fitness coach demonstrating

What is your WHY?

If you have done any amount of searching for the right program or diet for you, I am sure you have been asked this question: “Why do you want to do this program?”. If you haven’t been asked that question before starting a program, that should be a red flag. When starting something that will require commitment and change, we should always ask ourselves, “what is my reason?”

Usually, when I ask the question, what is your “why”, the most common answers I hear are: “I just want to feel better”, “I want to have a six-pack”, “I want to be toned” – you get the idea. These are not bad answers, they are not wrong – there is no right or wrong answer, really. But the problem is, these kinds of answers aren’t personal enough. When things become difficult or challenging (which they will because that is reality), these kinds of reasons won’t keep you focused, and they won’t cause you to pause before you fall back into old habits.

When a client knows their “why”, it is easier to predict the direction their journey will take. When a client answers “what is your why” with passion, or even pain, or sometimes excitement, I can tell they are ready to do the work. Though they may have roadblocks and challenges, they will fight through them, because their WHY is bigger than their excuse.

For example, here are some pretty strong reasons that evoke a lot of emotion and determination.

  • “I never want to buy another pair of pants from the plus size ever again.”
  • “I don’t want to be the only member in my family that can’t do things because I am too heavy, or too unfit.”
  • “I never want to be asked if I am pregnant again.”
  • “I don’t want to have to wait for my wife to come home so she can lift or move something for me because I can’t do it.”
  • “I want to run a 5km without walking, because my sister has asked me for years but I always back out because I never train enough and when the race comes close, I back out. I want to finish what I start.”

These are real feelings we all have had. Maybe yours are not the same as those listed, but we all have had something personal that we never want to experience again. Or, perhaps a feeling we want to feel again. Like the feeling of hiking a difficult hike, or completing a race you never thought you could complete. That feeling is your ‘why’.

These are real, deep emotional reasons that keep people pressing forward when things get tough. Getting to this point and admitting this out loud, perhaps is one of the most difficult aspects of transforming our health and body composition. When we avoid this process, we spin our wheels, we make a little progress, only to fall back into old habits.

Then we push forward, only to fall back again. Each time we fall back, it gets harder and harder to push forward again. However, when you know your ‘why’, you may fall back occasionally, but you don’t stay there long, and you don’t fall far. Your ‘why’ is your anchor – it keeps you from drifting too far.

What is Your ‘Why’?

I like to use the 5 “why” method. When you complete it and strip back the layers, you will discover what is at the root of your ‘why’.

For example:

Why do you want to start this program? “I want to lose weight.”

Why do you want this? “I want to lose weight because I will fit in my clothes better.”

Why do you want this? “I want to fit in my clothes better because I hate how the button feels on my stomach.”

Why do you want this? “I want to be able to put on my pants and feel confident and comfortable, and sit down without sucking my stomach in.”

Why do you want this? “If I can feel more confident in my own skin, I will begin to feel more confident in other aspects of my life.”

Once you break your ‘why’ down to the core reason you want to start a new journey, the more successful you will be at sticking with it. You will do the work required to get the result you really want.

Try the 5 ‘why’ technique and see what you come up with. Share it with someone you trust. Once you say it out loud, it gives power to your choice to move forward and go after what you really want.

Sheryl Baker MP Coach

My Body is stuck at this weight–it will never change!

This is one of the most commonly-used phrases I hear as a body transformation coach.

I understand, the weight loss game is daunting and frustrating. It’s filled with ups and downs like a roller coaster. The belief tends to be that as soon as you begin a diet or program you should be seeing a deficit on the scale daily, or at the very least, weekly. And in a set amount of weeks you should be at your target weight. This method, or message, has been put out there for so many years it has been ingrained in each of us. I am sorry to tell you it’s not the truth.

Change your mindset – change your body.

But, there is hope. You can change your body, it’s not a lost cause, but it will require a shift in your perception of how quickly the weight should come off. And, it will require an understanding that habits and mind sets are getting in your way of change.

For example, when you have tried to change your body in the past, did it require you to become restrictive of calories, count your macros, or begin arduous hours of exercise in order to see that quick change you desired? Those should become red flags to you. Changing your body doesn’t require extremes, but it does require time. Putting a set time on your body transformation and comparing your timeline to everyone else is like saying every snowflake is exactly the same.

Our metabolisms are a complex system of chemical reactions. Think of all the years and diets you have tried that have interfered and damaged that very intricate system. Unfortunately, it is going to take longer than a few days or weeks to repair that. All the habits and mind sets you have adopted over the years have been getting in your way of sustainable body transformation. We try so hard to speed up the process by trying to be perfect and 100% compliant, and when we don’t get the results we want, we give up and get upset. We just haven’t given it enough time for the fuel shift to take place.

You don’t need to be 100% compliant to get great results. You need to be consistent and prepared to do the daily mundane things that get amazing results.

Social media only ever shows you the trendy, cute things that get your attention. It does not show you behind the scenes without the filters. It doesn’t show you that perfect “fitness model” having a melt down because she/he is so hungry, or is sick for the hundredth time, or doesn’t like how her/his body looks in the 500th selfie. It’s not as glamorous as you may think.

They very strategically paint a picture that changing your body is so simple and easy. But don’t get caught up in comparing your behind-the-scenes to their highlight reel. You can choose to have a quick-fix approach and have the consequences they don’t show you up front. Or, you can take your time, retrain your metabolism, and your mind.

Most diets require a substantial amount of restriction or change, and promise a very quick result. The fact is, they work. You will get rapid change in the majority of those diets or programs. You will lose weight on the scale rapidly. But the questions we tend to ignore and push to the side are:

  1. Can you sustain this diet as prescribed forever?
  2. What will happen to your body and your results when you stop this diet?
  3. Is it improving your health?
  4. Do you notice that when you perform restrictive diets you tend to get sick every 2 to 3 weeks?
  5. Do you start off with tons of energy then gradually feel exhausted all the time?
  6. Does the weight on the scale show you an accurate picture? Are you losing very important muscle mass?

Change is a journey.

The truth is you can change your body. It will take months and more likely years, but nobody tells you that, because it’s not flashy, trendy, or appealing. It’s not an easy sell. It’s hard to package focus and hard work. You cannot change with a magical supplement or a few weeks of restricting your calories.

To truly reset your metabolism, it will require a system that will become sustainable and support your health. It’s a journey worth taking on.