Hi ,

The first time that I was exposed to a self-help program was in the year that I graduated from college and took on my first job as a freshly minted civil engineer. The vice president of my engineering department, Doug, was an enlightened man, who found satisfaction in encouraging his staff by providing them with self-help tapes and other materials. The first set of tapes that I listened to was The Psychology of Winning by Dr. Dennis Waitley.

I remember how amazed I was with my new discovery of the world that existed within our minds. One of the overarching principles within all of these self-help courses was learning to control your own mind.

The wisdom was, that if you learned to control your thoughts, you would gain control over your actions, and by controlling your actions, you could control your destiny.

I found this idea very exciting. I thought that if I could only control the constant chatter in my head and channel it in the direction of the goals that I wanted to achieve, I would become unstoppable.

The challenge with this, of course, is that like a body that’s become out of shape and flabby over the years, changing your mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It is only achieved by consistently training it, bending it to your will. Just like a body that is consistently exercised and fed a clean, nutritious diet, a mind that is trained begins to take shape and changes for the better. So we work at it.

Something that I have found to be very useful to work on is controlling the relationship between critical self-thinking and cynicism. Self constructive criticism is one thing, enabling us to identify areas in which we need improvement, and setting the stage for actions we can take that can make us stronger.

But all too often we cross the line into self-cynicism, mercilessly criticizing ourselves about our shortcomings, and belittling ourselves, which is not useful. I’ve gotten better about ‘listening’ to my internal self-talk, and consciously redirecting my thoughts in a positive direction whenever it gets negative.

And I’ve learned to not mentally beat myself up over mistakes and shortcomings, instead refocusing on what I can learn so that I can change and improve. Failure is not an enemy, it is a teacher to learn from.

This week I would like to encourage you to listen to your mental self talk and try to steer your thoughts in a more positive direction. Don’t be overly hard on yourself, don’t beat yourself up, and instead refocus on what you would like to improve. This mental exercise can help you tremendously with your exercise and nutrition program.

Make it a great week!

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Football time again! Instead of reaching for greasy, heavy foods and ruining your great progress…why not clean it up a little and eat some healthier, protein-filled recipes? We’ve put together a flavor-packed menu that is sure to impress your guests and keep you right on track for your goals.

Christine Marquis lost 18 lbs & 8.8% Body Fat

"My biggest motivation was proving to my family that this time I was doing it for me. My challenge has just begun and it is proving to myself and everyone that this isn't temporary it really is the new me.
My biggest struggle really was working as hard as possible to win, but accepting that losing shouldn't be my end. I overcame that struggle by realizing my health and life should not need a prize."

Labrada Nutrition, 333 Northpark Central Dr, Houston, Texas 77073, United States