Too often, we use a fixed mindset when we approach a challenge and struggle. As long as we have this victimhood frame we won't be successful with change. On episode 589 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss growth and fixed mindset and how you can change the way you think and find success on your health and fitness journey.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:38.130] – Coach Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things?
[00:02:40.310] – Coach Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:42.480] – Coach Allan
I'm doing okay. We're having a water issue again, so I don't want to get into all that because it's just going to frustrate me again.
[00:02:50.040] – Coach Rachel
[00:02:50.750] – Coach Allan
But we're working on it. But no, I'm happy to announce that I have a few things that I told last week. I started interviewing on different podcasts, and so some of those podcasts have come out now, and I wanted to share a few of them. I was on Paul Hanton's podcast called The Healthy Fit Life. You can find that one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/paul.
I was on Natural Health Matters with David Sandstrom. You can find that one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/david.
And then I was on Jillian Lockditch, which we had her on last week. I was on her podcast. Growing Older, living Younger with Jillian Lockditch. And that's at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/gill. And that's Jill spelled G-I-L-L. Like from Jillian, but Gill and you can find that one.
So Paul, David, and Jill, I was on each of their podcasts. And so 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com and then those names Paul, David or Jill. And you can catch those episodes there.
[00:04:01.180] – Coach Rachel
Awesome. That's exciting. I can't wait to give a listen to those.
[00:04:04.900] – Coach Allan
Yeah, it's interesting to be on the other side of the interview. Sure. Because even if we've discussed kind of what we want to talk about, I don't have a script. I don't go in this like, this is how I say these things. I listen to a question and then I say, okay, this is the best way to answer that. So it's a lot more off the cuff than a lot of the things that I do when I'm interviewing a guest on my podcast. I've read their book and I have specific things I want to discuss here. I go at it not necessarily knowing what they're going to ask me. So it can be kind of interesting. So, yeah, go check those out.
[00:04:46.960] – Coach Rachel
Awesome. That sounds fun.
[00:04:48.730] – Coach Allan
How are things up there?
[00:04:50.180] – Coach Rachel
Good. I just wanted to share with you and our listeners real quick. My doctor just told me some pretty important news the other day. I'm post menopausal. Yay, I made it. I made it. And kind of related to that, my thyroid is finally tanked out, so I'll be starting some thyroid medicine. I'm hypothyroid, which is now the reason why I've been so darn fatigued lately, just because my thyroid has not been functioning quite as well. And it's kind of funny because as an ultra marathoner, fatigue is kind of the name of my game to begin with. But now I really know why I'm actually as tired as I am, so I'll be starting that pretty soon.
[00:05:33.370] – Coach Allan
Man, you're going to be blowing out your PRS like nobody's business.
[00:05:36.350] – Coach Rachel
I'm hoping. I'm hoping to get some of my energy back, but I just wanted to share real quick as I learn more about what this means for me as a woman. And by the way, I'm 51, and I didn't know that 51 is the actual average age that women hit menopause. So yay, I'm textbook.
[00:05:57.890] – Coach Allan
I thought it was closer to 53, but yeah, okay, textbook.
[00:06:02.350] – Coach Rachel
Yeah. So as I figure some of this stuff out, I'd be happy to share my story with our listeners. But just for right now, I've got official notice I'm menopausal, and we'll see what happens.
[00:06:15.350] – Coach Allan
Basically, the way that I understand that they diagnose this is if you go without a period for a year, then they consider you in menopause.
[00:06:25.540] – Coach Rachel
Yeah, well, it gets kind of tricky because I had an Ablation done, so I haven't had a normal period in a couple of years. So that makes it a little difficult to figure that out. And I've had a lot of symptoms. The heat flashes during the day, night sweats at night, a little bit of moodiness. But again, those are kind of normal. And for pretty much any woman that actually either has a period or is going through the perimenopause and apparently now in post menopause. So it's important to know that some of these symptoms can get worse. My thyroid is probably in the mix with all these hormone fluctuations and changes, but it's important to spend time with your doctor as well. I go to my annual physical every year. I see a high risk breast cancer doctor, and now I see a women's health specialist who specializes in menopause and can give me a whole ton of information, but they did the right test at the right time. And now I know for sure what's happening with my hormones. And it's going to be very helpful as I navigate all these symptoms moving forward.
[00:07:38.760] – Coach Allan
We're good. I mean, you know, at least once a year I try to have a woman's health expert on. We're typically going to talk about perimenopause and menopause and that type of thing at least once per year, sometimes more. So I've had several episodes on, so there's lots of material out there. But this is going to be good because I'm going to have a pro on my side next time I do interview. That's right. Yeah. We can approach that one a little bit different, but cool. All right, well, are you ready to get into our episode about victimhood?
