Mental Toughness, Motivation and Day 5 of eating CLEAN

My parent's pantry!

It is day five of eating clean. What a roller coaster ride! I can’t believe how hard it has been! The funny thing is all I had to do was eliminate sugars – which I found to be really hard by the way since I love my coffee with about four sugar packets and a quarter cup of cream in the morning. I had to eliminate Peanut butter as well, whelp! This guy here eats about a jar a week. It has been a key ingredient of my diet for my whole life, I believe in the sixth grade I was up to three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a day; Thanks Mom! I also had to eliminate Alcohol, and grains from my diet as well. While my diet has been tough, I am already noticing the difference. I have dropped about three pounds and I am starting to notice that my love handles are starting to shrink. I really didn’t want to post that but I made it a goal to be more truthful this year. What I am noticing during this key five day period that this diet has been a case of mental toughness and boy, have I grown from the past year and half with my mental toughness due to my weight loss, Spartan races, marathons and doing CrossFit. I absolutely love food – I was taught to eat everything off of my plate for dinner before I could do anything and if I didn’t, I got a scolding from Dad and occasionally my lovely crazy grandmother. It was tough growing up from a family where food is certainly a way of expressing love and on top of that, food was not to be wasted! On top of that I dated an Italian girl for about seven years and yes we ate a lot of pasta, so not having it right now on top of exercising almost twice a day has been hard! I also think I have a relationship with food, I think I can acknowledge that and I think a lot of other people who are heavier can attest to that as well!

So back to mental toughness and motivation. It is key that I have a goal and that goal is eating clean for thirty days which will clean my system out of all of the garbage that I have been eating. The motivation that I have is my body is going to look and feel better after the thirty days – hopefully! The diet is based on getting rid of inflammation which in my case, I have a lot of that around my stomach area! Ha-Ha So in terms of mental toughness, when I am coming against forces like my family wanting to order pizza last night because that’s what we do on Friday nights, I suggested to my mom that I have to eat clean and to please let me take her fifty dollars that she would have to spend on pizza and let me cook something healthy! She said yes!  Especially since she doesn’t have to cook which after cooking for five boys for the past twenty years, you can see why! I also saved her about thirty bucks since dinner was around 29 dollars, another plus! On my first day, I turned down a beer from a good friend after helping them with their water heater and if you know me, I NEVER turn down a good beer.

The biggest animal is not eating clean for thirty days but it is fighting yourself, your mind against the temptations that exist. It is easy to say oh well, I can have this, it is just one but what you are really doing is defeating yourself, before you know it, you will be saying well I already had one, what’s one more going to hurt and before you know it, you ate a whole box of cookies or a whole jar of peanut butter! I came home to my parent’s house this weekend due to a business meeting out in West Chester and there was my favorite cake on the table called a babka (a sweet yeast cake) and there are cookies still left over from Christmas! I have yet to touch them and I don’t plan on it. It will be much safer when I get to my bachelor pad that has barely any food in it but for now, I credit CrossFit and all of the races that I have done for improving my mental fitness. Without my mental fitness improving race after race or workout after workout, I wouldn’t be this good right now. Mental fitness is hard to come by and I have taken a lot of hits along the way.  I gave up playing college baseball way too early because I didn’t feel appreciated. I blew up on my diet after college because I was focused on taking care of someone else besides me. It is easy to say yes to the desert placed on your table at family dinners. It is easy to say yes to a beer with a friend because of the instant gratification that happens because of it. Our society is certainly struggling with that concept today with statistics that show more than half of Americans are obese and more than half of marriages end up in divorce. Say yes to something that is hard andit will change your life in the LONG run.

If I were an employer, I would immediately hire me or anybody else that has done races or does CrossFit because it takes an incredible amount of mental strength to complete those and trust me, you want someone that is not going to give up before the work even starts. We live in a world full of anxiety where people are scared to take chances before even taking the first step. Once you beat the negative voice that is talking in your head, everything else suddenly becomes easy! Tell your mind that you are going to accomplish something and the rest will follow. It is important to have goals because having goals will encourage you to stay motivated. Have rewards as well! I am hoping to look better than ever after this thirty days and hopefully if I do, I can implement it into my lifestyle and then have occasional cheat days to treat myself.

Take necessary actions to build up your mental toughness, it will make you stronger as individual and it will attract others around you that are the same which will enable you to be better off for it.  Once you achieve something relatively small, then all of sudden, a domino effect of more positive things keep happening in your life.

Work on your mental toughness by achieving one goal today. Tomorrow, when you wake up work on achieving another goal before the end of the day. Make it a habit.

Well time for me to do my workout of the day, I am going to run a mile as fast as I can which I am aiming for under seven minutes. Not bad for a guy who could barely finish one a year and a half ago.

Have a great weekend and look for my next blog post next weekend where I am going to write about being out of my comfort zone at my first CrossFit competition!

Until next time,

BA

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