10 Things You Can Learn From An Olympian To Hit Your Weight Loss Goals

by TaylorR

Before I dive in, Dan showed this video with me this morning. I found it really motivating to the point that as soon as I finish posting this then I will be heading to the gym to get in the best freaking workout ever! Boo-Ya!

I am so excited about the 2012 Olympics. The Summer games have always been my favorite, ever since I was a little girl.

When I was a gymnast, I would force my friends to play “Olympics” on my trampoline, Each of us coming up with a routine and pretending to be one of the big time gymnast of the time. I was always Dominique Moceanu.

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Of course gymnastics is still my all time favorite sport to watch but also on the top is: diving, swimming and track and field.

What is it about these athletes that pulls us in? Many of them are only on the television for a minute, yet we find ourselves rooting them on, hoping they end up with the gold medal around their neck.

I guess you can just see their passion and determination! Something I feel has been lost in year round spectator sports where the athletes care more about their paychecks and less about the sport.

Olympians have so many habits that we can all learn from. Not just about passion and drive but many of their own methods to be the best can be used to drop those last stubborn pounds or to stay motivated with your fitness and progress.

10 Weight Loss Lessons From Olympians

1. In it to win it. They have huge goals for themselves and have dedicated their lives to being the best in the world. Not just the best in city, or in their state or even in their country… they want to be the best in the world. What’s even more is that they are so mentally confident in most of their heads they are the best in the world, the Olympics is simply the way for them to proof it.

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I am not saying you have to be the best in the world, but having that drive and confidence will help you push through walls. When you want to pig out on chocolate chip cookies, or skip your workout, simply ask yourself… what would an olympian do?

2. They know the importance of rest. Lack of sleep is one of the biggest culprits to poor performance. Olympians know that and they rank sleep as being just as important as their actual training. While you’re not working out for 8 hours a day like these athletes sleep is still equally important for you.

Lack of sleep is one of the contributing factors to imbalances in hormones which then promotes weight gain and prevents weight loss. Even if you have an amazing workout and meal plan.  Aim to get a full night of sleep, if that means missing your late night shows, then that’s a sacrifice worth making.

3. Tune it all out. Olympians know how to “get in the zone” how to tune out everything around them to simply focus on the task ahead. I once read that Micheal Phelps places the same playlist every meet while picturing in his mind how the race is going to go. This is his method to tune out the world and just think about the swim. All athletes have some sort of “get in the zone habit”.

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The same goes for workouts for us everyday women. If you’re on a treadmill and reading the latest issue of People, then clearly you’re not focused. How strenuous of a workout can it be if you are able to read a magazine or talk on a cell phone? To get the most of out each and every workout, “get in the fitness zone” where you are focused on pushing your body and getting the most out of each minute you are working out.

4. They recruit help. They’re the best in the world at what they do. They’ve been doing drills and exercises to better their performance for years, even decades yet they still have professional coaches on the sidelines. They don’t pretend to think they can do it on their own and they address the fact that they need the push, the motivation and the guidance that a coach can give them.

Same holds true with weight loss. Going at it all on your lonesome can spell disaster. Having someone on your team like a trainer, a workout partner or a supportive spouse can make all the difference. It’s easier to stay on track and you’ll be more likely to hit your weight loss goals.

5. Olympians have cool stuff. Sure they are most likely sponsored by some big name brand, but they still have the best of the best in terms of gear and attire. I don’t think you have to go out and buy all brand name fitness clothes, but there are some things that you get what you spend.

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Case and point running shoes. Out of all my fitness clothes these are the one thing that I don’t go cheap on. A good pair of running shoes, or cross trainers (whatever your workout is) can make the difference between comfortable workouts and injuries. I used to wear a brand of shoe until I realized that every style I got ended up giving me shin splints. Don’t go cheap on workout shoes, get the best for you and your fitness goals.

6. Sugar isn’t getting them the gold. You’ve heard that some athletes take in over 4000 calories a day. That sounds crazy but when they are working out as hard as they do, their body needs fuel. And that’s how they look at food, as energy. They realize that sugar junk foods like candy and processed meals aren’t going to make them feel the best or perform the best so they have the ability to say no.

Their will power is wicked good!

I think this one is pretty obvious in terms of how this lesson relates back to us. Food is fuel and your body is a direct reflection of what goes into it.

7. They track it all. Between the athlete and their coaches, everything gets tracked. Their best performances, their worst performances and every single performance and practice in between. This is the only way they know what they’ve done and how to progress forward.

I’ve always stressed the importance of tracking everything in regards to each workout you do to the foods you eat. Especially when first getting started. Research shows that even tracking just one day a week of food can help people lose weight.

8. They don’t make excuses. Olympians get injured, it’s a risk they take every day. But most of the time they don’t use it as an excuse. Case and point, male gymnast Paul Hamm. He was a gold medalist in 2004 but a hand injury made him drop out of the 2008 games. You better believe he has recovered and making a comeback for the 2012 games. I love him by the way!

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So what if you ate a cookie at lunch, don’t let that be an excuse to spiral out of control. Don’t let one small set back throw you off course, suck it up to being human and get back on track. No one is perfect, it is okay to acknowledge mistakes but don’t let the mistakes define your success, or lack thereof.

9. Goals! Do you think any of those athletes would be preparing for the 2012 games if they hadn’t set a goal to be there? No way. Because they have drive and dreams they made big goals for themselves.

Now it’s your term to make your goals, what is it that you want to accomplish? Be specific… do you want to drop 3 dress sizes? Weight 12 pounds less? Run a 5k? Whatever it is, write it down and tell someone. Olympians didn’t just say they wanted to be the best… they set the goal to have a gold medal around their neck for the sport they love so much.

10. Love, passion and drive. And that brings me to my final tip, they love what they do. They have passion, they have admiration, they have drive for their sport. We can all follow in their footsteps to love ourselves a bit more and show our bodies that same form of passion they show their sport.

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Questions: 

  • What is your favorite sport? 
  • Can you train like an Olympian?
  • Did you do sports as a kid, which ones?
I’ll close off today’s post with one more kick ass movie: 

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon May 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I’m looking forward to the 2012 Olympics this summer too. The Olympians don’t make excuses and don’t let setbacks prevent them from reaching their goal. It’s important to take care of your body. When I eat junk food, I feel it a few hours later. When I eat healthy, I find I have a lot more energy. With this energy, I can put more effort into my fitness program. Don’t forget to leave time for relaxation as well.

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Camille May 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Ah man that video is inspiring! The Olympics always help get me back to being focused and on track with my fitness program. I have a friend who is training for the next winter Olympics, and her workouts are insane… But she is so dedicated and driven that for her its exciting. She wakes up every day excited to start her 8 hours of working out… If only we could all have that drive… :)

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TaylorR May 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I agree! Wow that’s amazing about your friend, major props to her. What sport?

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mercadeo June 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

Like my friend Bob talking about his high school football days, I don’t remember how we did as a team that year or even if we won a single game, but I remember that story. Being so enthralled by the Olympics and hearing a first-hand account from someone who was not just there, but an integral part of it, was extremely impactful to me. I remember thinking at the time ‘this is how Olympians act’ and I still feel the story is an illustration of sport at it’s absolute best. The athletes Mr. Little talked about clearly had a great deal of respect for the game, the officials, their opponents and the process. And it’s also a great expression of the value they placed on the relationship between how hard you work for something and your own personal satisfaction. On their respective journeys to the medal podium, neither wanted to accept a single point that wasn’t earned.

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