weight. But what if I can’t maintain it? What if I can’t keep it off, because I’ve tried this in the past, and it hasn’t worked?
I’ve tried this in the past, and I’ve been able to lose weight, but then it came back again, you know, or whatever. Fear of success is a real thing. And people are really afraid of who they are going to become when they accomplish X, Y, Z, whatever that is, you know, qualify for Boston, run your first marathon lose a bunch of weight. Because it’s different, and it’s uncomfortable, and you’re becoming a different person in that process. And that can be very scary.
You know, if I told you like, okay, you’re going to work with me, and in six months, you’re going to be a different person, you’re going to be like, whoa, whoa, whoa, dude, I don’t know about that. Right?
And I’m like, no, you’re gonna be able to lose the weight, you’re gonna run faster, we’re gonna get you stronger, your body composition is gonna improve, you’re gonna stand in front of a mirror naked and be like, alright, I like what I see here.
That’s scary for people, because they’re like, oh, my gosh, I don’t know what that’s like, for me, I’ve never been there before. That’s scary, okay, you got to get over that. Embrace the suck of the process and just get over the fact that it’s going to be uncomfortable. And stop using the fear of success as an excuse to not start something, it’s totally worth it, by the way.
Number eighteen, the key to success is consistent aligned action, there’s nothing more to it than taking consistent aligned action. When you do that, you will make progress. When you make progress, you will feel more motivated to continue taking consistent aligned action.
The only way you’re gonna get results is through your actions, not through your thoughts, not through how you feel. The only way you get results is by taking action. And the action has to be aligned with your goals.
So think about that long-term goal that you have to lose 40 pounds, you need to take actions that are aligned with that goal. So eating cake for breakfast and dinner is going to be something that is misaligned, that is misaligned with that goal of losing weight.
And when you take misaligned action, you’re going to get misaligned results you’ll gain weight instead. If you eat cake for breakfast and dinner, instead you need to take aligned action. Focus on protein, and keep the carbs in check.
Don’t eat junk food, don’t eat processed foods, and stay away from sugar, that’s aligned action that’ll get you to your goals. And the consistent part is pretty self-explanatory. But you can’t just do it once, you have to continually do this.
So consistent aligned action, what are those actions that are in alignment with your goal, make a list, what are the things you’re going to do that are going to get you to that goal, it’s just steps, you know, it’s just steps on a ladder.
Let’s say you want to get to the top of the ladder, just take one step at a time, then you’ll eventually get there. But you have to do it consistently, you can’t just do it a few times, it has to be something you do on a regular basis.
Number nineteen, increasing your emotional tolerance, you have to be able to tolerate having emotions that talked about this on a recent podcast. So having emotional tolerance means that there’s going to be times when you let’s say, want to eat pizza when everybody else is eating pizza, but you’re not gonna eat the pizza.
And you’re gonna feel a little stressed out about that, and you’re gonna feel like a fear of missing out FOMO you know, you’re gonna feel desire for that pizza, because it’s sitting right there. And all these emotions that you’re experiencing can feel very intense, they can feel very strong.
And you think the only answer is just to eat the pizza to make those feelings go away. So you’ve got to get rid of the feelings, like I don’t want to tolerate these emotions anymore. So I gotta get rid of that. So I’m just getting the pizza and it does work, those emotions will go away.
But what if you increased your ability to tolerate experiencing those emotions? What if you were able to just have those emotions, you were able to feel desire, and you’re able to feel, you know, FOMO and you’re able to feel stress or whatever it is, and you just, were okay with that?
I mean, it doesn’t feel good. It’s not supposed to. But what if you were just okay with that? It’s a game-changer. When you increase your emotional tolerance, you’re able to stick with the plan.
You’re able to get through those moments where you would normally stress eat, or eat because you’re, you know, sad or angry or whatever. Your ability to tolerate your own emotions is just part of being a human being.
And it’s something you have to work on. It has to be something you work on every day you practice it again. It’s easier. I do this all the time. There are lots of times where I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, I really want to eat that. Still. It’s been years since I’ve had certain foods and I’m like, I still want that.
And I just don’t do it. And I feel a little bad, I feel a little uncomfortable. And it’s okay, I’m just, I’ve, I’ve developed a high tolerance for experiencing these emotions, okay. Fear is a big one. People are afraid to feel fear. What if you just felt the fear and you just did the thing anyway? It’s crazy what you can accomplish.
Okay, number twenty, and the last one I want to share with you today is the n equals one principle. And that means that you are an experiment of one. Everything that I’ve talked about here, on the podcast for the last four years, everything that you hear from other quote, unquote, like experts out there in the field of health and nutrition, and running and strength training, or whatever, you can listen to all the experts out there.
But it all boils down to you being an experiment of one, that what other people do the way that they do, it is not necessarily going to work for you. And that’s why I do coaching instead of handing over a document and telling you what to do.
Because there isn’t a document or a book, or a podcast, or an article that you can read that is going to give you the exact formula that is going to work for you. There is no such thing. We’re all different.
We all have our own, you know, cultures and our own lifestyles and our own food preferences and the ways we like to exercise our own goals, our own families like we have so many things that are unique to us that no two people are going to do any of this stuff the same way.
So you got to figure it out. I know you probably don’t want to hear that. But it’s true. You have to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t, you’re always an experiment. But this is actually good news. Because it means that you can try some things that may work and may not.
And if they don’t, then try something else. Don’t give up, keep going. But it’s always going to be n equals one. That means that the number of people in the experiment is one. And that is you. You are the experiment. Okay.
All right. Those are my 20 mindset principles that runners need to know and I think normal people need to know as well. Took me a little longer to go through these today than I thought it would, but that’s cool.
I just want you to know how appreciative I am of you listening to these episodes, I hope you get something out of these.
If you do, reach out and tell me how this has impacted you. I’d love to hear from you. And as always, I love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
When it comes to running tough races, you eventually get to a point where it’s all mind over matter. Your legs hurt, you’re exhausted, and you just want to quit. This is when your emotional …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 198 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today I’m talking about increasing your emotional tolerance.
So when it comes to running tough races, you eventually get to this point where it’s kind of mind over matter, right? Your legs hurt, you’re exhausted, you’re ready to give up. This is when your emotional toughness game really has to be on point, you know, or at least you think that you can physically keep going.
But there’s this emotional state that is trying to convince you that you need to stop right now. Like it’s just time to quit, right. And this emotional toughness or emotional tolerance is also required when you want to do other tough things in your life, like not eating the pizza when everybody around you is eating the pizza.
