MIND POWER THE RULES ARE … RELAX THE RULES
TAKE A BREAK. “When you follow an
exercise plan, all those shape- changing, muscle-toning, fat-burning changes actually take place when you’re resting, so without proper rest, you won’t see any results,” reveals personal trainer James Duigan. “In fact, you’ll just be breaking your muscle and shape down and will end up depleted, rather than making a positive change.”
WORK OUT WISELY. “Avoid over-training, it won’t be effective. I call it ‘zombie training’ – you go through the motions, but it’s purposeless and
result-free,” shares Duigan. BE FLEXIBLE. “Keep your rules rigid, and you’ll inevitably slip up, which leads to a feeling of failure, then self- punishment,” says psychotherapist Lucy Beresford. “Instead, loosen your grip on self- control, because
while it’s not a question of completely letting go, becoming more flexible means you’re less likely to snap. It is a healthy motivation to get us to eat and live well.” With so much going on in your head, day in day out, no wonder you are still spending nights alone. “So many people I meet put gobs of effort into weight, body image, and diet so they can somehow create the hottest body, so they can be noticed and adored, which means they have a greater probability of sexually attracting a mate, becoming fabulous, and finding true love. Yet we push away the intimacy we seek because there’s no room left in the bed. Food has oddly morphed into our ‘substitute lover’. Can you see how our ‘food life’ can put the fire out of our ‘sex life?’” Marc David questions. The founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, who is on a mission to advocate that mind-body approach to eating and staying fit and attractive, calls this a form of narcissism. “This feature of the human psyche can have us so deeply and exclusively involved with ‘me’, that we unwittingly exclude others,” explains David.
“When we’re feeling lured into decisions we know will have negative consequences, we tend to purposefully isolate ourselves in our own swirling head case. The tempted part doesn’t want outside input,” writes Mark Sisson, the fit 60-year-old author of So have that slice of cake if you really feel like it. Get an extra hour of shut-eye if your body is asking for it. And dance. Dance not to lose weight, but dance with the purpose to gain that mindbody connection. Only then will you get toned, sexy thighs, an enviable waistline, and the willpower and energy to feel good and get more action in the workout ring. If you haven’t already noticed, it is a win-win situation.
Tracy Anderson, who founded the Tracy Anderson Method that concentrates on working smaller muscle groups and dance cardio workouts, explains: “Exercise creates an increase in brain levels of L-tryptophan, which is the amino acid building block for serotonin. And our friend serotonin is a neurotransmitter that shuttles impulses between nerve cells. It plays an integral role in almost everything, from our ability to learn to how we feel – it’s responsible for regulating appetite, mood, aggression, sex drive, and sleep.” A number of Hollywood stars remain living proof of how successful the Method can be. “It did such wonders for my life, my confidence, my sex life, everything,” affirms her biggest client the newly single Gwyneth Paltrow, whose gangly figure pre-Tracy has become a thing of the past.
If cardio is not your cup of tea, lifting weights will get your libido back on track, too. “You get leaner in the arms,” assures Nick Mitchell, Europe’s Best Personal Trainer and acclaimed founder of Ultimate Perfomance gyms in the UK. “By the way, this is also accompanied by an increased sex drive and a profound increase in confidence. You see, testosterone is the hormone of confidence and self-belief. That’s why most men invariably overestimate how good they look and most women underestimate how good they look.” Ladies, take note: you’re called the fairer sex for a reason.
Stop wondering whether you are doing too much cardio or lifting too many weights, or having too little protein in one meal, and whether or not to fast next Monday. Adds Sisson: “I always caution people to not get too caught up in the idea of good and bad. We’re not practising for obedience school. We’re cultivating consciousness of our own behavioural and emotional patterns in order to better exercise free will.” Next time you’re loving it up, forget about all that jazz of self-control, won’t you, and savour the moment. You never know where it will lead next.