This isn’t your normal motivational article. Why? Because we have a special guest today. Welcome and give a hand to Mohsen. Who the hell is Mohsen, you ask? Good question. I don’t know. Mohsen is a random imaginary character who, for some reason, I can fully picture in my head and hopefully you will, too.
Let’s take a minute to describe him. Mohsen is of average height and overweight, but every part of his body looks fatty, except for the chest and biceps because, you know, it’s a national commitment to train those muscles (guys will relate). He has the standard Egyptian belly that alone comprises 33% of China’s body fat.
However, don’t you worry – Mohsen has a master plan. Before we dive in, ladies don’t get discouraged that we don’t have female guests because this article applies to you, too. Mohsen starts every year with a new resolution. Yes, it’s the six-pack abs. He says to himself, “This year will be different. I’m a new man now”, then watches a couple of motivational videos, uploads a selfie on Instagram with his personal trainer and buys a lifetime supply of Ahmad tea. That was Day 1.
Day 2, Mohsen’s girlfriend informs him that they have 13 birthday outings this week. Poor Mohsen only survives til the first hour of the first birthday, starts binge eating and his motivation fades to black. Suddenly, it’s March. He regained his motivation, thanks to some Instagram accounts. This time with a smaller goal: the good old “I just want a flat tummy”.
The girlfriend comes back with a new round of outings, he gives up and suddenly he’s on the beach feeling inferior, humiliated, will not take off his shirt and the Freska guy is his soul mate.
Apart from advising Mohsen to leave his girlfriend, here are some important motivational tips based on personal experience.
The “Enough” Factor
Honestly, how many times did you start a diet and fail? If your reply was “uncountable times”, then this means two things: You really want to reach your goal, but you have the willpower of a parrot. Everyone knows how to decide to start dieting, but not everyone has the commitment for it, just like Mohsen. What most people fail to grasp is that you can transform your body completely in twelve weeks.
Let that sink in for a while. Twelve weeks! Don’t tell me you can’t control your cravings in this period. You just have to say enough to yo-yo dieting and do this once and for all. You have to change your approach to dieting. You don’t start by saying today is Day 1 out of 90. You have to find that limitless motivation in you, which is reaching your goal because you really want it, because you know it will make you a better person.
If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up for once. You have to say enough with mediocrity and be straight like an arrow til you reach that goal.
Five days into your diet. You’re happy, feeling fresh, you go out you can’t resist looking at the menu and ordering something not in your meal plan just to satisfy your weak mentality.
Do you imagine that this very day is the ONLY obstacle in your way? Not genetics, not a hard diet plan, not anything, but THIS. How weak is that? You deserve to feel inferior just like Mohsen. This situation brings us to saying no…
You have to learn to turn down occasions that will derail you from your goal. In my journey from 22% body fat to 7% body fat, I turned down a lot of meals. I’m not saying that you should stay home to stick to your meal plan, but you have to develop the ability to be at a restaurant and order a grilled chicken breast to remain on track, while you’re surrounded with fried foods.
Starting THIS moment, you’re in. And by in, I mean you’re invulnerable and nothing will stop you. This is perseverance and consistency. No one is born with these qualities, they are developed. You have to acknowledge that if you give up and order junk food, it’s just a matter of five minutes til you feel frustrated again and back to square one. But, if you resist, you will experience an indescribable feeling of success and, eventually, you will be stronger. That’s the positive domino effect.
Workout Consistency & Effectiveness
“Abs are made in the kitchen”. “Abs are 70% diet and 30% gym”. These are phrases that even my unborn child is familiar with. They are definitely true, but the 30% are so important, so inspirational. You have to create a weekly workout plan that you blindly commit to.
By blindly committing to I mean: On a day you feel tired after work and uninterested to work out, you pick your anti-success brain up and you go have the workout of your life. By blindly committing to I mean: When your friend asks you if you worked out today and you say no, your friend gets so shocked he/she passes out.
Usually our brains connect eating right and working out together. So sometimes when you ditch two workouts in a row, you become more vulnerable to ruining your diet. Three days of that and the domino effect will kick in. Then just watch your motivation fly out of the window.
Now to workout effectiveness. This topic really gets on my nerves, so I will try to be polite. Ladies, you can’t go to two yoga classes a week and tell me you’re working out. Guys, you can’t go to the gym and nap between every set and tell me you’re working out.
Please. Create a workout plan that activates all your muscles big time. Nothing beats a combo of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Compound Exercises in the gym, such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, chest presses, etc.
Your Best You
If I spend all day explaining how rewarding it is to reach your dream physique, it won’t be enough. It’s a special feeling of confidence and success that can’t be matched. I can assure you, this success is worth every moment of pain and sacrifice you will go through. I often hear: “You don’t understand, I LOVE food!” For the love of God, who doesn’t love a cheeseburger with fries and a gallon of Coke?
But, you should love your confidence and self-esteem more with a balanced diet of some healthy eating and some of your cravings. Why in hell would you avoid wearing something because your fat will make you uncomfortable? This is imprisonment.
Break free and reveal the best version of yourself. And remember: It is never too late – unless you see yourself as a Mohsen for eternity.
Steps for Success:
1. Follow an efficient diet plan that suits your lifestyle, while maintaining the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
2. Devise an effective workout plan that fits your schedule and, if you’re busy and can’t make it fit, then you have to go that extra mile by waking up extremely early or going late to the gym.
3. Always keep your goal in sight. There will always be distractions that you will drive you away from your goal – if you let them!
4. You will slip up. That’s unquestionable. But will you pick yourself up and move on, or will you let the negative domino effect wash you away? That’s what will define your success.
5. Be patient and avoid expecting immediate success. Take consistent, small steps and you will surely arrive.
6. Have a maintenance plan that you will implement once you reach your goal. Keeping your new weight is even harder than reaching it.
I’m always glad to help with nutrition and workout tips. Don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to subscribe to the specialized TFA Nutrition program, please email email@example.com or call me at 012-7373-7777.
WE SAID THIS: For more inspiration, check out our Q&A with Egypt’s ELFIT Challenge winner Nazli Mahmoud, who tells us about her fitness journey.