So today’s podcast is all about increasing your emotional tolerance. So you’re better armed to tough it out when things get tough, which they always seem to do. And if you want a little bit of help getting started with everything that I teach here on the podcast, when it comes to losing weight as a runner, being able to keep the weight off for good, not trying to outrun a bad diet, improving your strength, improving your endurance, improving your speed as a runner. And being able to make all of these changes last for good.
I’ve put together a free training that you can check out. It’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner. I’ll teach you the right way to lose weight and keep it off for good. If you’re ready to become leaner and stronger, run faster and longer and become the healthiest, most badass version of yourself, then you need to check out this free training right now.
Just go to runningleancoaching.com, that’s my website, and click on Free Training. And by the way, it’s free if I didn’t say that it’s free, the training is free. I’ve put together this free training about an hour long. It goes over everything that I teach you on the podcast, definitely check it out runningleancoaching.com and then click on Free Training. Cool.
Okay, so let’s get into this idea of increasing your emotional tolerance. So the first thing to understand is that running is an emotional sport, right? We have all experienced a wide variety of emotions, when we’ve set out to train for a hard event, whether it’s a 5k, or half marathon, marathon, ultra marathon, whatever it is, there’s a there’s going to be a point during some tough race, there are some tough events that you’ve been training for, where it gets emotional.
And during running, there’s this physical toughness about it running, you know, I mean, you got to develop the endurance and develop the speed and develop the strength to be able to, you know, tough it out for 13 miles or 26 miles or whatever.
But then there’s also that emotional toughness, and you’ve probably already developed some emotional toughness, you’ve developed some emotional badass notes, you know, when it comes to running, because I hear from people all the time who tell me, they can sign up for a race and they go and they run their fastest race.
And there’s a point in that race where it becomes really hard. And they want to give up and they want to quit, but there’s this emotional resilience that they have that’s keeping them going. And I’m using the word emotional resilience or emotional toughness as opposed to mental toughness, because I think it is more emotional.
You know, the Mental Toughness part is like thinking, oh, I can do this. I think I can do this. I’m gonna keep going. But the emotional piece is like, you know, that feeling of like not wanting to be a failure. And like, I really just want to give up, I want to quit right now and curl up into a ball and cry right now.
I definitely have experienced that when it comes to running. So I think that as runners, we have developed some emotional toughness around running around certain events. When it comes to something like food, though, what happens there? Why is this so much different for us?
There’s this idea that when it comes to food and changing your diet, let’s say you want to lose weight, and so you’re going to stop eating pizza every night and you’re going to stop eating junk food, you’re going to up eating ice cream for dessert every night, you’re gonna stop eating the french fries every day, whatever it is, there’s this idea that you have to be able to handle some discomfort.
Because when you make a change like that, I promise you, it’s going to be uncomfortable. There’s going to be moments, sometimes a lot of moments where things are going to get uncomfortable for you. And I talk to people all the time, and I say, listen, you got to be able to handle this discomfort, you know, we’re going to stop eating sugar, for example.
And it’s going to be, it’s going to be hard and you’re going to feel uncomfortable, you’re going to want the sugar, your body’s going to crave the sugar, your mind is going to crave the sugar, you’re going to get emotional about all this stuff.
But you got to just lean into that discomfort and not eat the sugar, and be able to accept that emotional discomfort. And people tell me all the time, yep, I got it. No problem, Patrick. And then in reality when that time comes, and they have to say no to the sugar, but they’re craving it and they give in, or they you know, curl up into a ball and cry. Because it’s really hard in the moment.
In theory, it sounds easy enough. But in reality, this is a tough thing to deal with, especially if you’re not used to doing it. If you’re somebody that’s used to eating sugar every day, and you’re going to quit eating sugar for a period of time, that’s going to be hard to do.
If you’re somebody that’s used to drinking alcohol every day, or most days, and then you’re going to give up alcohol for a period of time, that’s going to be hard to do. If you’re somebody that wants to give up eating pizza all the time, not eating the pizza is going to be hard to do.
And it’s an emotional attachment that we have to these foods. It’s an emotional attachment that we have to feeling good. So it’s much harder to not eat the pizza than it is to tough it out for a marathon. Isn’t that interesting. I think that’s kind of crazy in a way.
Like if I just told you like you gotta run a PR when your next marathon. And if you’re in good enough shape, and you’ve done the training, you’re gonna get to a place during that race where it’s gonna be tough, and you’re gonna have to like put on that emotional badass rehab of yours, and you’ll be able to get through it.
But then when I say like, Hey, don’t eat pizza. Tomorrow night, when everybody else is eating pizza around you. That’s hard. It’s like harder for a lot of people, right? It’s interesting to me. So what is this? Is this a lack of willpower? You just don’t have enough willpower? Is it a lack of discipline? Are you just not disciplined enough? Was it a lack of desire? Do you not want it bad enough?
I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think it’s just an emotional tolerance issue more than anything else. So I’m going to ask you this question. What are you willing to feel? Seriously ask yourself that question, what are you willing to feel? What emotions are you willing to accept and just to feel?
You know, emotions we feel in our body, emotions, negative emotions, positive emotions, we feel them in our body, they feel like vibrations in our body, thoughts we experience in our minds and our heads. It’s very mental. It’s very heavy. But emotions we feel in our bodies like this vibration in our body. Some are good, some are not so good. Some feel good, some feel bad.
Anytime you use the word ‘feel’ to describe something that’s an emotional experience, we feel our emotions. Okay, for running, we feel physical pain, we feel physical suffering around food. It’s like emotional pain and emotional suffering. But what if you were willing to feel everything, especially the tough emotions.
Some of these emotions that we experience are deemed as negative emotions. And we don’t want to feel them. We’re taught at an early age that we don’t want to feel bad, we only want to feel good. And so our entire lives, we are chasing good feelings and running away from bad feelings.
So we do things like eat to feel better. We drink alcohol to feel better. We shop, gamble, do drugs, whatever, just because we want to feel better, even though we know those things are not good for us. But we chase after the good feeling. Because we don’t want to experience the bad feeling.
We run away from anything that feels bad, and we run towards anything that feels good. But if you want to change your diet, and you want to stick to a healthy eating plan, you’re going to have to experience some bad feelings.
But if you’re so conditioned to feel good all the time, then it’s going to feel like something is wrong. When you experience that bad feeling. So you’re sitting there at the table. Everybody’s eating pizza, and you’re like, oh my God, I feel bad right now. I don’t fit, this doesn’t feel right.
This feels like there’s something wrong, and I just got to feel better right now. And so you just grabbed the pizza and you start eating and you go, yeah, there we go. Now I feel good.
Don’t tell me you haven’t done that. Because we all have, we have all been there, you’re trying to stick to your diet, but then something happens everybody else is indulging in ice cream, pizza, whatever. And you just go for it, you just dig in, and you feel so much better. Right?
Because it feels good. Feels good to eat that stuff. Here’s the thing, though. Human beings, we are designed to feel all sorts of emotions, all sorts of stuff, right? Some feel good, and some feel bad. And I’m gonna say it’s about 50/50. And that’s the way life is designed. Life is supposed to be 50/50. It doesn’t feel good all the time.
But anytime we feel any kind of negative emotion and we go running away from it, we’re typically running into or chasing after something that is probably not good for us. So we have to accept this fact that life is 50/50 and that we’re gonna feel some negative emotions sometimes. And that’s okay, we’re gonna start, we got to start accepting, feeling bad sometimes.
That’s a crazy concept right there. Just accept that you’re going to feel bad sometimes. What? I know it’s bananas, right? A few years back. And I’ve talked about this before on the podcast here. But a few years back, I was going through a divorce. And this was tough for me. I’ve been with my second wife, that was my second wife, by the way, for like, nine years or whatever.
And we are going through this divorce. And we had been separated. And I was feeling terrible. Like, all the time. You know, I would wake up feeling terrible all day long, I’d feel kind of terrible. There were moments where I was okay. But I mean, I just felt bad a lot. It was tough to go to sleep at night, I was having all these crazy thoughts. And my mind was just racing and all these negative emotions.
Emotionally, I was a wreck. I felt terrible for a long time, for months. But here’s what I did. I, well, I tried to make it go away. And I was using food at the time to try to make it all go away. And I was working with a coach. And I just wanted to feel better. I was working with this coach. And she asked me a question.
At one point, she just said like, why do you think you shouldn’t feel bad? Why do you think you should feel any differently than you do? And I didn’t have an answer for that. I mean, I just, it doesn’t feel good to feel bad, right?
She’s like, yeah, but that right there, like just understanding that what you’re going through is tough, and it’s going to feel bad. And just having the acceptance around. That is what you need to wrap your head around, not trying to feel better, not trying to make the bad feelings go away.
But to accept the feelings, that was a game changer. For me, this changed my perspective on life and emotions and, and so much stuff. And we were just taught that we have to have like a positive attitude and think good thoughts and smile, and everything’s gonna be okay.
And like, no, everything was shit, you know, it was like, not good. And I just had to accept that and just be willing to feel bad. When I accepted this as my reality. And I sort of leaned into the negative emotions of, you know, going through this divorce. I did get through it much quicker. And I stopped having to use food to make myself feel better.
When you stop chasing feeling good all the time everything can change for you, because you’re no longer running away from the negative emotions. Because when you do that, listen, you’re running away from 50% of your life. You’re no longer afraid to feel bad. You can handle anything that comes your way, you become an emotional badass.
So this issue around food, and not wanting to feel uncomfortable at the table when everybody else is eating the pizza up. Think about this. What if you were just willing to feel bad for a little while? What if you’re willing to feel, you know, the desire for the pizza but not eat it? That’s uncomfortable. That’s an uncomfortable feeling, right?
But what if you were just willing to lean into that? What if you were having this craving and this urge to just like eat the pizza and just dig into it, but you didn’t give into that. That’s gonna feel terrible.
But you would get through that meal, and you would feel so much better about yourself. And then you would build a little bit of trust in yourself and a little bit of confidence that you can do this. And then the next time this happens, you’d get through that meal the same way and you’d build a little bit more trust and a little bit more confidence in yourself.
And listen, this doesn’t feel good. I’m not trying to Candy Coat anything here for you. This is a process that actually feels bad. Feeling negative emotions does not feel good. But it is important, I would say it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
If you want to change, if there’s anything that you’re going after that is tough, that’s going to take a while, like losing weight, changing your diet, not eating junk food, or even, you know, running that marathon. Those things all require some emotional tolerance, you have to be able to tolerate experiencing all these different emotions.
Now, there’s also the positive side of this, there are good emotions that you feel when you accomplish these goals. Or when you do something, when you feel good about yourself, I hear this all the time from my clients. They say, Oh my gosh, Patrick, I can’t believe I, they had, you know, brought all these doughnuts and bagels or whatever, into the break room. And I just didn’t eat them. And I felt good about myself.
And we call that a win. We call that a victory, you know, you won the day because you didn’t give in to the negative emotions. And that feels great, it feels great to do that. When you tough it out for that marathon and you cross the finish line. And you see that number on the clock and you just PR’d your marathon, that feels amazing. That’s, that’s joyous. That is an amazing elation that you feel.
So you can experience the positive emotions as well. But a lot of times it requires that we are willing to experience the negative ones. And then I remember a couple of marathons that I’ve PR’d or you know, 10K’s or half marathons, whatever. And those were very tough. And there were times when it was very challenging and extremely emotional and very hard and felt like quitting and all that.
And then at the end, crossing the finish line and accomplishing that goal, there was this release of positive emotion, it was just amazing. I actually cried, tears coming out my face, like it was so joyous, like blissful to feel that because I went through, you know, I went through the gauntlet, I did the hard things, I put in the work, I experienced all the negative emotions so I could experience the joy of victory.
You know, the same thing happens when we want to change our diet and stick to healthy eating, we have to go through the gauntlet, sometimes, you know, this isn’t forever. And this isn’t like something that’s gonna like last for months and months and months.
A lot of times we can break these addictions to sugar or junk food in around 30 days or so. But 30 days of like feeling some negative emotions can be kind of tough. You know, that’s why I do what I do as a coach. And I don’t just hand people a document and say, here’s what you do that just do the things on this list. And you’ll be fine. Because we need to talk through what they’re experiencing, we need to talk through how to get through some of those tough times and how to lean into those negative emotions.
So this is your work for this week. It is to allow yourself to experience negative emotions, allow yourself to experience you know what we would call bad feelings, don’t run away from them, lean into them, be willing to experience it all.
Remember, life is 50/50. Half the time you’re going to feel good half the time you’re going to feel bad. Don’t run away from that 50% that feels “bad”. Something else that happens over time when you do this, the bad feelings don’t feel that bad, they become more neutral.
When you’re willing to experience negative emotions and you do this on the regular and you get good at it. They become less emotionally charged, they don’t become so powerful, they become more neutral. This is what I call becoming an emotional badass.
So you build up this emotional tolerance, feeling bad becomes more and more acceptable and more neutral and easier for you to handle, then you can do anything you want. Because you’re willing to experience the negative emotions. You’re willing to experience the whole swath of emotions that we all experience as human beings and you’re not running away from half of your life.
