I think it’s safe to say that we all experience self-doubt now and then. If you let it get to you it can be crippling and can hold you back from your true potential. Let’s look at why you self-doubt and how to overcome it.
Why You Self-Doubt And How To Overcome It
Quite often people let past failures keep them stuck. Don’t look at past failures as a bad thing look at them as learning experiences. Failing is a great learning tool and if you’ve failed in the past you can be guaranteed that you are smarter for it today.
What to do: Think about your past failure and write down what you learned from that. Use that information to help you take a different approach to achieve your goal. Once you’ve figured out the lesson, let any negative feelings regarding that past failure go. Focus on what you now know you need to do and if you fail again it just means you’ve learned even more.
Lacking all the skills.
When you decide to try something new there’s a very good chance that you don’t have all the needed skills. It can be tempting to run from a challenge when you know you don’t yet possess all the necessary skills.
What to do: No one can know everything about everything. Start with the skills you already have and be open to learning more skills as you go along or enlist the help of someone who does have those skills. New skills can always be learned when you need them.
Someone else’s voice in your head.
There will be people out there that will feed your self-doubt. They might mean well in that they want to protect you from getting hurt, or they might just be projecting their own personal self-doubt onto you.
What to do: You can listen to what your naysayers have to say but don’t let it change your path. Listen to what they have to say, figure out if any of the information is helpful to you and if it’s not shut it out. Never let someone make a decision for you. Their doubt in your abilities is most likely tied more to their own self-doubt and has nothing to do with you at all. If you have a goal go for it and you’ll find ways around the obstacles that come your way.
Your voice in your head.
This is a tough one to overcome because it’s really hard to ignore that voice in your head. If you let it that voice will talk you out of anything and will keep you tied down in a mediocre life.
What to do: Catch yourself when you start thinking negatively and say STOP. Say it out loud if you like, for more effect. Just make sure it’s when you’re by yourself 😉 Keep this in mind: everyone has self-doubts that are fueled by that voice in their head. People who have achieved the greatest success have had to deal with that voice. When you hear it, shut it down and focus on one thing you can do right now that will move you toward your goal. Accomplishing a task that moves you closer to your goal, no matter how small, will shut that voice up instantly. Watch out though because the voice will return.
Fear of not being able to follow through.
When it comes to lofty goals it’s normal to wonder if you’ll be able to stick to it for the long haul. You realize it’s going to be a lot of work and you start doubting your ability to stay focused.
What to do: Trust yourself. Make sure your goal is truly important to you, quit overthinking it and jump in. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work and yes, you’re going to have to be able to stick to it and follow through. If your goal is important enough to you, you’ll find a way to stick to the plan no matter what. In fact, you will absolutely be amazed by what you’ll be willing to do and how hard you’ll be willing to work.
Self-doubt will always be lurking but that doesn’t mean you have to give into it. Self-doubt is a bit of a protective mechanism to help keep you safe from discomfort but it’s also crippling and will keep you stuck. When it pops up see it as a sign that you’re on the right path to improving your life and living in a purposeful and meaningful way. You’ve got this!!!!
We women are all too familiar with how our hormonal cycle affects our training. During the typical 28 day cycle there’ll be days where you feel strong and energetic and other days where you just want to sit on the couch in your sweats and eat stuff. Why not plan your fitness routine around your hormonal cycle?
How To Plan Your Fitness Routine Around Your Hormonal Cycle
First, let’s look at the typical 28-day cycle (for some of us it might be more like 25 days or over 31 days).
The follicular phase is from day 0-14. During this phase, you have a higher than normal tolerance for pain as well as a greater force generation capacity.
The ovulation phase is around day 14. Your relative strength capacity will remain high and you’ll still have that greater ability to generate force.
The luteal phase lasts from day 15-28. During this phase, your body experiences higher than normal temperatures which means your cardio output could be altered. You’ll be less efficient during exercise in this phase and fatigue will set in sooner than normal.
