First and foremost my name is Curtis K Thomas III, let me thank Ms. Salah for having me as a guest on her forum, its an honor and pleasure from a close friend of mine. We attended Cal Poly Slo together and even after she returned to Texas have remained close friends. Such trust she must have in me, I can talk to you all about anything I want!
Before I dive in…..A little background on myself. I’m a Former D1AA football player, the best time period in my life was having the everyday grind and satisfying work ethic associated with maintaining my skill set. I come from a Big family (5 sisters & 2 brothers) Sports was always a big topic for us, I was definitely proud to be a standout among my siblings. My sisters had a huge role in my developmental stage, I have no way of describing it other than they made me keep in touch with my female counterpart. Can you imagine? Huge, Strong, intimidating figure benching in the realm of 400ibs, squatting 500ibs, then on the weekends finding time to go get my pedicure in, oh wait you can’t imagine that? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! I am the perfect Hybrid of a male persona, or so I have been told! Not overly excessive with the male macho, with a touch of “I can speak the ladies language” Most men would consider that to be somewhat soft, but it’s definitely an asset not a defect. To be honest it’s more of a mindset that I incorporate in trying to take the best from both sides, while still maintaining “me” One thing I will take from a female is maintenance, it’s no secret you all spend a lot of time prepping and preserving your features. I’m not at all saying I’m going to go get curling irons and makeup, however getting a pedicure and having multiple face washes and cleansers is definitely in my arsenal! Like I said it’s a MINDSET, get your head in the Game! Ok that’s enough intro….
Now that we understand our MINDSETS will play a big role in my message, let’s ask exactly what that has to do with Fitness, and overall health. Anyone who is trying to lead a healthy life must have the mindset to do so, the openness to try new things that normally you wouldn’t be accustomed to. That all on its own is a Lifestyle, you have to live it, you can’t straddle the line and pick and choose based on your differences. Most who are trying to turn over a new leaf and live a Healthy path, typically start with very limited knowledge. Eating Healthy and Living healthy are two separate paths to attack, yet they go hand in hand. Salah has done plenty to encourage and educate on eating healthy, I want to focus more on the MINDSET <— there’s that word again! Say it with me MINNDDDDSEETTTT!
In my honest opinion and advice to all of you…I believe having your mind right when you attempt to be healthy must be attained first, how many people can we name (me included) that attempted to eat healthy, only to not completely approach it 100% and later fall off, and or heed no results. What is usually the goal? Lose a certain amount of pounds, but what happens once you reach your goal? It’s typically back to your old habits, therefore diminishing any work you established for yourself….
Changing your lifestyle should come first! Mentally preparing to take on the challenge, not just trying to lose weight, but having the mentality to want to purify your body completely, the weight will obviously come natural after that. Right now I find myself in that very stage, adding building blocks that will allow me to establish a different path then what I currently employ. Let’s not get to complicated but start with a few basic pieces (some may surprise you!)
Education on Health: We really aren’t all Fitness & health Guru’s even though we like to think we are…I’m even talking like I’m one RIGHT NOW, but don’t be fooled, I’m a newly accepted student of the game. To start the best thing we can do is surround ourselves with those who are also looking to create that path, or are already on it. Personally I have had a few stints where I cut meat out of my diet, first it started out as a challenge, and then I started to take note of my body chemistry. Once I was at the point where I thought it could be a benefit I found others that could further my interest, Salah being one of them. Salah suggested a Documentary (Food Inc) which uncovered the horrific scene which is our food system. KNOWLEDGE! Now what was just a challenge physically is now backed with facts that help stable my physical struggles to maintain. This is a singular example, and of course isn’t limited to this type of transaction…point being changing your mental stabilizes your efforts weather that is Food, new workouts, and supplements etc…Reach out to others and like my Male/Female example take the best from each and add it to your arsenal, DON’T be afraid to be a student!
