This is how I envisioned my body would look by May 1, 2013, ENVISIONED being the key word.
If I had stuck to my new year’s resolution of getting in the best shape of my life in 2013, I might not be feeling the urgency to cram four months of workouts into May. But it was cold. It didn’t get light until at least 7:30am, and it got dark by 4:30pm. I didn’t have the time. I was tired, or fill in the blank. I’m exceptionally gifted at justifying why I didn’t follow through on a healthy, worthwhile goal. However, getting in shape, really good shape, is still my mission and now summer is almost here.
Even with the best intentions, we sometimes fall short of what we want most for ourselves. Some of the excuses and patterns we fall prey to are obvious, such as not having time, being too tired, thinking that working out is boring, being discouraged by the lack of results or being embarrassed about how far away our ideal body actually feels.
What gets in the way of achieving your goals is not always obvious. In fact, it’s often something you’re not even aware of. Read on for some not so obvious reasons why you get in your own way and the tips for clearing those obstacles:
1. You don’t deserve to have a killer body: Says who? If you continually beat yourself up about how you look, you’ll begin to feel pretty crappy. Many women engage in negative self-talk. I’m certainly guilty of this but I’d like to give you a 30 day challenge whereby you replace the negative self-talk with positive words and dialogue. Anytime you catch yourself criticizing yourself, notice it and change it something complimentary.
2. You’ll lose your friends: Not everyone will encourage your fitness pursuits especially if your time exercising conflicts with happy hour or other social engagements. Some friends might even be downright jealous of your passion and conviction to commit to a healthy endeavor or even of how healthy you’re becoming. If you can’t get your friends to join you, request them to support you in something that’s important to you.
3. Your plan has to be a certain way and if you fall short you feel like a failure: We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect in everything we do. When you’re starting something new like eating more healthily or working out more, it’s not always going to look like the vision we or someone else has created for us, and that’s ok. Give yourself a break and allow yourself to not have it look exactly the way you want it to. Don’t let imperfection derail you from your overall objective.
4. You’re defensive: No you’re not! Everyone raise their hands who enjoys being told “You look great. Have you lost weight?” Although it’s a well-meaning sentiment, many times it makes us feel even more self-conscious. “Was I that out of shape before?” Looking, and ultimately, feeling better actually causes us to feel ashamed of how we looked before. That frenemy in your head speaks up and reminds you of all the ways you don’t like yourself. Tell your frenemy to take a hike, a long one and consider that other people and their well-meaning comments aren’t trying to make you feel bad. Bolster your own confidence so that you aren’t bothered by someone else’s remarks about the way you look.
5. You don’t believe you can: Instead of seeing what you want to happen in your life, you consider all the ways it won’t work out and why you’ll fail so that you’re paralyzed to even try. Add this to your 30 day challenge: Only see the win. Remind yourself of the achievements you’ve had in the past as evidence for why you can do this now.
All these unconscious beliefs prevent us from moving toward our goals. Once you figure out what’s holding you back, it’s that much easier to move onward. I often see people who are struggling with 1 or all of these unconscious beliefs. I’ve certainly had difficulty with them myself. I’ve found neuro emotional technique (NET) to be incredibly helpful for pinpointing the feeling or issue that prevent my patients (and myself) from doing what I say I want to do. NET is a mind body stress reduction technique that identifies and releases the emotional charge connected to the thought or feeling. People often feel like a weight gets lifted and have more clarity about what was getting in their way and what they do want.