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How to Find Your Motivation – Q&A with Nick Mitchell and Catherine Tyldesley

Finding the drive to kick-start your fitness journey can often be what holds people back from their true potential.

A lack of time, a stressful job, and children to take care of – all of these things can lead to a slump in motivation.

Ultimate Performance CEO Nick Mitchell discusses how he found the passion to pursue his fitness goals, while long-time U.P. client Catherine Tyldesley opens up about the pressure of being in the public eye in this illuminating Q&A.

Nick: The easiest time for me to follow a diet was when I was in the shop window.

Cath: The biggest motivation for me is staying alive. Especially now I’ve got a son. As soon as he arrived, it was no longer about weight loss and looking good on the beach. My biggest motivation was staying on this planet for as long as possible to be there for my child. And I think that’s a great motivation for people.

Nick: Not everybody has that, right? Not everybody has that. Do you want to know what my biggest motivation for getting in what I would call really, really good shape? When I was in the shop window. When I was a single man. That was my biggest motivation. It was easy then. And many men, if any men are watching this, I’m 48. You hit your 40s, you get a couple of kids. You’re not in the shop window anymore.

You know, women are not looking at you anymore. What’s your motivation? You let it slip. You need to find another motivation. Who cares what your motivation is, right? Who cares? Pure vanity, pure altruism, totally caring about your kids. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what your motivation is. But you’ve got to go out and find it. And then use that as a tool, as a mechanism to help keep you on the straight and narrow, whilst always remembering the path is not a straight line, right?

The path is this and this, and we all go off track. And we all have bad days and everything else. But one mental trick, strategy, that works for a lot of people is if you’ve got a plate of rubbish food in front of you. And you know it’s rubbish. You’ve got to tell yourself before you eat it, how does that make me feel? How am I going to feel about myself afterwards? Am I going to feel good? Am I going to feel physically good? Am I going to feel mentally good? Some people are not going to be wracked by guilt.

I’m not someone to be wracked by guilt. But, I love fish and chips. I’m from Yorkshire. I love fish and chips. I grew up around fish and chips. There were like, five chip shops in the little village that I’m originally from. But now, I’ll go back home, and I’ll eat fish and chips. And then, you know, an hour later, I’ve got a cannonball sat in my stomach. And that stops me when I go home now, it stops me immediately rushing to the chip shop, because I know how I’m going to feel with it. It’s really important.

Cath: Yeah, to think ahead, to think about the consequences. Absolutely. I’m like you, it’s never worth it. I think because I try so hard generally, to eat good food. Like you say, it’s not rocket science, eat from the land.

Nick: People will think it’s easy for you. And in a way, it is easier for you. You know this, and I know this, people think you’re famous, you’ve got chef, right? You’ve got chef, you’ve got a personal trainer on tap – you kind of do have a personal trainer on tap now to be fair, right? Because you know, you’ve got a home gym, with 5,000 square feet of equipment, and you’ve got all the time in the world to pamper yourself.

You and I both know, that’s a load of rubbish. But in one way, it is easy for you, because you’re in the public eye. And what people must understand is, if you think, if you can accept, it’s easier for Cath, because she’s in the public eye, how can you use that principle to your own advantage?

So, I said, for me, the easiest time in my life following the diet was when I was in the shop window. You’re in the shop window now, you’ve got to look a certain way. You know, if you put on four stone, some of your jobs, some opportunities are going to dry up, right? Magazine work is going to dry up, you’ve got to look a certain way – that makes it easier for you. It doesn’t mean the process is easier. And then if everybody gets to that, what do they need to make it click?

Cath: I mean, I was nearly five stone heavier than I am now. I couldn’t go up the stairs without getting out of breath. But yes, you’re 100% right. I remember going for an audition. And it was for a lead role. And the director laughed at me, and he was like, “You’re the fat funny one. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But you will always be the fat funny one.”

It was the best thing he could have said to me, I was like, “Do you know what? No! I’m a leading lady.” And I can still be funny. But I need to sort myself out. I need to be fit. And you know, going into musical theatre, that’s eight shows a week. It’s like being an athlete, you know, you’ve got to be fit for it.

For more of the Cath and Nick Q&A series, click here.

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