Are you Fickle about your Fitness?

I was approached recently by someone who I would classify as a fickle person.  I'm going to be judgmental here and say she seems to jump in and out of the same relationship that if you asked her she would even say herself is a terrible one for her.  She jumps from one exercise trend to the other, yet when you look at her she remains the same.  There is certainly nothing wrong with the way she looks in my humble opinion, but she has not changed a bit in the amount of time I've known her for as many exercise trends she's pursued and I'd say it has to be close to about 5 years now that I've known her.  I will say that she remains consistent and persistent.  Suffice to say that the only times that I am seeing her is, well, in the gym, and this is a good sign.  Yes?  

So, what's my point?  Well, in the amount of time I've known her, she's always got these things to say, or......questions.  She has never hired me as her trainer mind you, but she always has these comments or questions about my profession. 

Her comments come in such a way as if she needs a suggested nod, wink or permission from me in some way.  The way she forms them are really not so nice, but I don't think she's trying to be mean.  It' s just how it comes out of her.   Needless to say, I'm not fond of talking to her, if I'm being honest.  

Anyway, on to my point, right?  Well she sees me training in the gym one day and runs up to me and starts barking questions like, "What are you doing, how are you doing? You look incredible…. and on and on.  I kind of hurry her through the accolades as all I want to do is get back to my training really.  I finally found her mute button and off she went.  So far so good, right?  What's so bad about these things she's said?

{Just an FYI for your own good =o) I hate being bothered if I'm in the gym working out.  I like to get it done, I don't like being disturbed while doing it, it's time I've carved out for myself and I take it seriously, so don't be offended if I look at you like you have 3 heads if you choose to disturb me when I'm working out.  It's my thing, leave it alone.}  

I finish my workout and off I go to the ladies room and there she is again as if waiting for me to enter.  This time she's asking me if I'd heard of a particular trainer who trains women for fitness competitions. 

It's a little known fact, believe it or not, that I do figure and fitness competitions.  I don't necessarily lead with that foot as that then becomes the only brush that people tend to paint you with once they find out that you do them. 

I told her that I have not done one as of late and asked her why she was asking.  She goes on to say that she found this fantastic trainer who trains women for fitness competitions. 

She hooked up with this trainer because she saw a woman with an A-mazing body and she approached the woman and asked if she was a trainer, she said SHE wasn't but she knows one. 

So, of course, she signs up with this trainer.  She's been with this trainer for a reasonable amount of time I think to see changes, and you know what?  She still looks the same. 

Stories like this and TONS of others that I know like it used to baffle me. It no longer does because I understand what's happening and I want you to understand too. 

I know enough to know that if any of these components are missing in your weight loss journey, you are probably not in a place to keep it off.  Here are some things to be on the lookout for along with some tips to stay on your journey. 

Inconsistency and not taking a life-style approach change to the commitment. 

You know you want to change, but you can only stay committed to a supportive way of eating, or exercising a week at a time and ya just gotta take a week off in between.  If your mindset comes with a notion that this is short-term living and that you can resume to your former eating habits after you lose the amount of weight you want to lose, then this will be an uphill, losing and constant battle for you. 

Lack of persistence. 

If you've tried a thousand times, keep trying.  Every failed attempt brings you closer to the method that will work for you.  I'm not referring to trying some crazy diet fads.  I'm referring to a method, or system that will work for YOU.  It can be working with a supportive group, or committing to a group that cooks meals for the week, but it has to be something that you can do for yourself that is a concerted effort to make a contribution to your lifestyle where you take some responsibility on how it will turn out for YOU.  You cannot sit on the sidelines and hope for the best while you make no plans for your own success. 

Lack of follow through. 

If you try something out for a week and you expect to see amazing results, you are in for a rude awakening.  It takes actions long-term and consistently.  Odds are you've had these poor habits for longer than a week, so expecting to see miraculous results in a short amount of time is comical at best.  If you continually make plans and then not follow through on them, your results will be minimal. 

Looking for an answer outside yourself or doing it for someone, or something outside yourself or just the wrong motivation.. 

