Today I would like to share some thoughts about goals, especially weight loss goals!!!
For most people and I’m talking about 99% of those who join my gym with a weight loss goal, it’s an impossible task.
Here’s a few reasons why and what might help you to re-think your goal and set yourself up to win.
We tend to overestimate and misunderstand the effect of exercise while underestimating how much of an overhaul to our lifestyle is needed to achieve our weight loss goal.
I don’t think social media helps when you’re constantly bombarded with insane transformations without seeing the full story, it’s easy to get confused.
Let me explain a bit more: Exercise helps to maintain muscle, tone up what’s underneath the jiggly bits, move well for the rest of your life, strengthen bones, stops you getting out of breath and promotes a sense of wellbeing and achievement.
I don’t think you really appreciate the benefits until you lose them like being unable to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, unable to tie your shoe laces or cut your toenails, can’t pick your grandkids up or play with them or are in chronic pain that never seems to go away (all things that’s been said by my members).
Most of those things we take for granted, we assume we will always be able to do the little things until we can’t.
In terms of actually losing weight exercise doesn’t actually help as much as you think, it’s so easy to get into the mindset that because we just exercised and worked hard then we can have a treat, like you’re a performing dog who deserves a takeaway because you went to the gym.
The problem with nutrition is that most people don’t actually realise or accept how much of an overhaul is needed to get to their destination, and even if you get there the likelihood is you won’t be able to maintain it without accepting that change has to be permanent.
I don’t want to come across as all preachy, I want to explain from my own perspective and journey as a full time exercise professional.
I’ve exercised on and off for the last 25 years, and my goal was always to have a 6 pack (replace that with your goal of getting to a dress size / lose so many lbs).
Guess how many times I’ve had a 6 pack in my life?
Never, absolutely zero and the likelihood of me ever having a 6 pack is slim to no chance.
What would be required for me to achieve a 6 pack is a total overhaul of my lifestyle: I’d have to really restrict my calories to the point I would be giving up a lot of the stuff I enjoy, probably to the point of measuring my food, limiting my socialising (no fancy coffees or cakes), no popcorn at the cinema, no eating out with friends and family.
Alongside all those major food changes I’d have to maintain a very unsustainable amount of activity and exercise to the point of being obsessive (which is practically impossible with a demanding job and family commitments).
Basically my goal of having a 6 pack based on my current lifestyle, job and family commitments is impossible and I would be setting myself up to fail if all I focused on was not losing enough fat or not having a 6 pack (or not reaching the dress size you have in your head).
Now I am an exercise professional, I live by myself meaning I have full control of my nutrition most of the time, I exercise 4-5 times a week and average around 10k steps a day most weeks… I’m doing well with nutrition, activity and exercise and still can’t reach the unrelentless goal of a 6 pack, and I’m still a good stone away from my ideal weight (around 2 stone away from a 6 pack).
Can you see how having such an unachievable goal would be unhelpful to me?
Here’s a question for you?
Taking into account your current lifestyle, family situation, work commitments, activity, nutrition, social life and how much you are actually willing or able to change, is your goal realistic and achievable?
You have a couple of options:
Reframe your views on exercise and adjust your goal.
Make the drastic changes needed to reach your goal.
If you’re not honest with yourself then you’re always going to be chasing the next magic pill that doesn’t exist (theres no easy way to lose weight), and then feeling shit when you feel like you’re putting in effort for no reward.
How about looking at exercise as a positive habit that has far more benefits than just weight loss?
It’s something you can continue to do for the rest of your life that will improve your health and wellbeing?
Think of your exercise as something different from weight loss and rather than the numbers on the scale maybe think about the numbers on the bar and the number of sessions you manage to do each week, that’s progress.
Giving up exercise because you aren’t getting weight loss results (as you can’t change or aren’t ready to change your lifestyle) is like quitting your job because money is tight, the bills still need to be paid!
Here’s my final point, think about the overall picture and that some days, weeks, months you will be in a better position to fully commit and feel more motivated to working on your nutrition, if I was going on a beach holiday this summer I would be more likely to focus on the months leading up to the holiday.
Cut yourself some slack and realise that sometimes your goals aren’t realistic, that even if you can’t 100% focus on losing weight you’re still working on yourself and improving every time you exercise.
Maybe next time I can talk about some mindset around losing weight, get you thinking that it’s not the be all and key to being happy?
Be kind to yourself, realise you’re doing a great job under your current circumstances and that it’s gonna take longer than you thought.
ACCEPT that working on yourself is difficult and a moving target just like the horizon the closer you get the further away it seems.
Don’t give up on yourself,
Just show up ;)
P.S. Any questions just comment x
P.P.S If you’re reading this and thinking I am 1 million percent ready and “WILL DO WHATEVER” it takes to get results then that’s a different story, we are running a FREE challenge starting in April for the 1% who are ready to go to extreme measures to get results…