Have you ever wondered how people can keep up with those trendy diets and workout plans available in abundance from the internet and reach their goals? I’ll tell you a secret: the number of results you get to see are only a fraction of the amount of people who try those plans (or fake before/after photos), the majority of people are not able to stick to it long enough or at all to see results.
What are the best workouts and diets?
If you research methods for fat loss, toned muscles or getting stronger, you will find a variety of solutions available. Most of them come with a set of rules to follow (eye roll) while working hard to achieve your goals. However, they are not designed for individual needs and don’t consider your unique fitness and mobility levels, lifestyle and nutrition habits.
These plans unfortunately create an expectation: unless you follow all the rules, you won’t see results. In other words, anybody who decides to enroll in a plan becomes a perfectionist whether they are one naturally or not.
The successful spread of CrossFit style WODs and HIIT workouts made people develop a general view and expectation that only workouts that make you sweat your face off and push you to exhaustion are worth doing. Again, these all have their place and purpose in the fitness industry but won’t suit everybody.
WHY DO WE FEEL OBLIGATED TO THE PERFECTIONIST MINDSET?
Thinking about life in general, your mindset is conditioned from a very early age by everything you hear or see on TV, in movies or in magazines. By the time you grow up, you have a set of beliefs that determine your mindset and expectations on how you should look, what exercise you should do and what you should or shouldn’t eat.
That's a lot of SHOULDs.
These beliefs are deeply ingrained and you may not be fully aware of all of them when choosing workouts, trainers or coaches, but you feel disappointed when they don’t work out, often resulting in you feeling like a failure.
How to battle perfection and practice consistency for success?
Every problem has a solution, but it’s important to ask the right questions and realize where you go wrong before trying to figure it all out. Here are 7 steps to becoming consistent to achieve your goals.
Without accepting your present, you won’t be able to change it, so embrace the great things in your life, acknowledge and accept the ones that need changing. For instance, whatever size or shape, your body is already doing an amazing job 24/7 in keeping you alive, processing drinks and foods, fixing your cells and generally doing its best to keep you going. Be thankful for that.
What would you like your body to be like? How important is how you look? Is it more important how you feel? What would you like your body to be able to do? Is your fitness goal vanity, health or performance related? The more specific you can be the better.
Why is your goal important to you? Would you like to be more confident in making connections with others, feeling empowered to keep the lights on when going to bed with your husband or do you want to feel more powerful by completing a challenge you never thought would be possible?
Once you know your goals and understand why they are important to you, it’s also important to understand where your starting point is and how far you need to go to achieve them. Work out the parameters that are important to your goals and are easy to track throughout your journey so you can keep an eye on your progress.
This is where tailored workout and nutrition plan design comes into play. Steer away from solutions where your specific details are not considered. I pride myself in making sure that all Ripped by Rycroft coaching services include individually designed exercise and nutrition programs so we can make sure you see results as you progress.
A very important element is to plan for failure. There will be days when you feel less motivated, too busy or stressed and not able to perform at 100%. If you have a plan for tackling that and how to get back on track straight away, you’ll be able to dodge off the frustrations powered by perfectionism and focus on consistency. Committing to less performed regularly and religiously will take you further on the long term than trying to be perfect all the time.
If your planning was on point, execution should be easy. Yeah, that's what she says. Until life comes into play and something goes downhill. However, if you have a minimum commitment agreement with yourself, revert to that plan for the day and ensure everything is back on track on the following day. If you need to stay on that plan longer due to going through a very stressful phase, just take every day as it comes, stick to your minimum and embrace everything extra as achievement. Don’t lose heart and trust the process.
This is just as important as planning; otherwise how would you know how far you have come? Ensure you review your fitness journey regularly, appreciate the progress, however small it appears to be, identify areas of improvement and be flexible with changes in order to stay focused on your goal.
I would like to highlight that we are only human, so we shouldn’t have too high of expectations towards ourselves; however, we should always aim for the best we can do at any specific moment to move closer towards our goals every day. One day that might be 2 workouts, 100% "clean" eating and 8 hours of sleep, while on other days it can mean a 30 min walk, take out, and as much sleep as possible.
Find what works for you best for the longest and stick to it.
I am a wife, mom, grandma & former professional “diet and exercise hopper" who understands the challenges of being 40lb overweight after having children & the damage repeated sense of failure can cause to your confidence and self-esteem.