Imagine if you lived your life as if you were an ATHLETE: You would probably make your work-out the center of your day, consult with a coach or trainer, and spend the rest of the day eating nutrient-dense foods for refueling and repair, and sleep 7 to 9 hours each night. You would take the time to warm up and stretch, would pay attention to pain and other signals from your body and treat them before they became chronic or debilitating injuries. You would not abuse your body with alcohol or drugs.
Such a lifestyle isn't realistic for most of us who have to work for a living, rather than get paid to work-out and compete. There simply isn't enough time, nor desire. What is also unrealistic however, is expecting to look like pro athletes do when you don't live and train like they do, or are much older. Sadly and according to much of the false-marketing in the weight-loss industry, we are under the impression that we only need to work out for 10 minutes per day with some device we saw on an infomercial and/or pop a magic diet pill, and alas we will have our ripped, beach-body we've always been dreaming of. Come on now - you don't need me to tell you it just doesn't work that way. You have to pay your dues with discipline, exercise, and eat clean.
So hypothetically for now, just try living your life as if you are an athlete. There are plenty of us that live this way, believing we are athletes though we work full time, and it works. Almost every fitness-model or bodybuilder for instance, has a 'real' day-job to pay the bills, or spend most of their day navigating thru Hollywood traffic going to various castings and auditions, yet we still manage to maintain our chiseled physiques. Most tri-athletes and 'Iron Men' are weekend-warriors, training only for an hour at most each weekday before or after their 9-to-5, and then cramming in all their long training on the weekends.
An athlete - in this case YOU - views food only as raw materials for energy and tissue repair, and uses supplements strategically. Of course athletes indulge and enjoy (quality) food, which YOU can do even more so because the metabolism of an athlete is virtually on FIRE, but an athlete makes sure he gets his nutrients and protein requirements each day, and drinks plenty of water. An athlete - YOU - condition and 'teach' your muscles to suck up sugar and carbs from your blood and store it as glycogen for energy, with minimal insulin. An athlete eats according to his energy needs: If you take a recovery day you intuitively cut your food intake down; if you have a huge training event or game the next day then you eat more and even consider carbo-loading; you always have protein powder on hand to mix up quick for your post work-out meal and have healthy snacks available so you don't have to skip a meal or stop for 'fast-food'.
An athlete - YOU - opens up his planner each night and finds the best time to schedule his work-out, and even coordinates with his family's plans if he has to. An athlete can work-out any time, any where, with any thing, if the timing or location calls for it.
An athlete intuitively listens to signals from his body and assesses pain: Is it 'good' pain or bad? An athlete takes whatever actions are necessary to stay healthy and in the training game for life: Stretching, supplements, massage, ICE, cross-training, training with a cold...whatever it takes to keep going because an athlete lives to train and keep PLAYING his sport. An athlete is more in tune with his 5 senses and moves with precision and centeredness in every thing he does.
An athlete sees his body as an artistic masterpiece and his greatest asset besides his mind.
Being an athlete IS simply a state of mind. Once you choose to consider yourself an athlete, your ideal physique will slowly transform to its full potential.