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5 Ways You Are Self-Sabotaging In The Gym

If you were to write a list of all of the things you have planned in each day then take a step back and ask "Can any one human seriously keep up with all of this?" - what would your answer be? 

If it's "yes", great! You're in a good groove. 

If it's "no", I like your honesty and that place of honesty and awareness is where you can make some really positive changes for yourself. 

I've listed a few reasons that I know to be potential self-sabotage like behaviour that keeps people stuck and not achieving their goals in the gym (and kitchen!). 

1.  Letting self-limiting beliefs fly under the radar

I've listed this one first because I think it's the most important thing to address yet often isn't. Addressing self-limiting beliefs takes a strong sense of self-awareness and willingness to monitor your thoughts...Practicing mindfulness for example is one way to do this. 

Mindfulness has been the most powerful tool in my tool box to stay calm, in my power and capable of serious growth. 

An example for you: 

Wanting to go to the gym to improve your body composition so you feel better about yourself naked, in a bikini, in your clothes or just to feel healthy. Amazing! But, sometimes a thought comes in that derails that motivation..Something like: 

"Damn, that woman is so fit. How does she look that way? Why can't my body look that way? I've been putting so much effort into my fitness and I don't look like that. I must not be capable of achieving it, why even bother going to the gym? ... I'm gonna go eat a cookie and numb my pain over this." 

K, I have to point out, this is all usually very unconscious brain activity and we aren't aware of this self-sabotage like thought pattern. 

This is where I find real change happens in my clients. When they are willing to become aware of their thought patterns and recognize the thoughts that are disempowering them and keeping them 'small'.

It is only when we can identify the root negative thought that leads to cyclical patterns that don't serve us, that we can actually implant a new thought or create a new neuropathway that can lead us to positive change. 

Try spending today practicing mindfulness and motoring your thoughts for negative ones that are keeping you small. Ask yourself, "would I speak to a child this way?". 

The answer may surprise you. 

2. You’re not getting enough sleep

Life these days is packed with people and things that are desperate for our attention. Jobs, friends, family, extra curricular activities, social media, school etc., all keep us very busy and communicate to our nervous system that we must be in our alert state to be productive, otherwise known as 'fight or flight'.

Being in this state day to day can throw off our cortisol levels (a hormone that's produced when in fight or flight) and lead to irregular sleep patterns. 

Irregular sleep patterns can lead to fatigue, sluggishness, low mood and lack of motivation. Hence, screw gym time, right??

Life isn't going to drastically change for many of us, and expecting the daily requirements of us to reduce also may be an unattainable hope. So what I suggest we do is change the things we do have the power to control. Here are a few suggestions: 

a. Cap work and stimulating activities around 6pm. It's our natural rhythm to begin to produce less cortisol at that time and begin to get tired. 

b. I know its tough, but turning your ringer off and releasing the cord between you and your social media accounts around that time as well is a good thing to practise. Blue light, screen time and constant  scrolling tells the brain that it needs to stay alert leading to you not being able to naturally downregulate and get sleepy. 

c. Make sure you eat a well balanced dinner a few hours before bed. Many people wake up mid-sleep due to blood sugar levels crashing. 

3. You don’t pre-plan the night before

I've seen it over and over, in myself, my family and with clients. Lack of preparation for the next day lends to a frenzy and stressed-like behaviour. 

"If you're failing to plan, you're planning to fail". 

That means, prepping your meals for the next day, making sure you're drinking plenty of fresh water, your gym bag is packed, post-workout meal or smoothie is packed and you've played the whole day out in your mind so you're anticipating travel time, meal time, rest and productivity time. 

The people who achieve the most in life and attain their goals, regularly, are incredibly good at preparation and organizing their schedules. 

It may not come naturally to you (it didn't for me either) but we are adaptable and highly intelligent beings. We are capable of becoming organized people. 

4. You’re wandering around the gym aimlessly 

I don't know single person who's ever had long-lasting success in the gym when they don't have a plan.

The days of jumping around aimlessly from piece of equipment to piece of equipment needs to stop. Now lol.

There are SO many options to find a structured and effective workout plan so you can actually see results from the time you're putting into the gym and feel motivated to continue to put energy into that part of your life. 

- Group fitness classes

- An online personal trainer 

- An in-the-flesh personal trainer 

- Workout apps (OMG so many!) 

- A knowledgeable workout buddy...

The list goes on. Find a plan that works for you and keep that fire-a-burnin'!

5. You’re not doing a proper warm-up/cool-down 

Our nervous system needs to be acclimatized to the work you're about to give it in the gym. Jumping into your run, weight training, HIIT workout etc., without prepping your nervous system, fascia and supporting muscles (glutes, core, hamstrings and back) can lead to injury, lack of strength and lack of power.

There's nothing more frustrating than wanting to do a killer workout, then 10-15 minutes into it either getting injured or losing your steam. 

Yes, a proper warm-up can help avoid those things! 

Not sure what a proper warm-up might be? I can definitely help prescribe one, or you can do some research to figure one out for yourself! 

Becoming the person who has a healthy and dedicated relationship with the gym can sometimes take time, but with awareness and a fierce commitment to learning new thought patterns and behaviours that support your growth and goals, you'll get there in no time. 

PS - I recently released a FREE eBook 3 Day Detox Reset that has 12 easy and delicious recipes that are free from gluten, dairy, refined sugars or processed foods and supports detoxification, weight loss and is tailored to your genetics! Whoa, that was a mouthful :P

Pick up your FREE copy of my 3 Day Detox Reset Cookbook here.

Pumped about this article? Please share! Others may also love it and find a newfound connection with themselves and their workout program <3

Become well wth Hope,
Cassandra Hope

 

 

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