Monday, November 17, 2014

Take action!

(That's right, become a star by taking action!)

So perhaps you've sat down and determined that you’re going to lose fat and build some muscle, perhaps you've even gone out and found more information on different programs and what types of diets to follow. Maybe you've even ventured into a gym to check out the vibe. But somehow, you just don’t get far enough to lose all the fat you want to. In spite of all your efforts, you remain the same every single day.

What’s the deal then? How come you don’t get to lose the fat that you so earnestly desire?

The fundamental truth, the first step of first steps towards building the body of your dreams starts with taking action. Whether you want to know it or not, no amount of research or of speaking with people nor all the fitness gadgets or all the apps in the world or any piece of equipment will make you lose fat. The path towards the first ounce of fat you want to lose needs to start with you taking some kind of action to make it happen in the first place.

All the things around you, are just that. Things. You’re the one who provides the energy required to make it all happen. Without you all these things are just inanimate objects, there to lie around and gather dust. And because they’re inanimate, they can’t make you lose fat if you don’t supply the energy required to make them work. You need to take action, you need to get on them and you need to make it work.

I've met many a person who knows it all. They know all the diets, all the workout programs inside and out. They know exactly what they need to be doing. They've got the latest pair of Nike training shoes and the most up to date fitness fashions. They’re outfitted with the latest fitness gadgets. They’re subscribed to many a social platform where they kindly dispense with fitness advice to any ear willing to hear them out. Yet in spite of all that, they remain the same people year in, year out. Not losing any fat, not gaining any muscle.

People have a false idea that if they buy all the merchandise, download all the apps, input their data diligently and post and speak to others as much as they can, they'll lose fat and build muscle. But faking it won’t help you to make it in this case. Unfortunately dear friends, you actually have to get up off the couch (or the chair or wherever you’re sitting) and start to do something. Anything, it doesn't matter. You must get into the habit of taking action. It is only by taking action that you’ll be able to make it work.

Naturally, this leads us to the next logical question: How do I take action?

A quick and simple answer is to just do it! But still that does not answer the question.

The process of taking action starts in the conscious mind of every person. Something or someone plants the seeds of desire in your mind. You may call it inspiration if you want. How does this happen? Well suppose you see a close friend or a relative who lost an enormous amount of weight and now looks very fit and healthy. Or suppose you go to the gym and see that one guy or gal with the body that you’d like to have. Or maybe you want to be able to fit into a size 10, instead of your usual size 20. Whatever the reason, the outcome of the occurrence is that you start thinking to yourself: “Gee, I sure wish I could look like that!” That is when the seed of inspiration in your mind starts to germinate.

Over the next couple of days, the seed starts to grow. Your inspiration changes into desire. Instead of thinking to yourself that you’d like to look like that, you start to believe that you can look like that. This feeling becomes an intense burning desire. And the more and more you think about it, the more and more the little seed in your mind starts to grow and take form and you start to desire that leaner, fitter healthier body more and still more.

But now, this burning desire stands before a very large, sturdy, thick, impenetrable steel gate. That gate is known as DECISION! That’s right. Even if you have the biggest desire in the world, nothing is going to happen until you decide to do something about it. You must make a decision. You must cut off from the rest, make a decision and burn your bridges as it were. You need to step through that gate because it you don’t, you’ll never improve.

Many people get stuck at this point. And this is valid not only for losing fat and gaining muscle. People who desire to quit smoking or drinking find themselves at this same point. People with the desire to quit their jobs and start their own businesses find themselves here. People who want to travel the world, or have children, or get married, or whatever it is they want to do that’ll be a life changing experience find themselves here. And this is the most difficult part of the process.

What makes it so difficult is that once you decide, you essentially cut off all other possibilities and lose the current way of life you've been living. For many that is just too much to handle. Many people have a fear of change and of losing options and also losing their current way of life. Let me explain. A person who wants to get married and now stands on the precipice of decision, must cut off from the life he/she had before. That means that this person will be bound to one partner and must honor a commitment made in front of God and the law. To some this may mean a loss of freedom (What if I meet someone I like more and can’t get out of the relationship?), or a loss of their way of life (We need to move in together, what if I don’t like it?). In the same vein, deciding to lose fat and build muscle may mean a loss of the pleasure of eating whatever you like. A loss of lounging around the house in front of the TV. A loss of comfort. That, for some is just too heavy to handle and they can’t seem to get themselves to open the decision gates and step through. Some people would rather remain exactly where they are, in their current zones of comfort, than make a decision to make a change. They are too afraid of losing what they currently have and too afraid of what making a decision might require them to do.

