Well, this is a monumental question right?! There are a lot of familiar answers to this question that come up!
- ‘My diet isn’t right.’
- ‘I just can’t motivate myself.’
- ‘I’m doing the wrong exercise.’
- ‘I enjoy wine/beer too much.’
- ‘It’s a lot of work’
- ‘I don’t want people to judge me.’
I believe that the real answer to this question lies a lot deeper. When you get asked this question a lot of us will have an emotion associated with weight loss/ our body/ fitness depending on how you perceive it in your mind. It might be determination, it might be guilt, it could be sadness. Whatever that emotion is, it comes from a decision, a choice that you have made that causes you to feel that way.
Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘why would I choose to make myself feel something negative?!’ As I said before, there is a cause behind every emotion and while you were experiencing that event you would have made a decision from which your behaviours and emotions towards that cause originate. For example, you might have been in a relationship which you were deeply involved in and then they broke up with you and you were devastated. You never want to feel that way ever again and so you comfort eat so that you don’t find yourself attractive and so don’t get involved in another relationship. It’s easier for you to remain unsatisfied with how you look than to go through the pain of another break up.
‘why would I choose to make myself feel something negative?!’
Is the problem that you struggle to get the dream body that you want or is the problem somewhere else? I have found more often than not, the issue is somewhere else.
We are in a society where bikini bodies and body building gym nuts are perceived to be the ‘norm’. If you aren’t one of them then you are abnormal. This is particularly prevalent with women and how they ‘should’ look. Pick up any glossy magazine and you’ll see ‘fat burning tips’, how some celebrity has put on a couple of pounds and it’s a travesty or ‘how to get any guy’ type articles which, you guessed it, are centred around the fear that we are inadequate without looking like a size 8 model, or whatever ‘skinny’ passes as these days.
What I’m getting at with all of this is that our attitude and beliefs towards health and fitness determine how we behave towards our own health. Are we letting someone else determine what healthy is to us, or are we deciding what makes us feel good? There’s an easy way to find this out for yourself. When you think of your dream body, are you thinking of yourself looking that way or does how someone else look pop into your head? This simple exercise shows you whether your focus of your picture of perfect health is your own image or whether you project and connect more with an ideal outside of you. What does that mean? It’s an indicator of whether you look for validation of what is ‘right’ by checking inside of yourself or by looking at what others approve of.
If we are constantly looking outside of ourself and the ‘norm’ changes, then our perception of whether we are healthy or happy changes too. We are effectively chasing moving goal posts and the end result is that we are never quite getting to a place where we are happy. We have given that power to someone else.
…the end result is that we are never quite getting to a place where we are happy.
When we are in control of the standards we set and follow our own set of internal rules then we can control how we feel. We all have the resources to be able to do this inside of us, but we sometimes get muddled up with how to access them. I’m also not saying that to get good results for yourself you mustn’t care what other people think. I know a lot of people that operate well with this model of the world as it allows them to come out of their own emotions and be objective.
The key is knowing yourself. Being able to have the self awareness to identify how you work and be able to play to your strengths and tweak the weaknesses that are really getting in the way. We are all different and work in different ways. It’s much better to work within a zone where you get the most out of yourself than to cram yourself into someone else’s mould!
The key is knowing yourself.
So why aren’t you getting your dream body? We now know it’s not the behaviours and excuses that we give ourselves that stop us long term. It’s the beliefs, attitudes and how we view ourselves that give us the consistency and drive to work towards what we want. I invite you to take some time to work on yourself mentally as well as physically. Look at what makes you tick and how you validate when you’ve done a good job and when you really haven’t. It all matters when you’re working to get those results.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle or tone yourself towards how you what to look, the same rules apply.