[00:08:12.420] – Coach Rachel
You are not a victim. That's what I'm calling this episode. And it relates to kind of a cultural trend that I've been seeing out there lately where victimhood is being kind of almost touted like a virtue. And I'm here to tell you that if you're trying to improve your health and fitness, if you're trying to lose weight particularly, you're going to really struggle if you have this state of mind, this victimhood state of mind. So I'm going to go through some statements. These are statements that I've heard people say I've heard people or seen people post them on Facebook and or on Twitter. And it's so common that it was easy for me to find several different ways that this shows up. So the first one is I want something I don't have, therefore I'm a victim. So if someone has something you don't have, obviously you're a victim. The next one is, I struggle more than other people, therefore I'm a victim. And so this goes on, the idea that your life is harder than theirs and therefore you're a victim because you have to struggle so much harder to do the basic things that everyone else is doing or that you believe other people are doing to get their success.
Now, this is a very common one, particularly in weight loss areas. I'm addicted to sugar and carbs, therefore I'm a victim. And this one's really, really common. I see it a lot. Now, don't get me wrong, sugar and carb addiction is kind of a thing. But the reality of it is it's not as hard to break as some other addictions might be. And there are steps to take. You are not a victim. You chose to eat sugar and carbs, or at least you ate them when you were given them and you've continued to eat them and buy them. So having sugar and carbs around you is the same thing as maybe sending an alcoholic to a bar. It's just something you wouldn't do if you're trying to beat alcoholism and if you're trying to lose weight, being around sugar and carbs might make that very difficult for you, particularly if you believe you're a victim. I don't have the energy to work out. I love this one, therefore I'm a victim. Okay? I don't have the energy to work out. Now, there's this little known thing in our body that causes us to actually get hormones and endorphins feel good stuff in our brain when we work out, that gives us more energy.
When we build strength and endurance, we have more energy. So the not having energy to work out is really just an excuse to not get started, okay? Other people sabotage me, therefore I'm a victim. Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there willing to sabotage you if you let them. But again, you're choosing victimhood. In this case, they're choosing to do what they do. They're choosing to try to take you off track in some cases. Sometimes they're not. Sometimes they actually think they're doing something nice for you. But if you feel like other people are your problem, you are the problem. You are not a victim. But you'll say you're a victim because those other people, well, they're in your way. And then I've tried everything, and nothing works. Therefore, I'm a victim. And again, this is just that concept that you've really given everything the best shot possible. You really worked your way through it, and all these failures have just become an evidence of your limitations. So we're going to talk about that a little bit about what victimhood is. Now, victimhood fits in the mindset frame of being a fixed mindset.
And this is a psychological concept that was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. And so what she talks about in her writings and in her studies is that you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. And guess what? Those aren't fixed. You can have the one that you choose to have. And there's a reason why these fixed mindsets are a problem. And one of the main things is that people with a fixed mindset, people who believe they're victims, they avoid challenges. And anytime there's a failure, even a little failure, you're more likely to see that as evidence of your limitations, okay? And so what that does is that creates fear of failure in yourself and you're not willing to take risks. So the signing up for a gym membership or hiring a coach or buying the food service that's going to be delivered to you, you don't want to take that step because if you fail, it's just more evidence that you're limited, that you're a victim, that you have a problem. And then another tendency that fixed mindset people have is to compare themselves to others. Now, in some cases, this is to seek external achievements so they can say, okay, well, at least I'm not as heavy as that person.
But they also end up with the negative and the limiting beliefs that they see someone else and they don't think they'll ever make it to that same spot. So these external comparisons are really holding them back on both sides. One is, well, I'm actually kind of normal. When I look at everybody else, they're all overweight. I'm overweight, therefore this is just the way it is. We're all victims, okay, and you're not. But that's a fixed mindset. Now, in contrast, a growth mindset refers to your belief in your ability and your intelligence that that can be developed, that you can improve yourself over time with hard work, dedication and perseverance. So the question you have to ask yourself is, do I believe that challenges and failures are opportunities for me to learn and grow rather than an indication that I'm going to fail? And if I fail, therefore I'm broke, therefore I have these limitations. So with a growth mindset, you always give yourself the best opportunity because you're willing to take the risk. You're willing to hire that coach, you're willing to join the gym, you're willing to try a diet or a way of eating or exercise program.