Menstruation. During this phase water retention and PMS symptoms subside
Now, let’s look at what you should be doing during each phase.
During the follicular phase, you should be focusing on training progress. You’re stronger during this time so take advantage of that! During this phase, your body tends to use more carbohydrates as a fuel source. This means that you can train more intensely. This is a great time to do some power training which relies on using stored glycogen for quick energy. This is where you can train through the (good) pain!
During the ovulation phase, your strength is still high and is a great time to attempt personal records! Unfortunately, this is also a time where you’re more susceptible to injury so train smart. During this phase, estrogen levels are higher which can interfere with collagen synthesis and neuromuscular control. Risk for ACL injury is at it’s highest during ovulation. So go ahead and train hard, just make sure you’re doing it with proper form and lots of focus.
During the luteal phase, you’ll retain more water and you won’t be able to participate as comfortably in activities that are more intense. This is a good time to opt for low impact activities such as yoga. During this time your body tends to rely more on fat for energy so doing low impact activities and moderate levels of weight training would be wise. Low to moderate activity promotes fat utilization over glucose utilization.
During menstruation, you can start doing higher intensity activities and heavier strength training as your body starts to transition back into the follicular phase. This is also a good time to increase your carb intake a bit since your body is now ready for intense exercise that utilizes glycogen.
Work With Your Cycle
If your cycle is quite regular use this to your advantage. Use the info above to make the most out of each phase. If you’re irregular it can be a bit more tricky but not impossible. Keep a diary of your cycle and use that information to your advantage! Don’t fight your cycle, work with it!
Proper nutrition should not be as complicated as it’s been made by all the conflicting information out there. When reading about the ‘latest’ study keep in mind that quite often these ‘stats’ are mean to steer you towards buying certain products. Let’s look at a few nutrition myths that probably have you a bit confused.
Fat makes you fat.
Fat has gotten a really bad rap over the years. You’ve been told that fat makes you fat so everyone did their best to cut out fat and look what happened. The obesity rate continued to rise and people continued to become more and more unhealthy.
The truth is you need fat in your diet in order to be healthy. When food manufacturers want you to buy their product they’ll steer you towards it by making you think that the alternative will make you fat. When food is made into a low fat or non-fat products manufacturers add sugar and other artificial ingredients to make the food palatable. Sugar and chemicals wreak havoc in the body and affects your brain/mood negatively.
You need natural fats in your diet. Even saturated fats such as butter have health benefits, just watch your portions. Avoid trans fats. When in doubt ask yourself if the fat you’re about to consume came from nature or a lab. If it had to be manipulated in a lab leave it in the store.
Carbs make you fat.
Carbs have also gotten a really bad rap. It’s true that highly processed carbs should be avoided but natural whole carb sources are a healthy part of your diet. Processed carbs are made to be super flavourful and addictive and they’re rarely very filling despite being high in calories. Whole food carbs such as minimally processed grains as well as fruits and vegetables are an essential parts of a healthy diet. When you eat whole foods, you won’t feel the need to binge on them because they’re providing the nutrients and the fibre you need. Processed carbs are stripped of their good components and are basically just sugar.
Too much protein can damage your kidneys.
If you already have kidney disease you should cut back on protein. If you’re healthy you don’t have to worry that a high protein diet might cause kidney damage. Numerous studies done on athletes who consume a high protein diet has shown it to be perfectly safe. In fact, a higher protein intake lowers blood pressure and helps fight type 2 diabetes. Protein also reduces appetite which supports weight loss. Healthy people are fine to eat 0.8 to 1g of protein/pound of body weight.
All calories are created equal.
This is simply not true. If you took two people and one was eating 2000 calories/day of healthy whole foods and the other was eating 2000 calories/day of highly processed junk you’d have two very different bodies and minds. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have very different effects on your hormones. For instance, eating a diet high in protein can increase your metabolic rate and reduce your appetite. Highly processed foods and foods high in sugar cause blood sugar spikes and dives which increases your appetite. Because processed foods are stripped of their nutrients your body will signal you to eat more because it needs more nutrients.
