Don’t be surprised when you fail*

Thursday, 27 September 2018, By Phil Lee

When someone has been the same weight, or body shape, or has lived the same lifestyle for such a long time it can be hard to imagine life being any different. Being overweight or unhappy with your body can have deep emotional long-term effects, and even though someone might feel a lot of negative emotions towards their body or health, some still find it difficult to change. Why is that?... Because they just can't imagine their life being any other way. It's not that they can't change, as humans we all have the ability to change our body shape based on the lifestyle we choose to lead; some may argue it's a matter of choice, others may question if they are ready, or if they even really want to. But I can almost guarantee that if you were to ask someone who has struggled with their weight for 20, 30 or 40 years if they can imagine themselves to be any different… there's a good chance they'll say no.

Changing your body shape can definitely come with its challenges and more often than not they are emotional rather than physical. Self-belief is one thing, but food, alcohol, socialising and motivation are just to name a few and they can all influence someone's results, so don't be surprised when you meet your challenges and don't be surprised when you fail. What if I told you that during your journey you are going to fail. You will make mistakes with your food choices, around social occasions and there will be more days that you don't feel like exercising than you do. There will be times when you question yourself, when you feel disappointed, moments when you feel out of control and when you just want to give up. How does that make you feel? Scared? Hopeless? Lost? But what if I told you that all of this is going to happen but it's completely normal and totally ok.

It's not uncommon for people to perceive their mistakes as failure rather than looking at them as learning opportunities, and it's usually an emotional response rather than a physical one. A lot of people are scared to face these moments of perceived failure because deep down nobody really likes to feel like they are stuffing things up. And feelings of failure can just highlight insecurities and negative emotions that one might feel towards themselves. The line between success or failure can be so small, and it starts with a decision to learn from mistakes and change habits to move away from pain. We only fail when we give up, and momentarily it may feel easier to run away and hide from the embarrassment of our mistakes, however, the problem with that is that the pain still exists. Knowing and accepting that you will make mistakes, as well as being prepared to learn and change will ensure that you succeed, it just takes time, but this is where you have a choice. For some people in that moment it may feel easier to run away, but the long-term emotional effects of not changing can have a far greater effect on someone's physical and mental health.

When embarking on a physical transformation understanding the reality of your journey is extremely important. This is where a Personal Trainer or Coach can really help so you feel supported emotionally, as well as provide you with the education you need to ensure your success is long-term. If you are unhappy with your body, you have to remember that there are reasons why you are in your current condition, and the things that you have been doing for such a long time have become habits. Humans are creatures of habit, and sometimes they are hard to break, especially when faced with resistance. If you are overweight because you've been eating too much, then chances are that you'll face challenges with over-eating. If you drink a lot of alcohol, then your challenges may be around reducing your intake. If you don't enjoy exercising, then motivation and energy could be a challenge. If you enjoy socialising around food or drinking, then you may face challenges around peer pressure or the fear of missing out (FOMO). If you've never prepared or cooked your own meals or you're always looking for the quickest and easiest option nutritionally, then guess what?... you could also face challenges here. Sometimes we need to make sacrifices in order to change, but often there are solutions or compromises to the challenges we face, we just have to be open to change and/or trying new things. In these moments it's important to recognise your challenges and if you really do want to change learn from your mistakes so next time you 'stuff up' the setback isn't as great. Next time you're faced with another challenge you'll know what you need to do in order to move forward or better yet, avoid making the same mistake again. It's also important to understand that mistakes just slow down your expectations, they don't stop you completely. In the short term this can be frustrating, and you might feel disappointed, angry or even embarrassed if you're striving for and expecting perfection, but understanding the reality of changing your body, learning and adapting will ensure that in the long term you achieve your desired outcome. Quite often we are in a process of change even when we can't see it.

Remember, it's ok to make mistakes, but this time don't be afraid and don't give up!

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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