Again, even if you know everything else failed, you're going to go at it again. And you're going to go at it with the idea that these things that happen are teaching you something. They're giving you an opportunity to improve. And that's where the importance of this is. If you feel like you're a victim, you don't have control. But when you take on a growth mindset, you're suddenly taking on this idea that I am not limited by the mistakes and problems I've had in the past. Yes, I had problems with these donuts, and yes, I struggled when these things happened and yeah, with the stress of my job or the amount of time I was traveling, all those things, I could use those as excuses or I could try to find ways to improve my life despite those problems. And that's where the difference in these two come from. So to break away as a victim, there's a few things that you need to ask yourself, and these are important. So if you're not driving or running or doing something and you can get a pen out, this is a good time for you to write down these questions and really spend some time thinking about it.
Okay? This is not something you're just going to answer while you're listening to this podcast. So the first one is, are your actions consistent with your values? And here's what I mean by that. Let's say you want to be the best mother or the best father you can be or the best grandparent you can be. Okay. Are you living in a way that allows you to do that? You may say, I want to make sure that I'm there for my spouse, I'm there for my children. I want to be that person. Are you? Are you living in a way that makes that possible? Are you living in a way where you're going to be there for one and that you're going to be capable of doing the things that you want to do? How do you want to live the rest of your life? What are the values that you want to carry on? I've talked about it several times. I want to be there for my wife. I want to be there for my children. I want to be there for my grandchildren. I want to be there to run the bed and breakfast, to do the things.
I want to be able to physically train people for a long, long time. And I want to be independent my whole life. I do not want someone to have to take care of me. Those are my values. So then looking at your actions, ask yourself, are your actions consistent with your values? Because this can help you break through this. This can help you take that next step I'm going to talk about in a minute. Okay, the next question. Are you able to learn from mistakes or do you see them as evidence you're broken or flawed? So you go out for dinner and they bring around the dessert tray and it all looks awesome. And so you tell yourself, well, I'll just get a little bit of chocolate. I did go to the gym this morning, so I'm just going to go ahead and get a little bit of that chocolate death by chocolate thing. And they bring out this 32 ounce chocolate menagerie on your plate and you go digging into it. Now, the next day, how are you going to look back at that? Are you going to say, oh, my God, I failed, I'm a failure?
Well, no, you're not. That's an opportunity for you to learn. So ask yourself, do you really think you're broken when you do those things? And the short answer has to be no. That's an opportunity for you to see where you made a mistake. So you could just tell the waiter after you've gotten your meal, please do not bring that dessert tray by here. And if you're in the United States and you're listening to this, you can be very clear. If you bring that dessert tray by here, you will not get a tip from me, okay? Guess what that waiter or waitress is not going to do when you say something like that. They are not going to bring that dessert tray because they do not want to jeopardize their tip. So you just tell them, if you bring that dessert tray by here, I will not tip you. And guess what? You're going to get past that. So that's the second question. The third question is, are you willing to push outside your comfort zone? And this is a big one because most people want easy. They want the easy button. Tell me the diet.
Tell me what to eat. Tell me what not to eat. Tell me how to move. Tell me how to lose my gut. I just want to lose the belly fat. I don't care about anything else. I just want to lose the belly fat. They want the easy they want the thing that's inside their comfort zone. So they teach us. And when we go to coaching for our business, and they say, tell them that you can do X-Y-Z without them having to do this other thing. So you can tell them lose £20 without exercise or diet. And because people want to stay in their comfort zone, they don't want to exercise. They don't want to change the way they're eating. That sounds very appealing to a victim mindset person, to a fixed mindset person. So if I'm talking to you and you're feeling that way, are you willing to get outside your comfort zone? Because that's where the magic happens. The good things in your life do not happen in your comfort zone. Change does not happen in your comfort zone. You've got to be willing to push outside the comfort zone if you want to grow.
So again, the third question, are you willing to push outside your comfort zone? So those are three really important questions that you should be asking yourself over and over again to make sure that you're keeping a growth mindset, that you're not falling into that victimhood virtue thing, okay? So this can be very scary. Don't get me wrong. I know change is hard, okay? It's easier for you to stay in your comfort zone. That's where most people are today. Most people are very comfortable foods everywhere. Good. I'm never hungry. I'll never be hungry. I'll never try to be hungry. I'll never let myself get to a point where I'm hungry because food is readily available. But getting outside your comfort zone, saying, maybe I'm going to let myself get a little hungry from time to time. How about that? I'm going to feel what this feels like. I'm going to get out of it because I'm not starving. The words we say, I'm starving, but you're not starving. Starving takes days. Starving takes weeks. And so if you're a little hungry, you're not starving. And so, so many people are in that comfort zone that that's where we want to be.
