Are you someone who has tried to lose weight in the past but can't manage to get there? Or perhaps you got there but couldn't keep it off?
Do you try to change your habits to improve your health but it never quite sticks?
Are you stuck in a constant cycle of fit and unfit?
When it comes to losing weight, getting fit or getting healthy, there are so many challenges in your way that the odds are really stacked up against you. It's actually really hard to make these changes and unless you have your act together it's probably not going to happen!
Here are some key reasons holding people back from achieving their goals (and trust me there are plenty more but this article would be way too long to include all of them)
You're not in enough pain
It's going to be confronting coming to terms with your poor lifestyle choices and making those changes. It's going to be very challenging taking the first steps and unless you are in enough pain that you HAVE to make the changes, the chances are you probably won't. Now I'm not saying everyone has to be hurting on order to make positive changes but you do need to tap into your WHY. Why do you want to achieve that goal? Your "why" needs to be big enough to drive you to act because sometimes it isn't fun getting up on cold winter mornings or taking some time out of your Sunday to prep your food for the week but if you have a strong driving force behind why you're doing it then you are more likely to follow through.
If you come into the process half-hearted with no real reason then you are setting yourself up for failure. The goal setting process becomes hugely important here to really drill down and discover why you are doing it. It doesn't have to be a massive, dramatic why but it does have to be important to you!
You're playing below the line
Playing above the line means taking responsibility for your actions and for everything that happens to you, taking ownership and being accountable. Playing below the line is the exact opposite and blaming everything that happens on other people or external factors.
The sooner you take full responsibility for EVERYTHING, the sooner you will find yourself in the right mindset and everything else will flow on from that. One of my favourite quotes comes from Zig Ziglar "Life is 5% what happens to you and 95% how you respond to it"
DO NOT be a victim of your circumstance because you will never get anywhere. There will always be challenges and things that get in the way of your health and fitness goals, this is called life and we can't remove it.
You have a saboteur in your life
You might not want to admit it but there may be someone in your life who doesn't want you to leave them behind. They are scared that you will lose a whole bunch of weight, become healthier, fitter, more appealing and you will no longer want them. They are scared that they will lose their drinking buddy and be left sitting at the bar by themselves. They are scared that you are going to do the things that they can't or won't do in order to become a better person.
It might be intentional, they simply might not understand what it is that you're trying to do. It might be completely subconscious behaviour but they will do what they can to sabotage your efforts and if you don't have the closest people in your circle of influence on board then you are going to struggle.
Including them in the process is crucial! Educate them on what you are doing. Make them feel included, maybe even get them on the same journey. I guarantee that the people you spend the most amount of your time with will have an impact on your results. If you have a mainly negative circle of influence then you will struggler so you might just have to have some difficult conversations with people.
Having said all of that, the saboteur might actually be you. Self-sabotage is definitely not uncommon. Are you scared that if you achieve that goal then you still might not be happy? Are you scared of leaving your loved ones behind? Are you actually concerned that you might lose an important part of yourself in the process? A really good coach can help you work through this stuff.
You're eating too much
I often hear the words "I eat really healthy but still can't seem to lose weight"
Eating healthy food is great. It's important as it generally provides you with adequate macronutrients as well as vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients…. this is all well and good except you can still be eating too much of said healthy food. Your body doesn't care that the food you're eating is "healthy" if you are in a caloric surplus you will still gain weight or struggle to lose weight.
It's always a good exercise to track your food if only for one day to at least find out HOW much food you are eating. You should then also find out what your daily energy requirements are, whether it be for fat loss, muscle gain or maintenance. Energy balance (calories in vs calories out) is the number one tool for losing or gaining weight!
Having said that, you are up against another mighty adversary in the enormous big food companies who have a vested interest in you staying overweight and unhealthy by eating calorie dense, nutrient deficient food. These companies spend millions of dollars on creating the "bliss point", the perfect blend of salt, sugar and fat to create the ultimate in culinary sensory stimulation so as a general rule of thumb, stay away from highly processed, packaged food and stick to "whole" sources of food - lean protein, fresh fruit and veg, nuts, seed, unprocessed grains and good fats like avocado and olive oil.
You haven't set yourself up for success
It's not just about jumping on the treadmill and starting to exercise, in fact that's the last and easiest part of the equation! You need to make sure you have first:
- Set your mind
- Be positive - ask yourself quality, open ended questions that will actually open your mind to a solution rather than negative, closed statements.
- Be prepared - to do all the things you need to do as well as being prepared to fail because relapse is part of the change process!
- Be self motivated - this comes back to the goal setting process and having a strong emotional attachment to your goal.
- Be self aware - What are your triggers? Do you eat when you're stressed, bored or lonely? Does your mother always cook your favourite lasagne when you visit? You need to be aware of these pitfalls.
- Set your goals
- Specific, measurable and time-based goals are critical for success (losing 5kg by X date)
- Set an effective exercise and nutritional plan
- Once you have covered the first 2 key points, then you can "go" with an effective, realistic and sustainable training and nutritional plan.
At Vision Personal Training we focus on the 4 E's:
We do it in that order for a reason because emotions are what drive people's behaviour. The exercise is the easy part really so when it comes to creating long lasting change, you always need to start with what's going on upstairs rather than thinking that only exercise is the answer.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.