Fernwood Robina recently invited me to talk to their members about mindset, and how it impacts health and fitness.
The members I spoke to were in the midst of a 6 week challenge, so were facing some issues in terms of motivation and energy.
I talked to them about the difference between a fixed and a more flexible, or growth mindset, and how these impact on a person’s capacity to change their actions, perspectives and emotions.
A fixed mindset
A fixed mindset is shown through beliefs such as “You can’t change your fitness or health much”, or “You’re born with a certain degree of health and it is up to you to make the most of it.”
I did a bit of this the other day when I was talking to my daughter about maths, which she does not enjoy. I said something along the lines of “Oh well, it must run in the genes, I was never any good at maths either.” Whoops.
A growth mindset
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is shown by statements such as “Anyone can change their health/fitness”, or “You can improve your health/fitness by learning new things.”
This makes me think of the pull up bar down at beautiful Burleigh beach, where I often see people effortlessly pulling themselves up. I would love to be able do a pull up one day, but I’m not there yet – notice the “yet”.
We also talked about set backs and resilience, and overcoming these. Having a set back is pretty human, and the key is not to see it as terminal, but temporary, and be curious about what was going on for you before it. You could think about it like a little glitch that happened.
Another one that came up was negative self talk – what are you saying to yourself? Often clients tell me they say such things to themselves as “You’re useless”, “You can’t do it”. Sooo harsh. Would you say those things to anyone else?
To finish off, we discussed eating mindfully as opposed to eating mindlessly.
Eating mindfully means:
- Listening to your body, and stopping when you are full, instead of eating past full and ignoring your body’s signals.
- Eating when our bodies tell us to eat, for example our tummy may growl or we feel feel a bit weak, instead of being dictated to by emotions such as when we are feeling sad or lonely.
- Eating with others, at a set time and place and not alone, at a random place.
- Eating nutritionally healthy foods as opposed to emotionally comforting foods.
- Eating, just eating – not multi-tasking while we are doing it.
Taking care of your mind means your body will generally follow.