Okay, I know you can do this. But if you want some help, I’m always here for you. Okay, we can talk about coaching, just head over to my website runningleancoaching.com and click on Work With Me. Fill out an application, we can get on a Zoom call. We can talk about coaching, what it looks like. I’ll answer all of your questions. We’ll see if this is a good fit for you. Coo.l
Okay, you guys got this I know you do and that’s all I got for you today. Love you all, keep on Running Lean and I’ll talk to you soon.
If you are having a hard time sticking with a health and fitness routine, then you might want to have a look at your locus of control. Locus of control refers to where you believe your control lies …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, sports nutritionist, Master life coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind, so you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 189 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today, Shifting Your Locus of Control. So if you’re having a hard time sticking with a health and fitness routine, sticking with a healthy food plan, then you might want to have a look at your locus of control. And I’ll explain all this in the podcast here.
But your locus of control refers to where you believe your control lies either outside of you or within you. So people who have a strong external locus of control tend to have a pretty hard time sticking to a plan and accomplishing really anything.
On the other hand, people who have a strong internal locus of control have an easier time sticking to a plan and are generally more successful in all areas of their lives. So today, I’m going to explain what locus of control is, and how you can begin shifting your locus of control so you can get better results and really just live a healthier, happier life.
But first, I know I talk a lot about the amazing transformations you can experience when you join my program and get coaching from me how you can commit to becoming your healthiest self, but instead of me yammering more about it, I’m going to share some of my clients personal stories with you.
So Elisa said, “Since working with Patrick, I don’t beat myself up anymore. I believe in myself. I’m finally in control of my eating habits. I’m steadily losing weight.” Flora said, “I’ve learned how to become a fat adapted runner. And the feeling of running with a clear head and so much energy is just amazing.” Eric said, “I’ve learned how to create good habits to replace the bad ones. I’m down 18 pounds so far, and I feel really good about myself for the first time in a long time.”
Mick said, “Accountability and education were key to my success with Patrick. I’ve had so many positive changes. I know I’m not going to slip back into old habits.” Leticia said, “I no longer have sugar cravings, I’ve taken control of my eating habits once and for all.”
Michelle said, “I’ve lost 25 pounds, I’ve gained immeasurable confidence. I am totally in control now. And I’m fully capable of doing everything I set out to do.” And Amy said, “I’m thinking so much more clearly, I have more energy, I’m sleeping better, running is easier. So far, I’m down 30 pounds and several dress sizes.”
Listen, you can add your name to this list, you can be one of these people with an amazing transformational story to share. All you gotta do is get some coaching. Join the Running Lean Coaching Project. This is my unique weight loss coaching program for runners just go to runningleancoaching.com/join to learn more. Book an interview with me and you and I’ll have a conversation, we’ll see if coaching is a good fit for you.
And if you want a little bit of help, just getting started with all this stuff, I’ve created a great training program that you can check out. It’s about an hour long video training, you can watch it at your own pace. It’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner. You can get that by going to my website Running Lean coaching.com and click on the Free Training link to get started. Cool.
Okay, so let’s talk about shifting your locus of control. So I talked to a lot of people who struggle to accomplish what they want for themselves, they struggle to reach their goals. So this could be a weight loss goal. This could be a strength goal, it could be a running related goal. Maybe they want to run their first marathon, qualify for Boston, or maybe they just want to run their first 5k.
But when it comes down to when you kind of boil it all down when it comes down to why it is they can’t seem to accomplish whatever goal they’re trying to accomplish. They start telling me all about the external factors affecting their life.
You know, I was doing great at sticking with this running plan. I was going to run my first marathon but then things got crazy at work. Or you know we traveled or went on vacation or the kids out of school so you know how that is or jeez, it just got hot out or it got cold out. Whatever.
So they look at their life as having all these external forces, external being things that are outside of themselves, that are affecting their ability to reach their goals or not to stick to their plan or not. That thing that seems so important to them, not that long ago has been pushed to the side because of all these external factors. Okay.
And the problem with this is that when you allow outside forces to affect your weight loss goals, your health and fitness goals, your running goals, then you’re going to have a very hard time accomplishing anything for yourself, you will always find reasons why you can’t do it.
You’ll have reasons and stories and excuses, you’ll always have somebody or something else to blame for why you can’t lose weight, why you can’t stick to this healthy eating plan, why you can’t train for that marathon or whatever.
The problem is that you’re going to really just stay stuck where you are. You won’t be able to accomplish these big goals that you want for yourself or small goals that you want for yourself, you won’t be able to accomplish much, you will always feel like you’re going to struggle, because it’s out of your hands.
It’s all these outside forces, all these external situations, these external circumstances that are to blame. You don’t have control over your own life. So this is known as having an external locus of control. So locus is just a Latin word, and it means place or location. So locus of control really relates to where your sense of control is located. Is it internally? Or is it externally? Is it within you? Or is it outside of you?
And locus of control is a term that’s used in psychology, and refers to a belief that the control of your life is either within you or outside of you. Okay, some people have a very strong internal locus of control. And some people have a very strong external locus of control.
And they’ve looked at all these people, and they’ve seen that people who have a mostly external locus of control tend to be not as successful, they tend to be not as happy, they tend to be maybe not as healthy.
And the people with a strong internal locus of control tend to be happier and healthier and tend to accomplish more in their lives. Okay. So somebody believes somebody with an external locus of control believes that outside forces control their destiny, I am not in control, I’m profoundly affected by external forces in my life.
People with a strong external locus of control, tend to be more passive, because things just happen to them. They tend to blame others for their situation, they tend not to accomplish goals. They believe that there’s really nothing they can do about their situation, because hey, it just is what it is. Right? Whatever happens, happens, why bother even trying?
They feel like they are unlucky, but like nothing good ever happens to them, because they’re just, it’s just not meant to be. Must be nice for those other people. But never, nothing ever works out for me. And what’s interesting is these people tend to be at greater risk for illness, they’re typically unhappy and unhealthy. They have a hard time sticking to a plan.
If you have a mostly external locus of control, it’s going to be harder for you to stick to a fitness routine, to train for a marathon to stick to a healthy eating plan. If you want to lose weight, you got to stick to a healthy eating plan. You have to be consistent with that plan. But if you’re constantly, you know, blaming everything around you for why you can’t stick to that plan, you’re gonna have a really hard time sticking with that plan. Okay.
So that is what external locus of control looks like. Can you relate to any of this? Does any of this sound like you? Because we’ve all had bits and pieces of this and I’ll tell you a little bit about my story in a minute here. But we’ve all had maybe times in our life when we had more of an external locus of control more of an internal.
