How Changing My Body Changed My Mind: A Fitness Diary
How Changing My Body Changed My Mind: A Fitness Diary
In our Fitness Diary series, we are gathering testimonials of people whose lives were transformed through exercise. Some of our featured subjects found that fitness propelled them into new lives and communities of friends. Mindy Blackstien took her fitness journey a step further, and transformed it into a business.
Where were you at physically/mentally before you started exercising (weight, attitude, health conditions)?
I was likely perceived as petite for the majority of my life. That's not how I saw myself. I had become apprehensive about eating for the fear of food's effect on my body. I followed the low-fat trend, which to me meant no fat. I followed it perfectly... and because of that I unknowingly subjected myself to a nutritionally-sparse and highly inadequate diet that impacted my self-thoughts and how I looked and felt.
What was your motivation for getting in better shape?
Individuals-turned-fitness models who used our event stage to showcase their transformation triumphs and spotlight their skills. I saw their dedication-to-self as a reason to set my own bodyproud goals: flexibility, balance, symmetry, posture, tone, and new physical abilities. Their accomplishments motivated me to follow suit. Jeffrey Kippel, himself a naturally-trained bodybuilder and the originator of our worldwide tour of fitness physique events was key in motivating me. I listened when he explained that the diet most athletes followed required fat. I trusted him and my mindset shifted immediately. To my delight, it worked.
- My thoughts. By changing my thinking, the things I looked at changed, and I was able to change my body. Healthy fats became my friend.
- Transforming my small frame into one that is lean and toned. Now it's a fitness model body I get to see when I look in the mirror.
- Being asked to be featured internationally in magazines as a result of my transformation triumph fitness model pics. Nice incentive to keep going.
What fitness program – if any -- did you pursue? Do you have a trainer/guru you follow?
I pursued the posing training Jeff introduced into my world when we started our organization. That still forms the foundation of my fitness program today. Over the years we incorporated new modalities taught to us by human potential specialists and some of the world's top bodybuilders.
Here are some of the trainers / gurus and how they have influenced me and inspired my fitness gains:
- My bud and wholistic body building guru, Ian Walling, is a multi-time world champion natural bodybuilder. He inspired me to look at posing very differently and incorporate posing techniques into my everyday life. I now pose while I'm standing, sitting, chilling, and working out.
- Amy Hanah, my energy healing guru and special friend, developed a series of deep guided meditations to help us live alive. She is who taught me the breath work that releases resistance and welcomes in love, light and healing energy. I incorporate these visualizatoons as I breathe in and out and go from pose to my pose.
- E.P. Snider. This wonder woman stepped into her power and took massive action at age 69! This required her to transcribe decades worth of handwritten notes all while learning how to use a computer. Yes, at age age 69, EP, a family member I am very close with, wrote her first book and become a published author! She even had her style compared to that of her favorite author, Erma Bombeck! How's that for being a shining example to dream your dreams and not let excuses get in the way!
- Lyzabeth is an athlete I became close with for years. Her friendship inspired in me a realization to embrace my curves and love my butt.
- Mark Eisenhart is a man I knew always to be on fire. He was a superhero to me in many ways. I am so grateful that he took me under his wing, encouraged and attune me to become Reiki certified. Being very transparent he helped me expand my mind and discover new realities. RIP Mark. Having passed on, I miss you so much.
- Casey James Combden is my mentor and business partner. He is one of the world's top influential thought leaders who was featured in the sequel to The Secret called Pass It On. His words of wisdom have inspired my professional growth and have helped me in master my empowerment.
- My friend Lesley Green ignited within me a passion that changed how I go about my day. The blissful state I observed as she dances, drums and sings inspired within me the desire to deepen my own appreciation for music. Thanks to Les, when I close my eyes and tune inwards, I use music to guide my breathing, body movements, actions and momentum.
- Dr. Shelly is another guru friend whose genius I choose to follow. She participated as an athlete in our event series and has since gone on to help others discover their beauty, pamper themselves and embrace their body. She's one of a kind!
Finally, another significant person to me in my life... Mr. David Blackstien, my father. He's is the one who took me to my first WWF wrestling event and opened my eyes to muscle and fitness entertainment. I credit this for inspiring my passion to celebrate those who chose to transform inside and out and experience themselves body proud.
Do you have a gym you regularly attend?
No, unless we include our Great Room or the great outdoors - forest adventures, lake activities, sandy beach and floaty dock - where we enjoy most of our workouts.
Do you have workout friends or do you go it alone?
I train together with my husband, often. However, because I focus so much inwards, it's as if I'm training on my own. On the flip side, going inwards often opens my eyes to new awarenesses and A-HA's. Being able to share them with him as they happen makes my training session complete.
Where have you seen the most transformation in your body?
My mind: My self-talk, my attitude, my confidence and my relationships have changed dramatically.
Where have you been surprised to see the most transformation?
