Back in my corporate days, I used to go to the gym 5 times a week.
I did loads of cardio, group fitness classes and ate healthy most of the time.
And although my ideal fitness level was always just out of my reach, I kept up with this routine.
Over time, weight was slowly creeping on and I was softer than I wanted to be. No matter what I did, nothing seemed to make a difference. I was constantly tired and felt like I was just going through the motions when I did my exercise routine.
In an attempt to minimize weight gain, I found myself trying different diets, skipping meals, going to the gym for hours, and eating less and less food. All of which left me feeling mentally drained, frustrated, and like I was losing control.
Back then I thought I was doing the right things. I followed what I read in fitness magazines and what the so-called experts said.
- I went fat free.
- I cut carbs.
- I cut calories.
- I avoided saturated fat.
- I watched my cholesterol.
- I toned with high reps and low weight.
- I did cardio till the cows came home.
- I did crunches galore.
- I’d eat less and exercise more.
None of this got me the results I was after, which was to feel lean and strong in my body, happy, and full of energy and focus. Thankfully now, after spending 6 years removed from the corporate world and immersed in the fitness world, I’ve found solutions to the problems I had back then. And I want to share 5 of them with you today.
Solution #1 – Have a plan
If you asked me 7 years ago what my fitness and health goals were I would have said, “to achieve an optimal state of health and well being, where I feel totally alive and full of energy, feel amazing in my body, and can surf for 3 hours straight”. Bahahaha…So not true, I am joking.
Back then, I knew I wanted to feel different and be leaner but I had no knowledge based in solid training practices as to how I should get there. Most days when I showed up to the gym I’d just do whatever I felt like. Without an identifiable goal or strategy it is no wonder I never felt like I was making progress.
Looking back it seems so obvious and silly of me to make those mistakes, but back then it really never dawned on me. Don’t make the same mistake I made. Make sure to set a specific goal (based on your why..up next) and get a plan of action (based on your active passion…more on that later too) to make it happen. Here’s a 30-Day Exercise Plan you can start using right now.
Solution #2 – Know Your Why
Even if you have a specific goal like “lose 2 inches in my waist” or “run a 10K” and have a plan of action to attack, your motivation can wane over time. Back then I’d be motivated by an upcoming beach vacation or a friends wedding. But once the special occasion passed, the dedication to the physical goal always seemed to disappear. The allure of the goal didn’t have anything on sharing a bottle of wine (or two) with my bestie in a spontaneous decision to have some fun on a Saturday night.
We humans need a deeper reason to stay the course of our goals. We are hard wired for instant gratification, saying yes in the moment, and avoiding things that are difficult. So we need a very powerful motivator that is grounded in a deeply personal reason as to why we want to be fit, healthy, lean, strong, or whatever it is we want to achieve.
That is why it is essential to discover your “WHY”.
Having this awareness about yourself will give you access to your own unending pool of motivation. You can read more about how to discover “Your Why” here.
Solution #3 – A Unique Framework, Active Passion
Using will power, self-discipline, and guilt is not a long-term solution to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. It flat out doesn’t work. No human being can keep that up forever.
That is precisely why you must discover your active passion.
Active Passion is the term we use to describe exercise that brings you joy. If you don’t love the exercise that you do I ask you to dig deeper and identify one physical activity that when you do it brings you an inner state of joy. This is so important. Because we all know, activities that make us happy and bring us joy require little effort or motivation to do. We just do them. And yes, we even look forward to them.
Your active passion has to lay the foundation to any sustainable exercise and fitness program. Without it, you’ll just end up quitting it. With it, you set yourself up for total success.
Years ago, although I liked moving my body, I had never went as far as to identify how I really loved to move my body. I liked many things, but all of them required some form of motivation, guilt, or discipline to make me repeatedly do them over and over. After I identified my active passions, which are surfing and tennis, I’ve been able to build out an entire framework that is core to my healthy and fit life. I do those activities at least a few times a week and supplement my exercise with training protocols that make me better at surfing and tennis. From there I have been able to create a new state of health and well-being that gives me so much energy, clarity, and strength. It wouldn’t have been possible without starting first with my active passion.
Solution # 4 – Ditch Outdated or Limiting Fitness Beliefs
Back then, I had a certain mindset around fitness and my body – meaning I had certain beliefs that laid the foundation to my approach. I mentioned many already and here are a few more:
- In order to get the body I wanted I needed to be in the gym for two hours a day.
- Because I traveled for business most weeks, it was impossible to eat healthy.
- The best way to drop weight was through cutting calories and running.
Back then the beliefs I held were sabotaging my efforts. They were setting up impossible expectations that I could never fulfill. So even when I would start to gain traction I was never able to keep the momentum up. A moderate, effective approach never seemed like an option back then.
I encourage you to take inventory of your beliefs.
- What are they?
- Are they actually true or could there be another solution?
- Are they holding you back?
Having this insight will help you break free from their impact on you.
Solution #5 – Effective Exercise & Nutrition
Traveling and entertaining clients in the evenings didn’t always allow time for long workouts or eating healthy. I couldn’t spend 1 hour on the treadmill. I couldn’t make dinner at home.
At the time, I didn’t realize the look, feel, and energy I craved would never come from doing the exercise routines I was performing and eating the way I was eating. Excess cardio, with light weights and high reps wasn’t changing my physique in a meaningful way or giving me the clarity and energy I needed to get through my sometimes very long days.
I also wasn’t aware of how I should eat for my unique body type and for my goals. I would jump from one health fad to the next trying to keep up and then blowing it on the weekends or whenever I just didn’t have the willpower to keep up. This kept me in the cycle of feeling like I was failing and not good enough.
It’s important to find effective exercise and nutrition that works specifically for you. You can start here by identifying your body type and preferred macronutrient profile. Next, download our free Meal Prep Strategy Guide to make eating healthy simple, quick, and easy.
By implementing these 5 solutions I have completely transformed my body, my mindset, and my happiness from back then. I used to fluctuate from 26%-28% body fat and nowadays I am around 17% body fat. The point here isn’t the actual numbers but the difference between them. With a smart and powerful framework, I have been able to reduce my body fat by 10% and gain strength, focus, and energy that I never had before.
And so can YOU.
Special Offer – If you’re interested in jump starting your fat loss, strength, and energy goals for 2017, join us for our 30 Day Stronger and Leaner Program starting January 16th, 2017.
Sign up for the wait list here so you get first access and a special discount when it launches.