“Partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard, someone is getting smarter, someone is winning.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Recently, I went to the gym after a long day of work to burn some calories and some stress before going to a barbecue. I ran into an old “party friend” there who I haven’t seen in a long time. For a year straight, we would party the night away in clubs and bars along with our other buddies and just get wasted. This was during my “party phase,” which I’m sure everybody goes through. If not, trust me, you’re not missing much other than a ton of wasted money, fights, vomit, blackouts, and gnarly hangovers.
We began catching up: talking about life, the women in it, and of course, our fitness goals.
My friend is roughly about 6’3 and has a pretty decent body structure in terms of size. He could really develop an impressive physique if he really applied himself. He said he was ready to get serious and disciplined. He wants to be a bodybuilder.The only obstacle he faces is letting go of the “glamorous” party lifestyle that he loves.
Here’s a little advice, and it applies to any aspect of life: If you set a goal for yourself, make sure you set yourself up to succeed.
Distance yourself from all distractions and the things or people holding you back from what is really important to you. In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, he talks about how when he was living in Germany, he and his friends would spend every night drinking in the beer hall, followed by late night eating. He realized that if he kept that up, he would not reach his goal of becoming the best bodybuilder in the world, never be invited to America, and never become a movie star. He cut it out of his life and focused on what he truly wanted and he surrounded himself with people who had similar goals who would push him to succeed.
Here are 2 additional pieces of advice you should follow if you want to be successful in reaching your fitness goals:
Slowly begin to abolish alcohol in your life.
Although you already know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for your liver, did you also know that it stimulates your hunger? All those late night food runs are now making sense, aren’t they?
In 2004, an informative article written by Jon Bonne chemically linked overeating and alcoholism together. According to Bonne “The same brain chemical thought to increase our desire to overeat also appears to increase alcoholic tendencies.” Researchers from the Princeton University Psychology department conducted a study that examined the behavior of drunken rats, but has implications for humans. “Scientists injected tiny amounts of the neuropeptide galanin, which has been shown to trigger excessive eating, into rats’ brains and monitored their eating and drinking behaviors. Their water consumption did not change, but they drank far more alcohol after being injected with the appetite-increasing chemical”. According to Bonne, the researchers found that drinking alcohol increased the amount of galanin in the brain. They described this effect as a “positive feedback loop” between alcohol and the chemical, which also appears to prompt cravings for fatty foods. Foods high in fat have also been shown to trigger a similar feedback loop involving galanin. This is the reason why you crave greasy junk food when you drink, and why you crave alcohol instead of water.
This is also why my friend isn’t hitting his fitness goals even though he spends hours at the gym. His diet is not on point and to make matters worse, he consumes alcohol every week and then overeats after every social event.
Read this article for more information about the correlation between alcoholism and overeating. Pretty cool stuff. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6693599/ns/health-addictions/t/alcoholism-overeating-chemically-linked/#.VdZVRf9FAaI
Associate with people that have a positive influence on you. Distance yourself from those that hold you back.
I was talking to a friend recently who was telling me how much his friend had “changed.” He was upset that his friend didn’t want to party with him anymore and instead decided to join a gym and spend all his time working out. I said to myself “he is upset that his friend is trying to make a better life for himself? He’s making fun of him?” This made me reevaluate the real definition of “friend.” A friend should be someone that wants you to succeed, someone who supports you, who ideally has the same interests as you, but if he doesn’t he is still someone who pushes you to become better and most importantly: he is someone that you can trust. Why was this person berating his best friend instead of being supportive? I side with his friend who was obviously following rule #2: Distance yourself from the people that are going to hold you back.
If you find yourself growing apart from your friends, do not dismay: you will eventually meet people with the same goals and interests that you have, and make brand new friendships.
In conclusion, reaching a goal is not always easy, especially when that goal is to achieve an aesthetic physique. You need to set yourself up to win. There is no magic formula. Seeking aesthetics takes a lot of time and commitment. You have to make sacrifices in order to achieve the results you want to see. The 2 pieces of advice I have presented today are a good starting point for anybody on the road to fitness and aesthetics. Keep chipping away it and always keep in mind that success is a process.
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