Castle Personal Training

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

Don’t just change your diet, change your mindset

Hi guys,

Just wondering whether this rings a bell with any of you.

“Every evening I tell myself that I’m going to eat healthy tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be the day.

I know what to do, I know what to eat. There will be no rubbish tomorrow. The house has been cleared of all crappy foods, admittedly mainly because I just finished it all, and I’m good to go.

I get up and have my healthy cereal. The lady looks great in her red swimsuit, and my friend lost weight following the diet, so this is the stuff that will be my breakfast from now on.

special K lady I’m sure she’s lovely but I hate this lady.

10 o’clock comes and the first coffee break arrives. The biscuits are out but I anticipated this so have taken in an apple. I’d rather have a biscuit to be honest but the apple will do. No more rubbish food for me, remember, I am strong.

1PM, Time to go for lunch. A bit later than I’d like but been busy. Absolutely starving by now.

greggs 400 calories, even in a sandwich.

I could go into the local supermarktet but they only have salads and that’s not enough. I walk into Gregg’s bakers, as I always do, but tell myself I’ll just pick their healthy option. Queue is quite long. There are some sandwiches on display in the fridge on the side with some pasta salads. Hot stuff and cakes on display at the front look nicer. I know I shouldn’t really have a sandwich, bread’s bad for you everybody knows this. I could go for the soup. Pies smell good though, more filling as well. I love a pie, I do. I hear myself say “2 pork-pies please” and when the lady asks if I want anything else I tell her to throw in a yumyum. Screw it, I like my food and will just have a light dinner.

3PM, Just a cup of tea for me. Been quite bad at lunch time, feel quite guilty about that so will just not have anything now to make up for it.

6PM. Finally home and it’s supper time. Starving but am happy cus I’m having Spaghetti Bolognese. I love Spagbol!

Making it myself..well, I got the pasta sauce in a jar but am chopping the onions, mushrooms and everything. It’s not a microwave meal so it’s all good. This is well tasty, well done me!

8PM, peckish now…bored as well. I’ll just go into the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. Good thing I don’t have any biscuits in the house or I’d be in there like a shot. Could still do with something with my tea though. I’ll just have a piece of toast, just a bit of butter on it. Not too much.

10PM, time to get ready for bed. A bit peckish again. Will just have a quick grab at something in the fridge, bit of fruit or a bit of cheese or something whilst I get ready to get to bed.

Tomorrow’s another day, as far as food goes; this one was pretty good.

The following day, rinse and repeat but this time I don’t feel guilty about the porkpies, and yumyum. I also have something at 3PM, as I was starving when I came home yesterday, and there’s always something lying about at work, and you shouldn’t really skip a meal.

The day after, it’s nearing the weekend so looking forward to going out for a few drinks or a nice meal. Oh, also started having a biccie at 10AM. What can I say; I like my food

This was pretty much the story of Mike, not his real name but it’s a true story.
Mike weighs about 200Kg, 30stone, and has been doing this for years. Every year he’s going to get fit, and every year he gains a few Kg. It’s not easy for Mike, he’s a big guy so exercise is difficult. Mike has 2 kids and a wife and would really like to lose some weight as the Dr has told him he’s heading for an early grave. Mike suffers from high bloodpressure, high cholesterol, he’s pre-diabetic and, obviously, at a high risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

In short, Mike is in trouble and has no idea what to do about it other than “exercise more and eat healthy”.

When most Personal Trainers and nutritionists hear/read Mike ‘s story they hear/read the following;

Cereal for breakfast, Apple at 10AM, fell off the wagon at lunchtime, skipped 3pm, the “idiots” healthy dinner (pasta and sauce from a jar) and eating right before bed.

They would summarise that Mike “just needs to be educated about food and get some willpower.” Stop having cereal for breakfast, go lighter on the carbs and higher on protein, prepare your meals/lunches for the week and you’re halfway there. After that it’s just a case of willpower to stay away from the biscuits.
Of course they are right, these are things that need to be done, but that’s not why Mike is failing.

I would argue that, if they only read it that way, they missed the most important thing Mike said.

mike seesWhat Mike sees when he thinks “healthy”

If you recall Mike said “I like my food” and this is the single most important part of Mike ‘s tale. When Mike says that he likes his food he means that he associates tasty food with bad fast-foods and treats such as biscuits. He knows they are bad choices to make from a health perspective but he “likes his food” and, as the world tells us, there’s nothing wrong with being a foodie.

Mike truly believes that eating healthy means eating boring, tasteless salads and the main struggle is to get him to stop thinking of healthier options as “not tasty”.
We all know that a positive attitude is key to success, personal trainers bang on about this all the time, so what do you think will happen if you just tell Mike to “up your protein intake and eat some chicken and brocolli”?

You also can’t just give Mike some recipes and expect him to cook everything from scratch, the guy was delighted he chopped some onions and mushrooms for his spaghetti FFS! He doesnt know how to cook from scratch!

What Mike needs is to be shown that tasty food can be healthy. Note I did not say “healthy food can be tasty” I said “TASTY food can be HEALTHY”. A good personal trainer, or nutritionist, will help change Mike ‘s mindset by getting him to list what he likes to eat and coming up with tasty, and healthier, alternatives. This means that the Gregg’s porkpie should be replaced by a porkpie from the butcher and get him to only have 1 but with some veg that he likes. Mike needs to be introduced to quality ingredients. It’s amazing how many people will give up bad food when they realise what the real thing tastes like. Sure quality ingredients are more expensive but most people will happily buy 1 quality item instead of 2 poor imitations and thats the only change you need him to make to cut his calorie intake.
Almost everybody I know prefers a protein based breakfast over cereal when you point out to them that bacon and eggs counts as protein. Getting Mike to roast a chicken for dinner should be a doddle, introducing Mike to the slow cooker and getting him to whip up a stew should be even easier but you have to teach him how it’s done!

chicken1 What you want him to see when he thinks healthy

What a good PT, or nutritionist, will be able to do is make recommendations tailored to Mike. A good PT will know a good butcher, a tremendous restaurant and a brilliant cookschool where Mike can buy, eat or learn to prepare a great tasting dish that’s healthy. And a good PT understands that he needs to get Mike ‘s mindset to change before seeing spectacular and permanent results. This means changing your language, and accepting that Mike needs to spend his money on other things rather than just Personal Training. It is much more beneficial to Mike ‘s progress to spend his money on a great meal that shows him that tasty meals can be healthy than it is for him to buy 2 or 3 PT sessions.

For a Personal Trainer this can be tricky to accept as it’s costing him/her money but the difference between a decent PT and a good one is that the good one cares about their clients results a hell of a lot more than a few extra sheckles.
Great PTs understand that they’ll actually make more money in the long run by getting Mike longlasting results because you won’t find better advertising than a healthy Mike telling all his friends and colleagues that you are the best thing to ever happen to him…and he will, trust me.

Take care,


Little PS, just in case anyone is wondering whether ” a porkpie from the butcher” is a healthy choice. Yes, there is nothing wrong with a nice pie every now and again. Also remember that Mike weighs 30 stone, losing weight and slimming down is much more important than the need to eat clean all the time.

3 comments on “Don’t just change your diet, change your mindset

  1. Siim Land

    Most of the people have the wrong relationship with food.

    • True, I’ll always remember that one line from Friends; “it’s food, not love” and that definitely is what a lot of people ned some help with.

  2. Pingback: Why I like to train you | Castle Personal Training

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