For these people, it’s not very difficult to decide to buy all the health and fitness related stuff they can however. They go out and buy shoes and clothes and equipment and books and download apps and all kinds of things designed to help them lose fat and get healthy. But, you see, while they’re thinking that they’re making a decision to get healthy, they’re actually only making the decision to buy and download stuff. No decision has been made to lose fat. They’re only bluffing themselves. And so they’ll always remain exactly the same.

Some people actually go ahead and make the decision, but then when they see what’s required and what they have to cut off from, they quickly retreat behind the gate again. These are the people who start with a program, follow it for a week or two, lose some pounds, but then give up and gain it all back again. And what’s even worse is that these people go around telling everyone that the program they were using didn't work, and that it’s a scam or whatever. These are the people who would quickly spit out that they've tried everything out there and nothing seems to work for them. But they haven’t really tried anything at all! They've not made the decision and are now giving legitimate programs a bad rap.

How can we get through the decision making process to go ahead and make ourselves fit, healthy and happy then? To help you make a decision you’ll need something that’ll pull you through the gate. Call it an incentive.

Incentives can be quite powerful and can lead to immediate decision and action. If the doctor told you today, that if you don’t make a change you’ll die within the month, will that affect your ability to make a change? You bet! You’ll be all over that like white on rice, immediately. This is an extreme example, but it illustrates how an incentive can pull you through the gates if you struggle to make the decision.  What can we do if we don’t have an incentive as powerful as this?

To help you overcome the precipice of decision, the first thing you need to do is to look forward. And to help you look forwards, you need to dig into the desires that brought you to the point of decision in the first place. How did it make you feel when you desired a healthy body? How does it make you feel when you see yourself as if you already achieved your goals of being fit and healthy? What would you feel like if you did nothing and saw yourself exactly the same a year from now? Will that make you feel embarrassed, ashamed, disappointed, angry or depressed? Or maybe all of them? Compare these negative feelings with the good vibes you’ll have if you achieve your goals. Which would you rather feel? Good or bad?

I’d venture a guess that you’ll want to feel the good feelings. You see, your desires can be a powerful driving force in your ability to make a decision. By making the feelings you’ll feel upon success and failure as real as possible, you can actually convince yourself that you need to make a change right now! This can help to pull you through the gates to make a positive change in your life.

The second thing that’ll help you to make a decision, is to realize that in order to make a change, you’ll have to cut off some of the older unhealthier habits you engaged in. This will be necessary for change. You’ll have to forego some sweets and snacks, eat at defined times and become a little more active. If the thought of having to let go of all of this fills you with fear, think of the good things which will take the place of these unhealthy habits. Instead of lying around, you could be out there meeting new people, hanging out with your friends and building great and fulfilling relationships. You could even meet you dream guy or girl on one of these outings, imagine that! Instead of feeling sluggish and bloated you could have tons of energy! With this you could get that promotion at work, earn more money and live a better life! Or you could even do things which you normally couldn't, like play sports, go on roller coasters, skydiving, bungee jumping, travelling or spending quality time with your children on the beach! With enough energy the possibilities are endless!

So what I’m trying to get at here is that even though it may be hard and difficult to let go of bad food and bad habits, you can make it easier to make a decision when you think of how you’ll be able to replace them with these great, motivating, fulfilling, life-giving and happy activities when you create your new fit and healthy body. Take some time now and go into a quiet place. Close your eyes and think of all the things you did that were making you unhealthy but which you know you like. One by one, think of them and then say goodbye to them. This may be an emotional experience, but stick with it and systematically resolve to say goodbye to these demons that wreck your life. When you come out of this meeting with yourself, breath in deep and fill your lungs with the air of possibility. You are already no longer the same person and on your way towards improvement and victory!

Now that you have the desire, and with that the ability to make a decision, nothing stands in your way of taking action. It is indeed within reach so go for it! Don’t be like the others who pretend to keep fit and healthy, but always stay the same. Become a part of the Action Club and enjoy the benefits of your new fit and healthy body!

Action starts with a small seed of inspiration, which grows into desire and steps through the gates of decision. Once you've stepped through the gates, close them behind you, look forwards and progress. One step at a time.

Until next time friends, STAY TRUE AND TRAIN HARD!

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