For skinny guys and girls it takes some effort to get in shape, gain weight, build muscle mass, and just generally have a healthier lifestyle. And the real effort is in the mind. New habits are always preceded by new ways of thinking and seeing. Here are the “secrets” because so often overlooked or neglected that will instill the requisite mindset for developing the nutritional habits that will move you toward your fitness goals.
First of all, you must have goals, both long-term and short-term. This probably seems painfully obvious, but seldom do we actually sit down and hammer out concrete goals before beginning any new enterprise. For fitness, though, you just have to have concrete goals to avoid disappointment and frustration. Now, long-term goals—for instance, “I want to gain 40 pounds of muscle” or “I want to add 70 pounds to my bench press”— are important, but more important are concrete, achievable, short-term goals, which you write down and post where you can see them every day.
These short-term goals need to be, first of all, concrete. “I want to gain weight, get stronger, and look better” is just way too vague to keep you focused for very long. Much better is something like this: “I will, by the end of next month, gain 4 pounds, and increase my squat by 15 pounds.” This one is concrete, and it is also do-able within the set time frame. Know exactly what you’re shooting for, and shoot for it within a reasonable amount of time. Many small, short-term successes will keep you fired up to keep striving after your big, long-term goals.
Some of your family and friends will support you; some won’t. What you call “dedication” many of them will call “obsession.” But no matter, stick to your guns anyway. There will also be a lot of distractions along the way, but with single-minded pursuit of your goals, you will eventually arrive where you want to be. You will have to make some sacrifices, so be prepared. You have, of course, responsibilities – to family, job, friends, and so on – but everything beyond your basic responsibilities now becomes dispensable. Do what it takes and never waver. In the end – when you look in the mirror or get under the bar – you’ll be glad you did.
Have a Plan
You also have to have a weight gain plan. What are you going to do to gain 4 pounds? How will you add the desired muscle mass? And the 15 pounds on your squat – what’s your strategy for achieving that? These things don’t just happen – no matter how hard you diet and train. They have to be carefully and meticulously planned. Plan and prepare your meals a week in advance. Map out your workout strategy for at least a month. Have a contingency plan if your progress gets derailed. It’s a lot of trouble, yes, but the end result will justify the effort.
“See” Your Success
If you’ve ever read any of those self-help books about “success,” you know that a big part of the equation is “seeing” yourself as already successful. The same thing obtains here in the fitness realm. Visualizing yourself as fit, trim, and muscular is an important part of reaching your goals, as attested by many top bodybuilders. Seeing, that is, imagining, yourself eating only those foods that are good for you and taking your supplements religiously will result in your actually doing those things. Reach ahead in your imagination, and the current reality will soon match what you’ve previously only imagined.
These “secrets” while not all that secret really, are important nevertheless. By following them, you can develop the mindset and concomitant habits needed for a healthy lifestyle. It just takes a little mental effort.