So people with an internal locus of control tend to be more active, they’re actively engaging in changing their life. They’re actively engaged in improving their situation. Because they believe that they make things happen. You know, I did this, I made this happen, you know, my determination and my hard work, created my future, I’m not relying on outside circumstances, outside circumstances be damned, I’m going to make this happen.
They tend to accomplish goals regularly, consistently. They feel like they are in control of the events of their lives, they are in control of their own destiny. They don’t look to lock or fate, you know, to determine what they can accomplish or what they can accomplish, they take responsibility for their situation, whether that’s a good situation or a bad situation, they take responsibility, they tend to be healthier, they tend to have a reduced risk of illness.
And honestly, they just tend to stick with a plan. And it’s easier for them. All right. So wherever you feel like your locus of control is now just understand that it is not fixed. It is not something that is predetermined. And it is not something that you don’t have control over, you can actually change it.
It’s about what you believe to be true, not about what you think is true or not, what you believe to be true, will be true for you. If you believe you have no control over your life, and that it’s all about external circumstances, then that will be true for you. If you believe that you’re in control, that will be true for you.
Your locus of control is not something you are born with, it’s not something that is, you know, genetically imprinted in you or anything like that, it’s not a fact. It’s where you put it, it’s where you decide it’s going to be. So your goal then, is to shift your locus of control inward.
If you find yourself blaming external circumstances for where you are, why you can’t lose weight, why you can’t stick to that marathon training plan, why you can’t go to the gym and lift heavy weights. If you find yourself blaming external circumstances, for all that, then it’s time to make a shift, you need to shift your locus of control inward.
So shifting your locus of control can be as easy as making the decision that you’re going to do it, it can be as easy as taking 100% responsibility for everything in your life, for every result you’re getting or not getting in your life, it can be as easy as making that decision. So right now, decide “I’m going to stop blaming others, I’m going to stop blaming outside circumstances. I’m going to stop using stories and excuses and reasons why I can’t and start making it happen. I control my destiny. And it starts with me, and it starts right now.”
Right, that can be a very powerful way of taking control making that decision that you are in control. Because honestly, you are another way of beginning to shift your locus of control is to start reframing situations. So instead of just believing that here’s the way it is, not everything is just the way it is. And that’s the way it is because that right there is just a belief.
You need to start questioning what you believe to be true in every situation. So you can do this by reframing. And that is just like looking at a situation from a different angle. It’s like putting a different frame on the situation. Okay, instead of, “Man, it’s just so hard to stick to my food plan because my wife keeps bringing home junk food for dinner, you know, and burgers and french fries and pizza. Like she just keeps bringing this fun stuff home for dinner for the kids. And I can’t stick to my food plan because there’s pizza on the table.”
So that’s having an external locus of control when you believe that. So shifting inward, you can reframe that situation. And you can ask yourself, like, how can I stick to my plan, even though there’s pizza sitting here on the table right now and it smells amazing, but what am I going to do right now? Right here, in this moment, to stick to my plan. I made this promise to myself that I’m not eating pizza this month or whatever, this week. What am I going to do about that in this moment right now?
How can I control my eating in this moment, right now? Because there is an answer, but you have to look inward. And you have to start asking yourself, What can I do about this? Because the external circumstances are always going to be whatever they are, you have no control over that. You don’t have control over that.
You do have control of what you do about it, though. So reframe these situations. Don’t look outward, look inward. It’s never ever about what’s going on out there. It’s always about what’s going on inside. What can I do about this? How can I make this work? What action? What action am I going to take right now in this moment, that is in alignment with my long term goals?
So I first heard about locus of control in one of my coaching programs, this was many years ago, and I can’t even remember the class I was attending. But it was a live class. I was out in LA, I was there for about a month taking all these different coaching classes and live coaching classes before COVID and all that.
And we were in this class, and the instructor was talking, it had something to do with like the business side of coaching. And at the time, I was struggling to figure out a business plan. I had tried a few things in the past that didn’t really work. I loved coaching, but the business side of things, it just wasn’t clicking for me, you know.
And, and I felt like, I tried some things, and I kept failing. And so after the class, I went up to the instructor, and I was like, okay, I get what you’re saying here. But you have to understand, I don’t think this is going to work for me, because I’ve tried this and it failed. And I’ve tried this, and it failed. And none of this stuff ever works for me.
And I said something like, you know, I don’t think this is my fault. It’s like the economy, it’s the competition out there. You know, I don’t understand the technology, whatever, like I started, you know, kind of rattling off some of these excuses, right? And I’ll never forget this, he just looked at me and said, “Well, it’s definitely not going to work with that attitude.”
And I thought to myself, how dare you. This is not in my control. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s the economy. It’s the technology, it’s the competition or whatever. And I’ve tried these different things. And there’s nothing I can do about it. I just, I’m a failure, you know, and I was really feeling sorry for myself.
And I really had this external locus of control. I didn’t realize it at the time. But I had this aha moment where I had to accept this reality that I had a very external locus of control. And what he was saying to me, wasn’t about, you know, whether I could do it or not it was about or whether the outside circumstances had anything to do with it or not. But it was about my attitude about it. It was about my state of mind about it. It was about what I decided I was going to believe.
And if I wanted to be a successful coach and have a thriving coaching practice, then it was going to be up to me to make it happen. And yes, I’ve tried things that failed. And I tried other things that failed. And I kept trying until I figured out what really worked for me, and what felt good for me, and what was in alignment with my values and my beliefs. But it was always up to me.
It had nothing to do with anything else outside of me, it was me and my attitude. I had to stop blaming circumstances, and take ownership of my situation. And as soon as I did this, as soon as I decided that I was going to make it happen, everything shifted for me.
Now, it wasn’t like turning on a light switch. It took time to get there. But it only took a moment. It was a brief moment where I made that decision that I was never going to blame anyone else ever again. I wasn’t going to look outside of myself for reasons and excuses and be a blamer and a complainer. Like if it is to be it is up to me. If it’s going to happen, I’m gonna make it happen. That’s the only way It’s gonna work. But I made that decision and I took a moment to make that decision. Okay?
So here’s what I want you to do this week, I want you to make that decision. You can do this by taking an inventory of where you are right now. So maybe get out a piece of paper or journal, something like that, and do a little bit of writing on this, like, write down all the things that are happening in your life, what’s going well, what’s not going so well.
What are you getting? Where are you getting good results in your life? Where are you not getting good results in your life? What activities are you engaging in that you’re proud of? That are in alignment with your goals, what activities are you engaging in that are not necessarily in alignment with your goals, maybe you’re not so proud of?
