This ones for all of you out there in this position, and believe it or not it is a very real problem and something we see or hear about often at Body Planners.
Often, most of the clients we take on are of a similar mindset in that their exercise regime isn’t working the way they would like I.E, they’re exercising and nothing is happening.
If you’re exercising that’s a really positive thing and as we’ve explained before, all exercise burns calories even if intensities and durations vary, so exercise isn’t the problem.
We often find (and again we’ve explained this before) that people get on with exercise once they have found the right type of activity for them but its the rest of the system they’re trying to follow which is failing them. It’s common amongst runners that because they’re engaged in a laborious plan, their body uses calories so its ok to eat cake. If you’re not concerned for weight loss that may be true but if weight loss is your goal then eating cake along side your run plan isn’t really good practice.
I had this conversation just the other day whilst I was out on a run (socially distanced, naturally) with a client training for the Outlaw Half Triathlon which entails a 1.2 Mile Swim, 56 Mile Cycle, and a 13.1 Mile Run. They have been toying with this idea for some time, 4 years actually but the rest of the supporting framework which would need to be in place simply wasn’t there, making it impossible and no surprise at all that it has taken this long to actually start putting things in place which will allow progress towards this goal. The basis of this conversation was simply, ‘You have to want to do this… REALLY WANT TO do this’. In agreement it stimulated a good exchange of words and helped us both understand that initially when he first approached me about training the time just wasn’t right, and here’s why.
As we’ve mentioned in other posts, you need a multitude of things going your way in order for you to be successful in achieving any goal you’ve set. This doesn’t have to be fitness related, this can be applied to pretty much anything you do in life.
1 – Ability; In part, most people have the raw ability within themselves to achieve anything they could want but there has to be a desire to actually succeed at that in the first place. Ability covers much more than a persons likelihood of succeeding.
Ability covers things such as;
Time Management – Do you have time to train for this goal you’ve set? In my above example the client simply didn’t, largely down to what he did for work.
You won’t always feel like training, but these are the sessions you need to do to make your goal work out! Plan in advance and manage your time well. Leave nothing to chance!
Financial Budget – Generally the biggest barrier we come up against but this is a fact. Eating a little less even of the foods you do eat, and taking on a little more activity is within the budget you’re already spending and would help with losing weight. Obviously, for things like multi discipline endurance racing you have to buy into other things such as bikes, run gear, wetsuits it soon adds up. Financing your goal one way or another should be meticulously worked out.
Routine – As I said further up, the more elements you can make naturally fit into what you’re already doing, the more likely you’re going to be successful and that’s as much as I need to say here. Don’t over complicate things.
2 – Motivation; This comes back to how much you want to achieve this, and why you want to achieve this. This can often be a deep topic but it is one of the most vital parts of achieving something. To help with motivation we recommend you put in smaller tasks along the way, so you keep experiencing little victories here and there, especially if they back up the long term goal.
I remember talking to a friend of mine about this topic, both being Royal Marines we have similar views and that is, sometimes you have to go after something cold heartedly, you’ve got to want it, REALLY WANT IT.
3 – Confidence; The confidence to achieve something, once you’ve nitpicked through the steps above, and realised you do have the ability and the motivation has to be there. There will be days you doubt yourself, there’ll be days other people doubt you, but you need the confidence to get started, and the confidence to stick to the routine you’ve now planned out. The confidence to say no, to your saboteurs and even be prepared to explain why! Roger Bannisters first mile wasn’t sub 4 Minutes, The first person who tried to summit Mt Everest probably failed. The overweight mother of 3 was probably doubted after numerous failed attempts at losing weight, maybe even as much as the 17 year old tear away who’d listen to nobody wanting to join the Royal Marines, but they all had the confidence to persevere, and to stave off everything that could sabotage their efforts because they wanted to achieve their goal, REALLY WANTED TO.
We think that the only magic solution is applying some time and thought into your abilities, and working to those abilities. Find that motivation, and understand that motivation. Don’t be scared to say you want to achieve your goal. Have that confidence, you totally can do this! Ability, Motivation, Confidence.