I see this all the time.  You will never find an answer that is outside yourself.  Never.

If you are relying on someone or something to get you there, then you are screwing yourself and the results will not last.  This is referred to as extrinsic motivation.  It is not that next program, the next trainer, the next big idea, the next magic bullet, the next exercise class, the next….whatever.  That's not it.  I assure you.  You have to find that reason that lies within YOU that has nothing to do with anyone or anything else.  YOU have to be that reason.  Your reasoning has to be intrinsic.  It has to come from within YOU.

It's not because you're  turning 30, 40, 50, 90, or whatever age, it's not because you're getting married, it's not because of your reunion for whatever…those can be deadlines, but don't make it your deciding factor because after that day, your body will fight you.  You have to feel that you're worth the change without any of those things looming over your head.  

Faulty measuring.

The worse things you can do is compare yourself to Sally Sue, your best friend, or step on a scale to quantify your results.  The wrong sort of measurements can make you feel pretty terrible about yourself.  Numbers that should interest you are ones that take your body composition into account.  Measurements such as circumference, or caliper measurements.  Anything else is just well, archaic and (please forgive me, but) stupid. 

Using misguided, but well-intentioned coaching.

I see this quite a bit too.  As a fitness professional I'm glad I can make my job look so easy that anyone can do it, but I don't think that just because you were able to coach yourself to a weight loss of 20+ pounds or more, suddenly enables you a weight loss expert for everyone else.  Ya feel me?  

It's well-intentioned enthusiasm that loses it's steam once you figure out the same things that may have worked for you will certainly not work for everyone else.  After you discover that, it then becomes a frustrating and irritating experience for your newfound self-appointed coaching job.  You should try keeping that weight off for about 5 years and then see if you're ready to help someone else.  That can make all the difference.  

Trainers can fall into the same category.  They try to compose diets for clients to follow only to become frustrated when they find that the diet is not being followed by the client at all.  Shakes, pills, potions and lotions are not the answer either, but proper nutrient identification and education on how to use them is key.  I believe it is my job to educate you on these things so that you will never need me or any other trainer again.  

Not Journaling. 

This helps to identify patterns of behavior that can become invaluable once you find the pattern.  For instance, you may notice that around the middle of the month you start a binging pattern that wreaks havoc on your size 4's, or that you want to eat half a cow at about 3p mostly every day.  Once identified, you can begin to implement fail-safe plans to restrict or avoid the behavior altogether.  If you don't keep track of your actions, they are very hard to identify much less change.  

You keep trying to complicate the process. 

This makes me want to roll my eyes to the back of my head.  Ever hear that song,

"knock 3 times on the ceiling if you want me, twice on the pipes {ting, ting}, if the answer is no…."

How simple is this instruction?  The song doesn't over complicate things.  It's very simple instruction.  If you are finding nutrition complicated or have to see someone else entirely for just that, you are on the wrong path.   Nutrition is stupid-simple.  Start here.  

You live a really stressful lifestyle. 

Who doesn't? This is mostly everyone, so you can't really use this as an excuse.  The problem becomes when you don't manage the stress well.  If you live in a lifestyle of mismanaged stress, then adding exercise on top of that is just added stress. 

This matters because when you are stressed you produce more cortisol and a workout can mean you increasing your cortisol levels, NOT reducing them.  You must learn to find a way to manage your stress well to begin with and only you hold the key to that.

Stress in turn encourages your body to hold on to fat, so in a nutshell it prohibits your body from functioning optimally in a workout setting.  Instead of helping you burn fat, it is causing you to hold on to and store fat because it is translated by the body as simply, more stress. 

More stress = more cortisol. 

Look we all like to stay motivated and I totally get that you may be intrigued by that next magical formula that seems to have all the answers.  It's easy to get sidetracked when you feel like you've been doing the same thing over and over again or have tried everything and can't seem to get any better.  

If getting, being and staying in shape were easy, then we'd all look like a million bucks.  It's commitment, consistency, and variation that gets you the results you need.  Anything less will leave you disappointed and frustrated. 

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