This may be somewhat antagonistic but it is not intended to be so. Some may hate me for what I’m about to say. But for some of you, I genuinely hope it’s going to completely change the trajectory of your life…
One of the biggest problems that keeps hard working, successful, professional women stuck in never ending cycles of self sabotage and constantly losing and gaining the same 10lbs of weight is the “I’ll get back on track after…” habit:
“Work is too busy, stressful and chaotic right now, I’ll get back on track… tomorrow / next week / after this project is over.”
Now, I get it. Most, if not all the trainers, coaches, educators and role models you’ve been following or getting coaching from have no idea what it’s like to be in your shoes.
The chances are you have an extremely demanding job, with tight deadlines, lots of moving parts, a big team to manage, challenging politics, big budgets and a lot of pressure to deliver. On top of all of this, you might even have a family with small children at home depending on you too.
It’s a lot.
However, let’s establish an undeniable truth that none of us can escape. Your biology is never static. It is CONSTANTLY in flux. You can’t treat it like a project or a campaign that you can pick up and put down as and when you please, or as and when it’s convenient.
You can drop your social life, a work project, that book you always wanted to write, those travel plans you had, those language lessons etc, and then pick up where you left off at a later date.
You CANNOT do that with your body. Even if you skip meals or take shortcuts in the morning, your physiology WILL be out of balance by the afternoon. So if just one or two meals has an impact, what do you think one or two weeks – or an entire month – is going to do?!
Please do not mistake this for perfectionism! You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be consistent with the basics. This is EASY to do! (more on that shortly).
BUT… If you FINALLY want the body you’ve been chasing for years AND maintain it year round, then your number one priority is consistency. You MUST be consistent YEAR ROUND.
This might sound obvious, but so many of you are violating this one fundamental principle over and over again.
You bullshit yourself with “just this once” and “I promise this is the last time” but be honest. How many times have you done that over the last year? Every month? Every week? More? No wonder you’re going round in circles!
Now, like I said, consistency does NOT mean perfectionism. That’s precisely what leads to the all or nothing mindset in the first place. You know how to be all on, and neurotic, and count grains of rice into tupperware… you know how to be all off and write off an evening, or a weekend… but you’ve no idea how to establish a lifestyle that enables you to be consistent with the basics.
This is one of the reasons why we’re SO passionate about teaching people how to escape the traditional dieting and fitness industry models which breed perfectionism. Whichever approach to fitness and nutrition you follow MUST be sustainable even when life is busy, stressful and chaotic.
Also… (I feel the need to spell this out because I can already sense people getting triggered and desperately searching for the next “yes but…!”)… When we talk about year round consistency, yes, you can be more flexible on special occasions like holidays, and the healthier you are, the more flexible your metabolism will be, and the less you’ll be affected by these anomalies.
HOWEVER, regardless of how sustainable and simple we make it, it’s still going to be inconvenient at times.
And this is where we need a bit of a “Come To Jesus” moment! It’s time to break out the velvet sledgehammer and lovingly call you out on your bullshit so that we can set you free.
It’s so easy to convince ourselves…
“You don’t know what it’s like for me…”
“I challenge you to spend a day in my shoes…”
“It too stressful right now…”
“I simply don’t have time…”
But is that REALLY true?
Do you REALLY not have time to stop and eat a meal?!
Or are you trying to fit in with what everyone else does? Are you afraid that you’ll look bad? So in fact, you’re people pleasing – violating your own personal standards simply to avoid the fear of rejection or the fear of being judged.
Do you REALLY not have time to go grocery shopping – or even to set up an online grocery shopping system where you literally just spend 2 minutes clicking “re-order”?!
Do you REALLY not have time to prepare your food in the evening?
Or are you just tired at the end of a busy day and can’t be bothered?
Yes you’re unique and special… and at the same time you’re really not that unique and special!
We’ve done this enough times by now to know that you’re not a special case. We’ve worked with surgeons, obstetricians, senior investment bankers who run the entire trading floor, and people with the most chaotic travel schedules where they’re abroad more than they’re at home. And in EVERY instance, the problem was NOT the external environment, the pressures, the demands or the responsibilities. It was their mindset. But only 100% of the time!
I know it’s a massive blow to the ego to admit you’ve been bullshitting yourself. The ego’s primary concern is to be right about itself. But give yourself the gift of some brutal self-honesty.
Break down each individual “fuck it!” moment. Look at the actual, isolated moment. Recognise it’s never “impossible”. Just be honest with yourself. What’s the percentage of times when you default to a “fuck it” moment and convince yourself it’s all too much, when in all honesty you’re just tired and can’t be bothered? 95%? More?
And of those 1-5% moments when it genuinely IS impossible to choose a healthy option, how many times have you used that 1% to convince yourself that the remaining 99% is a lost cause?!
How many of those 1% moments have led to an extended “fuck it” moment that lasted for days or even weeks? And how many of those 1% moments could have also been learnt from and prevented in future, but instead you kept repeating the same pattern instead of getting resourceful and figuring out a solution?
As the saying goes, “fight for your limitations and you get to keep them”. The only thing standing between you and the goals you say you want is the story you keep telling yourself about why you can’t have it.
If I had a secret this would be it: I’m really good at being consistent with a handful of basic fundamentals.
The take home message is CONSISTENCY. Refuse to allow work to EVER be an excuse for violating your health values. It’s ok to screw up. But learn from it each time and make an adjustment to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Figure out how to establish a lifestyle with baseline non-negotiables that you’re able to relentlessly stick to no matter how busy, stressful or chaotic life gets.