Where are you in regards to your goals? Are you on track? Are you not on track? Are you feeling stuck? Like just kind of take an honest inventory and look at each of these situations with yourself in your life? And honestly, ask yourself, you know, is this something that is in my control or not? Are you in control of each of these areas of your life or not?
Because if you keep thinking, I’m not in control, this has to do with, you know, my boss at work, or my wife is not, you know, being supportive. If you keep looking outside of yourself, for answers to these situations, or reasons why you’re not making progress in these situations, you’re gonna have a really hard time changing any of that.
If you’re feeling stuck in any area of your life, you’re gonna have a hard time getting unstuck, if you continually blame others. Take control. Reframe each of those situations, what can I do about this? What can I alone do about this? How can I take control of this particular situation right now? What is my part in this? Because there’s always an answer. You are always in control. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, you are, you just have to make that decision that you are going to be in control.
Being out of control is an illusion. You know, unless somebody has you chained to a water heater in their basement, you are in control of your life. And if you’re chained to a water heater, in somebody’s basement right now, then please reach out. We’ll help you, we’ll help you get out of that situation.
But listen, you have control, you just have to make that decision that you are going to take control of your own life, that you’re going to shift that locus of Control inward. And start being 100% responsible for everything in your life. You do that and I promise you things will begin to shift for you.
Okay, it takes some time to get there. It takes some time to accomplish those things you want for yourself, but it starts with that decision. Make the decision, you’re going to shift your locus of control inward, make that decision that you’re going to start being 100% responsible for every result in your life, good or bad.
Okay, this is a game changer right here. That’s all I got for you guys today. I love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
I work with a lot of runners who are awesome at sticking with their running plans. They get up early on Saturday mornings religiously, regardless of the weather outside. They do the required …
Hey there, and welcome to episode 185 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today, why it’s so hard to stick to your food plan.
So I work with a lot of runners who are awesome at sticking with their running plans. They get up early on Saturday mornings religiously, regardless of the weather outside, they do all the required speed work every single week, no matter what.
They never miss a workout even when they’re sick. And they should probably take a day or two off. So they’re really good at sticking with this plan, but when it comes to sticking with their diet so that they can lose weight, it all seems to fall apart.
Why is this? Why is it so easy for runners to stick to a very difficult marathon training plan, and it’s so hard to stick to a healthy eating plan? I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot lately. So in this episode, I’m going to explain why it’s so hard to stick to your food plan. And I’m gonna offer up some sound advice for changing this.
Okay, but first, when I first set out to change my diet so that I could lose weight, I did not do things perfectly. In fact, for the first few months, I kept slipping up, I kept reverting back to old eating habits. And I kept getting into cravings that I had for junk food.
And I used to think that every time I got off track, it meant that I was a failure. I thought it meant that I would never get this figured out, I would never lose the weight. I would stay on track for a while and I would slip up and then I would start again.
And I did this over and over and over again. And every time I failed, instead of quitting, I just got back on track as soon as I could. So I never did this perfectly, but I always kept going. I never quit, I never gave up on myself.
So instead of focusing on perfection, I focused on consistency. You won’t do this perfectly either. Actually, spoiler alert, nobody does. Nobody does this perfectly. So don’t aim for perfection. Aim for consistency. The key to losing weight and keeping it off for good is not perfection, but consistency over time.
Practice staying on your plan, practice avoiding those urges to eat junk food, practice being consistent over time, and I promise you, you will get there eventually. And if you want a little help with this, you want a little help practicing consistency, I’m here for you.
Just go to runningleancoaching.com/join to learn more about my unique weight loss coaching program for runners.
Okay, why it’s so hard to stick to your food plan? So really, the big key to accomplishing anything that you want for yourself is to make a plan and then stick to the plan, right? This is so simple. It’s such a simple concept.
And if you’re part of my coaching program, you know I say this all the time. And we actually sort of joke around about it because I say it so much. But really, it’s ‘make a plan and stick to the plan no matter what’. That’s it. That’s the key.
And you guys are so good at doing this when it comes to running. You’re so good at doing this when it comes to training for some big event. You know, I work with runners all the time. And they are great with sticking to their running plan, their cross training, their weightlifting schedule, their stretching, all these things are easy. Like they’re like, oh, yeah, I got it. That’s not a problem at all.
But why is it so hard when it comes to food when it comes to sticking to a food plan so that they can lose weight and get healthier, and improve their life in all kinds of ways? It’s so hard. It’s so hard that most people don’t do it. Most people rarely will take the time and the effort to stick with a food plant to where they actually succeed at losing weight and getting healthier and failing, but some people do. And that’s great, but so many people don’t.
However, they are sticking with a running plan. They’re training for a marathon or ultra marathons and they’re great at that, they never miss a workout. So it’s interesting, isn’t it? I’ve always found this to be very interesting.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. And I’ve and I’ve got some ideas here that I’m going to get into in just a minute, but I just want you to be thinking about yourself. During this episode, think about where you fall.
In this scheme of mindset here, are you one of those people who was really good at sticking with a training program, but not a food program? And if that’s you, this is definitely going to be something you’re going to want to listen to maybe a couple of times, okay.
So we find it very difficult to stick with a food plan, but find it pretty easy to stick with a running schedule. Even though that running schedule, for all intents and purposes is hard, it is challenging, most people would say, oh my gosh, that is such a hard thing, I could never run a marathon, I could never do the work, I could never run an ultra marathon.
So let’s break this down a little bit. So when you are planning to, let’s say, I’m just going to use the running a marathon as our example here at a training schedule, because that’s pretty difficult, something that requires time and, and it is difficult.
So when you have a training plan written out, so you have a training schedule, you’ve planned this in advance, you know, you’ve signed up for something ahead of time, you’ve got all your training planned out, and you are most likely to stick to that training schedule, like your life depended on it, right?
Why is food so different? Why can’t we just apply that same concept to food? Logically, they are very similar things we’re talking about here. They’re very similar undertakings. Training for a marathon is hard. It requires, you know, a lot of hard work, it requires time, so does losing weight, it requires hard work, it requires time, they both require consistency over time.
They both require you to plan things out in advance and stick to the plan. Even if things aren’t, you know, perfect. Even if the weather is terrible, or, you know, you aren’t at home to make dinner for yourself or whatever, we still stay on track, right?
So logically, they require the same things like making a plan in advance, we have structure around that plan, there are steps involved. So for running, it’s your training schedule, this is a structured rigid thing, and it has very specific steps laid out, you’re going to run five days a week, you’re going to do speed work on these days, here’s when you’re doing your long run every week, you’re going to increase your mileage by so much every week, these are your days off, it’s all laid out for you.
