Have you ever thought about what’s holding you back from eating more healthily, doing more exercise or losing weight?
Is it lack of time or motivation? Maybe it’s lack of willpower. Or is there some other factor at work?
And could it be something as simple as a three letter word?
Why the usual approach doesn’t work…
Here’s a scenario that may be familiar to you. You’ve decided (again) to get fit/lose weight/start eat more healthily. You tell yourself that this time you’ll do it. No more messing around.
The typical approach to getting yourself sorted usually involves signing up for something, such as a meal delivery service, a gym membership, personal training sessions or the Couch to 5k. You’ve committed now (and it’s likely you’ve spent some money) so it’s game on. Nothing will get in your way.
And then what happens? Two months later, you’ve cancelled more PT sessions that you’ve attended. Your gym membership is working out at about £30 a visit. The meal delivery service becomes too much faff, since you’ve been going out a lot and rearranging your orders is becoming a bit of a headache. And it’s just so much easier to pick up ready-meals.
You’re feeling no closer to where you want be and it’s really frustrating. Because you know you want, and need, to make changes.
If only you had more time, or life was a bit less busy, or you hadn’t been given that big work project.
It’s a slightly annoying fact of life that something usually comes up that threatens to derail your fitness/healthy eating/weight loss campaign. Getting super busy at work, a change in your childcare arrangements, a holiday or just plain old losing motivation. It happens to everyone.
The three letter word is Why
What makes the difference as to whether you stay on track, or whether you find yourself writing another apologetic email to your PT with a glass of wine in your hand, is understanding your Why.
In a health and fitness context, figuring out your Why is quite simple but it requires a shift in thinking. For most people, when they decide they’re ready to commit to getting fit, eating more healthily or losing weight, the thought process goes something like this:
“I want to lose weight and get fit. I’m sick of feeling overweight and unfit. I need to make some changes”.
Then they start googling personal trainers, diet plans or 2 week detox retreats in Thailand (or perhaps all 3). Somewhere along the way, perhaps with the help of a PT or other coach, they make some goals. The goals may be to go to the gym 3 times a week, to lose a stone, to decrease body fat by a certain percentage or to stick to 2 snacks a day. These are all good goals but more often than not, the goals don’t get met.
Why is that?
Don’t get me wrong, goals are important but there’s usually something quite fundamental missing from them – the Why.
Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get fit? Why do you think you need to eat more healthily? What’s the point of all this effort? Changing how you are now, but to what end? Is being fitter, leaner and healthier really all it’s about? Yes and no.
If you can be clear on why you are doing all of this and how being being fitter, leaner and healthier is going to change the way you feel, you tap into something much more powerful. Figuring out your Why comes when you can identify how you want to feel in the future, once you’ve made reached your goals. The more specific you get, the more powerful your Why becomes.
“When you know your ‘why’ then your ‘what’ has more impact, because you are working towards your purpose”.
To give you some examples:
“I want to lose weight and tone up”.
Your “Why” could be “I want to lose weight and tone up so that I feel better about myself and have more self confidence. I want to be able to go into shops and feel good about myself when I try new clothes on. I want to go holiday and feel really great about myself. I want to feel sexy again.”
“I want to eat more healthily”.
Your “Why” could be “I want to eat more healthily so that I have better energy and I feel less bloated all the time. I want to feel more in control of my food choices so that I don’t end up snacking all the time. I want to feel relaxed around food instead of anxious and guilty.”
Brides are great examples of women who have a crystal clear “Why” – they want to look and feel amazing on their wedding day. know so many women who say they were in their best shape ever on their wedding day and that’s because they had a really strong and clear Why.
So, my challenge to you this month is to write down your health and fitness goals (perhaps flick back to those New Year’s Resolutions) and ask yourself “Why?”.
Write down the answers and pop them on your phone or somewhere you can look at them frequently. Whenever you feel your motivation starting to slip, remind yourself why you set those goals in the first place.
If you want to make some changes to your lifestyle so you can be fitter, healthier and more energised, but you don’t really know where to start, or maybe you don’t trust yourself to be able to stick to anything, check out my 1 to 1 Energy Coaching Programme.