Castle Personal Training

Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.

Blog 17-04-13 Cheats v Treats, it’s an important distinction. Change your mindset!

Hi guys,

This is the last of the blogs I did for Yofit, I am working on various nutritional ones at the moment but they take quite a while to write so I thought I’d cheat a bit. It seems that quite a few of you like the motivational blogs anyways and who am I to deprive you of your regular motivational boost?

Image The first host of “One man and his dog”.

As you know I like to start my blogs with a quote from some literary genius, or at least someone who had a momentary flash of inspiration, but I couldn’t think of one that sounded as right for today’s blog as this;

“Do not reward yourself with food. You are not a dog.” Anonymous

The above picture is that of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849 – 1936), yes the guy with the dogs, and it is the most appropriate man I could think of but unfortunately he never said anything that could be considered even remotely inspirational. (Unless of course you get your motivational boost by reminding yourself that “Appetite, craving for food, is a constant powerful stimulator of the gastric glands” before you shoot off to the gym.)

So I’m stuck with a great quote that I can’t attribute to anyone specifically, but here we are.

I have had several conversations with people this week which all went along the lines of “I like to treat myself with something sweet after a work-out” and it brings a tear to my eye whenever I hear this.

Are you one of those people who tells themselves that “I had a great session today so I’m allowed a treat and get myself a pizza/mars-bar/bacon sandwich/any-other-crap-I-know-is-bad-for-me”?

If you are I have to urge you to; get a grip of yourself! It has been said by many before me but you can’t out-train a bad diet. Everyone who is trying to get healthy will have to change their mindset first. You’re going for a healthy life-style, and eating crappy food is not a part of that.

I see one woman, let’s call her Stella, about 3x a week in a spin-class I teach. During the class she works pretty hard and is always happy that she’s done the exercise. After the class she usually goes for a weights-session. On average I’d say she spends about 6 hours a week working out. Stella is overweight and has not lost a pound of fat over the past few months. Imagine working out 6 hours a week but not seeing any results other than your arms getting a bit more muscle!

The problem with Stella is that she likes to have a “treat” before the spin class and a treat afterwards as “she’s been very good by doing all the work.” Her treats consist of various things from an all-butter flapjack to chocolate and from cappufrappawhatyamacallitbutitusedtobecalledcoffee to sugary drinks. And obviously she still likes to go out to have some drinks over the weekend and that will come with the inevitable take-away.

If she were to live clean for a month she would lose 10 lbs a month, easy! Since her goal is “weight-loss and toning-up” I’m guessing 10 lbs a month would be quite the motivation for her but unfortunately it just won’t click in her mind that she will only succeed if she changes her bad habits.

I will make you a prediction now; Stella will stop exercising pretty soon. She is going to realise that she’s not seeing any results and the motivation will drain away. She will notice that she still “looks big” in her holiday pictures in a few months time and that will be the end of Stella’s exercise journey for the year.

Does living healthy mean that you’ll never be able to have a can of coke or a Dominos again? Of course not. But they are called cheats not treats. You are cheating your body out of proper fuel, you are not treating it when you have something like this.

I like to see people succeed, I want you to succeed. So here’s my little tip to you; reward yourself by feeling better, feeling healthier and understand that results are your reward.

Eating a mars-bar will give you 10 seconds worth of pleasure but it really isn’t a reward.

Picture yourself standing in front of the mirror and seeing yourself with the body you always wanted. That’s a reward!

Picture yourself finishing a 10k race for the first time. That’s a reward!

Picture yourself living 10 years longer and in good health. That’s a reward!

Picture yourself getting up in the morning feeling great in your body, feeling good with yourself and being confident. That, my friends, is a reward!



I couldn’t think of an attributable quote to start this week’s blog with but I thought of one to end with; It was Earl Warren (1891-1974 and 14th Chief Justice of the USA) who said “The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more”. I am not sure he meant lift heavier, run faster, look and feel better…but he might as well have.


Take care,


Your friend,



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