As an eager young personal trainer I used to get disappointed when different clients would take similar individualised eating and exercising advice, and the same extensive support and accountability and one would create a massive body transformation such as halving their body fat while the other would see little to zero results.
The reason for this is not genetics and it’s certainly not a lack of time.
The obstacles you will encounter when embarking on any new weight loss regime also happen at a level deeper then eating and exercising.
In todays FAQ show I’m tackling: 4 biggest problems you’ll have sticking to most diet and exercise programs.
Instead of an action step at the end of the show I’m going to share a Qualifying Question after each problem that will help you develop the mindset that makes sticking to any program as easy and sustainable as possible…
#1. Not Taking 100% Responsibility For Your Results Or Lack There Of.
Changing the results you’re currently getting means first taking responsibility for the way it is now.
Once you take responsibility then you also get the power to make it change. Blaming the cost of healthy foodorthe hours in the dayoryour genetics does not give you control because you can’t change any of them.
Excusitis is a sure fire way to absolutely dissolve your chances of long term fat loss. As with anything worth attaining you will have either results or reasons why you can’t. Before you embark on your new regime it is essential to embrace the ultimate freedom:
Embrace the ability to assume 100% responsibility and chose how you respond to any given person or situation.
This is the power to be at cause in your life rather than at effect of all that is happening around you. Equipping yourself with this attitude before you even start will arm you to deal with the inevitable obstacles you will encounter.
Qualifying Question; Determine the excuses that have up until now kept you stuck by asking yourself, ‘Why am I not at my goal weight already?’ and commit to taking 100% responsibility for moving beyond that old attitude.
#2. You’re In The Grips Of Secondary Gain.
Secondary gain is a pay-off or benefit that you get (often unconsciously) from continuing a course of action or in-action. Have you ever recognized that something you’re doing is harmful to you and continued right on doing it anyway?
Without exception everything you do works for you on some level.
Have a think about what you’re doing (or not doing!) in relation to your health and fitness goal. On some level it does something for you, gets you something you wouldn’t necessarily get or prevents you from having to deal with something that you would have had to deal with.
=> like the lady who does not ever give 100% to achieving her weight loss goal because that means she gets to hold tight to the “it’s ok because I didn’t give it my best shot” card.
=> or the person who is always ‘absolutely exhausted’ or ‘getting sick’ who never has to give their full effort to an exercise session.
=> or even the person who indulges in negative thoughts and in doing so works them-self into a miserable heap of fearful possibilities that means they get to wallow in paralysis rather than get proactive.
Qualifying Question; Does your fat loss program allow you to resourcefully meet the secondary gain(s) that until now have held you back? It’s important to consider a vacuum will always be filled – you cannot take something away without replacing it with a positive alternative.
#3. Your Program Is Not Utilizing Pleasure v. Pain To Your Advantage.
If you’re not taking action it’s time to get massive leverage on yourself. Odds on it’s NOT that you don’t know what to do. You have a fair idea right?
Then why haven’t you made that start already?
I’m guessing you have yet to put the time into really uncovering just how good it could be – how much pleasure is there for the taking if you make a change.
Equally, just how much pain do you stand to endure if nothing changes?
Most people will meander along at a status-quo-plateau.
Aware that it could be better, yet not 100% outta-control-jazzed about just how much better.
You will do more to avoid pain than you do to gain pleasure and it’s essential to use both to your advantage so your emotions become a powerful tool in helping you achieve your goal rather than a hinderance.
Emotion stimulates the mind 3,000 times faster than rational thought.
Does this go some way to explain how you know rationally which is the best meal choice to make and all too often emotion wins out instead as you chose the meal that sparks the greater positive emotional response?
Let’s look at using pain as a tool.
Generally we believe outside our ‘comfort zone’ = pain.
Perhaps an example of this is joining a new gym or taking an unfamiliar class where possibly we may look less than completely co-ordinated for a period of time.
What if instead you chose to take on the belief that staying stuck inside the comfort zone = pain & status quo & the same old disappointing results? What would then become available to you?
To create lasting change you need to associate massive pain to not changing now and massive pleasure to changing now.
If you’ve tried to lose fat many times without success this means the level of pain you associate with not changing is not intense enough.
Have you ever made some real progress with your fat loss goal and then hit a plateau? …the going gets tougher, the dinner invitations are increasingly tempting, the gym isn’t as exciting as it was the first few weeks, it’s darker and colder in the mornings and you start to tell yourself that really you’ve given it a fairly good shot and what’s so bad with carrying a few extra kilo’s at your age/with your work-load/family responsibilities…
You’ve just rationalized your lack of success made it OK to settle for those poor results you’ve always gotten and given up on your dream. The worst thing about this strategy is that every time you do it you trade in self belief for settling and shave a little more off your self-esteem.
Pretty soon you’re dropping your standards so you won’t risk failure and be disappointed next time.
Alignment is a key consideration here.
Do you link both pain and pleasure to fat loss in an incongruent way? Perhaps the pleasure of having your ideal body and the pain of giving it your very best shot and not succeeding?
If this is the case, your brain will be confused by the mixed signals and it is likely nothing will change as you will not be utilizing your full resources as you would be if every ounce of you were committed to the change.
Qualifying Question; Have you taken the time to get absolute congruent clarity on the massive pain you will experience if you do not make this happen and the huge pleasure you will experience when you do make this happen?
#4. You Fear Failure.
Perhaps your best secret weapon in sticking to your training program is an absolute refusal to accept failure as an option. Challenges are built into fat loss as they are built into life and it’s not about getting rid of them, but about becoming who you need to be to handle them effectively.
If every setback was merely feedback – an opportunity to refine your approach for a different outcome next time would this free you to give it your very best shot?
To welcome feedback will allow you to learn from every experience and be flexible enough to make the necessary changes to get the result you do desire. There’s really no down side.
Fear can literally be paralyzing. A physiological response as well as psychological.
Here is the solution; first think about the situation that is causing you fear and decide what you need to do to prepare for it and handle it most effectively. Do you need more support or is it a matter of gathering better information to increases your courage and confidence?
Next step melt the freeze by immediately taking that first action. It may be as small as a 20 minute walk that will provide you with a reference point for success to be built on rather than more fear of failure.
As with anything you already excel at consistency is key and even the very best program will get you exactly zero results if you’re held frozen by fear of something that may well never eventuate.
Avoid over-thinking the worst case scenario. In fact first get clarity with our final qualifying question and then just banish those old thoughts and hold your focus firmly on your positive, personal and present tense goal and the experiences achieving it will allow you to experience.
Qualifying Question; What is the very worst that can happen? And if it does – how does this stack up next to the massive pain you will experience if you do not make this fat loss goal a reality?
I know there’s a lot to marinate on (as one of my dear clients would say!)
As I mentioned at the top of the show, I’m utterly convinced success in sticking to any diet or exercise program and achieving your health goal comes down the mindset factors at play at a far deeper level than simply how you eat and how you move your body.
It’s why my focus is brain b4 body. For a simple step my step approach to stop fighting yourself every step of the way and instead get your mind on your fat blasting team, check out my FREE 7-day body gain course.
That’s it for this week in Healthification.
Super huge thanks to some more most awesome people who have left me iTunes reviews… like RaeLouxo, Abbs and Linds and Annie.
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If you liked this you’ll also like: Do You Fear Failing At Fat Loss?
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