Idolize: This one may come as a shock but yes! Find someone and try to be like them! This goes against a lot of normal advice I see you shaking your heads as you read this STOP IT! Let me explain, earlier I explained that there’s a difference between eating healthy and living healthy and I meant it! I have a friend who is a gym FREAK, works out a ton, basically trains like an athlete and has a body like one, you would think he is a health nut, INCORRECT! He is such the opposite, he runs stairs at the local college then immediately leaves and goes to eat McDonalds(Yuck!) and keeps that same trend for other places to eat at before or after workouts. My friend does not eat OR live healthy, what gets him by is training like a mad man. This shows you that even people with the best physique can still be polluting their systems. However…..I am a HUGE fan of look good feel good, there’s is not problem with wanting your body to represent your healthy life as long as it’s achieved safely, the lifestyle changes you make should be rewarded by an image that is aesthetically pleasing to you. Find a body type that is relative to yours and one that you would like to achieve, and stay with it. What that does is input the framework into your MENTAL bank and gives you a base to gauge your transformation. Let it be known, this building block has NOTHING to do with eating or living healthy, this is solely a reward for your Mind, confidence, and hard work. The more you become fond of transforming your body, that more you will revert back to building block one, you will educate yourself more and more on how to keep refining your health to help your body out even more. Become infatuated with your physical! Your MIND will reinforce your need to feed your goals. Once this is achieved you will try to protect anything from going in there that could damage its purity!
Mental Maintenance: This by far has to be the most unpracticed building block of them all. So much effort goes into the day not even talking about the constraints of living a healthy life, but just your everyday deeds. Some of us are students, or full-time employees, have kids etc…we fail on many levels to rejuvenate our cerebral. I remember back in my athlete days when we were training extremely hard you would hear the Cliché quote that is always applied to so many other situations besides sports “It’s all Mental” basically urging you to defy you physical breakdown because it wasn’t actually your body it was your MIND! Really? Is it really all in our heads? Who would have thought that each time we ran a million sprints, and my legs felt like someone just injected Icy hot in my veins that.. pshhh your MIND is just tricking you. What a powerful tool we have! Yet we never respect it. We grind our conscious to the ground without giving back. What is your stress release? Mine? Oh thanks for asking it’s actually my 52inch LCD connected to my ps3! Ladies don’t judge, remember my persona from Earlier “I speak the ladies language” I appreciate all you appreciate; well I expect the same from you! Instead of opposing these things learn to love them, it will make things SO much easier, but that’s a different conversation were getting off topic! Stress release, I’m sorry but the gym cannot be your stress release, it has to be something completely not connected to working out since that’s supposed to be included in your daily grind. It also can’t be something you do on routine(must be unique to when you want to do it only)…Oh and it also doesn’t have to be limited to one thing… you find it yet?
GOOD! Now use it…it’s important to wash your mind of the mental stresses on a regular basis, Something that zones you out from feeling uptight from the daily grind in addition to the extracurricular….one that I’ve been exploring lately, which I’m sure is very common…Music! A couple of artist that are spinning in my IPod:
These Artist are leading the way during my relaxation hour. You have to make time for this, even if its only 15-20 minutes, do not skip your relaxing wine down period(pun intended on the wine…sometimes ha). Compile everything you have to do daily, and sprinkle in anything extra that may not fit at the moment…..now you get home…your rushing to get things done basically so you can steal more time to sleep before you have to do it all again, everything is time based, you speed through your meal, shower, jump in the bed and turn on the TV. Dont get me wrong I do all of this as well….but with a slighty different MINDSET…..
Once I get home I sloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww down. Take time to appreciate what you just put into yourself, A hard days work and maybe a workout that followed, I make sure to reward myself with a great healthy meal to heal my mind from today and provide it with a little love for the morning(reference many of Salah’s meal selections), savor every bite you earned it! Now the shower….ahhhh the shower! wash away all the work off me! there’s no work that jumps into bed with me later, that’s a no work zone. After a shower(or bath) at this point it probably took you longer than if you had been on the time table…instead of a free 1hr and 30min you may be down to 45, and that 45 will be the best 45 minutes of the entire day…..because youll perform your MENTAL MAINTENANCE…for some they will turn on the TV but I promise there is nothing like catching your self nodding off to Drakes – Comeback season or Lykke Li’s – a little bit in love….or traveling with Janelle Monae’s – Sir Greendown(supplement what ever your release is) This 45mins is YOURS and is the most important to relinquish your daily battle, you never want to fall asleep taking that work stress into your dreams. Master this and you will wake up feeling like you treated your Mind to a spa day…and your mind will reward you with a strong dominating performance day in and day out to accomplish your goals….
Well….I really wish I could unfold much more of the Mindset im creating with these building blocks but Salah just called and asked for her blog back! about 6 months ago I was working with legos, now its starting to look more like Jenga, I will try to keep Salah updated on my status so that anyone who made it all the way down here can get to hear if I turned this Jenga Set into a larger building block platform…short recap…Educate/Idolize/ and Remember “Its all in your Mind” right!?
– Curtis K Thomas III