And your food plan can be just as structured, in fact, I encourage you to, to create the structure around your food plan the same way you create the structure around your marathon training plan, eat these things, don’t eat these things. Only eat two, three times a day, cut out snacking, you don’t need to be snacking all the time, make protein your priority, eat mostly whole foods.
Stay away from stuff and packages and processed foods and you know, concentrated forms of carbohydrates. Again, this can be all laid out. It can be very structured and rigid. And it can be something that is all laid out. Right? They’re both the same.
And it’s interesting because looking at these two things on paper, they look identical, right? So what’s the big difference? Why is it so hard to stick with food? And I think that a lot of this boils down to your mindset. And here’s what I mean by this.
The mindset required to train for a marathon and successfully finish that marathon is exactly the same mindset that’s required to stick to a healthy eating plan so that you can lose weight. And I bet you’ve never really thought about it like that before because most people don’t.
They think they’re totally different. There are some differences. I’ll get into that in a second, but listen, here’s what’s required. From a mindset standpoint, to be successful at both running a marathon, you know, training for a marathon and running that and finishing it successfully, and losing weight, they both require a plan.
But more importantly, they both require sticking to the plan. And that’s kind of what we’re talking about here is focused on sticking to the plan. So the first mindset standpoint that they’re that they both need is this, this has to be something that is important to you. It matters. There’s a reason why you are doing this.
Why are you running a marathon or why do you want to lose the weight? It’s not just to be healthy. It’s probably to prove something to yourself that you can do hard things. It might be so that you can level up and grow and become more, evolve a little bit as a human being.
Maybe it’s to be an example to your kids. Or maybe it’s because you don’t want to die at age 60. Like, you know, you have a family history of that in your family. And yes, of course, to be the healthiest and most badass version of yourself.
So training for a marathon sticking to your food plan, they both require that same mindset, they are both important to you, it matters or, or it has to you, you have to adopt that same mindset across both. Okay.
The next thing I think you need to make sure you are doing, the other mindset you are adopting is that you have to have a clear end result in mind, what is your goal for this marathon? What is your goal for eating healthy? You need a very clear vision for the outcome that you want for yourself.
I want to finish this marathon, I want to finish it feeling good. I mean, relatively speaking, marathons are hard, and you usually feel pretty terrible at the end of it, but feeling good relative to maybe feeling really bad. Maybe not puking at the end too, I don’t know, maybe it’s to PR, or to, you know, qualify for Boston, that is a very clear outcome that you want for the marathon.
Okay, so what’s the clear goal that you can apply to your healthy eating, what’s the clear end result is it to lose weight is it to lose 40 pounds, is it to just feel better about yourself, to feel good about the body that you are carrying around, to have more energy, to wear those clothes you used to wear, to look better naked?
What’s the end result that you want for yourself? Be very clear about that. Because in order to stick to the plan, you need that clear end result in mind, you have to hold that vision of who you want to become at the end of this process.
Both of these things require a little bit of healthy fear of failure too, so you might not complete that marathon, that’s why you stick to the training plan. Training becomes very important. I remember training for things like my 100 miler that was very challenging.
Just you know, thinking about running 100 miles became one of those things where it pushed me through my training so much because I was failing, I had fear of failure, I did not want to fail, I really wanted to succeed at that.
There’s so many things that can go wrong, or training for an Ironman, lots of things can go wrong there because you’re talking about swimming, and I got kicked in the face, like within the first 10 minutes of being in the water almost knocked me out, gave me a black eye, somebody kicked my goggles and smashed my goggles into my eye socket. And just like really kind of gave me a black eye.
And I was like, oh my god, I could die in the water. I haven’t just started this thing, but you know, being out there on the bike, there’s all kinds of things that can go wrong there. And then, of course, running that marathon at the end of it.
So lots of points of failure can happen in these things that we do for ourselves, right? We can also fail at losing weight. And what does that mean? If we fail at losing weight, we tend to beat ourselves up, it means we’ll never be able to accomplish that, or we’ve tried in the past. And we’re afraid we’re gonna fail again, because we keep doing the same, we keep repeating the same things over and over again.
So there’s a little bit of a healthy fear of failure there. I think it kind of moves you away from what you don’t want, I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to be a failure. I don’t want to not succeed at this. So that’s actually not a bad thing.
Okay, that mindset can apply to both your marathon training and to sticking with your food plan as well. Another principle we need to apply here is that listen, both of these things are hard. They are both challenging, they will be tough to complete. They both require some hard work, some discomfort, some discipline, they both require a little bit of pain and suffering.
There’s pain and suffering involved in training for a marathon. Would you agree? Yeah, I think we would all agree with that. There’s some pain and suffering involved with giving up sugar. Or sitting there when everybody else is eating pizza and you have ordered a salad and you’re just gonna eat the salad that requires discipline, it requires grit, and requires enduring a little bit of suffering.
And then lastly, they both take time, like you can’t train for a marathon in two weeks, right? You just, you know, unless you are you’re already trained up but for most people anyway, training for a marathon takes time. It takes months right? And you can’t lose weight by just sticking with your diet for a couple of weeks. Right? These things both take time, months, sometimes years. years of work to succeed.
I know people who start running, and they’ve never run before, and they’re maybe a little bit older, 30s 40s 50s, whatever they’re like, I’m going to start running. And their goal is to run a marathon, but they know it’s going to take them like 18 months, two years or something like that, before, they’re ready to do that, they’re gonna start with a 5k, and then a 10k, and then half marathon, whatever, they’re gonna work their way up, and they, they plan it out.
And they know that if they stay committed and stay focused, and don’t get injured, that they can run that marathon in 18 months or two years. What if you committed to your food plan like that? What if you just said, you know what, it doesn’t matter how long it’s gonna take, I’m committed to this process, I’m gonna stick to this plan, you’d be a total badass, you’d be like, at your ideal weight, eventually, I don’t know how long it’s gonna take 12 months, 18 months, whatever, it doesn’t matter.
The point is that these things both take time. And so just make sure you understand that and apply that same mindset there. Okay. So I hope you can see that the mindset to be successful at both of these is the same, the mindset to stick to your marathon training program is the same as the mindset of sticking to your weight loss plan to your healthy eating plan.
So then, why is it so hard to stick to the food plan, when you have the same mentality around your training schedule, because you might be saying, oh, well, I do all those things. So we can talk about the addictive qualities of some foods. This is something we do have to consider here, sugar in particular.
So there’s certain foods, we call them hyper palatable foods, they are amazingly delicious. And it makes it hard to lose weight when all these foods are around. You know, it makes it hard to give up those kinds of foods because they light up our brain, they make us feel good.
