In working with a client for a number of months I begin to notice a pattern in her behavior. While she was working very hard to improve her nutrition approaches in order to get maximum benefits from her workouts, she would routinely fall on times of going back in to her old eating habits. Unable to pull herself out of them, she would often look to others for one of two reasons.
She would look to some people for support in staying on track. At the same time she would look to other people to justify the food that she was eating.
For example, posting a picture of a plate of cheeseburger and fries. On one hand she had friends that were cheering her on, saying that the food looks delicious, and therefore reducing her guilt. But behind the scenes she was reaching out to me saying that she was struggling with staying on track. I began to wonder why somebody who has completed multiple obstacle course races, something which I have used as a metaphor for life of coming up against challenges and getting through them on my own through pure grit and mental capability was not able to apply those same approaches to making daily decisions about whether or not she put certain foods in her mouth. Then it dawned on me.
She has never run a Spartan race alone.
She always runs with a group of friends… a team. The team approach helped each of them to make it through by being there for one another. While I think having a support team is beneficial for many things, in this case it was not.
If you truly want to succeed, I mean truly want to succeed you need to face the fact that the only person that you can and should ever truly rely on is yourself. Because in the moment of darkness and when the thoughts are all in your head, you need to be able to turn inward to yourself to get beyond the negativity. This is not something that just happens, but is rather something that is created. And there is no better way to shock the system into learning how to create this like running a Spartan race alone will do.
Get over the 8 foot wall, lift a heavy sandbag on a hoist, climb a rope, do 30 Burpees…alone! If you can do all of these things in a race, then deciding whether or not to put a piece of chocolate into your mouth becomes easier. So what are you waiting for? Sign up, train, prepare mentally, and do it… alone. Fuel. Train. Overcome.