It took me a very long time to figure out how to lose arm flab. And flabby arms haunted me for a very large portion of my life. They kept me hiding behind kimono sleeve blouses 24/7. I ran into many obstacles before finally discovering how to get rid of the jiggly bastards. One particular obstacle that kept on repeatedly holding me back was fluctuations in motivation.
Whenever I started a new program or diet to lose arm flab my motivation would be limitless. Then it would slowly fade away into nothing. Other times I would feel hopeless and just give up altogether. My consolation? A gallon of ice cream. Or worse, sometimes I found it hard to stay motivated even while making progress!
So I locked myself in a room for 10 days and did a mind-numbing review of psychological literature. I found some incredible work by David Burns M.D. He provided a simple method for self-administering “cognitive therapy”—the only clinically proven thought modification system. The end result? I was able to drastically reduce my motivational swings to the point where I would hardly ever fall of the bandwagon.
If you want to eliminate motivational swings, you have to avoid the major “cognitive distortions” (cognitive = thought) as outlined by Dr. Burns. I am going to teach you 3 of them in this article:
1. All or nothing thinking. This type of thinking leads to perfectionism. You see things as black or white. If you have to have a perfect workout or not workout at all, or if you find yourself trying to get EVERY detail of your program right, then you have this distortion. You see, perfection doesn’t exist. If you strive to obtain it you will be constantly disappointed until your motivation is completely drained. Don’t try to get everything right, shades of grey do exist. Paradoxically, if you ignore perfecting every detail and keep moving forward, you will get faster results. Don’t sweet the small stuff, focus on general patterns of improvement.
2. Overgeneralization. You think that just because something happened to you once, it will keep on happening to you again and again in the future. For example, many women tell themselves “I’ve tried so many times to get rid of my flabby arms, but nothing seems to work, my flabby arms are never going to go away. I might as well give up and get plastic surgery or hide behind long sleeve blouses.” Well, the truth is that many women have successfully gotten rid of arm flab without plastic surgery. What makes you any different from these successful women? Nothing. You simply haven’t found the right approach yet. And I can guarantee that there is a right approach for you.
3. Mental filter. You choose to focus on the negative instead of the positive. For instance, let’s say you eat 6 small meals one day. But your last meal has some junk food in it. You lye down in bed and beat yourself up because you gave in and had some pleasure food. This is absurd! 5 out of your 6 meals, or 83%, were healthy. If you were to maintain this and keep on eating healthy 83% of the time, you would reach your goal very quickly. Don’t dwell on the negative, most likely, there is a lot more positive.
If your internal thought processes aren’t optimized you will never lose arm flab no matter how much initial motivation you have. If you suffer from any of the above cognitive distortions eventually your motivation will fade. And most women do fade and end up “yo yoing” for the rest of their lives because they forget to focus on their minds instead of just their bodies. But you don’t have to make the same mistake!