Michelle and I have worked together for a couple of months now and she recently came to one of her 1-on-1 sessions super excited. I asked her what she was all kinds of giddy about and she told me the story below.
A few months ago she went shopping for some clothes and found a cute pair of overalls at Forever 21.
Guys, please stay with me on this. It will be relevant I promise.
After having 2 kids she knew she had gained a little weight the past few years so she decided to try on the large pair. They were a little snug in the hips so she put them back on the hanger and decided not to buy them. However, she took a picture of them and the tag so that she wouldn’t forget them. Hoping to be able to buy them in the near future.
The last month or so Michelle has noticed that her clothes are not as snug. People have also been commenting to her how great she looks and asking her if she has lost weight. One friend in particular commented how great she looked and asked her how much weight she has lost.
Below are her measurements after about 8 seeks of working together. Before measurements are listed first.
- Weight: 138 – 134
- Neck: 12 – 11.25
- Chest: 36.75 – 37
- Bicep: 9.5 – 9.5
- Waist: 31.25 – 29.5
- Thigh: 21.5 – 21
- Calf: 14 – 13.5
After Michelle told her friend she has lost about 4 pounds in 2 months her friend replied back with, “4 pounds. That’s it? You know you could have lost about 20.”
I shook my head. Luckily so did Michelle.
She told me that in the past she probably would have lost about 15 to 20 pounds in 2 months by following a really restrictive diet and following a super aggressive workout that involved a ton of time on the treadmill – something that she hates by the way.
However, after those 2 months she’d most likely quit. Her mood would be terrible, she’d be exhausted, starving, and hate every minute of the process. Once the 20 pounds had come off she’d go right back to old habits and put it back on and maybe a little more. This cycle would repeat itself every few months.
This was the first time in her life that she was actually enjoying the process of getting healthier. She was confident that she was building the habits necessary for her to continue to make progress over an extended period of time.
She doesn’t ever feel like she’s depriving herself. She doesn’t hate working out and finding new ways to move her body. She’s not obsessed with her numbers on the scale. She’s not trying to reach some arbitrary goal like getting ready for a vacation in 3-months. She’s just enjoying the process.
So that brings me to you.
- Did your super restrictive “diet” really work for you?
- How’s that bulking and cutting thing work out?
- Did buying all that expensive equipment, clothes, and gear really motivate you to get going?
- Did that super tough 30 day challenge workout really turn you into a workout beast or are you now following a 30 day rest challenge 🙂 – I apologize for my sarcasm.
I’m often amazed by how often we repeat the same process over and over hoping for a different outcome. We follow a new restrictive diet and tell ourselves that we just need to have more willpower. We follow another 30 day challenge and convince ourselves that we’ll stay with it after the 30 days this time around.
It never happens.
Today’s article is all about looking to your experience as evidence to help you figure out what you can actually do to make some short-term and long-term progress towards a healthier life for yourself.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUPER POWERS
Flash is fast. Hulk is super strong. Cat Woman had crazy dexterity. Superman is… well Superman.
You don’t need to be able to shoot a web from you hands or fire from your eyes to get your fitness game strong. But if you can I will shit a brick, seriously.
What are some of your superpowers, skills, or things you already know about yourself?
- Do you train better in groups, with a partner, in classes, or alone?
- Is there a sport that you love?
- Do you love to cook or have some culinary skills?
- Does being out doors give you energy and motivate you?
- Have you been coached in the past?
- Do you have any existing injuries that may hamper you?
- Are you a grump if you don’t eat?
- Do you travel a lot?
- Are you really organized?
- Time management ninja?
Take a few minutes to identify some things you know about yourself. What are a few things you already do well? What are some skills and superpowers that you have that may be able to help you on your fitness journey. If you need some help you can use this resource from the Busy Person’s Fitness Guide.
WHAT CAN YOU DO RIGHT NOW AND HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT YOU CAN DO IT?
How many times have you decided that this is it? It’s finally time to make some changes and this time it will be different. You’ve come up with the perfect plan. You’ve got your diet straight, you workouts are on point, and you’re motivated as all get up.
2-weeks later and you pull a Top Gun. Crash and burn, huh Mav… Crash and burn.
So what happened?
You tried to do too much at once. It’s hard to completely overhaul your life overnight, especially if you have other responsibilities like work, a family, a significant other, and leisure activities you like to pursue.
