When is it that you reach for the sweets, extra serves of food, easy take-away options or alcohol? Why do you do that despite embarking on a healthy lifestyle change, despite making these commitments to yourself and others and despite knowing deep down that you really want to change for the better.
When things get hard do you find yourself feeling and thinking the following?:
"I worked hard in the gym today, I deserve it"
"I've been good all week, a little bit won't hurt"
"It doesn't matter, people still love me despite how I look"
"I'm stressed, I'll make up for it tomorrow but right now I need it"
This talk is often subconscious and sometimes you don't even realise what you are doing until the cake is in your mouth or you've finished the cake thinking "WHY THE F*CK DID I DO THAT".
The fact still remains that YOU want change in your body because YOU want to feel good about your body and YOU want to be healthier. We often sacrifice what we want most, for what we want right now. This is classic reward seeking behaviour. We move towards pleasure and away from pain. This is a survival tool. We reach for the things that make us feel good right now because the reward is immediate. We sabotage our long term results because they seem so far away or just too hard right now. This is not true. Results can show up tomorrow and next week! Results will bring us a huge sense of satisfaction, happiness and enjoyment. But when things get hard we forget this very quickly.
How do we overcome this and change for the long term. Well, it's all about changing our internal dialogue, conjuring up the subconscious talk and facing it head on. It can be uncomfortable, cringe worthy and down right hideous, but it works.
1. When things get hard or after a melt down, write down the thoughts you had (similar to the examples above). Write as much as you can and get all the thoughts out! Let it flow as ugly and uncomfortable as it may be.
2. Reflect on each statement. Dig a little deeper and question the statement. For example "I'm stressed, I'll make up for it tomorrow but right now I need it" - ask your self why you are stressed, why does this stressor bother you, why do you need 'it' so on and so forth.
3. Rewrite your statements. for example "I'm stressed, I'll make up for it tomorrow but right now I need it" becomes "I can handle stress. I am a Boss. this stress will pass and I will not let it interfere with my awesome progress."
4. Practice. At first it feels like a lie, but don't worry. Keep repeating the new statement and aligning your behaviour. It will get easier and you will succeed.
5. Talk to someone about it. Share these deep dark self conversations with someone. You best friend, your Mum or me. Just make sure the person understands this concept or is willing to practice with you. Let them hold you accountable, let them question your behaviour and challenge your excuses.
6. Make no excuses. Don't deliberate. The best way to change a habit is to make zero excuses. As soon as you start debating in your head, you lose. Once you make the decision to change, commit to it. Don't let anyone or anything make you think twice. The commitment has been made. Don't be one of those people who says one thing and does another. Be one of those strong people everyone admires for being so committed.
7. Appreciate the changes. When you do make change focus on the positive effects of them! Take photos, post results, buy yourself new clothes and tell everyone! So many times clients have come to me and said "I used to be so fit. Looking back at photos I still thought I was out of shape. I would kill to have that body now!" Stop hating on yourself. Society tells you that you should not be proud of yourself or your body and that if your do you are 'up-yourself' or 'conceited'. What a load of sh*t. Show me a world where everyone loves themselves and appreciates their bodies. We would end a lot of the problems around health and body composition. It is ok to like yourself, to love your body and be totally cool with it.
All these things take time, practice and commitment. This is a very simplified version. This should be really easy to start.
Email me if you have any questions and I can help you get started. Shortly I will post up a work sheet for this, which you can use as a guide.