The safety was safety with numbers, okay? And that's not where you need to be. You cannot be in your comfort zone and be successful. The other thing that makes change hard is it's so easy to compare yourself with others. I mean, look, 67% of Americans are overweight. Okay? What does that mean? Well, that means if you're overweight, you're in the majority. You're winning that vote. 40% of Americans are approaching obesity. So when you start looking at this, the vast majority of people out there are overweight and obese. And so you just look at that, well, I'm not as heavy as that person is, and, oh, look, I'm at the grocery store, and I'm actually maybe not the weakest person here. Maybe I'm not the fattest person here. And we justify where we are. So that's, again, that's a push against change, because staying where we are means we're just like everybody else, okay? And then change is really, really hard if you just decide that you want to change. And the reason is decision is really not a strong enough way to approach this. See, if you have a growth mindset, you're going to commit to this.
You're going to take that risk, and you're going to go all in. You're going to get outside your comfort zone, and you're going to make sure this happens. But that takes commitment. That takes that step, that daring, that knowing that, okay, I'm going to do this, but I'm not going to die. I'm going to get better, because I'm just going to keep pushing. I'm just going to be persistent. I'm going to do the hard work. I'm going to be dedicated, and I'm going to make this happen. Okay? That takes commitment.
Now, the one thing I'd like to leave you with on this is, yes, change can be scary, and change can be hard, and change is something that is not natural for a lot of us. But you're not alone. We have a wonderful Facebook community. You go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, and you can join our Facebook community. I do challenges. We're all there. If you want to share something, you need accountability, whatever you think you need. I have a group environment that's very caring, and we're not doing a bunch of that Flex Friday stuff and not trying to make others feel bad because we look good.
This is an environment where you can feel safe, and it's a private Facebook group, so it's not out on the interwebs for everybody to read. This is just for us to share and to support each other. I'm out there all the time, so I'll be answering questions if you have them. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group to join us there. And if you're really ready to commit to this, I'd encourage you to get in touch with me. I coach people to lose weight. I coach people to get more fit. I only coach people over the age of 40. And I look to help people develop a growth mindset, so they learn from their mistakes. They get better, they get more comfortable being outside their comfort zone, and they change and they grow and they get better. And I know you can, too. It just takes that scary thing. You got to do that scary thing. And if you need help, I'm here to help you.
[00:23:54.000] – Coach Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:23:56.540] – Coach Rachel
Hey, Alan. Well, that was a lot that was a lot of good information. And as a fellow coach, I have encountered some people with a fixed mindset and just the absolute I can't run because or I can't work out because, I can't lose weight because fill in the blank. I've heard some of those things. And it's hard as a coach to go back to that person and say, well, wait a second, what can we do? If you've got a problem, what do we need to do to solve it?
[00:24:27.510] – Coach Allan
Well, I've definitely had clients that I would say didn't have a growth mindset to start with, but they had to at some point or else they wouldn't succeed. The reality is, if you have a fixed mindset, you're not going to get outside your comfort zone. If you don't get outside your comfort zone, nothing's going to change for you, and you're going to be right where you are. So it's the Harry Ford quote. If you think you can't or think you can, you're right. You have to have the mindset that you're going to get it done. For some of us, that might just be the commitment. For a lot of other people, it's a health scare. And so something has to shake you out of being a victim. Someone comes screaming, and they slap them in the face. I mean, kind of the whole thing is the people are panicking, and you just slap them in the face to get their attention, and it's like, calm down. You're not accomplishing anything. And so I think people sometimes need that slap in the face to make this happen. But if you're listening to this podcast, then you want something to happen, then you just need to transition that over to a commitment, not just a decision.
[00:25:53.810] – Coach Rachel
[00:25:56.050] – Coach Allan
And I can tell you that if you're not willing to deal with setbacks, which this is where the victims really struggle, is that if you do something, maybe you're doing something and it's working, and, you know, okay, well, I've lost this same £20 over and over again. And then you get to the lose the £20, and then something happens. You have a bad day, and you go do something you didn't want to do. You ate some things you didn't want to eat, and now you're going to blow off your whole weekend because, well, it's kind of screwed up Friday night. And then it becomes this thing, and then you start seeing the scale move back up. So you just stop stepping on the scale. And then yeah, you find yourself six weeks later right back where you were, if not heavier. You start running, and you feel a little bit of a tweak in your ankle or a little bit of tweak in your foot. You're like, oh, no, I can't run anymore. Instead of trying to do the things that are necessary to rehabilitate that, so you can start running again, doing the things you can do.
