Can you think yourself into a different person?
Are your friends making you fat?
Are you focusing on the wrong thing for sustainable weight loss?
Weight loss is so much more than “eat less … move more!” Your mindset and beliefs play an even bigger role in your success than changes to your food plan and lifestyle.
Yea, you can change how you look and feel using a ton of different eating plans and lifestyle hacks. However, if you don’t change how you think about yourself and maintain momentum – you’ll rapidly slow down and eventually revert back to where you started … or worse!
“Eat less … move more!” fails, not because eating less and moving more aren’t necessary – they absolutely are! Telling someone that the problem to their health and physique simply lies in “eat less … move more” is like telling an alcoholic to “just stop drinking.”
Whilst both are true, they are unhelpful and do not reveal how to do so. They fail because these are only pieces of the puzzle – they don’t address the biggest piece of the puzzle – the need for an identity shift.
Change your mind → change your environment → change your body
What You’re Gonna Learn
• Are you losing weight for the right reason?
• Have you got a “fat guy” identity holding you back?
• The importance of long-haul thinking.
• How to change your identity.
• Strategies to develop mental toughness.
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.” ~ Mark Twain
Why Do You Want To Be Leaner? What’s your why?
Have you actually stopped to consider why you want to embark on this fat-loss journey? Of course it’s a great decision to make, however, some reasons will yield better results than others.
There are roughly speaking two categories of “whys” or motivations.
This is where you feel you have no choice and the decision is not entirely yours – you feel that you have to because someone, like your partner or your doctor, insists you change.
Or you may yourself have chosen to lose weight, but you are doing for ego-based reason, like impressing others or you feel bad about how you’re going to look in some situation – like on the beach. Others include:
- To get back at a ex
- To impress mates
- To be liked by others
- A high-school reunion
- You feel it is what is expected of you
Here, your weight loss goal feels important for you personally to accomplish. YOU decide to lose weight because it has value to you and you feel positive about your choice.
You may feel it’ll be a challenge to accomplish, but you’ll enjoy that. You want to lose weight to be healthy for its own sake – you just value being healthy or maybe other perks such as:
- Improved self esteem and confidence
- Improved body image
- Improved strength
- Improved longevity for family and loved ones
- To be someone of stature and value in the community – to stand out.
Essentially you’re all in with the changes necessary and your choices becomes part of who you are – effectively an identity shift, a new you. No hassle.
Internal vs External
Think about it – when your mum asked you to clean your room as a teenager, it was probably done half-arsed and with a load of resistance. Whereas, keeping your bike spotless and looking shit-hot? Yea - not a problem.
So, bearing in mind weight loss is no walk in the park as your body sees fat loss as a threat to its survival and will fight tooth and nail to resist, if you’re why doesn’t come from inside, you will struggle to reach your goals over the long term. 
Studies have found when YOU actively choose and feel positive about the process and outcome, long-term success wildly increases. 
Of course external whys, like your upcoming wedding may help kickstart you, but for the long-haul self-motivation is key! 
Bottom line: You are the expert of your life – you choose what is right for you!
How your mind works & hacking it for success.
Are You Suffering From A Fat Identity?
You're the fat guy right? You just are, everyone knows you as the fat guy, you were a little chubbier than the rest as a kid and when people think of your name they automatically think about your size as well.
It’s who you are …
I’m here to tell you this is nonsense. You have become “the fat guy” through habit and repetition of thoughts that eventually saturate your subconscious mind.
There was once a time where you actively considered having a dessert as a treat after a meal. Now, however, you don’t even think about it – it’s just something you do after every meal.
You don’t even know why – your identity is “the fat guy” and you eat dessert every day because that’s what fat guys do.
Your body’s actions follow your minds thoughts.
And guess what? If you don’t change your self image you will always identify with being fat.
Even if you do become leaner, you will eventually return to “the fat guy” because you haven’t addressed your self image and internal tape of who you are.
Your body cannot do something that contradicts the way you see yourself
The odds of you changing your self image are stacked against you I’m afraid – how many lean people do you see out and about? Yea - not so many.
In fact, an incredible statistic from Alan Deutschman’s book Change Or Die, is that 9 out of 10 medical patients don’t change their lifestyle and behaviours even if not doing so could lead to their death.
That’s crazy, but just emphasises the power of habit and your self-image.
I’ve seen it before with guys diagnosed with type-II diabetes, who still eat desserts and sweets and I’m sure you know of people, who continue smoking even though they’ve been medically advised to stop.
The good news? You can reprogramme your mind and the actions.
Unlocking Your Subconscious
95% of your actions are habitual – they just happen without conscious thought. Your self-image control your actions.
