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.