Tag Archive for #mindset

The secret to change



Self-compassion isn’t complacency.


Giving yourself grace isn’t the same as giving yourself excuses.




Appreciating, even liking, your body as is, right now, even if it’s not socially approved OR looking or feeling the way you’d like it to isn’t giving up or ‘lowering your standards.’




These practices, these mindsets, aren’t wimpy, they aren’t failings, they aren’t weaknesses.




These practices are actually the keys to being able to truly change, to create transformation; they are the necessary tools for creating a positive impact on your body composition, health, and fitness.




“Transformation cannot happen in a hostile environment.”





These were the words one of my beautiful clients said to me after our first few weeks working together.  She’d attended a weekend seminar, and this was one of the ‘a-ha’ moments she came away with.




The seminar had nothing to do with weight loss or fitness, but the message stuck with her loud and clear:  Harboring negative thoughts about herself and her body was not going to make any kind of real, meaningful or positive transformation possible.  It would simply sabotage her efforts and keep her stuck.




Why is it that can’t we settle and create living communities on Antarctica as we have in so many other places across our globe?



Because the conditions are so hostile, just surviving in small numbers for limited amounts of time with training and supplies is a difficult task.




It’s not impossible to survive, but it’s extremely challenging on a daily basis, even for trained and prepared scientists.  Forget planting crops, or building long-term shelters, or thriving and growing there—survival is the name of the game.




You can think of mindset as being the same way.




If we are harboring consistently negative, harsh, judgmental, even hateful feelings towards our bodies, we are setting up hostile conditions, not unlike the extremes of the Sahara or deserts in Mongolia, or that of Antarctica.




Survival is possible.  Thriving, growing, and positively transforming is not.




On the other hand, if our mindsets, the way in which we view ourselves, the quality of our self-talk (and we ALL talk to ourselves, all day long), are more nurturing, calmer, less of an assault on the senses, even—dare I say—a bit more positive or at least accepting, then that’s a place where something beautiful can grow and thrive.




We often think that we change first (lose weight, or body fat %, or inches, stick to that diet or that fitness program), and THEN we get to start feeling okay about ourselves.  We think we have to ‘behave’ first, then we get to say we like ourselves.




The trouble is, if while we’re trying to ‘behave’ ourselves into that state where we’ll finally be acceptable, or get to feel good about ourselves, we spend all our time harassing ourselves, calling ourselves names, focusing on shortcomings, small ‘failures,’ and harboring negative and harsh thoughts about ourselves and our bodies, we become SO much less likely to actually reach that place where we’ll finally be okay.




Even if we DO reach that magical end point at which we finally deem we’re good enough to like and be proud of: that weight loss goal, seeing that 80- or 90-day program through, finally fitting into those pants, we might just find (thanks to that hostile mindset) that it’s not enough.




“Wait, I was supposed to feel good about myself when ____________________,” we might catch ourselves thinking.  But we still don’t.




We don’t because we’ve continued to harbor that hostile environment that lives in our own heads and hearts.  




We still carry the NGE around with us, and it can warp our view of ourselves.  It can drive us to take on another diet, chase another workout or body change goal, to restrict what we eat overzealously, or to just give up altogether because ‘nothing we do really matters anyway.’




Siberia in our hearts, and the Sahara in our minds doesn’t create an environment where positive transformation can happen.


“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.” ~ Robin Sharma



When we nurture self-loathing, or negative body image issues, we get more—deeper, more pernicious amounts of it.  It grows deeper roots, spreads, and takes even more effort to remove.



In contrast, what if….



  • What if we nurtured a different mindset and set of feelings, of self-beliefs?
  • What if we used that same energy, gave that same level of attention and depth of feeling and belief to feeling good about ourselves?
  • What if we focused more of that time and precious mental space on nurturing self-acceptance—without qualifications?



“Do we place our attention and energy on the behaviors and outcomes we want in our children, co-workers, and diet and exercise regimes in order to create that which we desire, or do we place our attention on the things we want less of? 


When we place sincere effort on the attributes we want to see, and can let go of those that no longer serve or support, we have greater chance of success in achieving our desired outcomes.”

~ Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, http://positivitystrategist.com/focus-grows/




Instead of getting caught up in the ‘fear and loathing’ game, when we focus our attention and energy on what we DO want more of in our lives, we are so much more likely to make the choices that align with that vision or intention.




Instead of thinking that we have to be ‘x’ pounds, or ‘x’ size, etc. to be good and worthy, we can focus on what we are already doing to bring ourselves closer to that vision of who we want to be in this world—on the inside and the outside.



We can continue to prioritize and strategize ways to build the body and life we want, and devote our attention to making those choices happen day by day.



