Here's what your personal traininer or coach should have told you when you embarked on your fitness journey. Let's not do the long winded leading paragraph, and jump straight in.
1) You Are Going To Fall off The Wagon
Yep. Make no mistake about it. At some point you are going to fall off. Sooner or later it's going to go pear shaped. Your nutrition is going to go more wrong than a Hulk Hogan melt down. Your training is going to fall by the road side, and your new meditation routine to keep you sane, is well, simply going to collapse under pressures.
Life happens. Deal with it.
But I want you to understand this one thing (and trust me it will make a huge difference).
What is it? Recognise that it's just part of the process.
It's that easy.
(You can check out the stages of change model to get a visual of what I'm talking about)
Realise that yes, I've fallen off the wagon, but I knew this was going to happen as It's just part of the process of me developing new habits. Rather than beating yourself up about it (which is a waste of your time) think, "Ok, what action can I take right now to get me back on the wagon?" and then take action.
Get yourself a friend, trainer or coach to hold you accountable too, if you have too.
Remember, your emotions don't have to dictate your behaviour. You have a choice.
2) You Need A Big Enough "Why."
Now this relates to the first point. You're going to need a big enough "why". Usually you'll hear stuff like, "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get fit". So what? Really. So what?
Those times that you are having a really bad day, and life is kicking you in the rib cage when you're down, or there are one hundred and one other million exciting things you could be doing, rather than exercising, preparing your meals or taking time out to meditate, is that reason really enough? I mean REALLY?!
Connect with your deeper meaning. What does it really mean to you. You must connect to that emotional driver. What will it allow you to do that you can't do know? How will your life be different? What difference will it make to you?
One client I had wanted to lose weight and pack on muscle. Nothing special right? Heard it a thousand times. When we digged a little deeper, I found out that the emotional driver was that he was really successful in his career, and had let himself go in the process. He was by no means obese, but wasn't 100% comfortable with his body.
He hadn't had a girlfirend for ages as he was scared to approach women, because he feared that he would be rejected because of his "spare tyre" as he put it. Plus he didn't feel sexually attractive within himself and didn't beleive anyone would want him in his current condition, so he decided to take action.
He wanted a someone to share his life with but felt this was stopping him. We did some more work on this but can you see how much more a powerful "why" that is than simply "I want to lose weight"?
So what's your why?
I invite you to write that down, somewhere you can see it daily, and let that reason tattoo itself into your mind and body.
3) You Don't Need Motivation
Let me ask you a question.
Who's more motivated? The woman in the gym working out and eating healthy, or the guy on the couch watching nextflix, backing his fourth pizza and necking his third stella?
They are both motivated, just to do different things.
That youtube clip, that fitness meme is not motivation per se, it's stimulation and often a distraction. Your motivation will stem from your "why".
If you don't like the results your behaviour is getting you, check your motivation.
Discover your deeper "why" . Dig it up and breathe some life into it's limp body if you have to. Then take consistent action towards your goal.
And remember, yes you are going to fall off the wagon at some point so don't fret. You already know what to do (see point 1).
You are always motivated. Don't blame your behavour on the lack of fitness memes or youtube videos.
4) Your Emotions Don't Have To Dictate Your Behaviour
Ok, I have another question for you.
How many times have you felt a certain way and let it stop you from doing something you wanted to do?
It could be anything, from making that jump, to asking that person out on a date, to nailing that job interview and asking for a pay rise, to packing that weight on the bar and bailing out half way through the squat.
We've all been there at some point in our lives. I know I have.
Now, how many times in your life have you felt a certain way and taken action to get what you wanted and it worked out? Bet you have done that too right? sure you have.
Your emotions do not have to dictate your behaviour. You can still take action and get the results that you wanted, regardless of how you feel.
This is important to recognise.
Should you surpress or ignore your emotions? Of course not. Always acknowledge them, honour and respect them. That's a healthy way to address them.
But realise when you are having a bad day, don't feel like doing it or can't be bothered, or something else has happened in your life to throw you off centre, you still have a choice.
You can feel as if you are all at sea in a storm, but you are the captain of your ship. Do what's best for you in any given moment.
Your emotions do not have to dictate your behaviour, unless you want them too and they are in alignment with your "why".
5) Your Self Worth Is Not Determined By Your Body Fat Percentage.
I wrote something similar on a post by Ben Coomber of Body Type Nutrition Academy. So I'll just quote what I said here.
"Either way Bodyfat % is not always an indicator of health and weight is not a measurement of self worth . A six pack is not an indicator of your character. Some coaches forget that."
Just because you are 22% Bodyfat doesn't mean you are any more or less of a person than someone at 5% Bodyfat, and the converse is also true.
You are not your performance. You are not the weight on a set of scales, and you are not your bodyfat percentage.
Don't get it twisted.
6) Fall In Love With The Process
My friend Lazo Freeman says this often, and he's a Coach I deeply repsect. You must fall in love with the process, not just the results. When you hate the exercises, the meal prep, the recovery, the stress management strategies you are less likely to stick with it and make it a lifestyle change and get long term sustainable results.
When you learn to love training, eating right, and can make those lifestyle changes with joy. Imagine that? How awesome would that be?
Loving what you do, doing it with excitement. Knowing that every day in every way you are becoming better and better.
You may not agree with my six things, and that's fine too. But let me ask you, what do you know now that you wish you knew then, before your started out on your strength and health journey?