Look I am not a huge fan of the saying “pull yourself up from your bootstraps and do it.” I think this is from hearing my social worker mom talk about the homeless men and women she worked with on a daily basis as I grew up. Sometimes those people just couldn’t “do it.” Many had legitimate REASONS for being homeless. I won’t go any further on that subject ha.
So , I try to watch myself when I want to say to client’s “just do it.” For one, it’s harsh. For two, I understand that people have things in their lives that may be making it very difficult for them to achieve their fitness goals. These “things” can very well be legitimate reasons such as: an SI joint injury prevents you from squatting, not having the financial savings at the time to afford a coach (this doesn’t mean you can’t be very successful though!!), having a 4 kids at home that cut into your workout time, a 60 hour per week job, or just high stress in life in general.
Notice, I said very difficult and I really mean that. Life isn’t easy, but everyone else has similar stresses and “reasons” that making a lifestyle change can be difficult. It comes down to whether you make those “reasons” into excuses or not. Most people have many more excuses than legitimate reasons for not executing on their plan for a healthier life. There are many individuals out there with high stress jobs, kids at home, injuries to work around etc that are seeing amazing progress towards their health and fitness goals. They prioritized their time and efforts. Hope you read my last post
This brings me to my main point here. Are your frustrations valid? Like can you actually be frustrated with your lack of results? Are you keeping things in perspective? Dreaming is nice. It is what makes life and specifically fitness fun. Dreaming and thinking about how you will look and feel better. I do that! Well, not actually dreaming about it, keeping my goals in my mind everyday. Dreaming is good, but you need to keep things in perspective so you can avoid being disappointed. Remember when I said “we need to at all costs avoid the disappoint of failing at our fitness goals,” and this means keeping goals realistic and keeping things in perspective.
**Side note: Failing at things in life isn’t a bad thing obviously, it teaches you how to improve and get better. But, I think I work in a field where “failing to make you better” isn’t always good especially if you lack confidence in your body and appearance. Building confidence through successes is the best way to improve your habits and overall health. Set yourself up for success not failure by setting realistic goals!!
Here are some examples of what I mean:
…actually first…before you read these realize my goal is not to discourage you from going after your goals (dreams), but to remind you that sometimes you need to step back really figure out what is achievable for your current life and body…
- You want to get a 6 pack for the first time in your life. You are a 28 year old guy. You drink 4 nights a week. You are pissed when it isn’t happening. Take a step back and evaluate your decisions. Drinking 4 nights per week is probably the thing making your goal very difficult to achieve. You can’t be frustrated with lack of results until you tweak some things with your lifestyle. If you don’t want to give up those nights with the guys, you might need to change your goal until your lifestyle is ready for it. Realize, timing is everything, it may not be the time for you to get that 6 pack and that is OK!
- You are a mom of 3. You have stomach fat you want to get rid of so you can get back to how you looked when you were 21. You can most definitely lose that belly fat, but when you are 48 you need to keep things in perspective. The time commitment to get your 21 year body back might be too large when you have a career and kids now. I said might…I didn’t say it was for sure too large. Realize that you can still get in AMAZING shape at 48, be extremely happy with your improved strength, fat loss and newly found confidence. But, keep things in perspective.
- Here is me for an example. I am naturally tall and lean. Its funny how when you have one thing you almost always want something else. Many people would kill to be tall and lean, don’t get me wrong I am happy with how I look and feel, but I always want a bit more muscle. This is what keeps me motivated and moving forward. I also need to keep things in perspective. I will never weigh 200lbs and be as lean as I am now. I just don’t have a body to hold that as much muscle mass (at least in the near future). But, I am still very happy with all the progress I make because I keep things in perspective. I also realize I won’t look like those guys on the covers of fitness magazines because even though I am very strict with my nutrition at this stage in my life, there are things I am not going to give up either. I realize that to look like those fitness models would take more of a commitment than I want to make. Remember, you need to match your commitment level to a goal that is realistic.
- If you haven’t worked out in two months and haven’t watched your portion sizes at all and the scale is up 8 lbs…well you know why it is up 8lbs. In my mind, you can’t be frustrated because you didn’t control what you could have controlled. Now, if you had worked out 6 days a week, tracked your calories, got good sleep, managed your stress etc and the scale was up 8lbs then, yes, you have a very valid reason to be frustrated. But, if you did all that you probably aren’t 8lbs Before you complain about how ” the scale must be wrong” you need to evaluate your actions that may have caused you to gain 8lbs. The body doesn’t gain 8lbs just to piss you off. You are in control of your body and actions. If you legitimately don’t know what you should be doing to lose weight in healthy way, well that is a different story. Please email me and I will help you!!
- If you can only commit to three 30 minute workouts per week you can still be very successful towards weight loss goals. But, this means those 30 minute workouts really need to be worth it. It also means you need to have your nutrition on point, especially days you don’t exercise. Most of my clients eat better on days they work out, so if you are going 2-3 days between workouts, how do you manage a way to eat the same on rest days as you do when you workout?
- If you are past puberty and let’s just say over the age of 18-21 and you want to weigh what you weighed when you were 15…keep things in perspective. I would weigh 140lbs….um yeah.
Don’t give up on your goals, but make sure those goals fit your commitment level and lifestyle. If you want to lose 70lbs in the next year, you need to make serious, and I mean serious commitments, there is no time to waste. Grind away, be patient, keep your stress low and good things will happen