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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Process Thinking Vs Outcome Thining

We have discussed the need for focusing on task relevant thoughts versus task irrelevant thoughts. A second way of stating this, of course, is that you need to be focused on process thinking rather than outcome thinking.

Today's "brick" of change focuses on the internal dialogue that we all have running through our heads. We all constantly talk to ourselves, even if the dialogue is summed up in simple words or incomplete thoughts. The problem is that most of the time the dialogue is working against us. It causes us worry, indecision, poor performance, etc.

Today's training is very pivotal as until each of us gets control of our internal dialogue, success can only occur by accident. We'll take this a step further. When we do take control of our internal dialogue, our success in weight loss, in lean muscle gain, actually, in looking and feeling better than we ever dreamed...well, it is virtually guaranteed.

Would you like more good news? The fact is that it is pretty simple to take control of the dialogue and get it working for you. You see, our internal dialogue is really made up of groupings of self-statements.

Let's use dieting for example purposes today. When you actually sit down and analyze the things that over-eaters (or under fit people) say, the self-statements are all negative. This is simple to see in the more obvious ones like, "it's no use, I am always going to be fat." Or, "I just can't lose enough weight to look good." But negative self-statements also hide out in thoughts that on the surface don't seem so negative. For example, "Stay away from those cookies," really means, "I am fat and I can't eat what I want." All these self-statements pave the road to fitness disaster. A personal favorite of people over these years is, "no one cares if I am fit or fat so why not eat what I enjoy." What they are really saying is that, "I am too lazy to get back on the path to fitness." Statements like these are impossible to hurdle. They must be eliminated.

Eliminating them is really simpler that it sounds. Don't believe us? You'll be sorry! Here is the proof. Think of a very simple word like "red." Now, whisper and shout the word "red" simultaneously.

Huh? Couldn't do it; try again! Whisper and shout the word at the same moment.

Can't do it, can you? What do you think we are trying to tell you? If you said that certain things cannot co-exist in the same moment, you are right. You can whisper or shout but you can't do them at the same time. Well, the same thing is true for positive and negative self-statements. They can't exist in your head at the same moment. To get rid of the negative ones, we simply need to put positive ones in their place. We don't expect you to do this all at once. It takes a little practice but why not start today?

If you need a bit of help getting started, here is a simple little grouping that you should memorize and say to yourself whenever you get hungry, think about your diet, or really think about anything that involves fitness or a change in your lifestyle.

I feel thinner.

I am thinner.

My path is correct.

How does this work in the real world? Out of habit you pass the cupboard and open it up. There is a half-eaten bag of Oreos there. No internal discussion allowed. You immediately jump to something safe and positive.

I feel thinner.

I am thinner.

My path is correct.

You shut the cupboard and move on. Trust us; there is incredible power in positive self-statements. From time to time, you will learn to make these more detailed and stronger. They will serve as one of the most powerful bricks to your eventual fantastic fitness success.

Try it on your own. Use our example or make up your own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so as the Nike commercials say, just do it!

We also need to look at how task oriented thinking and positive self statements intersect to create a strong, positive, focused mindset.

Let's imagine waking up today and feeling great. There is promise for this being a great, great day but there are always negatives thoughts and distractions that can come your way. We have a name for those things. We call them, "mental gravity." Just like physical gravity keeps your feet planted firmly on earth and keeps you from flying off into orbit without the rocket ship, there is mental gravity working to keep us down as well. Much of the reason people have trouble losing weight or increasing their fitness level is mental gravity; that is task irrelevant, negative, outcome oriented self-statements.

As an exercise, just free your brain for a moment to experience these terrible, gravity oriented self-statements. Here is a partial list of the ones that jump to most people's minds who are dieting and failing:

I feel fat.

I am fat.

I feel lonely.

I am not desirable.

I am old.

I'll never lose weight.

I'll quit before I really get started.

My joints ache.

My life is hopeless.

And this is just the beginning of the list. It's really, really weird to see them in print. But we guarantee that from time to time, maybe not this exact minute, but many times during the average diet, you are going to have similar destructive, gravity-based self-statements. Saying, "I am not going to think about them" is as silly as saying, "I am not going to think about an elephant." Try that, "no matter what I do, I am not going to think about an elephant. No elephants." Everyone knows the outcome to that....correct, a big old elephant that you can't get out of your mind, no matter what. The same thing is true of negative gravity self-statements. The more you say you won't think about being fat or you won't think about being sad, you guessed it, the more those things move back into your head. The only hope you have of continuing the small, incremental success we believe is possible for everyone is to put real, positive, task relevant, process oriented self-statements in their place.

Whenever you feel "gravity" today or in the near future, you need to execute these positive statements. You need to realize that mental gravity is TOUGH and that you need to create better self statements addressing those issues so that you do not go backwards in your drive for optimal fitness.

Remember the old ones:

I feel thinner.

I am thinner.

My path is correct.

These were great for my hungry moments. But you need better self-statements to address serious mental gravity issues as they occur.

Try these:

I am a good person.

I care about others.

I can be happy.

The future will be great.

One step at a time.

Smile wide. Those self statements should do the trick. No matter how badly you are feeling, you will be able to keep your focus, stay in control and leap yet another step forward.

Cassie Findley co-authored the article with Chuck Stebbins. Together they are committed to optimal health and well-being starting with positive self-talk. Chuck is a bio-chemist and was one of the first researchers to develop non food supplements. Cassie is a professor, certified personal trainer and fitness expert. The authors developed Pure Chemistry supplements and information available at designed to enhance health, fitness, anti-aging and well-being.

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