As a self-made fitness entrepreneur, personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist with over five years of professional experience in the industry and almost a lifetime in athletics, I consider myself very blessed to have the platform that I do to reach so many people in need of help. Now, with my new Queen City Nerve column, I’ve got another platform to help folks navigate the trends of the fitness world — breaking down what’s good, what’s bad and what’s just straight up ugly.
My name is Brittney Pereda and I am the owner of South Charlotte’s premier fitness and nutrition company, eXtreme Body Benefits, and I promise this won’t hurt as much as one of my training sessions.
To start, I’ll say that any great fitness trainer or nutrition specialist will always strive to continue their education and be eager to learn in this ever-changing age of information. Just like many other industries, in the fitness and nutrition world there are always new trends emerging, new theories being brought to the forefront and new social media influencers on the rise, flooding your Instagram account and ready to sell you every hot new method or product that the market has to offer. What separates a truly great fitness trainer from the rest is — for lack of a better way to say it — cutting through the mainstream bullshit and knowing that one size does not fit all.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s not as easy as it seems on the ‘Gram to achieve physical greatness — and by greatness I mean totally conquering your goals and finally getting that body you have always dreamed of. What most people fail to realize is that it’s a process that takes time. You can’t just wake up on top of the mountain, you’ve got to climb it first.
When it comes to making a lifestyle change, one word you’ve heard get tossed around is motivation. The thing about motivation is it’s easier said than done. Just following your Instagram favs, it would be easy to believe that these people don’t have any issues with working their asses off and eating right 24/7, so it must not be too hard finding that motivation to lose a good 30-40 pounds, right?
Unfortunately, what may work for your favorite influencer won’t always work for you. In fact, social media has taken the entire human component out of this whole “fitness” thing you are seeing on your feed.
I wish I could write about how simple it is to conquer all your fitness and health goals, but I’d be lying if I said it was an easy task. My role is to cut out the bullshit and get as real with you as I can so that you can understand how finding the motivation to succeed really works. When it comes to real world application of the most basic fitness and health principals, mindset is at the forefront.
The first thing I’ll share with you is the “Mindset Mastery” that I instill in my clients and everyone I work with daily. These tools will help you find and keep the right mindset, even when things get hard and life does everything it can to get in the way of you achieving your goals.
There are four steps to this process, and if you focus on them — and remain focused — you can take yourself places you never thought you could go.
First, understand the difference between motivation and discipline. You see, you may be motivated right now in this very moment. You’re all fired up reading this, telling yourself it’s time to make the change and commit to yourself.
What you must understand is when it comes to the real world, simply put, the motivation isn’t always going to be there. In fact, your motivation will leave you in the blink of an eye. It will leave you the second situations put you in a tough place — whether it’s a Friday night and the kids are eating pizza while you’re trying to hit your macronutrient requirements or you’re leaving a stressful day at work, 6 p.m. traffic has you in a bad mood and all you want to do is go home and put your feet up instead of go to the gym.
Well, that was fast.
Let’s cut through the fluffy Instagram food posts and motivational quotes. What about the days you don’t feel like doing the damn thing? That’s when discipline comes in.
To get motivated, you will need to condition your mindset to know that this current motivation you’re seeking doesn’t just appear one day, pull you out of your seat and drag you into the gym. It just doesn’t work like that! You have to create your own motivation. You have to get up, turn off the Netflix, get dressed and go push yourself through an intense workout at the gym or a boot camp. You have to make the choice of eating the nutrient-dense salad with chicken over the mouth-watering, fattening burger with fried onion rings. If you can’t wrap your mind around doing this daily, then you have to rethink your goals.
Which leads me to my second focus: goals. Have you written them down anywhere? Are they realistically attainable for you and your lifestyle? Have you defined and personalized your goals? An example of a bad goal is, “I want to lose weight and get strong.” I hear it all the time. You haven’t put a date on that goal, you haven’t set a particular amount of weight you’d like to see come off and you haven’t defined your strength (like being able to do a full pull up without an assist).
If you create unrealistic goals or goals that are too broad, you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Being truly honest with ourselves is a huge part of this process. Don’t be so extreme when you’re starting out. You can plan for a large goal, but also prepare small daily or weekly goals that will add up to that one end goal that you have for yourself. I can promise you that each time you reach one of these smaller goals, your motivation to succeed will increase even more because you are seeing results.
Your third focus should be on taking full responsibility for your screw ups. Splurges and times of weakness may be something you think only you do, but almost everyone messes up. The problem is when they then play the blame game and makes excuses as to why they haven’t fulfilled a commitment to themself.
As a coach, I see this happen all too often. We want something so bad, but when it doesn’t happen overnight, we have something I like to call a “Fuck It Day.” That’s when your mind takes control, making you think that you haven’t made any progress, when in all actuality, you’ve made a ton. After this happens, we feel so bad about what we did that we end up blaming everyone and everything except for ourselves or making the lamest excuses as to why our screw up was no big deal.
It happens. We are only human. Sometimes we get impatient, moody and just so damn hangry! But the day that you can be real with yourself and say, “Okay, I messed up, it’s all good I’ll just get back on it tomorrow morning,” is the day you’ve made serious improvements with your mindset. Just be real with yourself and take full responsibility. It is no one’s fault but your own. No need to stress out about it, just keeping moving forward.
Fourth and finally, set yourself up for success. Filtering out the negatives in your life could be life-changing for you. Scratch that. It will be. But it takes an extremely strong individual to do this. Whether it’s a sister, father, best friend or coworker, we all know a Negative Nancy when we see one. These are the people that will tell you that you have never been able to lose weight and won’t be able to do it now. These are the individuals who will see your progress — see that you’re doing better than they are — and they’ll try their very best to knock you down a peg or stop you from progressing any further.
I have always wondered about the psychology behind this. It happens all the time, and typically with the people closest to us. By surrounding yourself with good influences who support your successes, you are taking the right steps towards achieving a better you. Your friends and family should want to join you because you are so inspiring, not the other way around.
At the end of the day, motivation isn’t easy to acquire. It’s actually really damn hard. The key is to stay positive and change your mindset. Through all the challenging days ahead, you can now get yourself up and going with a better outlook. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This will take time. Everyone has their own thing, so go find yours and stick to it.