I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend and that you spent some quality time relaxing. Hopefully you even read last week's Monday blog post and you have created your goals list going forward.
I have had a lot of people asking me about how to lose the holiday weight already... I have even had people asking how I don't go crazy with all the nice food over the holiday season. All these questions brought to mind a blog post that I read recently by Tony Horton. Tony has such an awesome perspective on life and his book confirmed a lot of things for me in terms of how to approach health and fitness.
Tony talks about how to Train Your Brain in order to break the habit loop and create new ones. Here is an excerpt from his post:
How Bad Habits Form
“Good” and “Bad” habits are created over time through consistent action. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit says that all habits start with what he calls, “The Habit Loop.” It’s a 3-part process that consists of a cue (or trigger,) a behavior and a reward. Over time behaviors become automated and the decision-making part of the brain can shut down to focus on other things. Think about things you do on a daily basis that have become second-nature without much thought, like driving your car, brushing your teeth or showering."
This can happen with the food you put in your mouth, and/or your habits, or lack thereof around exercise. If you are in the habit of eating bad food, and you get a reward from it, then it becomes a way of life, until you are ready to change it and start a new behavior in place of it. If you have a habit of scheduling your workouts in the evening, and you find you are too tired and tend to skip them, this becomes hard-wired in your brain.
You must take time to create new habits and take different actions, so that your brain catches on. You need to understand the reward you get from having the bad habits, so that you can shift what you are doing to include a healthier action."
Now there is no magic pill that you can take to change a bad habit or make it go away. There is consistency though, it is a whole topic that I have written about before and will continue to mention over the coming years. If you spend time each day trying to form a new habit then it will become second nature to you. You have to remember that the "reward" of triggering your pleasure centres with bad food needs to be replaced by a positive thought about the reward for your body when you eat well and exercise regularly.
"See the Change - Yes, I know it all sounds simpler than it is, and we are complex beings with a complex psychology. Just know this, you DO have the power to shift your behavior and it all starts with your awareness around the behavior, knowing what the reward is, and then making a different choice. You are the only one that can choose for you, so commit to the process and see for yourself how your consistent action trains your brain to effortlessly make better choices. Now get busy!"
If change and forming new habits is something that is really important to you then you'll act upon those desires. A lot of people talk about change but never act on it, believe me I was one of them for a looooooong time, but eventually I got tired of making promises to myself that I couldn't keep. You might be at that stage yourself, or know someone in that position, NOW is the time to kick your own butt (or the other person's) and get stuck in to making your life what you want it to be! If you'd like help in the process don't be afraid to reach out for support.
Have a great week ahead and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I hope you have enjoyed the read. If you found this blog post helpful then please share it with friends and family. If you'd like to read Tony's whole post then click here. Please give this article a like and subscribe to email notifications when I publish a new post.
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.