Fitness & diet failures lurk like skeletons in the closet. The failure can often be blamed on the program itself. It may have nothing to do with the step-by-step instructions of the program however.
Let me tell you a story about a woman who was a big self-promoter, always finding her way into the spotlight and seeking praise and wanting to win some popularity contest. Outwardly she pretended to uplift others but if you looked closely it was always about her.
She burned many bridges in a short time. In a few short years she’d gone from job to job where she was hired and fired due to operating as if the rules didn’t apply to her. She is very talented and she’s skilled. On a national level she is fairly well known and respected by her peers. At the exact same time she would show up 30 minutes late for her local clients, charge the full rate, with nothing more than a pat on the back and explanation of how important the thing that kept her from being on time was, as if the client should be honored she was able to make it at all. While exuding a perfect external image she would breakdown in tears behind closed doors explaining to her manager that she didn’t even know where her children were and that her family was falling apart.
We go to great lengths to make ourselves look good, or to appear that our lives are as perfect as the one we portray on social media when under these perfect exteriors are the most fragile among us. It’s exhausting.
When we feel bad about ourselves, we are boastful, defensive, and prideful. We are resistant to help. We withdraw rather than reaching for help. We criticize and blame others. [The woman above accused her manager, me, of bullying her when she was confronted with being 30 minutes late for her session.] Then privately there’s guilt, shame, or self- loathing. We start the cycle all over again because we want to be “right” and we don’t want to believe that about ourselves. How is this tied to your fitness & diet failures?
Little white lies make us comfortable telling slightly bigger white lies. The worst person you can lie to is you. Pretty soon you’re so comfortable doing it that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. You create irrational beliefs that can keep you stuck and unhappy.
If you’re living a double life pretending everything is fine and in reality you feel anything but, it takes a lot of energy. That low self-esteem is a part of your self-sabotage when it comes to exercise and nutrition. It’s a form of self-preservation. It backfires, but it’s there to protect you. After all, if you don’t start it, or don’t fully invest yourself in it, there’s not much chance you can fail at it.
Failure to Start vs Failure at the Finish
Fitness & diet failures could easily be blamed on infobesity! Confusion about what to do could indeed be getting in the way of you reaching personal best. However, the very thing getting in the way of your fitness and nutrition results may have very little to do with exercise and nutrition. You first have to feel worthy of taking the time and the steps to your self care. While all too often we blame our own discipline, confusion about where to start, and conflicting information, those aren’t the biggest obstacle for many. You first need the confidence to start.
When the little voice inside your head says, “who do you think you are?” Be ready. She’s a bitch. She’s easier to deal with if you have an answer ready. Are you someone who:
- Takes care of others
- Others depend on
- Needs to be at her best
- Has to have high energy
- Can’t afford to get sick
- Has an important job
- Runs a household
- Runs a business
- Is getting older
- Has a family history of some disease
- Needs to continue to generate revenue
These are all REASONS why your personal self-care is a top priority. Did you read that list and identify it as excuses why you can’t exercise?
Your excuses are your reasons. They want YOU. Not the perfectly folded towels or vacuumed carpet, not the elaborate dinners or perfectly dressed person or the best house on the block. If past fitness and diet failures haunt you, put your Sherlock Holmes hat on. There are clues lying there waiting to help you win this time.
Fitness & diet failures don’t define you. What does?
What is the answer to the question, who do you think you are? Who do you want to show up as? Is your answer to both questions the same? You have the ability to change that answer at any moment.
Somewhere in each of us is a woman who wants praise. We care what others think about us. Not everyone actively puts herself in the spotlight seeking praise. Instead some of us go to great lengths to avoid the spotlight and the criticism that comes with it. When we have an opinion that is against the majority, we don’t share it.
Have you ever bit your tongue during a meeting to avoid the stares or lashing you expect would come if you had opposition to something collectively approved? Maybe you simply internalize it all and every decision is about what others think as opposed to what YOU think? What if it’s made you be your toughest self-critique?
Which if any of these resonates with you more:
- Seek praise
- Avoid criticism
The Real Why Behind Fitness & Diet Failures
One or more of those choices is likely to be in part the reason you’ve been on such a good path and then bam. To quote a client, you fell off the wagon and got ran over by it. It’s easy to look at that as a fitness & diet failure when it can give you a huge opportunity to know you need a strategy for whatever triggered the roadkill.
A second reason you’ve fallen off when you get to a point of thinking you’re feeling good, it’s going great, is that really truly that never comes. It’s been a program you’re on that always had an exit ramp. It wasn’t something you could do forever, maybe because of the extremity of it whether it was a diet or an exercise plan. You never intended to continue, you only wanted to get to the end that might have included the wedding, the reunion, or perhaps the next check up avoiding a prescription.
In that case, the program itself failed you. Those are external fitness & diet failures. Like many options on the path you’ve tried or heard of: the grapefruit diet, the cabbage diet, extreme boot camp 7 days a week, it wasn’t sustainable or intended for good health.
Last, but not least is your upper limiting button. It’s as if you’re on an elevator pressing the penthouse without the special code. It won’t take you there. You haven’t yet got access. You are uncomfortable with that level of height of happiness. Sounds odd? Upper limiting is not the proverbial glass ceiling rumored in the work place where so-and-so doesn’t get a promotion because of X. It is in fact, your own limiting belief and discomfort. You’ve really bought into the idea you can’t have it all and you’re uncomfortable with more. That’s an example of an internal fitness & diet failures.
Since good people do get the promotion and the corner office, there’s hope. They do just fine and in fact they thrive. So can you. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is a part of the process of accepting you’re changing. Not just your pant size or your bat wings, but your way of being and who you show up as. Hot, not bothered is as much attitude as it is helping yourself naturally age in a way that breaks the old barriers and the old mold, menopause doesn’t mean you have to experience a pre-set of negative physical changes.
When you believe that with every cell, you can start living. Flip #84 in Hot, Not Bothered describes this crucial reframe.
Self check time. What do you believe?