Guest Contributor: Noel Flynn from ABC GYM
Well guys are you keeping it simple? Are you implementing things you already know? Have you blamed anyone else for your health or fitness results this week? Perhaps you have blamed your circumstances. We often find ourselves blaming other people from preventing us from completing our health and fitness goals during the week and instead something look for a divine inspiration to give ourselves the kick we need. It time to finally stop blaming circumstances and other people from achieving our goals and instead realises that you are in fact your biggest obstacle.
So what do I actually mean by that? Often we place ourselves in a set category in our life. Mother or Father, Teacher or accountant, Fat or unfit, busy or tired!!!! Yet when we place ourselves in set categories it actually becomes our store. It becomes who we are, what we do and what we are capable of. By categorising ourselves, we are tailoring our goals, our perceptions and our expectations. Once we have set ourselves in a category, we then believe that we need and intervention, a certain date to arrive or some special event that is going to finally inspire us. Believe me I understand this, I see it in myself and I see it in my clients daily.
I am a secondary school teacher by profession, it’s a category, it is a ‘vocation’, it’s a steady, permanent, pensionable job. Leaving my job to set up a gym, to be a personal trainer or strength & conditioning coach is madness right?
A friend and a colleague of mine Emer, decided to join the gym, 1st to support my new venture and 2 to try something different. She is a teacher, she is a mother of a toddler, she is a wife, a sister, a daughter and she had tried everything to shift the ‘baby weight’. She tried every diet programme (even the one Sinead is on tut tut), every gym class and she would get results and she would yoyo up and down but she had developed a complex deep down. She changed body shape, she lost weight, she toned up, she got a lot stronger and fitter when she joined ABC Gym but the old scars were still there emotionally.
After a year of great results, she plateaued and questioned why was she not continually getting skinnier? Why was she not seeing changes on the scales? ( In her 1st month she had lost several inches without losing a pound on the scales. I will go into this in more detail in a later post)Yet, when the scales stopping moving again, the old thoughts resurfaced. She started stepping on the scales several times per day. She started looking in the mirror at her waist line every time she passed her reflection.
She then decided to try other avenues to come up with kick start her weight loss again. She had food intolerance tests for her IBS. When they didn’t work and she became even more disillusioned and emotional about it. She kept the fact well hidden that these thoughts she was having were beginning to get the better of her. How had she plateaued when she was eating all the right things, and even though she did not have the weight watchers mentality about food anymore, she still was not getting the results her efforts deserved! So what did we do?
Very simple but not easy.
When you find that you have plateaued, it is important that you sit back and Observe your thoughts, listen to what you’re saying to yourself in your head and write these thoughts down in the morning and at night. By doing this, Soon you realise the way you speak to yourself is actually quite insulting. If anybody else spoke to you like that, you would certainly not be impressed and would be perfectly entitled to hit them!! With these thoughts, you discourage yourself, you tell yourself you are going to fail, that you are fat, that you are lazy, that you are not worth the effort. Sound familiar? Once you become aware that you are actually doing this, you realise you do it a lot! Maybe not in every avenue of life but generally in the area that is causing you the most anxiety, overwhelm and stress.
Emer became very aware of this. The stress alone your thoughts put on your body, is enough to cause you to be stressed. When you are stressed, losing body fat goes out the window as your hormones play havoc.
I am not a massive fan of calorie counting but I am a big fan of awareness. Emer decided to use MyFitnessPal for a week to be aware of her calorie intake, she was eating really good food after all, but she soon became aware that she was consuming too much of it. While aware of her food, she was also aware of her thoughts and when you are aware you can tell those thoughts to f*** off and Emer did.
She lost 6kg in 6 weeks as an already ‘slim’ women. She is squatting more, deadlifting more, she is doing chin ups, all things a mother wouldn’t be doing…….right? She is no different than 99% of people, except she is pretty cool and decided to be her own version of Superwoman.
So before you go looking for the ‘Magic Pill’ realise that you are your own worst enemy and until you become your own best friend nobody else is to blame.
PS: As a side note I do not advocate calorie counting long term in any way but it can be extremely helpful to do for a few days or a week. Example the other night I had 3 Hob Knob Biscuits and a Mini Choc Ice from Aldi and it came to 380 calories while the Beef Chilli and Sweet Potatoe from the Dublin Meat Company that I had for lunch came to 360 calories. I am not saying give up the biscuits just make sure they fit your daily calorie intake and for me they did and they were yummy!!!
You can follow Noel on Snapchat on @abcgym and on Instagram here.