How to stop failing and finally achieve your fitness goals - The 5 'Ingredients' required for success.
Every day someone, somewhere will start a new diet, or exercise programme in an attempt to lose weight and improve their fitness.
Some will succeed in their quest to a long-term healthy, sustainable lifestyle, but, most will fail unfortunately.
You might be one of those people that has tried something to lose weight and get fit in the past but hasn't achieved the desired results. You might have tried several things over the years, perhaps on and off, but ultimately your weight and fitness problem is the same or worse than it was 1, 2, 5, 10 years ago.
I come across and speak to a lot of these people (not surprising in my line of work).
Last week, one of my old uni mates sent me a Facebook message:
"Hey mate, just a heads up, I gave your number to my cousin, Annie because she's getting married next year and she really wants to fit into a particular type of dress that she's too big for at the moment. She lives in Manchester so bit too far from your neck of the woods but I told her to give you a call as you would be happy to give her some advice."
So a couple of days later Annie calls me up. Anyway, the take away points to mention from what she said was that she'd joined her local gym 6 months ago and also tried some diet she read in some magazine and she'd lost some weight but put it all back on again since then after she came off the diet and wasn't regularly attending the gym anymore.
So she tried a couple of things but no success.
If you are one of those people, I feel for you because I know that every time you try something and it doesn't work it gets harder and harder to motivate yourself to start something new. It's pretty demoralising right? Most people after a few failed attempts throw in the towel and give up.
I want YOU to break this negative, frustrating cycle.
DO NOT DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THIS.
The first thing you need to do is to analyse and understand why things haven't worked for you in the past.
You need to reflect deeply into this so that you can change what you do going forward. Most people only just scratch the surface and don't delve deep enough.
So let me use Annie as an example.
I asked her: "Why didn't joining your local gym work"? "Why didn't the diet work"?
She said that she started well and was going to the gym 4 times a week for the first 2 weeks but then she missed a few sessions and in the end found herself only going every so often, irregularly. As for the diet she said she did start to lose weight but she didn't feel good, she felt hungry constantly and lacking in energy, fighting to stay awake at work, so she stopped the diet and put the weight back on.
This information scratches the surface. Let's go deeper, starting with the gym failure:
Q: "Why did you miss sessions at the gym after two weeks"?
A: "I got a bit bored with the sessions"
Q: "Why did you get bored with the sessions?"
A: "I was doing the same routine every time and I wasn't really sure if what I was doing was correct"
Q: "Why did you do the same routine every time and why weren't you sure if you were doing it correctly?"
A: "The gym asked me what my goal was and they printed off a written programme to follow. They showed me the exercises once on the first session but then they left me to it so wasn't confident in my technique"
Ok, so finally we get to the causes of failure - The gym Annie went to gave her some 'general' one size fits all training programme which was repetitive and she wasn't helped doing it so she lost interest and stopped. Plus Annie went from doing no gym (before she joined) to doing 4 sessions per week, which was just too much, too soon and probably burnt her out.
To every answer you can keep asking 'why'? The more times you do this the deeper you get to the ACTUAL reasons.
Q: "Why did you feel hungry and lacking energy all the time when on the diet?"
A: "The diet involved cutting out carbohydrates and eating much less than I usually would."
Q: "Why did the diet involve cutting out carbs and reducing fat as well as eating less?"
A: "I don't really know, I thought carbs make you fat and if you don't eat much you lose weight."
Again we can establish the failure here is that Annie didn't know how the diet worked and she lacks basic nutrition knowledge. She ended up taking a chance on this diet she picked up in the magazine (without any evidence or explanation on nutrition to educate her.)
So the take home for Annie here is she failed because she guessed on what to do and she wasn't supported with what she was doing.
You can do this questions and answers exercise yourself right now to establish why you haven't been successful in losing weight and not been able to keep it off.
Once you've done this you will find that you haven't addressed one or more of the 5 'Ingredients' required for success:
1. You haven't established your 'Pain' points & define your goal explicitly
This is not only the secret to finding the solution/service that you want but also getting the results. If you are able to describe the destination vividly then it is possible to map out the shortest, safest route. The map should be complete with what challenges you will face and what will be required of you every step of the way. You must ask lots of questions to help establish your 'pain' points (what the problem/issue is) in much the same way as I did with Annie, and then you can talk through your journey from start to finish. All that is left then is the process.
When you visit Ikea and buy a piece of furniture you take the box home and open it up. You have a picture and a set of instructions telling you what to do and a list of tools you will need in order to build it. From the start you should know that all you need to do is follow the instructions/programme and you will end up at your goal within the scheduled time.
A good personal trainer should be going through this talking process with you during their initial consultation in order to plan a personalised programme with your journey mapped out.
