Hi guys, Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. You’ve probably seen those infomercials boasting dramatic before and after shots. Strangers testifying that they have done X, Y, and Z and their body completely transformed. They follow a rigorous diet, a demanding workout routine, and they absolutely love it. Unfortunately, many viewers of these promos begin to believe that this stranger is leading a “perfect” life. That they have a “perfect” body. That their approach is the “perfect” one. Today we are looking at chasing perfection and what you can do about it. If you have questions about today’s blog or would like a reality check on where you’re at with the race to perfection, give us a call: 806-322-3188.
Let’s begin by demystifying a myth. These strangers on TV do not love every minute of this lifestyle. Fitness professionals and personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas get burned out every now and again, but keep going because we seek out new motivation to drive us over the hurdle. Similarly, when someone begins a new workout program, but sees the scale staying the same, their drive begins to dwindle, so they stop. You cannot let the challenge of change overwhelm you.
People forget that our bodies are unique. There is not a universal, physiological response to X stimuli. If your friend, neighbor, or family member dropped a ton of weight by following “this one special rule”, that in no way guarantees that you will have that same result.
I encourage my clients to focus on more than just an arbitrary number on a scale (I have a whole other soap box about scales, but we’ll get to that in another blog). We move our attention to the behaviors and habits that are involved in building towards your goal rather than the end result. If you focus on behaviors as the foundation of your journey, you’ll surpass your goal and see far more results than you could’ve by just following the scale.
I recently had a client who signed up with us for some personal training. She was 3 weeks in and elated that her pain had been reduced, she was sleeping better, and she had more energy throughout the day. Things were awesome! Then, she stepped on the scale and all of her enthusiasm vanished when she saw that her weight had not changed as much as she thought it had. In a sense, the scale called her a liar. Saddled by disappointment, she came to me and said “this just isn’t working”.
Full disclosure, I am not your typical trainer. I am not your typical fitness professional. I am not the type of person you would find behind a desk at one of the big box gyms. I take pride in tailoring our services to your unique body – so much so that I named by studio after it. I care about you getting those results in the way your body can best achieve it.
That client and I pulled out our ultrasound machine (used for body composition analysis) and the tape measure. Turns out, in 3 weeks she had actually lost 8 inches, she gained a few pounds of muscles and lost pounds of fat. Americans often rely solely on the scale as a barometer of progress. That scale is a liar and often not worth the stress it causes.
But how does all of this relate to perfection? In the illustration I just gave of the client ready to quit at week 3, it came down to consistency versus accuracy. Accurate means everyday you are 100% on track following your plan and losing X number of plans; no hiccups allowed. Accuracy requires perfection to get the results. You all know that if you’re aim is perfection, you are going to fail. Burnout is a real deterrent to perfection. Maybe not today or next week, but when you go that strong for that long, your mind will call it quits and that’s what we call burnout.
Consider employing consistency instead. In the short term, the results don’t show as quick nor the metrics you think you need to have. In the long term, the results will blow your mind. It will help you maintain your progress instead of starting and stopping multiple times over. Our bodies cannot handle change in a positive, linear fashion. The body evolves in waves. We ebb and flow. Sometimes we lose muscle, sometimes we gain fat, sometimes our metabolism is spot on, and sometimes we have inflammation to deal with. This wave progression (not 100% accurate) is why consistency is a much better approach when changing your body, your mind, and your lifestyle.
#1: Make small changes
If you want to dive in, go for it, but make sure the changes you are making are small enough to maintain. If you go whole hog cleaning out your kitchen, changing every recipe your family loves, and exercise 7 days a week, that will lead to burnout. An easier approach would be to try working out 2-3 days a week and learn to substitute 2 or 3 healthier ingredients in your meals. Those small changes will carry you much further.
#2: Keep moving forward
Even if you don’t feel like you’re making changes. Remember our bodies are not immediate creatures. We change overtime. Our society demands instant gratifications in everything from technology to people’s responses, but our bodies don’t comply with those kinds of orders. Look for slower changes to build new habits to keep you going beyond just a 6 week trial. You body is still creating habits whether you can see it reflected on a scale or not.
#3 Everyday is a clean slate
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life” – Matthew West. I love that quote because it doesn’t matter if you went off track yesterday, last week, or you’ve never even seen a track. Today is the day that starts the rest of your life. Today you can get started with just a determined mindset. Maybe you’ve tried before with a lousy program and you fell off the wagon. No worries. That wagon moves super slow. You can hop back on at any time.
Your goal is to be consistent in your efforts. We are now entering a high stress time of year as the holidays get closer. People put a strong emphasis on making huge changes for the new year. Please don’t put extra stress on yourself trying to be “perfect” for 2018. Perfection is not possible, but being consistent is constructive. If you can add 1 or 2 small, but manageable habits a week, you’ll be astounded by how your body adapts.
If you would like more help on learning how to give yourself a break and find your unique path to success, please reach out to our team at 806-322-3188 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of our clients begin to see changes budding around 2 weeks because all of our services are customized to each individual’s needs and lifestyle. If that sounds interesting for you we’d love to welcome you to the studio. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainer in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.