Biggest loser

On biggest loser you see the end product of years of habitual conditioning which generally revolves around a deep seated dislike of who they are. Eating and a lazy lifestyle have thrust them into a deep hole of dispair. Luckily they have realised it and have taken massive action. With the help of a boot camp like existence and excellent trainers and support crew who are constantly attacking the negativity and forcing the contestants to confront their deepest feers and insecurities. Martial Arts for them was another skill to help them reach their ultimate goal. Read how Andy’s “3 Secrets” changed their lives..

With the help of Shannon the trainer I first pushed the contestants to their physical limit.  I use this method when teaching my martial arts classes. The best way of breaking the pattern of negative self talk is to really take hold of the physical body. By working it so hard you don’t have time to think, you are just trying to complete the task in front of you. In this way it becomes a gross form of moving meditation where by the conscoius mind is only thinking about keeping up and breathing, not how unmotivated and bored they could be.

So by the end of the work out, the contestants were basically ready to barf…but I really had their attention for the second and important part; the board break.

The board break is not as easy as it looks. If it all goes to plan it can be a painless and liberating experience. But if you have even the slightest self doubt, the mind will play this out in the body and the board will not break!  The hand will simply bounce off the board and ‘wow’ it is painful. If you don’t break it the first time there is a greater and far more powerful reason to not break it on second or third attempt…PAIN.

The mind is a tricky instrument. Even the slightest hesitation or self doubt will be reflected in your ability to break the board.

The first secret  is to hear and recognise this nagging voice that has kept you in a negative cycle as just a thought and in fact if you just turn your attention to something else, has no power over you. Do this my taking 2 deep breaths and turning your attention fully onto the board.

You can practise this same process in daily life by not indulging the disabling thought. To do this you need to be alert to the kinds of thoughts that have become nothing  but disempowering habitual responses that have been lying to you for many years. A simple example may be: I am a shy person. So you spend years making up for this by indulging in behaviours that will either justify this to you or the opposite is to go out of your way to try and prove that this is not true. You cannot simply replace “I am a shy person” with I am not a shy person as that is also a thought and cannot really be trusted. Just don’t indulge the thought, don’t let it power up, break it’s pattern by turning your attention to exactly what is happening in front of you. Be present and improve your relationship with the present moment.

When you see the board from the board breakers angle, all you see is the front surface. You cannot actually see how thick the board is. So to the tricky mind, it could be paper thin or inches thick, you just don’t know. This can bring incredible self doubt as to your ability to break the board.  Again the mind will throw up all kinds of reasons why you cannot, and they will all be variations of the reasons that have disempowered you before.

The second secret is to move the body in a way that will reflect success. So while you are processing your negative self talk, the body is moving in a way that will, if actioned correctly smash the boards regardless of what you are thinking. This is a very powerful process. You want to break through barriers and obstacles in your life, you want to create powerful change in your life, but your thoughts have always stopped your body from moving. There is now a new more powerful voice saying regardless of what I am thinking, how I am feeling I am going to do it anyway. Then just start your physical movement in that direction.

The third secret is to visualise that there simply is no board therefore removing the last form of resistance that will stop you. If there is no board, there is no resistance and there is no slowing down or stopping as your  hand attempts the break. Of course there is a board but you take the view that it is simply a minor abstacle in the way of a greater purpose. If you focus on the board you will not break it. If your attention lies through the board you will cut through it with ease. We are faced with constant challenges in life. Some we handle well, others not so well. The challenges with a heart are worth the effort, if they have no heart then have the courage to let them go. Rising to the challenge may mean being confronted by your old negative habitual patterns, stopping your dreams in your tracks. The barrier may not be as  large as you think. Just walk upto it, look it in the eye, walk through it, around it or make a path for it to pass you by.

The challenge to get absolute beginners with major self esteem issues to break a board that many top martial artists have fumbled even after many years of training needed a huge pattern shift by the contestents. Regardless of what had gone on for them in the past, regardless of how they felt about themselves, their commitment to bring massive action and change their lives was reflected in their ability to smash through the boards.  Anyone can smash the board if they really believe that they are ready to change and be fully committed to that change. The slightest doubt or negativity will be reflected in the board.

The 3 secrets

Secret 1: You cannot always believe your thoughts have your best interest in mind.

Secret 2: Move your body in a way that will reflect success regardless of what you are thinking.

Secret 3: If we focus on the obstacle we will never break through it. Extend your awareness well past any barriers and use your momentum to break through them.

I have used the 3 secrets to create a life by design and live the way I want to live. Regardless of  my insecurites and negative habitual patterns, I have a great life. I stopped fulltime work when I was 40 and now live my life empowering others.

The 3 secrets are a practise. The practise is constantly coming back to them when you slip up. Like anything. the more you practise, the better you get….

Andy Dickinson.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicole Allen, Andy Dickinson. Andy Dickinson said: The 3 Secrets and The Biggest Loser: […]

  2. Matt on January 16, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Nice Andy! It’s great that you were able to positively influence these contestants. I hope they continue to take it with them.

    • andy on January 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Matt, great to have your comments and support.

      Kind Regards


  3. Jack on January 17, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for posting this Andy.

    I can’t begin to think how lucky I am, to have you as my Sensei and friend. To be able to train with you for years, instead of the short time those people in the video had, is a real privilege. I feel very fortunate to know you and appreciate the effect you’ve had on my life. Shinbudo, is a big part of my life now and I’ve travelled to places where I never thought I’d go. I have many friends in the school and they are a great group of people. We are a family at Northstar.


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