Tough Love

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)

Drill Instructor

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!


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.

Thanks Iva

Tiny Iva will make you WORK!
Tiny Iva will make you WORK!

7 thoughts on “Tough Love

  1. There are millions of “motivational sayings” out there, but there are a few that really stuck with me. There are two “tough love” ones that stand out in my head. One is from a movie, The Shawshank Redemption that says:

    “Get Busy Living, Or Get Busy Dying”.

    Short and sweet and to the point (and a potential tattoo for me when it’s all said and done) The other is not credited to anyone, so I’ll call it Anonymous, but it says: (Language Alert: It drops the F-Bomb twice…just a forewarning. Feel free to edit as necessary):

    “You’re right. It’s easier to eat pizza than run on the treadmill. It’s easier to turn to ice cream than people for support. It’s easier to say “Fuck it, I give up” than to say “Fuck this, I can do it”. I’m not going to sit here and tell you day after day that you can do this. If you don’t believe you can, then you can’t. If you don’t want it bad enough, then you sure as hell won’t achieve it. Take the easy way out and remain unhealthy and continue to gain weight because you can’t realize you are the only one hurting yourself. I didn’t say it would be easy. I said it would be WORTH it.”

    These are the two that always served to snap my ass back in line when I felt myself wavering. It’s going to happen, the road that you are on is a long one, and with all that time there are going to ebbs and flows. Times when you are completely on top of your game and are rocking it, and then other times when you slip a little and go for the extra bacon. I hope those help you a little like they did me. Keep on going, because you are doing great, and don’t beat yourself up, we all need a little kick ass from time to time.

    Keep on keepin’ on, and trust the process. when you get to where you want to be it’s unlike any feeling you have ever had before.


    • That second quote really spoke to me. I like it, I’m going to keep it in my stash of ‘go to’ quotes. Thank you for sharing.
      Also, can I gush for a sec? You made my week with your comment. I’m a HUGE fan of your blog, I’ve been following you since I was first researching for my own. I admire your journey, I wish to emulate it, I like your writing style; basically think you’re awesome!
      Thanks for the encouragement.

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