There, I said it.
I mean, I get it. To transform your body you need to eat better and work out. In other news, water is wet.
Related: Submit Your Transformation Story to Tiger Fitness
Great Maik, so I'll stop reading now.
Hold on now, anyone who knows me and my edgy writing style should have figured that I usually deliver value. So yes, we will focus on the athlete, but also take a close into what happens on a psychological level when change occurs.
Our Transformation Heroine - Camilla KhamidovaToday's story is brought to you from the silk road, Uzbekistan. For those you muscle heads who have no clue where that is, Marco Polo is on Netflix these days.
Uzbekistan is where the heroine of this piece, Camilla Khamidova was born. She grew up very athletic, swimming, dancing... You name it.
Fast forward a decade and a half and life hits. The good and the bad.
Camilla suffered through multiple concussions and a broken vertebrae after a car accident. She was also assaulted. Yes, her life was that bad.
In the plus column, Camilla became a mother of a very handsome boy. She also had to move to a place that was not exactly on her top 100 list, while being in a toxic environment without the ability to work.
Add in some economic challenges and you have the combination of weight gain, unhappiness and self-hatred.
Since we have before and after pics, we know that Camilla turned out just fine. But how did she overcome all this?
You guessed it: eating better and training. But there is more to it, because we ll know what it takes to get in shape yet a lot of people fail. So I tried to break down the behavioral traits that will lead to a killer physique and eternal happiness.
5 Behavioral Traits That Improve Body and Mind
#1 - You must seek change and truly embrace it.Everyone talks about changing themselves and the world, but very few people actually achieve it. Why?
It is not important enough to them. Humans are complacent, you might not like your boss but that does not mean you'll quit your job because of mortgage, safety, etc. A Syrian refugee, on the other hand, will pay gladly $10,000 to risk his life on a tiny raft in the Mediterranean in hope of a better life.
In Camilla's case, the situation was not as dire. It wasn't as if ISIS was knocking on her door, but being in a foreign country without any type of support system and growing responsibilities can be rather frightening. So, Camilla had to change in order to set herself and her son up for a better tomorrow.
#2 - Take accountability and set a goal... Your goalCircumstances do happen and they can be unfair (I lost my mother way too early). But 90% of life depends on how we react to these circumstance. No matter how bad things are you must take accountability if you want to better yourself.
In Camilla's case, it was accepting the fact that if she did not do it, life simply would get gradually worse.
Here comes an oxymoron: In order to be a better person, you need to be selfish. By being selfish for just a few hours a week, you are doing a world of good for those around you and yourself. A better and leaner you can play with your kids longer, perform better at work, make more money, and generally be happier.
As for setting a goal, it was more of a gradual evolution towards the ultimate goal.
At first it was just a tiny step forward into doing something for herself, scrapping together the money for a gym and camera to take photos. (Yes people, outside the great US of A economic realities can be a bit different.)
From there on, she started on a small scale by opening an Instagram account, posting recipe photos and gym pics. Soon she was receiving support and encouragement from all over the world, which lead to her thinking of making more of a career out of this. Ultimately, it could lead to recipe books, a cooking show, the coveted IFBB card... Who knows?
#3 - Find a support systemYou know why Germany won the World Cup in 2014 without a big star? They worked together as a close knit 24 man unit (sorry had to throw this one in). In order to succeed you'll need people that are genuinely interested in your success.
Surround yourself with people better than you. Should you have the best physique in the gym, leave the gym (unless you look like Bob Paris in 1984; then you are fine). If you are the most successful and wealthiest person around, move. You can only be inspired and pushed by people who are one step ahead of you.
The marvels of magic communications and social media enabled Camilla to get in touch with people in the fitness industry that were able to point her into the right direction and eventually got her cooking the spotlight it deserves.
#4 - Check your surroundings or it pays to weed out the friend gardenSpeaking of those around you, have you ever wondered what happens to contestants from popular weight loss shows after they claim their big prize? They tend to gain the weight back and then some. Why is that?
Aside from no longer having the chance to work out four hours a day (and living with a potentially damaged thyroid, due to over-dieting while on the show), their environment plays a huge role. While on the show, all the food was prepared for them, and no other food choices were available.
Maybe Henry Ford was right after all in saying that choices confuse people. Plus, the people on those shows are surrounded by like-minded people, and they have the luxury of a fully equipped gym and personal trainers on call.
Then they are returned back into the wild, preparing their own foods, trying to squeeze in workouts between day jobs and kids. That's difficult enough, but on top of all that, they often find that while they have changed their diet and training habits, friends and family haven't. So they won't be all that happy if you say no to Aunt Maria's lasagna or trade her cookies for a grilled chicken breast.
In fact, they might actively try to sabotage you by using emotional blackmail. Yes, it happens. You think you are better than us? Our food isn't good enough?
Human are jealous animals. Often, in a couple, if one spouse starts losing weight and gains self-esteem, the other one feels threatened and might serve nachos with cheese for dinner. If that's the case for you, you will need to draw some boundaries.
First, try to explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. You might actually convince some people to live the fitness lifestyle with you. The rest should at least remain neutral and not try to torpedo you.
If you're facing a worst-case scenario, you will have to rethink your circle of friends. It can be a very hard decision, but if they are not supportive of your health goals, are they really your friends? In other words, do they really have your best interest in mind?
5. Taking action... But not too muchYou know why a lot of trainees fail? Too much of a good thing. Calorie cutting, two hour workouts, fat burners... STOP!
Don't do everything at once. Go for the low hanging fruit at first as success builds upon success.
If your diet is awful, do not go full contest prep. Eliminate one bad habit a week. For example, replace French fries with baked fries. Then for the next week, replace candy bars with Quest Nutrition bars. After six weeks, you should have a decent base to start a workout program. Ideally, you are only eating single ingredient foods by then.
If you are new to training, do not train with a 6 day split. Think 3 whole body workouts a week for at least 18 months until you build a good base.
Camilla's sense of balance is still off due to the concussions so certain exercises are out. This does not mean stopping to train altogether. It simply requires a bit more fine tuning.
Let's summarize what she overcame.
- Physical trauma from broken vertebra and several concussions.
- Emotional trauma after being assaulted.
- Anxiety of being a parent in a hostile environment, derived of the ability to be economically self sustainable.
- Toxic relationships.
Eating better and training are often seen as the first steps when it comes to change in one's life. But they are actually the last ones in the outline I just gave you.
Progress does not come linear. There are many setbacks along the way but with the right mind set you can set yourself up for success!