Oh, and she never gives out,
And she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.
Always a Woman, by Billy Joel
As a kid, there was something so enigmatic for me about the song Always a Woman.
There is something incredibly powerful about changing your mind.
Not in the sense of switching from shiny thing to newer shiny thing. But in the sense of being able to make changes.
Many of us, myself included, are scared of change.
As I age, though, it seems like the changes that scared me the most were the most important turning points of my life. Not making those changes would have been about the same as suicide.
We almost always need to change somehow to get to our goals.
Being ready, willing and able to change is a different matter!
TC Luoma, of Testosterone Nation, has frequently opined that the best diet for anyone seeking fat loss is this: Stop eating obvious junk.
Holy moley, TC just solved the obesity epidemic, right?
I’m joking, sort of. Thing is, he’s right.
If you follow his argument you see that most successful fat loss plans adhere to that basic advice. If you avoid processed foods and instead eat whole foods, what happens? All other things being equal. If health is not a factor? Fat loss happens.
Most of us know that eating vegetables is good for you. And that eating a chicken breast is better than eating a Slim Jim. People get confused regarding some of the science-y elements of diet. But most of us know that drinking water is better than drinking cola.
In other words, knowledge is not what stands in the way of the average person achieving healthy body composition. How do you do it? Avoid highly processed foods. Eat vegetables, fruit, meat, less processed carbohydrate sources, and smarter fats, and you are all set. Eat the highest quality you can afford. Don’t sweat it if it’s not perfect.
So why is that obvious stuff hard to do?
Why doesn’t everyone just do it?
Making a change like losing fat has as much to do with changing your mind as it does with eating the right foods.
And changing your mind can be really tough, or really easy.
Sometimes, people can make a change in a moment.
Gretchen Rubin calls this the “Stroke of Lightning” catalyst for change in her book Better Than Before.
That can go like this.
A guy struggles to quit smoking. Knows he should quit but doesn’t.
One day he plays a game of catch with his kids.
He can’t keep up. Feels light headed.
Next day the cigarettes are in the garbage.
He starts walking the dog daily.
The combination of knowing and feeling in your body what to do is a strong catalyst. It resonates. It is important to you in a way it wasn’t before.
You have changed in that moment. Your mind changed and your behaviour follows.
What if you smoked for 20 years before that fateful game of catch with your kids? You can still decide what to change in the next moment. The future is not written. It can be different than your past. Bigger. Better than before.
Want to make a big change? Give yourself a big reason.
Like seeing your kids grow up. Or living a pain free life. Or anything that seems like a high quality addition or improvement to your life.
Choose a goal that is meaningful to you.
If you just think you “should” do it because other people do it? Then you won’t do it. Even if the doctor says so.
It’s powerful to seek self-determination and satisfy your own self concept. If you value a goal you will pursue it.
External accountability is still helpful.
Maybe you’re not quite sure yet what your Big Reason is yet. A coach can help you explore and find that.
At Iron Lion Training (the gym my wife and I run) we provide accountability, and we help people figure out their goals. But the accountability we provide is only useful if the person we’re training is personally invested in their goal.
Know who you are. Know what you want… and why.
That helps you form meaningful goals that resonate with who you are. And map you in the direction you want to go.
Changing your mind is a power. Use it!
If you need some help with goal setting, or some external accountability in meeting a goal you’ve set for yourself, Iron Lion Training would love to help!
Co-Owner Iron Lion Training
1485 Dupont, #312, Toronto, ON
Email us at: