Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Think your way fit.

If you think really, really hard about losing excess weight or building up your muscles—it will happen. But not the way you want it to (quickly and immediately), and certainly not without effort. It takes brain power. Real brain power backed by effort. Not a finger snap, not a magic wish. Pure and focused effort. So put the cell phone aside, close the magazine and really think about what you're doing during your workout. And while you're eating, too.

OK, sure. It sounds easy. Just concentrate, right? Right...but I mean really, truly concentrate on your muscles. For example, as you perform bicep curls, focus on your biceps. Feel them contract and relax from start to finish. When you focus on whatever muscle you are currently using, you have a better chance of actually using it correctly and with power, rather than just walking it through the motions. It's obvious why the former is better than the latter, right? To not challenge your muscles is to miss out on advances. And the only way you can recognize when your muscles aren't being challenged? Concentration.

Concentration, however, is obviously not just for the gym. It actually plays a pretty big role in your kitchen time, too. Particularly when you're eating. I've said this before and I'll say it again—focus on the food in front of you, savor every last bite. Doing so forces you to eat slower, which makes it much easier for you to recognize fullness. Which, of course, translates to the prevention of overeating. Or eating food that isn't good for you.

And when it comes time to pick out the food you plan on just that. Plan ahead, pick it out. Sit down on Sunday night and decide what you're going to make for dinner, breakfast and lunch during the week. Plan for snacks, too and write it all out on a list. Hit the grocery store, then proceed accordingly. (Note: This advice can also help you save time and money while shopping. BONUS!) That way, throughout the week, you don't have to succumb to drive through windows and convenience store pop-and-chips runs.

You should also plan your workouts, too. Running mindlessly around the gym doesn't promote the best of results. You'll spend more time wondering what to do next than you will actually working your muscles. In fact, take the planning thing one step further and plan not one, but your entire week of workouts. Then post the list somewhere obvious. Essentially, think about your week in terms of your fitness. It is, after all, a pretty important part of your life.

Bottom line, you can't magically think your way to fit...but you can think about your fitness. You can think about what you do in the gym and what you eat. You can think about how all of these things are affecting, could effect or will effect your body. Don't just go through the motions. Be the fit person you are or want to be. Our brain may not actually be a muscle, but it's an all-powerful tool that does wonders when used correctly.

Speaking of things being used. I got a fabulous new gym bag for my birthday. My old one was in great distress, and pretty much failed to fit everything I was toting from home to work, so it was time. Thanks, Mom and Dad (and Lululemon):

This bag is definitely a marked improvement. TONS and TONS of room for absolutely everything, including my files and clipboard, all of which fits nicely in the laptop pocket. What you don't see? The folded up shoe bag. And the two pockets on the outside, both of which are currently full of exciting things. (Because, when you're a dork like me, you find sweet pens and pencils to be extremely exciting. But let's not talk about that.)

PS—Happy December!

Question: How do you use your brain when it comes to getting fit?

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