12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - December 20-31, 2011
To create a structure and formula for success in a health and fitness program, providing helpful tools, resources, and guidance to turn goals into reality, making New Year’s Resolutions come true.
Follow the 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions! This 12-Day Formula For Success is the platform you need to finally make your health and fitness goals a reality.Full details here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=26972Day 8 of 12 Days of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - Daily InformationArticle by Richard Watts – http://www.veganbodybuilding.com
Avoiding temptation and maintaining your diet
There is a common problem many of us share. We know what we should be doing, are aware that we should have a goal or plan in place for a healthy lifestyle, but we stray from it, either due to distraction, stress, social pressure or just boredom. It's easy for someone to tell us to be more determined, but that doesn't give us tools to overcome these motivational challenges. I know it's not an easy thing to beat, but I've found some things that work for me, keeping me motivated and on track, and I’m sharing them with you in hopes you’ll resonate with them too.
The main principle I follow is ensuring my actions support becoming a person who behaves in the way he would like to behave, to attain a positive net result. It might sound strange, but I visualize a superhero who does everything perfectly - a fictional role model. I picture a guy who isn't affected by stress, isn't lured by temptation, but is focused and dedicated, and he does what he needs to succeed. If things go wrong, he has the strength to continue and not give up. If you find it easier, you could use a real person as a role model, or use them as a base, and in your mind, give them other attributes that you desire in yourself.
Regarding diet, of course I know what my goals are, and like most people, I'm trying to trim down and become leaner, eat more fruit and vegetables, cut down on fats and sugars, eat fewer refined and heavy carbohydrates and so on. When I'm feeling like I want to "cheat," I stop and take a look at myself.
This reflection is not a matter of feeling "shame", or pointing fingers, and saying that you're failing etc. This will only decrease your mood. I've talked to a lot of people on the subject, and so many people say they turn to junk food when they are depressed. To tell yourself off during those hard times, is not going to get you out of the depression.
Instead, think about the role model you have in mind and imagine what they would do. You can't imagine them giving in when things are tough. What would they do? You can then take their behavior and blend it with your own - even if they're not a real person. The point is, you can visualize what you'd like to do, and then act that way.
There are two other things to keep in mind which also really help me. First of all, if you have a voice in your head that says "it's okay, you can treat yourself to this..." then react to this voice as an enemy, almost like somebody or something has infiltrated your thoughts, and is trying to trick you. You know that it's not a good thing to do, and it's just the easy way out. But, if you think of it as an external force, something you can fight against, then it's easier to overcome. If you think about it too much, and have an internal dialogue, and treat it as just another one of your own opinions, then you are giving those thoughts too much credit. Instead, you can just think of them as an opponent, someone else trying to ruin your diet, so you can fight it and say straight away, "No, I'm not going to listen to this" or even better say, "You're trying to hold me back, but I'm going to prove you wrong."
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you should not think of food as a solution to emotional problems. When you are feeling down, and you are turning to whatever your favorite food is, just take a moment and consider the situation, from a 3rd person perspective. View the situation as objectively as you can. Whatever it is that is upsetting you, if it's your relationships, work, money, or anything else - once you are done eating, that problem will remain. And in fact, you will feel even worse because you will feel guilty for ruining your diet. Instead, during those hard times you should cling to your diet as something to be proud of and focus on positively, because you have complete control over it, even if other things are going wrong for you.
One other thing to consider is to either keep a food log, and honestly write down everything you eat, or keep a healthy food calendar. By keeping a food log, you will not want to write down "chocolate, chips, pizza…" etc. You will feel a lot happier and proud if your log looks clean and healthy. This system becomes motivation to achieve that. What I call a "healthy food calendar," is just having a regular calendar, then on days when you are proud of what you ate, put a check mark or a smiley face on it. That way, similarly, you can aim to complete each month full of check marks, and know you have been consistent. You can't put a check mark or smiley face on it if you cheated, and so you are holding yourself accountable, and aiming for perfection.
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