We can practice shaking off the old, ugly, unhelpful messages we may have learned and ingrained for so long, and replacing them with a proactive and positive mantras or affirmations.  We can cultivate a gritty, forward-thinking mindset that gets excited about creating the transformation we envision for ourselves.




We can cultivate laser-like focus on becoming more of ourselves, stepping more into our own talents, skills and personal superpowers—those cool things we’re just really good at doing.




We can focus on being more, and not less.




And we give ourselves both permission and motivation to pursue those goals of being more, better, happier, more accomplished, more at peace and more satisfied through rejecting old thought patterns and harnessing the powers of self-compassion:  treating and talking to ourselves kindly, recognizing our humanness, forgiving our mistakes, and appreciating our strengths and gifts.




“There is nothing noble or productive about smacking your inner self around when you’ve made a mess of things.  But a kinder, gentler approach will help you feel better and do better.” 

~ Polly Campbell, “Self-Compassion Can Soothe the Inner Critic”



So really, in the end, self-compassion isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity:  if we are truly going to do better, to grow in our abilities, to change our habits for the better (and for good!) we have to drop the inner critic and enlist our compassion. 


  • Have you been in the habit of berating yourself for your mistakes, past and/or present?  


  • How can you use self-compassion to help you do better in your life right now?



Can’t wait to hear all about it.


As always, send me a message anytime you need support OR want to share your ‘a-ha’s’ or successes.  Here’s my email:  kate@reallifefitbykate.com


I love helping when I can, and cheering right along with you when you have these mindset and behavior change wins.


Keep focusing on what you’re building,

<3 Kate


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Mind your OWN business!

Today’s Trainer Tip:  

Mind your OWN business.

And, yes, this IS a fitness-related issue! Hear me out.


Last year was a challenging year on all levels. During that time, I sought resources to help me to be more resilient, and I participated in a 10-week Mindset Makeover course (conducted by Jill Coleman).


One of the greatest lessons I learned from the course was that of minding your own business–being dialed into what YOU are doing, not concerned about what others are doing, or thinking (about you), or saying (about you).


What others think about you, or say about you, or do is THEIR business–it’s about THEM and THEIR issues, not yours.


What’s more, when you buy into this philosophy, of being actively engaged in your own business and less concerned (or not at all concerned) about what others think/say/do, you find you don’t even have the time to be concerned about them.


When you really start turning that attention you may have been giving others inward, you’ll find that you’ve suddenly been freed to pursue your own desires, wishes, goals with more energy and intensity than before. You’ll find that you develop a greater sense of peace in your mind and your spirit.


And when you’re fully invested in and really minding YOUR own business and no one else’s, you won’t have the TIME to pay attention to anyone else’s business, because you’ll be living a life that is authentic, intensely interesting, and you’ll be accomplishing small and big goals right and left.


You will be a force to reckon with, and you will wonder why you ever spent time being concerned about what others are thinking/saying/doing.


Where I see this fitting into fitness in an everyday sense is in the fear that I’ve heard so many people (mainly women) express about going to the gym, and especially about using the weight room. I’ve heard women say they feel stupid trying to figure out which weights to use for what. I’ve heard women say that they are intimidated by the weight room because it is full of men.

I’ve heard people say they aren’t ready to go to the gym or take a particular class because they aren’t in good enough shape.

I’ve heard people say that they didn’t want to try something (in the gym/fitness realm) because they didn’t want to look stupid.


Instead of giving attention to what others might say/think/do about you and what you say/think/do, take that attention and dial it into what YOU are doing.


Not sure how to use a machine or weight? Curious about a class or even just where to start with a fitness program? Find someone you trust, near or far, and get a little instruction.

Learn what muscles/physical sensation you’re looking for and concentrate intensely on that body part.

Throw on your ‘mental blinkers,’ and take whatever peripheral focus you might have had on what’s going on around you and dial it inwards.

Make what you’re doing in that moment the only thing that matters–make YOUR business of working out your ONLY business in that moment.


This practice of minding your own business is just that, a practice.

It is a new way of thinking and behaving that is developed through repeated efforts. When you first begin to apply this practice, you’ll be confronted with old negative thoughts and thought patterns popping up or creeping in, telling you or tempting you to pay attention to the thoughts/words/actions of the people around you.

Your job is to recognize those thoughts, stop them in their tracks, refocus your attention inward, into YOUR business. It takes practice–I know from experience.

But with consistent effort, you’ll find it so much easier to attend less to the thoughts/words/actions of others, to accept that whatever they think/say/do is about them and their struggles, not about you at all.



“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”





Get into the business of minding your own business.

Your mind will thank you, your heart will thank you, your body will thank you. And it will be crazy the things you dare to do, and then accomplish, as a result. It makes me excited for you just thinking about it!