My mind. Yet it makes sense: Change your body to change your mind. Change your mind to change your body. Both work. Each is a self-loving action. I changed my body first. Once I realized I liked better how I look and better how I feel, the quality of my self-thoughts had also improved. Through that I became aware that there is more I can do for myself, and have since grown tremendously. In addition, I am now using the power of my mind to listen to my body.
What has your biggest frustration been?
- Learning about the state of food in North America.
- Discovering that even organic produce likely has been sprayed with chemicals and irradiated before making its way into Canada.
- Reading labels and realizing that most mass produced foods are no longer things I want to put in my body. I see them as non-food foods full of fillers, binders, chemicals, GMOs, preservatives, hormones that are primarily nutrient-barren.
How often do you exercise? What does your weekly routine look like?
I listen to my body and pay attention to my mind. Generally that works out to 3-5 days a week. When I wake up, I have my lemon water with added nutrients. That's followed by my 5 minute core workout that gets my mind, muscles, and energy activated through the day. Later, I incorporate our 10 minute Rites routine to rejuvenate both the body and the soul. In addition, I focus on posture-perfecting movements - using my own bodyweight and key exercise/stretching equipment - to balance myself physically and energetically, outside and in. And, of course, thanks to Lesley, I now put the music on loud to fill the room and give it my all.
Is there one motion or exercise where you consistently feel ‘yeah, I’m rocking it’?
Yes. When I look in the mirror while perfecting my posing I love what I see. Being foundational to my posture training and just about every other deliberate movement I make, I get to feel like I'm "rocking it" throughout the day. Do you think you’ll be able to keep it up? Absolutely. Once you're aware, you're aware. As Casey coaches "you don't know what you don't know, that's why you don't have. Because if you knew what you knew, you'd have, because to know and not to do is not to know." Well now I know what I didn't know and I am motivated to do more.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Yes. Exercise is only one component of a transformation triumph. Attitude, sleep, nutrition, tuning inwards, and choosing to take 'good for me' actions are others. When all are activated, magic happens. That's when transformations are experienced: inside and out, head to toe, mind to heart. That's when you look and feel bodyproud, talk its talk and walk its walk. Naturally, this ignites confidence, joy, and self-love. It also enhances the ability to give and receive love, and sparks passion within to live alive and dream your dreams. What advice do you have for couch potatoes looking to get motivated
1. Realize that "couch potato" is a label that often evokes self-perceived limitations. You can change that by choosing to commit to your Self...right NOW. So, if you think of yourself as a "couch potato", after you read this close your eyes, relax, and get really comfortable (yes, the couch will do). Now imagine yourself bodyproud. Determine what that means to you, as you, and for you: Come to the realization of how you most desire to look; Figure out how you'd most like to feel; Discover what else you want your body to be able to do. Now picture your bodyproud body -- not based on what society or friends and family have to say, but what you like -- with a sense of enthusiasm and pride. Doing so creates a mind-muscle connection which is pivotal. That imprint activates your conscious and unconscious mind to steer you on a pathway with good4me choices to make and self-serving actions to take.
2. If you're hesitant about upping your activity or taking time out of your day, begin on the nutrition end. When you nourish your body with what it needs - and not with what your mind wants - cravings change, addictions are broken, energy is boosted, clarity is gained, and toxins get flushed out along with unhealthy fat! To do this, choose to give your body a nutritional vacation. A vacation away from all non-food foods. Doing so benefits every body, regardless of start point or obstacles being faced. This is because the non-food foods that are being passed off as nourishment become gunk that makes the body work hard just to repair what you fed it. It's tiring for the body and it's tiring for you, and often the result is the storage of fat. Removing those elements and instead introducing the right combination of nutrient-dense superfoods proves to be body-transformational even within a short 10 day time period. I've worked with couch potatoes who have shed significant weight (even beyond 15+ lbs) within only a couple weeks simply by choosing to embark on this self-loving journey. Sometimes the seemingly impossible is actually possible. Believe.
3. To empower yourself, I suggest picturing yourself bodyproud every day. Do this when you wake up and/or before you go to bed. Step into that future you, the you who you choose to be, the you who already achieved all you set out to achieve. Sense or picture those elements in your mind's eye. See what you want to see when you look in the mirror. Hear what you want to hear as far as the thoughts within your head and the compliments from others. Imagine how good that feels! Exciting, right? Welcome to your new goal! Enjoy your journey!
Mindy Blackstien is among the pioneers who helped birth the bodybuilding, fitness, and fitness model competition industries for naturally-trained athletes. Through her business entities -- the FAME World Tour, World Natural Sports Organization, FAME: Fitness And Model Expo, FAME Magazine and The FAME Agency -- Mindy inspired tens of thousands of people around the world to transform their physique. This is the first time she has been asked about her own transformation. To learn more about Mindy and phase 2 of her mission to help even more people transform themselves - head to toe, mind to heart, inside and out - visit: www.MindyBlackstien.com