I would be the last person you would come to for advice in regards to motivational tips and tools. I have always been the guy to get things done (even if it involves pain and struggle) without thinking about it and with the negligence of specific planning.
Of all the hundreds of articles and programs I have written for publication, motivation is the topic that has always been given very little premise and regard on my behalf.
I had always looked upon motivational techniques as something to be best suited for those who are... well... unmotivated. Never had I given thought that some people are severely lacking in motivation, but are unconscious to the fact... that is until I met Pete Siegel. Pete has worked with the world's top athletes in regards to mentally stimulating the individual and awakening them from what I can best describe as "hibernation."
I had always battled my way to contest condition. It was a battle that would make the Saxons proud, but nevertheless I would win the battle and come in contest condition. This highlight of my preparation though would never unfold without a constant fight.
My taste buds would always be screaming, wanting something either sweet, savory or at least something that would provide me with energy, especially on the latter stage of a diet when the body fat on my belly would start to feel like the adipose tissue on my bicep - a little pinch.
I would be short tempered, quiet and generally not as pleasant a person to be around. I was definitely not the person I was in the offseason with lots of energy, mostly positive and loving life to the fullest. I guessed it came with the territory, this was my presumed side defect of a contest prep diet, and I had to deal with it and quit moaning if I wanted to be a competitive bodybuilder.
Talking With Pete Seigel
In 2008 when I decided that I wanted to diet down again I prepared my family, my new wife and work colleagues for the worst. I may not be a complete @ss but I am also not the most interactive person to be around. Most of all, I had to prepare myself.
The craving's of cereal, burgers, cheesecake, bacon and eggs, chocolate, I could go on. That was until I had a personal conversation with one of the contributors to Bodybuilding.com and world renowned motivational expert Pete Siegel.
Never did I think I was in need of motivational tutoring, neither did I approach Pete seeking help. In conversation I merely mentioned that I was about to diet and the above issues were just some things I was going to deal with, as does nearly everyone out there on a calorie restricted diet.
Pete was confident that he could help me and adjust my train of thought to eradicate most, if not all of my diet dilemmas. I'm the kind of guy that can't really give a true opinion on something until I tried it so what did I have to lose?
We made some arrangements to speak in several weeks time; we determined that I was not in need of his help at this moment as I was ingesting plenty of fats to keep cravings and other side defects at bay.
In all honesty I was very skeptical of Peter's beliefs. I thought his tutoring was for the weak minded and for those who simply couldn't adjust to bodybuilding being an individual journey, not a team effort.
When people had asked me about motivational methods, I could help to a certain extent but I must admit this was something I couldn't detail and found hard to translate into words.
During our initial session over the phone where I had to lie on my back in my bed with total piece surrounding me, I found myself drifting asleep. I tried to keep myself awake but Pete insisted I totally relax. I felt like I had slept soundly whilst he attempted to manipulate my train of thought but I was totally conscious of what he was telling me.
We also proceeded our sessions where he would speak with me for around 30 minutes prior so he knew exactly what my concerns were and how to eradicate them.
As much as I would love to, I can't tell you exactly what he said during those sessions as he treats everyone in a different manner of their personal concern, but what I can tell you is that I got a lot more than what I bargained for. I was quite taken back at how the mental rehearsal technique had transpired into my everyday life quite unconsciously.
Occasionally Pete would ask me what body part I was to train the following day, what exercises I was to do, rep range and what weight. He would ask me to mentally place a picture of me training, seeing how I would normally see it as if I was looking into a mirror, then feeling the weight as I would normally feel it.
During the course of time this picture would become more real until I was seeing the workout through my own eyes. To begin with, it was as if I was at the front row of a movie theater watching myself, then as time progressed I was actually in the picture and I could almost feel the blood pumping into the muscle that I was working.
This practice allowed me to have some of the best workouts I had ever had, and I was on a calorie restricted diet where my strength is normally down. I would enter the gym with a hint of doubt but became extremely psyched as soon as I hit the working set. I felt like I had already completed the workout about to unfold so there was no reason why I couldn't do it again, and I did.
In regards to addressing my cravings, Peter had taught and constantly reminded my consciousness that the cravings for food was not nearly as strong as my craving to get into my best shape ever, and he was right, it worked.
Whilst dieting, I normally felt like I was walking on a cliff face and I could either fall or a rock could fall on me. It was an unsteady path, but I had walked it several times and completed it, but not without constantly losing my balance.
The best way I can describe my transformation from within was that I no longer had to walk that windy path; there was now a direction much easier and direct to take. I took a much safer and steadier approach.
I wondered how and why I had previously had these cravings when now they seemed so distant, and I was following the same diet I had always used.
It became apparent that a lot of my previous struggle was due to self doubt, doubting I was good enough to succeed. I felt like I was now more at peace with myself and at ease with the choices I made, and for the first time I felt as if I was doing this because I WANTED to, not because I HAD to.
The one thing about bodybuilding that I love is the fact that it's a constant learning process, about nutrition, training adaptation, supplementation and overall health. This time I was learning more about myself, the power of mental influence, and the effects on the outcome of ones physique.
More impressive was the fact that Pete's technique can have a positive impact on those who don't feel like they need any outside help or motivating, as once I thought myself.
Time had normally dragged whilst I had dieted, on this occasion with little humps in the road I felt it was over in no time. I had successfully got into the best shape I had ever achieved with relative ease. At this point it would be a normal practice to gorge for several days on the food that I had missed like a long lost relative.
I wrote this article six weeks since I had the accompanying "after" pictures taken and I am pleased to say that I am still within 10 lbs of my peaked weight and that's where I plan to stay quite comfortably. I am normally an off-season 30 lbs over weight but as from now I see food in a totally different light and with my new found train of thought, I plan on using it as a tool to my physical help, not hindrance.
As you may have noticed by my editorial, it is quite hard for me to explain how Pete changed my way of thought. I am quite surprised that there is still so much to learn about the power of the mind, something that Pete has obviously studied and practiced intensely.
As I am aware now, I want you to take time and consciously be aware that there is so much to discover in every decision we make. As I learn more about this intriguing subject that can potentially take us from a number to a winner, I will relate my findings.
In the meantime, try using some of Pete influence he has on this site with his podcasts and articles, you may find out something new about yourself. By the way, I managed to cruise into the best shape of my life. I guess I'm a winner. I certainly feel like one.