Fit Pro magazine - Mind over Matter.
My article on the mental influences to success was recently published in Fit Pro magazine -The magazine for fitness professionals. Down load the article as it appeared in the magazine or read my original below:
Download Fit Pro's version of Mind over Matter
every trainer can relate with the frustration of wanting their clients
to lose weight. As you encourage and support your clients to the
best of your ability, they can often infuriate you by saying they
blew their nutrition over the last week and never made it to the
this happens, it is obvious that the problem does not lie in the
exercise program or nutrition plan but in the mind of your client.
The only solution for most personal trainers to this problem is
to continue offering encouragement and hope the client makes that
change in life brings both positive and negative consequences. Even
something such as winning $8 million on the lottery will bring some
negatives (e.g., people befriending you for the money, publicity,
etc). However, regardless of the negative aspects, not many people
would turn down this if given the choice.
weight is not as clear cut as choosing to win $8 million. For one,
it is not luck but an effort that will allow a client to achieve
his goal weight. The next major factor is that the benefits of not
achieving your goal weight often far outweigh the benefits of achieving
are a few examples of the pros and cons of losing weight:
Need to buy new clothes.
may judge me.
would I do if a freed up more time with extra energy.
It is the relative balance of the positive consequences versus the
negatives consequences that determines how much “motivation”
the client shows.
Key to the Mind: Your Subconscious
mind and how we think is very complicated, but it can be simplified
to being comprised of the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious
mind is the thoughts and things that come to your awareness. The
subconscious mind is the activity of the brain you not aware of.
It controls and processes all of the information you receive, and
it runs the body.
success in any endeavour, the subconscious mind must be in tune
with your conscious desires. It is the role of the subconscious
that will determine the outcome. If the conscious mind determined
success, then any goal you said you wanted to achieve you would
easily attain, provided you knew how. This is not the case.
subconscious is where all your previous experiences and beliefs
are held. These can be thought of as the writing on the wall of
your mind. Whenever you try and act consciously, the subconscious
first checks with the writing inside the mind to see that this is
something you really want to do. For example, if you thought, “I
am going to jump into that fire,” the subconscious would check
with what it has written down in your mind about fire and influence
your decision. This is obviously vital in this example, and the
writing in your mind on this subject is fairly clear, “Fire
burns, burns hurt... do not jump in.”
what happens when a more neutral thought occurs that has conflicting
writing on the wall? For example, if you said, “I want to
lose 10 pounds of fat,” the subconscious writing on the wall
may read, “You need to do this, you'll feel great,”
but at the same time, there may also be thoughts saying, “You
cannot lose weight,” beliefs saying, “You will become
unpopular among your friends at work” and memories saying,
“Thin people are arrogant” and “You don’t
deserve to be thin.” These would all conflict with the conscious,
and ultimately, these thoughts, beliefs and memories would determine
Subconscious and Losing Weight
someone is trying to lose weight, there are many factors influencing
his goal. For the majority of people looking to lose weight, especially
long term overweight people, you will find the subconscious has
a number of reasons why it feels it is best for them to stay overweight.
can be for all sorts of possible reasons, but they will mostly stem
from events in the past. An example could be if the client has experienced
a previous trauma with the opposite sex (e.g., divorce), they may
protect themselves in the future by staying overweight. Sometimes
people may be punishing themselves for something they did.
common factor is that people find an emotional comfort in foods,
which causes them to gain weight. If this is the case, you will
find they will struggle greatly when you take this food away, because
you have taken away their emotional support. This equates to taking
a smoker’s cigarette away.
the influence may be, and the list is almost endless, it is important
for you to not guess at the cause but to help clients identify it
for themselves, and then apply EFT and other strategies to resolve
Freedom Technique and Other Techniques
develop the mind set, first identify possible blocks. From this
point, the application of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is the
fastest way to removing these.
is a branch of energy psychology, the fastest growing aspect of
psychology today. It was discovered in 1980 when Dr. Roger Callaghan
was treating his patient for an intense water phobia. She complained
in the session of stomach pain, so he told her to tap under her
eye as knew the energy meridian of the stomach ended there (from
acupuncture theory). To his surprise, the lady’s fear of water
that point on, he began studying this phenomenon and went on to
create a new branch of therapy called energy psychology. A student
of Dr Callaghan, Gary Craig, a Stamford engineer, trained under
him and then advanced the theory and made it accessible to all by
is a system that involves tapping on certain acupuncture points
with your fingers while tuning into specific negative thoughts.
