In a day and age full of “Success Stories” and “Fit Fam” Instagrams, motivation APPEARS to be at a surplus. I am here to put a stop to this underlying myth. The truth is not everyone is motivated 24/7 and the majority of people do not and never have had their dream body. And if I am being completely honest, no one will ever reach the point of true satisfaction or perfection when it comes to the human body. It is for that reason I write this post.
Most people underestimate the emotional toll taken when attempting to achieve one’s idea of perfection. The power of self-perception and expectations has the ability to dictate the success experienced by an individual. Unfortunately, we live in a society which craves immediate gratification. I can’t blame people for having these feelings considering ads tell them they can achieve instant results through “this product” or “this procedure”. We experiment with these methods and when we don’t experience the “promised results”, we are even more discouraged. We ask ourselves “how did that person experience those results and I didn’t? I give up. I guess I will be unsatisfied with my body forever.”
Why do I know about this type of SELF-TALK? As a personal trainer who has had clients all around the U.S., I am continually reminded of what people are telling themselves. It is my job to combat this negative self-talk and remind each of my clients that achieving your goals is a process. A process which involves exercise, nutritional restraint, achievable goal setting, and emotional rewiring. I tell each of my clients the blunt truth when I start working with them: your body is this way for a reason. I work with them to get to the root cause. The surprising truth is the vast majority of the time, one’s body is directly related to one’s emotional view of them self.
One’s self-image may lead to seeking “comfort food” or may keep them from exercising, but ultimately… the problem started by what they are continually telling themselves day after day. As I mentioned before, I can’t get frustrated with them for this as “marketers” are constantly in the back of every one of their thoughts. In fact, I struggle with this just like every one else. Over the years, many people have congratulated me on being physically fit. They don’t realize I am also continually striving to achieve the “unreachable perfect result”.
So how do we combat this so we can start achieving better results and improve our own self-image? A great start is to begin monitoring the thoughts that go into your head. In fact, I challenge you for the next week to write down every negative thought you have about your body. Be sure to include what spurred that thought. If you are anything like me, you will quickly realize your thoughts are being influenced by people who do not even know you. Once we have acknowledged one’s negative self-talk, we begin the emotional rehabilitation process by replacing these statements with more positive, ACCURATE statements.
The next step is evaluate your current fitness goals and determine why you have these goals. A good portion of the time, altering goals and expectations is a necessary step, as setting unrealistic goals will ultimately lead to discouragement down the road. Additionally, determining the true reason for your goals is an important step because this will directly relate to your motivation which we will want to heighten throughout the following months. It is guaranteed you will have “low moments” and focusing on your reason for improving your physical fitness is extremely important.
If you don’t get anything else from this post, get this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am continually interacting with hundreds of people who are in a similar situation as you. They don’t know where to begin and achieving their fitness goals have begun feeling impossible. Sometimes you just need to take one step in the right direction and it will change your entire life. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be headed in the right direction.