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When a mistake is not a mistake

Paul Cocker's weight loss transformation

“The only mistake in life

    is the lesson not learned”

When thinking of a title for this new blog I instantly thought of something along the lines of

“Mistakes I’ve made”

But then I sat here for a bit and thought that actually no I won’t classify them as mistakes or see the direction changes I’ve taken as negatives because like every single thing that has happened in my life (and your own life) has brought you to this exact point with good reason. I firmly believe that to be true.

Props to Mr Einstein for the quote to live by and if a crazy haired German with an IQ of 160 plus says it, then who am I to argue?

So with that behind me I shall continue in my rambling….

In the 18 + months that have been a prelude to this point the question is ….

What have I learnt and how its affected me?

The list is actually huge and would definitely assist a fair number of you to fall into a snow-white style slumber so I shall cherry pick the main points mainly because I’m not a cruel guy.

Topping my list I have discovered is……

I procrastinate. A LOT. The most dull things suddenly become seriously interesting when I’m attempting to fire myself up for many tasks and not just hitting the gym and it’ll play out in my head like this…

Paul: “Right best get on with this food prep for the week”

Paul’s head: “Woah woah woah hang on a second lets just look at the dog for the next 15 minutes she is bound to do something hilarious!”

Fast forward 15 minutes and the dog wanders off after solidly cleaning its paw and neglecting any comedy. This is seriously debilitating at times and equally frustrating but you have to realise that you do this if you want to fix it. So now I try (when moments like this strike) to mentally give myself a count down in my head and then physically removing myself to somewhere different and refocusing back to the task ahead of me.

I was a sucker for supplements. At the start of this journey I easily could have opened my own back street dealership and constantly was looking for the “next life changing” powder/tablet/food. I’m not knocking supplements and I still use certain products but I understand them better and how they can aid lifestyle and work alongside a balanced nutrition plan but in no way do I think they should replace food. Nor do I think its healthy to put too much emphasis on chucking shakes and pills down your neck to reach your goals. I use what I use now to fill in the nutrition gaps I might miss day-to-day due to timing at work or something along those lines. For the record I currently use :

  • Fish oil
  • Protein powder (for cooking and shakes after a work out)
  • Vit D & C tablets plus a multivitamin
  • Greens Powder (alongside my normal veg intake)
  • A pro biotic

I will be trying creatine again in the next challenge that I’m about to embark on but more about that in a future blog. That is pretty much about it, so what I’ve learnt and what I’m trying to say; is remember supplements are there to supplement along side the food you consume ! It’s all in the word people!!

I get bored quite easily of the same routines in the gym and for me personally, I feel that it benefits me to change that up every 3 months so it might be I focus on a strength and conditioning phase and then move onto trying to focus on building and balancing certain areas of my body or even bringing in HIIT training alongside a resistance program. I even think moving away from the gym totally and using body weight exercises for a period of time is useful too. Getting stuck in the same old same old just very quickly allows my focus and motivation to diminish. Find what works for you, even find a trainer or training partner that challenges you because we all need that push now and then.

Planning, planning and more planning pays off in the end. Not to be confused with procrastinating but having a plan set out in your head and more importantly on paper will allow you to actually visualise your goals and actually make the right moves to get yourself to those goals. This is definitely a new tool for me as I have spent 90% of my life flying by the seat of my pants. That has worked out to a point, but I have realised that this also has held me back from reaching and using my full potential in life and health; so I now have a clear set of goals that I am working towards and 2016 is really looking like an exciting year.

The biggest thing I have learnt so far is…..

MINDSET IS KEY

From a personal level if my mindset is slightly off then it affects everything like a domino affect! I will half ass my food prep then I will make excuses that I haven’t eaten properly so the gym will get affected and then I will be annoyed that I didn’t give a 100% at the gym and my mood will be negative and more than likely affect my sleep!

So for me (and I doubt I am alone in this if you are honest) I feel a positive mindset is top of the list when it comes to pretty much anything in your life and this eclipses the old “you can’t out train a bad diet” because more importantly “you can’t out train a negative mindset”. At least in my humble opinion. The gym will obviously help with people’s mood. We are all aware of food being a huge factor in mood thus “happy body happy mind” but if you are negative in your mindset from the off then you are dragging an anchor behind you and that is hard going.

That is enough from me for now but before I leave you lovely people why don’t you take a few minutes and write down on paper a few things you have learnt about yourselves. It’s actually quite an enjoyable little lesson and if you feel like sharing then please do!

Stay awesome folks.

Paul Cocker - Author

Just an everyday bloke trying to slow the ageing process with the aide of Mr Lerwill and a new found thirst for knowledge of fitness and nutrition... Like to ramble on too.