IT’S A MINDSET: Surviving the holiday food fest |

IT’S A MINDSET: Surviving the holiday food fest

Fall is here and it’s the time of year when football season begins, the temperatures drop, the days get shorter, hunters are out hunting and we begin craving high calorie comfort foods. It’s also the season of the fun sized candy bar, popcorn balls, candy corn and Halloween parties. Fall kicks off a four-month season of food celebrations that promise to wreck any progress you’ve made in your health and fitness lifestyle during the spring and summer months.

As much as I love this time of year, I also dread it. I love food and I’ll be the first one to tell you it’s hard to turn down the candy and baked goods and it’s hard to resist the urge to eat because I think I’m hungry when it’s cold outside. It’s a miracle that I manage to get through the holiday season without packing on a whopping 20 pounds by Valentine’s Day. So, how do I do it? How do I stay disciplined enough not to fall into the same middle class mindset as the masses and give in to every cookie and candy bar I see?

I use a mental toughness process for weight loss and peak performance. It’s a mindset.

In mental toughness training we focus on identifying our thought processes and we evaluate our level of consciousness based on our levels of awareness or our individual world view. The terms we use in mental toughness coaching reflect a level of consciousness to meet an individual’s performance, such as poverty class, working class, middle class, upper class and world class consciousness.

We compare ‘average people’ or ‘the masses’ with ‘world-class people’. These terms are used to get your attention and make you ask, “Which one am I?” Of course there are no ‘average people’, just average performers getting average results. We are all equal as human beings. We simply use these terms in reference to performance and results.

I approach my level of fitness with a world-class mindset. That doesn’t mean I’m always “world-class,” it does mean that I operate on a level of awareness that is world class at all times. World-class performers understand the principal of Cause and Effect and we take that principle into every area of our lives.

A great example of this is reflected in our current statistics that the American population is 70 percent overweight or obese. The cause of course is the desire to eat anything that sounds good in any given moment without thinking of the effect it will bring. This behavior is leading many Americans down the road to diabetes, heart disease and many life-threatening diseases.

And to make matters worse, the middle class mindset, also 70 percent of our nations population will reach for all the quick fixes in terms of diet pills, crash diets and starvation tactics to attempt to solve the problem. They are attempting to treat the effect once the damage has been done with solutions that simply will not work.

Mental toughness training teaches us to fix the cause. In this case, the cause is the way we think about food and exercise and the solution is in the ability to change those thoughts that created the undesired outcome.

Our level of health and fitness, like everything else in our lives, is the direct manifestation of how we think. When we are operating at a higher level of awareness all of the time, then it becomes relatively easy to survive the four-month food fest without much problem. The Law of Cause and Effect can serve you if you chose to use it and put it into practice every day.

A great action step for you today: Look at the major areas of your life and ask what’s holding you back from getting better. Next, identify the causes that are creating the effects and set a goal to attack the cause and solve the problem.

Here’s wishing you a successful season of world-class decision making when approaching the holiday food landmine that lays ahead.

Lisa Gough is a mental toughness coach for weight loss and peak performance at Total Fitness Athletic Club.