[00:27:02.380] – Coach Allan
So I can pedal a bike, I can get an elliptical, so I can keep my stamina up. But that takes this idea that you have a choice. This is not put on you. You are not a victim, right? And until you get past that, you're not going to be there. And so most of my clients that come in with this growth mindset, they're fed up, and they're like, hey, this is it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it now, okay? And once that light clicks on, it's like, this is too easy. This is actually not that hard. It was scary, and it never worked before, but it's different this time. And it's different because now they're looking at this and saying, okay, I don't have to be perfect, right? I don't have to worry about if I make a mistake. I can always course correct that's, right? And it just keeps them on task, and they're like, okay. And then they get a win, and then they get another one. So just even just this last week or so, one of my clients, he had gone to this thing, it was like a government thing, and he was just really talking about how if you guys, if, you know, is wearing a tie, he couldn't button his top button in his shirt, okay?
[00:28:25.220] – Coach Allan
And so he was like, that was part of what his self and that was affecting his self image, and he was unhappy with it. And then he's three weeks into my program, and he's like, I had to wear that suit again, and I could button the collar, the neck. And he's lost £10. And he's feeling great, and he's doing more and more now. He's getting ready for some exciting things, like 100 miles, bike ride. This is the way it works. Another client was a very similar situation. She got called in for an interview. She wasn't really thinking so much about doing work, but she heard about this position. She puts in her name, and they call her, and then it's this panic. How am I going to look in my clothes when I go in for this interview now? Because we have a kind of a weird self image sometimes of ourselves. She didn't recognize that she had lost a good bit of weight and that she was smaller. So she puts on those clothes and they fit perfect, and that boosts her confidence. And she goes in and. Aces that interview and pretty sure she's going to get that job.
[00:29:39.930] – Coach Allan
Okay. That's growth. That's a growth mindset. And sometimes we're not always 100% behind ourselves or we don't see it happening for ourselves, but we just stick with it.
[00:29:52.900] – Coach Rachel
[00:29:53.490] – Coach Allan
And the good things are happening.
[00:29:55.250] – Coach Rachel
It does. And the benefit to having a coach or like the run club groups that I have is that you get to see these types of examples. It is possible. And maybe when you get to see examples like with your clients, that other people are losing weight at a later age or under these difficult circumstances, it's possible for you, too. And if you just pause for a second and reevaluate your situation, you might be able to think through what you need to do next, whether it's hire a coach or not or join a run club or not. But you do have options, and sometimes you just need to think a little bit outside the box to see what might work for you. But that's the great thing about hearing stories, like with your clients. And as I see my runners develop in the run clubs I participate with, it's totally possible. It just shakes what your norms are.
[00:30:48.110] – Coach Allan
Well, if someone had first told you when you first started running that you were going to be doing ultras oh.
[00:30:53.350] – Coach Rachel
My gosh, I would have laughed.
[00:30:55.870] – Coach Allan
[00:30:56.850] – Coach Rachel
Or running 50 miles right before I turned 50, I would have laughed. It's just inconceivable for me.
[00:31:03.350] – Coach Allan
I remember you sitting up on a couch with your foot in a cast, and you were so upset, and you're like, and I'm losing it, and I'm losing it. And that was a very down time for you.
[00:31:15.520] – Coach Rachel
[00:31:16.250] – Coach Allan
But as soon as the doctor cleared you, you started working your way back up and way past where you were. You just blew that away after you got yourself healed. And so it's just understanding where we are and saying, okay, I can't make that up in a day.
[00:31:36.080] – Coach Rachel
[00:31:37.010] – Coach Allan
But I'm going to grind it out. I'm going to do it and then see what happens. And that growth mindset that you had going back into your training, training smarter. You don't do it again.
[00:31:49.970] – Coach Rachel
[00:31:51.970] – Coach Allan
That's made all the difference.
[00:31:53.620] – Coach Rachel
All the difference, yeah. For sure.
[00:31:57.030] – Coach Allan
All right, well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.
[00:32:00.950] – Coach Rachel
Awesome. Take care, Alan.
[00:32:02.620] – Coach Allan
You too. Bye.
[00:32:03.710] – Coach Rachel
Thank you. Bye bye.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Ken McQuade||– Melissa Ball|
|– Debbie Ralston||– John Dachauer||– Tim Alexander|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Leigh Tanner|
|– Eric More||– Margaret Bakalian|
Another episode you may enjoy