Neuroplasticity: Train Your Brain – Transform Your Body

by Belinda on August 1, 2012

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What you’re about to read could be a game changer, or even a life changer.

People often ask me what is the secret to transforming your physique later in life.

Surely, it’s a lot easier for a young 20 something to lose weight and get in great shape than a 40 year old – right?  Wrong!

That thought alone is probably undermining your results right now….

For the last 400 years scientists have thought of our brain as a machine that is pre-genetically determined – hard wired, formed and finalized in childhood.

In other words, once we hit adulthood our brain loses its ability to evolve, change and repair.

However, it’s now a mainstream neurophysiological fact that our brain can change itself at any age by acquiring new mental skills and using neuro-feedback and techniques like projection and visualization that activate the nucleus basalis to form new neural pathways.*  

Thinking back to my 30’s, I was on the fast track to getting old before my time.   My life was a replay of previously mastered skills – similar jobs, same spouse, living in same suburb, city and country, same every day lifestyle – and this pervasive “sameness” had led to a gradual weakening of my ability to learn new things and the beginnings of age related cognitive decline.

We now know this is completely reversible…..

As fate would have it, in my late 30’s and early 40’s a dramatic series of life events led me to acquiring a ton of new mental skills – which unbeknown to me radically rejuvenated my mind and ultimately my body.

  1. Went back to university
  2. Began a career in a new field of expertise (IT)
  3. Backpacked alone through Latin America
  4. Learned a second language for the first time in my life
  5. Taught myself the Irish Harp
  6. Relocated to a foreign country

None of this was “easy”.  In fact, it was damn hard work.  Extremely painful, excruciating at times, incredibly frustrating – it felt like a ridiculously slow-motion learning process.  But I didn’t give up.

I remember being in Costa Rica and into my 12th week of Spanish language lessons.  While other students were happily conversing with the locals, I was still struggling to remember basic nouns, verbs mysteriously eluded me, let alone ask or answer a simple question.

The Europeans floated in and out of my surf camp effortlessly picking up the language in days or weeks.  For me it had been months and I still couldn’t string 2 or 3 words together.  I felt like a total failure.  I felt stupid.  I started having flashbacks to school when I struggled with math. I could literally feel my brain stubbornly refusing to think in a different language.

The language teachers all said, “don’t translate, just think”….but my brain resisted no matter how hard I tried.

Then, one day, I gave my brain an ultimatum.  Despite the frustration and humiliation – I was not going to give up.  My will to speak a second language was stronger than my brains stubborn refusal to think differently.  I told my brain, “I am not giving up, this wont stop, I will continue to force you to think differently until you give in and get with the program”.  And that was the turning point.

Spanish School in Costa Rica..did I mention everyone was at least 15 years younger???

Spanish School….did I mention everyone was at least 15 years younger???

Suddenly, I could have a simple conversation about the weather: there is rain, there are clouds, the sky is clear, the sea is warm, there are waves, it is high tide, it is low tide….I am surfing….I AM SPEAKING SPANISH!!

After this breakthrough, things came easier and it was no surprise that this cognitive evolution preceded my dramatic mid-life physical transformation.  I had discovered how to let go of the past, I knew I could learn to do things differently, I knew how to change.

So, what’s your take-away from all this?

Today, if you desire the physique of your dreams – then start with your brain and your body will follow.  If you’re willing to think differently, you can get rid of that stubborn cellulite, lose those few extra pounds, tighten up that tummy and develop a strong, lean and fit body.

  1. Visualize the body you want, project how that will feel in the future.
  2. Start with something brand new: don’t repeat the same diet and old exercises, expecting different results.
  3. Get out of your mental comfort zone: challenge yourself, feel the burn deep in your muscles, experience the challenge of exertion, enjoy the sweat and savor the sweet victory of finishing your workout with nothing left to give.
  4. Commit to not giving up, no matter what – your will power rules.

If you train your mind to think differently, you’ll change your body.  Today, the simple act of trying a new workout routine or cooking something fresh and healthy will be enough to stimulate invigorating life changing energy that will flow into every area of your life.  Take that new energy and start building the body of your dreams!

Your Aussie Transformation Coach,

Belinda

P.S.  If you’ve hit a psychological roadblock and are struggling to get the physique you want, check out my Get Lean Program. It includes all the mental tools you need to make the physical changes you need achieve your dream body, no matter what your body type, age or level of fitness.

90 Day Get Lean Transformation Program <<<

P.P.S. Want to learn more about neuroplasticity?  Check out this great read:

The Brain That Changes Itself <<<

 

 

 

 

 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon August 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Belinda, once again, I must say…Your Awesome!!!! This article was a Great Read and very inspirational. Thank you for sharing. It all really stems from the mind first. Hugs s

Reply

Belinda August 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Hi Sharon! My pleasure – thanks for your sweet words :)

Bel xo

Reply

Amaia August 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Eres entusiasta y eso inspira a la gente a que luche por sus ideales, gracias por compartir tu historia con nosotros, seguire tu consejo.
saludos desde España

Reply

Belinda August 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Gracias Amaia, con mucho gusto, espero que puedes alcanzar tus metas!!

Besos, Beli xo

Reply

Cheryl Loffeld August 1, 2013 at 4:31 am

This is soooo true. Our own selves hold us back because of overthinking or over analysing things. I am constantly working on my thoughts which ultimately become beliefs – garbage in garbage out – so i am now changing all that. I hv you to thank for putting me on this path. Luv yr work girl. :-)
Cheryl
Xo

Reply

Belinda August 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm

My pleasure Cheryl and great to hear from you. Yes thoughts become actions….

So happy to see how far you’ve come on Get Lean and can’t wait to see how things progress over the next few months!

Bel

Reply

Judith August 1, 2013 at 4:29 am

Fantastic post Belinda! Really motivating :) While I have an affinity to some performing arts (love to sing, dance and act), sometimes the execution to the next level is frustrating! My voice won’t comply with the next stage of taking my range to the next level (screaming doesn’t help apparently), or I find certain aspects of learning the craft of acting challenging, even learning to climb some silks, I have been regularly thwarted by my meager arm strength >:( but yes, having the willpower and determination to keep trying and hopefully get better – eventually – makes all the difference and I find breakthroughs, however small and incremental so worthwhile and validating. From little things, big things (and goals/ progress) grow :)

Thanks for the wonderful post! :)

Reply

Belinda August 2, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Thank you Judith! I hear you on the execution lol….it’s so easy to blame age, skill or fitness levels when we struggle…but turning it around to focus on what we CAN do, like you said, makes progress rewarding and validating….

Thanks for sharing your energy and inspiration!

Bel xo

Reply

Paul August 1, 2013 at 1:49 am

hi Belinda,
Your story of struggle is motivating me to lose weight and work harder than I ever have before. If the mind can believe, then the body can achieve !

Paul :)

Reply

Belinda August 1, 2013 at 1:55 am

Great to hear this Paul – please keep me posted on how things are going!

Bel

Reply

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