I learned this week that there is a time for inspiring persuasion and at others ruthless motivation (from a tiny Bulgarian she-hulk named Iva)
A quick rundown: I’m in my third week of Fit in Forty-Two and this program tends to follow a particular patter in regards to the relationships you form with your fellow Fit in 42ers. The first week of the program you get to know the other people that are in the program at the same time as you, we’re all mostly quiet. By week two there is some bonding that happens when you all ache, sweat and grunt your way through some pretty strenuous workouts. By week three you feel like you’re starting to become a team- you work together, cheer each other on, pick each other up, success and failure starts to feel communal. Monday we had our second weigh ins. The first week we did… ok, understandable since we were first starting, getting used to the routine and the meal plan. I lost no weight. This second weigh in was- disappointing to say the least. Average weight loss was about 2.5 lbs, some lost no weight, I lost 2. Our trainer, Iva, was inquiring about our food when someone dropped a confession bomb admitting they’d eaten nachos the day before. Iva went ballistic. She was thoroughly disappointed with our results and gave us the chewing out of our life and made sure we knew we were in trouble the following day.
Go-to phrases when being chewed out:
This is unacceptable!
This is a slap in the face for me and your trainers!
You spent all this time and effort to ruin your progress by eating junk!
If you’re going to slack off don’t bother coming to my class.
It felt pretty bad, some of us tried to defend our results but tiny Iva was not having it. I just kept my head down. I knew why I wasn’t getting results, I wasn’t following the meal plan properly. I didn’t like it, but I deserved the scolding.
And it worked! It really worked. I made a point to follow my meal plan to a tee. Every recipe, serving and schedule cue from Monday to today (Thursday) has been followed and bad meal avoided. My morning routine includes making my breakfast smoothie and work lunch. To get some accountability I’m also actively posting photos of my meals on my program’s Facebook page (friend them!) for approval or careful analysis.
Iva also made sure to step up the workouts. They’ve been intense and with little to no rest. We push hard or suffer the consequences. My average caloric burn jumped from 540 calories a workout to 670. I am sore, I’m seeing results and I’m loving it!
NOTE TO SELF
This whole experience this week brought home a point. I’ve been taking a very sympathetic approach to my weight loss the past two weeks and I think I know why. My understanding of weight loss is that it can be emotionally taxing. It’s very easy to fall off the wagon. The temptation to eat junk you’ve always craved is almost constant. You’re constantly battling your own mind that’s struggling to change old habits. On top of that there’s the added emotional baggage of self esteem and that little voice that’s readily equipped with criticism and insults telling you there’s no success in sight. That can be very overwhelming.
This is when a support group comes in handy but most effective is mustering your inner life coach to offer encouragement from the inside out. That’s where inspiring persuasion comes in. That little voice telling you ‘yes you can make it’ ‘it’s ok if you falter, you can get back up’ ‘don’t stress, take it easy’ “take it one step at a time’ ‘slow progress is progress’. But to a certain extent this is coddling and it can be counter productive. Sometimes you need a kick in the butt to get you moving.
The purpose of inspiring persuasion is to keep you from permanently reverting to the old unhealthy habits that lead to that vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, feelings of failure and self-loathing. They’re meant to pick you up when you’re down and keep moving.
Ruthless motivation on the other hand comes in to play once you’re moving and it’s time to step it up to GET RESULTS. Sometimes you need to realize that results only come from true and hard effort. They are hard to earn and easy to lose. If you want to keep the success you need to work at it. Those obstacles to success will always be there, mostly placed by yourself.
The best way to overcome those obstacles is to power through them. Take that anger, embarrassment and frustration and feed the intensity of the passion that drove you to to start working in the first place. Yes, it gets very tough and painful. It’s time consuming and uncomfortable, but it means you’re doing something. You will get something out of it.
Now get your ass up and work hard.