Celebrity Trainer Joel Harper Believes Thinking Is the Key to Gaining a Healthy New Body


Starting a diet and exercise program seems to be a universal quest. Sticking with it? That’s a different story.

One of America’s leading health experts says the key to improving our body is what goes on between our ears.

For 20 years, celebrity trainer Joel Harper has helped high profile clients lose weight and stay in shape. He says the number one tool to get and stay there is the right attitude.

Mind Your Body

Many people don’t realize it, but we’re always talking to ourselves about ourselves. Not out loud, but up internally. Those messages are repeated over and over again.

Harper says whether that self-talk is positive or negative often determines whether we succeed or fail at our diet and exercise program.

In his book, Mind Your Body, Harper says we must identify our own thoughts.

“It’s so important that I get all my clients to focus on that first,” he explained. “And they’re like, ‘No, no, no, I just want to workout,’ and I’m like, ‘Great. We’re going to work out. But you’ve got to tap into the power of the mind and what your thoughts are doing.'”

“We have 70,000 [thoughts] a day,” he continued. “Let’s say 10 percent of those are negative — that’s 7,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot of negative thoughts.”

Harper says he gets his clients to express their thoughts out loud.

“So while they’re working out, I ask them these questions, and one of them is, ‘How are you feeling?’ And they’re like, ‘I really don’t want to do this, I feel really uncoordinated, I’ve never done it before, I have horrible balance,'” he said. “And I’m like, ‘There you go.'”

How to Fix ‘Stinking Thinking’

The way to fix a negative attitude is to reverse those statements and say positive ones out loud, five times in a row.

“It gets rid of cyclical thinking,” Harper explained. “A lot of us have cyclical thoughts and they go over and over again and we just keep replaying them out of habit.”

“And we create these habits and it turns into our behavior and everything we’re doing in our daily life. So I get people to break those thoughts,” he said.

However, Harper cautions his clients to make their positive self-talk in the here and now, not down the road.

“But also with your positive affirmations and your positive thoughts, what are you doing with those?” he continued. “Are they something like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna do?’ Something that is positive, but it’s in the future?”

“I tell all my clients to make it in the present moment. And really have thoughts that I am doing it now, so it brings it into the present and makes you accomplish it today,” he said.

Harper gives examples such as saying out loud, “I have amazing balance” five times in a row while doing balance exercises. He says he’s seen his clients perform better instantly when they do this.

On the other hand, he says he has observed the way some of his clients sabotage their own success.

“A lot of people want to lose weight,” Harper said. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, I’ve tried diets before; they’ve never worked. I’ll lose 10 pounds and then I’ll immediately get it back. ‘”

He says self-defeatist attitudes like that almost guarantee failure. Harper advises those people to start saying this key phrase instead: “I lose weight easily and swiftly.”

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Lorie Johnson