Mental Resistance Training: The Key to Weight Loss Success
When most people think of resistance training, they think of lifting heavy weights. But there’s another kind of resistance training that can help you reach your fitness goals.
Mental resistance is what happens when we try to do something new. It can happen in business or in life.
You see it all the time in fitness and it’s one of the top reasons why people give up.
In fact, did you know that 80 percent of people who join the gym in January quit in February? You’ll notice that when you get to the third week in January, it’s the first three day weekend of the year, and many people choose to sleep in rather than head to the gym.
That’s when people tend to fall off the fitness wagon.
Keep reading to learn what’s behind your mental resistance and how you can turn resistance into mental strength.
Psychology of Resistance
Have you ever noticed that when you start something new or you’re close to a goal, something happens? Whatever it is, it stops you dead in your tracks.
It could be as simple as hitting the snooze button to avoid your workout.
It could be panic or fear.
Whatever it is, it has a name: Resistance.
The best way to describe mental resistance is the voice in your head or the self-sabotaging behaviors that happen to keep us where we’re at.
How do you overcome resistance? It comes down to understanding the psychology of resistance.
As human beings, we do not like change. We are creatures of comfort. It’s not good or bad, that’s just how we roll. When we do things differently, we literally will fight ourselves because there is something inside of us that wants to keep us where we’re at.
Resistance shows up in many, many ways.
It can be a paralyzing fear. It can make you go back to sleep. You may want to run and hide and isolate yourself from the world.
Basically, it’s anything that will keep you from doing the one necessary thing that will move you forward.
Let’s say you set a goal to lose weight. You’ve been going to the gym regularly, you’ve been watching your food consumption, you’ve really been on track and feeling good about it.
By the third week, you might feel tired or there’s one day where something happens and you get knocked off course. That one day can completely derail you and you struggle to get back into the groove.
Here’s the good news. You’re not alone. Resistance is common.
In my mind, it’s the main reason why we don’t reach our goals. Not just fitness goals, but virtually any goal we set for ourselves.
If you happened to make a New Year’s Resolution, this is usually the time when resistance shows itself. Look back on your recent goals and notice if and when resistance showed up.
When most folks think of resistance training, they think of lifting weights. This is a new form of resistance training. This is training your mind to become aware of resistance.
What Can You Do When Mental Resistance Strikes?
The first thing is to be aware. Again, resistance is normal.
Once you’re aware of resistance, you can make a choice, “Do I want to give in to resistance or do I want to move toward my goal?”
There is power in making the choice to move forward. You can further identify resistance by asking yourself these questions. You may even want to journal about them.
Here are some mental resistance training exercises:
- What am I so afraid of?
- What do I gain by giving in to resistance?
- What do I gain by moving past resistance and moving forward?
These questions will help shine a light on what’s holding you back.
What Are Your Underlying Beliefs?
When you ask those questions, you might uncover beliefs about exercising or whatever your goal may be.
Some common limiting beliefs around weight loss are:
- I’m too old to lose weight and get fit.
- It’s too hard to lose weight.
- I can’t do it.
- Everyone I know/am related to/etc. is overweight. There’s no way I can lose weight.
These beliefs might be familiar or you discovered your own limiting beliefs.
Here is the thing about beliefs. They’re just repeated thoughts over time. That’s it.
It doesn’t mean that you can change them instantly. By becoming aware of them, you know how your thoughts limit your ability to reach your goal.
It also gives you the opportunity to create a new thought pattern around our beliefs. It takes time and determination to do that.
Start by writing down your old beliefs. You can journal about where they came from and when they first appeared. This is a great time to question those beliefs and ask yourself if they’re really true.
Focus on the Positive
The next step is to write down positive beliefs that support your goal. You can take “I can’t do it.” and turn it around to “I can do it.” Then follow that up with evidence that you are doing it.
You might not have the result you want just yet, but you’re taking action.
You’re going to the gym three times a week. You’re eating much healthier. You’re making better choices at work.
That’s your evidence that can help you defeat the belief that you can’t do it.
You can do it.
You are doing it.
You will get your result.
Defeat Mental Resistance
Beating mental resistance is a challenge because it takes constant awareness and vigilance.
Now, it’s up to you to choose. If you’re still feeling stuck or feeling fear around it, reach out to someone for support. Ask for help. That’s an even more powerful step to take. When we’re trying to create something new, we believe that we have to do it alone or we can’t ask for help. That’s not true. That’s just another form of mental resistance.
What powerful choice are you going to make today?
If this post inspires you to reach out, I’d love to talk you through the resistance you’re feeling.
Hi, I’m Heather. I got fed up with women investing time and energy in chasing health & fitness fads that don’t get the results they need, so I created a habit-based fitness coaching program that helps busy women feel like the superwomen they truly are.
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