“The part of you that knows (what to do) is not the part that controls behaviour. Long-term habit change is NEVER the result of a strong willpower. Long term results are ALWAYS equal to your self-image” ~ Bob Proctor
Your conscious mind is responsible for things such as reason, imagination, will, memory, perception and intuition – the decision-making part.
Your subconscious mind controls bodily functions such as breathing, pumping blood, healing wounds etc., AND it’s also the place where your habits are located. Your subconscious mind takes the repetitive actions of your conscious mind and makes them automatic.
Routines and Consistency
People think that routines are obsessive. Not true – they require less brain power by their very nature. Routines allow habits to form that free up your mind for other tasks. Consistency is key, but routines are the key to consistency. When your lifestyle runs on autopilot - success is just a matter of time.
I’ve written a whole article on how to harness this part of your mind. You can effectively automate success in all parts of your life. Check it out below.
A New You
As I’ve mentioned as part of installing any new habit, long-haul thinking is a key. And during the process there must be a shift of identity too, otherwise you’ll end up right back where you started!
It’s crucial to think of your fat-loss journey as a “relocation” type of deal – like packing up your life and moving to another country.
This isn’t a vacation or some sort of leave of absence – you’re saying good bye to a phase of your life for good and “relocating” every aspect of your life:
Clearly this is a process done over weeks, months and years, but every change made needs to be with the mindset that you’re adopting it for good.
You need to be constantly stretching your comfort zone to get the most out of life – confidence, happiness, abundance and fulfillment – and becoming the best version of you. Talk more about this later, but getting comfortable with change is critical to success.
Just as when school finished and you lost touch with some school friends – transitioning to a healthier lifestyle too will trigger the need to forge new relationships that match your new identity.
Are Your Friends Making You Fat?
I'm sure you've all heard that you are the direct product of the five people you hang around the most? Studies back up this up, your environment directly affects your habits, and how you eat is one that you do every day.
As a child you are 10–12 times more likely to become obese if both parents are overweight.  That's hardly surprising if you think about it – you automatically adopt their habits and ways of eating. Eating desserts, bigger portions and going up for seconds will be the norm to you.
This phenomenon doesn’t just affect children. A study in 2015 found that if your waiter is overweight, you are four times more likely to order a dessert! 
With the knowledge that the people around you can indirectly make you fat, you can use this to your advantage and aim to surround yourself with lean, health-conscious people.
This may come as a bit of tough love, but if your current circle doesn't support your fitness and health goals – you may want to get some new friends.
Sounds extreme and it is, but it is certainly a point that needs proper thought. There’s a simple solution though – make some new virtual friends. Podcasts, YouTube channels and social media are an awesome way to upgrade your identity.
Follow inspiring entrepreneurs and fitness professionals and soon their thoughts and actions will rub off on you.
How To Develop Mental Toughness
The only way to be successful in any aspect of your life is to embrace change. You have to stretch yourself and get out of that comfort zone.
Get comfortable, being uncomfortable! #ComfortZone #BodyPhi
Change is an inevitable part of life. On the surface things seem constant – your employer may not have changed for years, but what about your colleagues, the furniture, the software you use, your contact list – unchanged? Probably not …
We are creatures of habit and that’s perfect as long as your habits serve us. However, most of us have habits that don’t serve us and we resist change – even when it’s in our best interests. Sound familiar?
And the more you resist change the more pain you’ll have in your life. Think about it – you’ve just been dumped and no amount of: feeling sorry for yourself, anger, self-sabotage etc. will change the situation.
These reactions are you resisting the change. It is what it is, take time to think over your options, then pick yourself up and move on.
Yea Sharif … wish I could do that.
I say, with practice – YOU CAN DO THAT! By adopting the mindset that the struggles in your life are a positive and necessary part of success, you can massively improve your life and happiness.
Change is going to happen whether you like it or not, but how you react is completely your choice. You can even harness these sometimes life-changing events to build momentum.
The death of a loved one, a marriage, the birth of a child, a near-death experience or a promotion at work etc. – all of these big, powerful, emotional events can trigger you to change your behaviour and develop new traits in your subconscious mind.
The problem with these though – you can’t control them. They happen randomly and your valuable time is wasted waiting for one to strike. It’s better to actively build change into your life so you’ll be better equipped to deal with the random stuff – seek out change everywhere you can:
- Use different modes of transport to work
- Take different routes to well-known destinations
- Shop at different stores and supermarkets
- Go to different coffee shops, restaurants and bars
- Holiday in different cities and countries
- Park in different spots
The Power of Auto-suggestion
Another fantastic tool to reinforce your new identity is visualisation and auto-suggestion. Through continuous mental repetition of your goal – who you want to be and when you want to get there – you slowly but surely saturate your subconscious mind.
Eventually you create the very habits that lead to your goal – without even thinking about it.