Shrink the changes that you’re trying to make so small that they’re nearly impossible for you to get started and keep up. So if you’re trying to start making healthier food choices instead of going full on Paleo, Vegan, or Keto how about just trying to create a healthier lunch for a week. Just improve that one meal for the next 7 days and if you can do it try improving another meal the following week.
Struggling to make that change?
What about just trying to include a source of protein with each meal? Forget everything else all together and just focus on eating a source of protein.
How will you know if the changes that you’re trying to make are small enough? Just ask yourself.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how confident are you that you can make this one small change for the next 7 days and practice it to 90% consistency? If you’re not at least at a 9 make the change smaller.
If you need some help with deciding what changes to make check out the free 8-week transformation challenge.
ARE YOU READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO ACTUALLY DO THIS?
When you’re trying to make changes in life it’s easy to forget that there may be some tradeoffs.
- Want to start exercising 30 minutes every day? You may have to pass on 30 minutes of late night Netflix
- Want to start making healthier food choices? You may have to drink water while at happy hour with your friends
- Want to start working on a side business? You might have to pass on some fun this weekend to work on it in your free time.
Are you ready, willing, and able to accept and make some of these trades?
Not sure? Just ask yourself.
What might you have to start and stop doing in order to accomplish your goal?
Now this doesn’t mean you can’t ever have another drink again. Never enjoy another piece of cheesecake. Or never stay up late binge watching episodes of “The Girlfriend Experience”… I’ve said too much.
It just means for the time being you may have to make some difficult changes. Some changes you may not necessarily be excited to make.
USE THE 1% RULE
On the internet it’s estimated that the number of people who create content represent 1% of the people viewing content – aka lurkers.
Don’t be a lurker.
Lurkers already know what to do they just never end up doing it. They know to eat more veggies. They know to drink more water and other zero calorie beverages. They know they should move their bodies everyday. They know they should sleep. They know…. they know…. they know….
They just never do. Instead, they read another article, another book, or watch another video because searching and never doing feels good and productive.
Habits are not created or broken in a day, a week, or month. They often take longer than that. Give yourself permission to improve and to fail.
You don’t need to change right this moment but you do need to get started. If you’re ready, willing, and able – see what I did there?
- 10-minutes of movement today is 10-minutes more than you did yesterday.
- 5-minutes of meditation this today is 35-minutes more this week.
- Writing 200 words today is 73,000 words this year.
Focusing on bigger goals can often overwhelm us into inaction. Instead, how can you be 1% better than you were yesterday? What is a 1% improvement that you can make today that will compound over time?
No deadlines and no dates to reach your goal. Just consistent, persistent, daily practice that helps you become 1% better.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?
What do you want to do, feel, be, and what adventures do you want to have?
What’s your objective? Do you want to lose 30 pounds? Write your first book? Be able to do the splits? Start your own business? Take a trip around the world?
Gather your evidence by tracking your progress. Keyword your progress not your results. Measure h0w consistently you’re practicing the behaviors that will lead to your results. Want to lose 30 pounds? Track how consistently you’re eating vegetables with each meal. Want to write your first book this year? Track how many days this week you wrote 250 words.
Review and interpret your data. Are you being consistent enough with you behaviors to see results?
Make changes based on your feedback. Results not coming along? What changes do you need to make? Do you need to be more consistent? Do you need to make the changes you’re trying to make smaller?
Focus on things that you can control.
“I just need to be more disciplined” is not something you can control. However, you can make changes in your life that make being more disciplined an easier habit to practice. Perform a kitchen makeover, block distracting websites, sleep with your workout clothes on.
Need help with figuring out what you can and cannot control? Try using the spheres of control exercise to help.
To do this exercise start by drawing three circles like you see above.
- Label the smallest circle “total control.”
- Label the middle circle “some control.”
- Label the largest circle “no control.”
Now, get to work and start filling it in! You may be surprised by what you find.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THIS ARTICLE
- Discover your superpowers. What are some skills, experiences, and strengths that you already have that you can use to your advantage?
- What is 1 small change you can make today that will get you closer to you objective that you’re confident you can practice consistently for the rest of the week?
- Decide on where it is you actually want to go and ask yourself if you’re read, willing, and able to make some of the tradeoffs that it might take to get there.
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