Only people with celiac should avoid gluten.
People with celiac have a very severe gluten intolerance and have to avoid gluten in order to avoid becoming very ill. But they’re not the only ones who should avoid gluten. A lot of people have a degree of gluten intolerance and don’t even know it. They don’t realize that certain symptoms such as low grade inflammation that are bothering them are actually caused by eating gluten. There have been studies that have shown that a gluten-free diet can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy.
Keep in mind though that you should be searching out foods that are naturally gluten free such as plants and animals, not gluten free ‘products’. Gluten free junk food is still junk food – even if it’s organic!
One diet fits all.
As a health and fitness professional I get asked quite often what I eat. I’m happy to tell people but just because my diet works for me does not mean it will work for another person. Everyone has different genetics and different food sensitivities. Everyone needs to figure out what works for them. Start with a whole food diet and then try manipulating your macronutrient intake to see what works for you. Pay close attention to how your body reacts to certain foods and keep a diary. Be prepared to spend a bit of time figuring this out and don’t get frustrated.
Keep It Simple
Proper nutrition means eating natural foods in the correct amounts. If you’re eating whole natural foods you won’t have that urge to binge because you’ll be supplying your body with what it needs. Eat like you have to hunt and gather your food. In other words, if food has been manipulated in a lab do not put it in your body. Only eat what you could find in nature if there were no such things as grocery and convenience stores.
It may be tough to give up processed foods at first. They’ve been made to be addictive! Believe me though, the effort is totally worth it. Don’t you want a healthy mind and body?
If you’re new to fitness or even if you’ve been doing it for a long time you may be confused by all the info that’s out there. Let’s look at some common fitness myths and learn the truth so you’re not wasting any time doing the wrong things!
You can eat anything you want as long as you workout.
Unfortunately, this is not true. You can easily out eat even the best training program. Your body needs proper amounts of whole natural foods in order to reap the benefits of your training program. Don’t undo all that hard work by eating junk.
You can spot train problem areas.
Spot reduction is not possible unless you get liposuction. When you workout, your body will burn fat from different areas of your body at different rates. The rate has to do with your genetic make-up. With proper training and diet you’ll reduce fat all over your body, but unfortunately you can’t force your body to burn fat from any one specific area.
You need to stretch before your workout.
You do need to warm up before a workout but you don’t need to stretch. In fact, some studies suggest that stretching before a workout destabilizes the muscle which could lead to injury. Do a good 5-10 minute warm-up before your workout concentrating on moving the muscles you’re going to work and then do your stretch at the end of your workout after your cool down.
Women should lift lighter weights and do more reps than men.
Many women avoid heavy weights because they’re afraid of looking bulky. Women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build huge muscles. If a woman notices that she’s looking bulky from lifting weights it’s most likely due to a diet that’s supporting fat gain. If a woman’s diet is healthy and supports fat loss, lifting heavy will not make her look bulky or masculine. Both women and men should be lifting heavy enough weights to fatigue them within about 6-8 reps. If you’re using a weight where you can easily do 20 reps, the weight is not heavy enough to cause changes in the muscle. Lift heavy, eat right and get ready to look and feel amazing!
Workout more to get results.
I’ve fallen for this one. It’s tempting to think that if a bit of working out is good way more should be way better! This is not true. Your body needs to recover if you want it to get stronger. Your workouts should be efficient and you need to schedule in at least one rest day. Aim to workout for 30-45 minutes per session and workout at an intensity that’s challenging.
Hope That Clears Things Up A Bit!
People workout because they want to improve their health and fitness. Don’t waste your time doing stuff that won’t work! If you’re confused about something talk to an experienced trainer. Enjoy your workouts and don’t get caught up in the confusion. Got questions? I’m here to help!