Thursday, 5 July 2012

It's All in the Mind.......

The last 5 weeks have seen numerous changes in both my wife and I which are all for the better.  There are the obvious changes to our weight and measurements and fitness levels, which we have documented and are there on record in the 12WBT archives.  The more important and intangible changes are to our health, wellbeing and mental state in my opinion.  You may ask what I mean by this and why is this more important than losing weight and the flow on effects to your health, but I believe these things are the most important and without having these changes I believe we would not have made the progress we have.

Over the last 5 weeks, I have read a lot of posts on the forums and tried to contribute where I can with meaningful contributions.  This is sometimes difficult due to the fact that I struggle to read some of the stuff on there in relation to people struggling early on.  I am in no way passing judgement on anyone as I have no idea what their circumstances are, nor do I wish to reply to their post with a wishy washy comment that I truly don’t feel helps them.  Reading these posts though re-enforces to me how lucky I am that I have finally found a good place in my life and I am prepared to do the hard yards to get there. 
This comes back to the Mindset Lessons in the Pre-season tasks and how honest you really want to be with yourself about the reasons I ended up this obese monster and why I was an unhappy individual.  I can see that my wife was exactly the same on the inside and neither of us were happy with what had happened to us or what we had become, but we were in a rut and digging it deeper rather than finding a foothold to help us get out and start changing our life.  That foothold in this instance was the Michelle Bridges 12WBT and what a change it has made to my life and that of my wife and family.

I have been thinking of late, why has this program made such a huge difference in such a short time?  Well, to me it comes down to a few simple things that when put in place together add up to huge changes taking place for the better.  Obviously there is the need to WANT to make a change.  In this instance we chose to follow the guidance of someone we knew had a great track record and a program that was easily accessible.  My sister is a 12WBTer and she has spoken highly of this program.  My wife took the initial step to join which convinced me that if we both do it, it will be easier and we can work together and support each other.  Secondly you need to be able to look at what you have done in the past and how you got to the state you are in but more importantly be 100% honest at this point.  No point hiding from it otherwise you are wasting your time.  Finally, you need to be willing to get up and put the good intentions into practise with full commitment.  As Michelle says, you need to JFDI “Just F@$King Do It, No Excuses.  This is a new mantra in our house.
Whilst pondering on what inspires people to finally get up and make the relevant changes in their lives to this extent, I stumbled across a blog which contained some very poignant statements about traits that most happy people have in common.  Whilst reading them I was easily able to attribute them to a lot of the successful people on the forums and also able to see where some of the others, including myself still lack a little.  If we can all master these areas and translate them into our journey, it will mean that we will all be so much happier in our own skins and able to travel this path a lot easier to get to our goal.
·         They are ambitious.  They don’t believe in, or wait for fate, destiny, chance or luck to determine or shape their future.  They take control and choose to live their best life rather than spending it on auto-pilot.
·         They are glass half full people – while still being practical and down to earth.  They have the ability to find the good in any situation
·         They rarely complain because they know it’s a waste of energy.  All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative state of mind.
·         They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’.  They are busy, productive and proactive with their goals.  While most are laying on the couch, over-planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there taking steps in the right direction.
·         They don’t blame others.  They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes, or their lack thereof.
·         They avoid toxic people, and spend time with positive, like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team, and part of healthy relationships.
·         They deal with problems and challenges quickly and effectively, they don’t put their head in the sand.  They face their challenges and use them as vehicles for personal growth.
·         While many people are reactive, they are proactive.  They take action in pursuit of their goals and the things that make them happy.
·         They are humble and they are happy to admit mistakes and to apologize when they should.  They are confident in their ability, but not arrogant.  They keep an open mind, and are happy to learn from others.
·         They are more effective than most at managing their emotions.  They feel like we all do but they are not slaves to their emotions.
·         They sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term happiness.  They are more interested in something being effective than they are in something being easy.  While everyone else is looking for the quickest shortcut, they look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.
·         They are adaptable and embrace change.  While the majority are creatures of comfort and habit, they are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.  They are strong, and they are happy to take the road less travelled.
·         They aren’t as concerned with what others want for them as they are with what they know is right for themselves.  They are happy to swim against the tide, to do what most won’t.  They are not people pleasers and they don’t need constant approval.
·         They are secure.  They do not derive their sense of self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.  Their self-worth is a reflection of who they are and how they choose to live.
·         They keep themselves in shape physically, not to impress others, but because they understand the importance of being physically well as it relates to their happiness and longevity.  Their body is not who they are, it’s where they live.
·         They don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control over.  They concentrate solely on the things they can control.
·         They have an off switch.  They know how to relax, let loose and enjoy what they have in their life right now.
The full article and more can be found here.
Why would I reference these quotes as being important for all of us on the 12WBT program?  For me they show that if you really want to be successful and happy in what you choose to do then you need to make sure you have the correct frame of mind and outlook.  These quotes are symbolic of the areas that a lot of people question themselves over regularly on the forums and also areas that Michelle has raised in her videos and forum posts.  They mention about taking responsibility, embracing change willingly, staying away from toxic people, getting up and JFDI, not wasting energy on things out of your control or complaining and for me the most important thing, being able to sacrifice short term pleasure for long term happiness.
This for me is a huge point as it has been my issue for quite some time.  We all want to have the good times now, but this is possibly sacrificing having a lot more of them in the future.  I will gladly forgo a few wines and beers for the next 3-6 months whilst I get my head and body in a good place in order to be around for my little ones 21st birthday or wedding and to hopefully be here when they give me some grandchildren.  Small price to pay, but do we think of it that way, not very often if at all.

Finally, I want to add a quote that one of my all-time sporting heroes Michael Jordan, posted on twitter the other day, which to me highlights why he is a champion and the rest of us are here trying to lose weight and get fit.  I now want to adopt this for the everyday.  “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it...”


  1. Hey Leitchy,

    I found your blog through 12WBT and I just read this post and it really is great, honest, and you've made me finally realise that I need to address the first point you made about successful people; I'm 100% a person who always just let life happen to me. Thanks for this post, I look forward to reading your older posts when I have some free time and seeing your upcoming posts :)

  2. Hey Leitchy,

    I did post a comment for this post but it's not showing so I'll re-comment.

    I found your blog through 12wbt and I just read this post and it is great and honest. And I have just realised (finally) that I need to address an issue with myself that I am 100% a person who has simply let life happen to me, which is the first point about successful people, that they don't simply let life happen to them. This is going to be my next breakthrough area :)

    Really I can't complain though, my life has been very sweet, even without the trying, beautiful husband, beautiful son and next one due in January, but now I see that I need to get my hands on the steering wheel of my life.

    I look forward to reading your older posts when I have time and reading your upcoming posts.

  3. Wow- amazing, raw and honest post. Thankyou for sharing all of this, certainly gives a lot to think about! I'm looking forward to following your journey x.k