2. You don't have a time frame
This takes us back to the Ikea furniture. If you discard the majority of the instructions then it will take you much longer to build your furniture. If you follow instructions for exercise, sleep, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle practices then you should be able to get a hypothetical time frame. Having a time frame also gives you a target to aim for. It's that bit of pressure to get you going and keep you focused. When are you going to have more urgency and be more likely to knuckle down and focus on completion:
A) It's Friday morning at the office and you've just been give a report to do whenever you can.
B) It's Friday morning at the office and you've just been given a report to finish by 5pm.
This is a bogey question for a lot of personal trainers or gyms. You will hear the words; ‘all being well’, or ‘I had a client once’, or, ‘if you train every day…’ If you hear this kind of thing then you should be wary. They either:
3. You don't have commitment and anyone accountable
I see this all the time. People failing because they just don't stick with one thing for long enough to make steady progress. They also get distracted by what other people are doing. They see Steve has just started this new exercise class so they'll try that and then Steph lost a bit of weight doing 'that diet' so they'll try that. They're constantly zig-zagging from one thing to another and they never actually gain any traction with any one thing. They end up being no closer to their goal than they were 6 months ago.
The other thing is not having accountability. Not from you, but from someone else!
Of course you need to be the one to carry out what is needed to lose weight and reach your goals, but you need someone to police it. Someone that will be there to give you some tough love when you need it and to keep you focused and on track. Someone that understands your pain points, what you're trying to achieve and will be able to support you. A role model. Most gyms, particularly the corporate ones tend to be useless to you in this area.
I don't know anyone who can achieve their goals completely on their own. Generally speaking we all need support and help from other people.
Think about your job and imagine you didn't have a manager/boss for a second. Sounds great right, take breaks when you want, knock off work early, mess about at the office. Ok, joking aside, do you think you'd get more work done without your boss around setting you targets and deadlines? Probably not. And, do you think your work would be more diligently executed knowing your boss wasn't going to see or hear about it? Again, probably not. If you've got a good personal trainer they will be constantly checking-in with you to see how you're getting on.
The way the body reacts to specific exercise and nutrition is a science. A personal trainer or gym should feel comfortable enough to offer you a 100% money back guarantee. Keep in mind that a guarantee is beneficial to both parties. A personal trainer who signs a guarantee is saying:‘I am so confident in my knowledge and ability to help you that if you do everything I say and you don’t get results I will give you your money back and keep training you until you do get results’. You are in turn signing the guarantee saying:‘I will do absolutely everything that you have asked of me’. This is a fantastic way to declare your intentions to yourself and your trainer. Making this kind of commitment to yourself show both parties are serious about your results.
4. You don't know what you need to do so you've been guessing.
If your car breaks down you take it to a mechanic.
If a wall in your house needs rebuilding you hire a builder.
If you need your house rewiring you hire an electrician.
Why not sort these things out yourself? Because you don't know how? That's pretty fair and understandable. I mean these are valuable/expensive things you don't want to mess up and make worse/damage I suppose. It would be irresponsible to go ahead and guess on what to do/how to do it right?
So why would you guess when it comes to your health?! That's a crazy thing to do!
At best you might waste your time and money, but worse still you could jeopardise your health and make things worse (usually what diets do) or seriously injure yourself, setting you back even further from your goal.
5. Achieving your fitness goals isn't a high enough priority in your life
This is the most important ingredient.
So you've joined a great new gym or hired a personal trainer, job done.
That won't guarantee your success no matter how good the gym or trainer is.
These are simply 'tools' to allow you to build your success, but you have to be the one to use the tools and put in the work to build your success.
You need to realise that there are no 'quick fixes' or shortcuts and that you need to build consistency in order to succeed long-term. Fitness is like brushing your teeth, it's not something you do for a month and then stop.
How badly do you want to succeed in this area of your life? Are you prepared to commit and make some sacrifices? You need to feel that there is no better investment you can make in yourself and you shouldn't be doing this because your husband/wife, colleague etc has said you should. The desire to change has to come from YOU.
When you start to make the necessary changes in your life and start to experience the positive effects you will begin to feel superhuman. You will feel stronger, fitter, more confident, smarter, more motivated in life, you will get more done, you will feel more attractive and energised all day. You will become the best possible version of yourself.
But if you are not ready, really ready to invest in this area of your life like you would anything else i.e. your career, your family etc then you will struggle to succeed. It all comes down to priorities.
Your health must be one of your top priorities up there with your career, friends and family, hobbies etc. In fact, some of those things are probably holding you back or hindering you and something will have to give in order for you to change your life.
At Mark Personal Training I make sure that all my clients have all 5 of these ingredients and I provide them with the tools and accountability to succeed.
I don't just do a couple of exercise sessions a week with you, my investment in you is MUCH more substantial.
I look at your WHOLE life in order to create a programme that addresses everything that affects your weight loss goals.
If you're tired of failing to reach your ultimate fitness goal then apply to be one of my clients now by getting in touch.