“They’re not your abs…”

“Well whose are they then?”  I moaned in response to Tony’s comment.  “They sure hurt like they’re mine.”

“They’re your body’s…” he says, all pragmatic like.

If nothing else, pondering what on earth he meant and whether perhaps he had in fact lost his mind distracted me from the deep burning I was feeling in my abdominal region.   Neat trick… but I probably won’t fall for that one again.  😉

It’s funny how you can hear something plenty of times but all of a sudden something just ‘clicks’ and you understand it differently.  One of those statements for me was “Put your mind in the muscle”.  Ok, I figured this was about focusing on the exercise.  And it probably is.  But I think there’s more to it than that.  It’s about recognising that the pain is in your head.  The muscle will keep working until it can no longer respond to your brains command.  It doesn’t say “Ohh, that hurts.  I’m stopping now”.  It’s our brains that tell us that.  So I’ve been working on putting my mind in the muscle.  When I can I notice that I can squeeze out an extra rep, or maintain proper form on the exercise.  It still hurts but I’m not letting that distract me (or rather trying to not let that distract me).   This is where training with someone like Tony is so good.  His experience both training others (probably 1,000’s of clients over the years) and training himself gives him a great insight to the challenges people’s heads throw up.  And will keep tap, tap, tapping away and not just strengthening your body, but your mind also for that’s where the real change comes from.

Got my food plan today.  I think what’s going to be tough is the removal of dairy.  Or rather reduction.  I like milk.  I have it in several coffees each day.  My cereal and any protein shakes I have.  I also drink it straight from the bottle from time to time.  I told Tony today “But I LOVE my milk!!!”  He pointed out that the story I was telling myself about milk would make it even harder to reduce and that first I needed to change the way I thought about it. I’ve always done well with the ‘Think of food as fuel’ metaphor.  Crap in, crap out.

Oh.  Something else.  I’ve always wanted abs.  To be able to see them.  Never had em, no matter how fit, how much training. Nada.  No visible abs.  I’ve found out it’s a factor of body fat.  They really only start to become visible (on average) at about 8%.  That’s pretty low.  The lowest I’ve managed to get my body fat down to was about 11%.  I’ve also found that reducing body fat is predominantly a factor of diet.  No.  You still have to exercise.  But you can exercise your ring off, eat the wrong food and nada!

Here’s a graphic that I think depicts what the various BF levels look like.

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