And even with the right plan, and the right amount of structure around your diet and the right mindset, sugar, hyper palatable foods is a tough one. Every person that I work with has a little bit of struggle when they give up sugar, especially if they haven’t done this before.
So we do this because we want to get out of that addictive state that we’ve been in for a while. So we remove the quote unquote drug (the sugar) for a period of time, and then those cravings go way down. The cravings for junk food go away.
When you give up junk food, the cravings for sugar go away. when you give up sugar, stop eating donuts, and you won’t be craving donuts anymore. Stop drinking beer all the time, and you won’t be craving beer anymore.
And so these things don’t become a big deal after some time, but you’ve got to like have a period of abstinence in order to get to that place. But that’s where freedom comes from. That’s where true food freedom happens. Okay. So there are some addictive qualities of some foods that make it a little bit tougher, I get that part. Okay.
Also, there are a lot of marketing messages around food, like, oh, you can’t have a good time unless you’re eating doughnuts and pizza and drinking beer for breakfast, right? We get peer pressure from the big food corporations from friends and family to eat a bunch of junk food. There’s food pushers in our lives who are like, oh, come on, it’s just a little bit.
Just screw the diet for one day, just live a little bit. Enjoy. Can’t you enjoy your life? Come on. It’s my birthday. So please eat all this junk food with me, you know. And then there’s FOMO of course, which goes along with that.
We have fear of missing out like we feel like we’re missing out on something good if we don’t do what everybody else is doing. Okay, so there’s all that that we have to deal with. It makes sticking to the food plan a little bit more difficult, I get that. Also, food is most people’s go-to emotional management tool.
If you have a hard time coping emotionally without food, then it’s going to be harder to stick to a healthy eating plan. So part of what I do with my coaching clients is that we get to this place where we don’t use food as an emotional management tool anymore. And part of eating a healthy eating, diet or eating plan has to involve not using food to numb out to your emotions anymore. It’s a big part of what we do in my coaching practice.
I help runners to stop using food as a way of dealing with their emotions. And listen, if you’re doing this, if this is something that is an issue for you just understand that we all do it. Everybody uses food as an emotional management tool to some degree, okay, but we want to get out of that habit. You’ve just trained yourself over the years to use food to cope with your emotions. That’s it.
We’ve just got to train you and you can do this right. It’s not impossible to do it. But again, this can be a little bit challenging for people, okay, so there’s a few things here that do make, you know, sticking with a healthy food plan a little bit more difficult. And I get that.
But I think the biggest reason why it’s easy to stick to something like a marathon training plan, but not a healthy food plan is this, you haven’t made the decision. If you want to accomplish anything, first thing you have to do is make a decision that you are going to do it, you have to decide, like really decide.
And if you look at the root of the word decide it means to cut off like, you cut off all other options, except for this one, I am going to do X, I am going to stick to my training plan, I’m going to run a successful marathon. Right, you’ve made that decision. And that’s what you’re going to do.
What about food? Have you made that same decision about food? Probably not, I’m guessing. I know that when I personally make a decision to do something, it’s as good as done. If I say I’m going to do something, I do it, period.
16 years ago, I quit drinking. I wasn’t ready to stop for a long time, I knew that drinking was a problem for me. I knew that I had to stop at some point. But I hadn’t made the decision until I did when I did make that decision to stop, I quit and haven’t had any alcohol since then.
So for me, it’s like when I decide I’m going to do something, I do it. Training for an Iron Man. Once I decided I was all in, I knew I was going to do it. It was hard, hard work during all that training. And the race itself is very hard. But I had made that decision early on. And I did it.
Same thing running a 100 mile trail race. Recently, I sat down and did a 12 hour run and talked about that a few weeks ago on the podcast. I decided to do that back in like November or December of 2022. And I did it in May of ‘23. So I decided six months prior that this is something I’m going to do and I knew I was going to do it. Right.
So you have to make a decision, you made a decision to run a marathon, right? You signed up for it, you paid for it. And you committed to doing that race in your mind that is done. You are all in. So you can do this, right?
So sticking to your training plan, that’s a no brainer, right? Because you’ve already made that decision, you’ve decided I am going to do this, I’m going to run this marathon, I’m going to be successful, I’m going to qualify for Boston, I’m going to PR whatever that is.
So now you just have to make that same decision around food, just decide, I’m going to lose 40 pounds, no matter what I am all in, I’m going to put a plan together and I’m going to work the plan and I’m going to stick to it. And I’m not going to stop until I am successful.
I have decided. I’ve cut off all the other options. No other options. Now I’m just gonna do this. I’m gonna stick to the plan. So make that decision. Yeah, I’ve had this conversation with people, and they’ve told me, but Patrick, I’m stuck. I just can’t decide, I can’t do it. I can’t start. And this is all just BS. This is excuses and stories.
And it’s just you deciding that you don’t want to do it. There is a quote that has stuck with me since I first heard it back in 1980 from the band Rush. And it says this, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
So if you choose to do nothing, you’re making a choice to do nothing. If you decide that you want this for yourself, great. Take action, move forward, but don’t use these excuses about oh, I’m stuck. I can’t do it. I just can’t start.
Think about it like this. I heard another coach use this analogy. And I love it. She was saying like, oh people tell me they’re stuck. And they’re like, oh, I just can’t get up out of this chair. I’m stuck. I can’t get started. I want to go over there. I want to walk across the room, but I can’t because I’m just stuck in this chair. And it sounds ridiculous, right? It’s ridiculous.
But this is what we do all the time. It’s about making that decision and then taking that first step. It’s about just getting up out of the chair, making the decision and then going over there. If that’s what you want for yourself. It’s really that simple. We overcomplicate all of this stuff, okay?
So I hope you understand now why it’s harder to stick to your food plan. Yes, there are a few things that make sticking to a healthy diet a little more challenging than sticking to your training plan. But at the end of the day, I think it boils down to making that decision, decide what you want for yourself, make a plan, and then stick to the plan no matter what.
And that is also the important part is that very last little no matter what, because things will go awry. Your plan will meet challenges, obstacles will be in your way, all the time. This is called life. And it just happens. And that’s okay, we still stick to the plan, or we do our best, you know, plan, plan, plan, plan, plan, and then go with the flow and do the best you can. Right.
But if we decide that we’re going to stick to the plan, no matter what this is, this is all you got to do, is make that decision. Okay, that’s it. That’s how easy this is. It’s not that easy, but it is simple. It’s a very simple concept. Make the decision, make the plan and then stick to the plan no matter what. Okay.
And if you want a little bit of help getting started I’ve got a great training program you can watch for free. It’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner, Stronger Runner. Just go to runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training to get started. That’s all I got for you today. Love you all, keep on Running Lean and I will talk to you soon.