A moment of panic.
We were getting cleaned up to go to a wedding of a friend this past weekend. Aside from the typical prep, this occasion would require me to put on a suit and tie which is not my typical dress. I’m either dressed like a misplaced golfer for my work at IFAST, or I’m in workout clothes because I’m about to hit the gym, I just got home from the gym, or I’m too lazy to change after being at the gym six hours ago.
Panic arose as I went to put on my suit and button my pants. I felt like child trying on Dad’s suit as the waistline of my pants exceeded my own by quite a few inches. I couldn’t go to the wedding in this! I knew my waist size had gone down a bit recently in preparation for the gluttony of vacation and the holidays, but c’mon, not this much! I suppose I could have made up some excuse that I thought it was a costume party and I was dress like “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” So, I grabbed my black suit and the same thing happened!
Ooops! I soon realized that I had put on my older suits that I wore before the big transformation a couple years ago (note to self… stop by Goodwill and drop off the old suits).
Thankfully, after about 15 minutes of frantic searching (I don’t know where anything is in my house, I just live here) I was able to locate a more recently purchased suit appropriately tailored for the downsized version of myself. Emergency trip to Men’s Warehouse averted.
I got dressed up, but while I did, I chuckled to my inner self as to how interesting the physical change has been, and how I was able to overcome the initial doubts we all have when we start a new program or make any lifestyle change for that matter. We see people making amazing changes at IFAST all the time, but I must admit that it’s a bit different when you’re looking at yourself now compared to then.
Overcoming the Fears and Doubts
We are not all that different from each other when we are trying to change our behaviors for the better. Change is hard. So hard in fact, that it takes a rewiring of your brain to make things stick.
We all ask the same questions ruminating around in our heads.
Will this work?
What if I fail?
Am I wasting my time?
Is there a better program that I should follow?
Do I know know enough to even get started?
Do I deserve to get in shape?
Can I live without ice cream forever?
As you sit on the fence of self-doubt, remember that we are wired for negativity first thanks to our emotional and fear centers in our brain. It’s a self-preserving protective mechanism that keeps us from doing dangerous things to ourselves. It’s normal to have these types of thoughts.
To overcome them, we only need a quick consult from the more objective, rational prefrontal cortex right behind your forehead. It is there that we can simplify our concerns to two simple options.
Option 1: Do something
Option 2: Do nothing
There’s nothing wrong with Option 2, but it’s not likely to get us where we want to be.
Truth be told, changing your body and health for the better is not all that complicated when you mix it down to the simple rules.
- Eat real food to support your activity levels.
- Exercise to retain muscle and create resistance to stress (strength training)
- Create resilience to stressors with proper restorative behaviors (sleep, meditation, endurance exercise)
Any number of programs can provide you the guidance necessary to make the changes you desire. The key is to make lifestyle adjustments (relatively permanent changes in your decision-making and behaviors) gradually to allow your brain to rewire itself. This prevents the overwhelm, the self-doubt, and other negative emotions that keep us from achieving our goals. That’s why I set up ALL GAIN, NO PAIN the way I did (What? You didn’t think I wasn’t going to mention my book, did you?).
You may not need ALL GAIN, NO PAIN at all. Every day people transform their bodies without it. The human system is very adaptable.
However, if you’re coming from a history of pain, it may be the best place to start.
I wanted you to have confidence that you know enough to get started.
I didn’t want you to waste time.
I wanted you to have a successful, gym-tested program.
I brought in the best nutrition expert in the business to help you.
What if you fail?
You will fail.
Everyone does. No one is ever perfect, so expect it.
Failure is not a permanent state.
Take the opportunity to identify how you can make a better decision next time you’re faced with a challenge.
Regroup and restart every day.
Small, consistent changes over time are what makes the difference.
Your comeback starts today.
(oh, and you don’t have to give up ice cream forever)