Now I’m not going to lie – this takes time, it is challenging and it is monotonous, but I GUARANTEE you that it will work. It might be a year, two, even three years down the line, but this method will work 100% of the time.
Think this visualisation is for hippies? Try taking up that stance with Michael Jordan, Will Smith, Muhammad Ali and Arnold Schwarzenegger. All three of these highly-successful men have used the power of visualisation and auto-suggestion to smash life and be extraordinary characters.
“I imagined my biceps as big as mountain peaks when I did my curling exercises. This visualization process was essential if I was to gain the kind of mass and size I needed to win the Mr. Olympia contest” - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jordan used to talk about how he “had already won the game” in his head long before he was actually out on the court. He had replayed that winning shot over and over and over in his head until his subconscious mind accepted it as reality. His physical body simply had to “act it out.”
"It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” ~Muhammad Ali
“In my mind. I’ve always been a hollywood movie star. Y’all just didn't know yet” ~ Will Smith
Your Goal Card
Listen up – here’s what I need you to do.
Get yourself a piece of card and a pen and write the following – no typing!
- What exactly it is you want and in what quantity.
- What you plan to give back in order to receive what you want.
- A definite date you will receive what you want.
- A plan for how you intend getting what you want and start doing it right now, not tomorrow!
Read your statement twice daily. Once after you wake up and once before bed.
This next point is the most important part of the process!
**You must write the card as if you’ve already received your goal – giving thanks and being grateful.**
You guys know me, I’m all about transparency so I’m going to give you an example of this as it pertains to my business.
I am so happy and grateful that BodyPhi has now grown into a multi-figure business, earning income from bespoke online coaching and the very best training, nutrition and lifestyle manuals in the fitness space, improving the lives of thousands of people across the world.
By September 2019 BodyPhi makes (£X-amount) weekly in sales from online courses.
In exchange for the abundance of success I am enjoying from BodyPhi, I make sure to offer the very best service that I am capable of, give out tons of free content on a consistent basis, and ensure to develop my skills and knowledge everyday.
BodyPhi has grown tremendously and all the team work together in harmony with the same overarching goal – to improve lives. I make sure to focus on one thing at a time before moving on to the next project, offering excellence always.
I have complete trust in myself and my company and believe I can do anything I set my mind to.
Your turn …
In fact, I want you to email me a picture of your goal card as a form of accountability that you have done the exercise above and are committed to improving your life. Remember I don’t want to see it all typed up!
I promise I will reply in full to each and every one of you and help out as needed.
Grit-building Small Wins
Not only are there a stack of health benefits of cold water exposure – boosted immune function, elevated mood, decreased inflammation and pain, and chronic fatigue relief – it’s also a great way to build mental toughness.   
Take your regular shower, then alternate the temperature in 20-second bursts – cold as possible for 20 seconds then back to warm for 20 seconds. Repeat for a couple of minutes, extending the cold exposure time eventually to a solid 5 minutes.
Commit to a phone and social media silence for a few hours, read a book or even better leave the house without it. I know the mere thought of this may stress you out, but hello – that’s the whole point.
Look, as an entrepreneur and being self employed I know this isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but honestly you will thank me for it.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been late for an appointment or meeting with someone yet I still find myself thumb scrolling through absolute nonsense on Facebook?! I know you're laughing because you do this too. Stop it.
Most guys snack between meals out of pure habit or boredom. So not only are you toughening up your mindset you’re hacking those hunger hurdles. Win-win!
This has to be one of the most beneficial habits to get into your life. Now you may already do this Monday–Friday because you have to, but can you do it deliberately at the weekend to test your mental fortitude?
Success leaves clues right? Is it any wonder most successful people get up at the crack of dawn.
“The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life.” ~ Philip Doddridge
There’s a shed-load of benefits to be had from fasting including: making fat loss easier due to shorter eating windows, regulates hormones and can reduce hunger in some guys.   
Also decreases inflammation, boosts heart health and has the potential to be a powerful tool for brain health.  
Rack up some mental-toughness points by simply eating breakfast a couple of hours later than usual. Drink plenty of water – coffee is a great tool to blunt hunger and tide you over. None of the “fancy” mocha with whipped cream stuff though – straight espresso or americano – no sugar!
IN A NUTSHELL
• Getting clear on why you want to lose weight is critical.
• Internal motivation is best for long-term success.
• In order to stay lean you must made an identity shift.
• Use habits and routines to guarantee consistency.
• You may need to upgrade your friends - start with new virtual friends.
• Get comfortable being uncomfortable and embrace change.
• Use the power of auto-suggestion.
• Use small-wins to develop mental toughness.
No mobile phones
Go snack free
Get up early
Use intermittent fasting