The system is based on the premise that “a disruption to the
electrical patterns of the body is the cause of negative emotion,”
so EFT works by realigning your electrical energy system associated
with different thoughts by tapping on the point of the body used
your electrical pattern is disturbed, you could talk about an issue
until you are blue in the face, and it will not resolve the problem.
Similarly, this explains why sometimes illogical thoughts can prevent
people from achieving their goals.
can be used on any thoughts and memories from the past that still
cause negative emotions when you think about it now. Using EFT,
you can now remove the emotional charge on those thoughts. As well
as using EFT for this, you can also apply it to present/future issues
and emotional connections. When the mind is cleared of these blocks,
your clients will be able to go on and lose weight.
success of EFT is due in part to the startling results that can
be achieved using the technique and also by the fact that the processes
involve no pain or need to bring up any painful memories.
Theory Behind EFT
premise of the theory is summed up by its discovery statement: “The
cause of all negative or unwanted emotion is a disruption to the
body’s electrical energy system.” This is inherently
different to the way traditional psychology would view emotions.
They would see it as: distressing memory -> negative emotion.
would say there is a vital intermediate step: distressing memory
-> disrupted electrical energy system -> negative emotion.
dissolve the negative emotion associated with the memory, you do
not need to treat your memory but instead realign the energy in
your body. In EFT, you are tapping on the meridian points on the
body (see below). The meridian points are where an electrical pathway
that runs through the body ends. Think of it like an electrical
lead going from one part to the other. This can be easily imagined
as if you bent your finger right now. To do this, an electrical
signal is sent through your nerves from the brain to move your finger.
EFT and Losing Weight
ensure the electrical system associated with the negative emotion/issue
is being balanced, you will need to say certain statements before
the tapping and during. To lose weight, your client must resolve
the emotional blocks. Picture the problem of losing weight as a
table top. The many blocks contributing to the problem can be thought
of as the legs to this table. The tabletop may have many table legs
underneath, which represent different emotional contributors. The
idea of EFT is to collapse the emotional issues, or the table legs,
to the point where there are not enough to support the table. In
other words, if you collapse enough emotional issues under your
problem, you will resolve it.
Some of the table legs are thicker than others and thus more important
to resolving the issue. Sometimes there may be just two or three
legs, and sometimes you may need to break down more than 20.
of the table legs to a problem are previous memories of events that
happened to you. These show up in your behavior today by influencing
your thought processes. These may be rational or irrational thoughts.
Being scared of a tiny spider that couldn’t hurt you is a
very real fear to many people, but it is also irrational. Your previous
memories (table legs) can also be irrational and will affect you
irrational thought is in your mind because there is a disturbed
electricity field associated with it. Therefore, you must use EFT
to resolve the issue as it will likely not respond very well to
conscious rationale because the cause of the problem is in the electrical
pattern within the body.
of the great benefits of EFT is that it can be done on your own,
and clients can often make great progress from just a few minutes
the negative blocks are removed, you can include techniques that
develop the positive aspects of success. This includes using visualization
techniques, positive self talk/language and activating the Law of
Attraction. Please note these techniques will be useless unless
the negative blocks have been broken down first. Only when this
is done will clients be able to successfully overcome them.
EFT with Clients
who are interested in ensuring their clients get results should
look to visit the referenced articles and websites below. This will
allow you to broaden your knowledge about the topics covered. It
is highly recommended to download the free EFT manual by Gary Craig.
immediate use with your clients, ask them the questions below. They
are designed to get clients thinking about their current situation
and their thought patterns. They are not intended to solve their
problems or unearth specific table legs but simply to get them thinking.
Please refer all of your clients to a suitably trained professional
for any sort of treatment or therapy.
did you gain your excess weight, and what was going on in your
life at that time?
is the downside of achieving your goal weight?
s the upside of staying where you are?
are you struggling to achieve your goal? Why are you letting this
this attitude further for great results.
you want to apply some of these techniques to achieve results yourself
then consider working with me through personal
training here in London or On