If you know my story, you know that I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to being overweight and unhappy with myself, and then going into the next extreme of being too skinny, weak and unhappy with myself. I can speak to both audiences, and both entailed a lot of unhappiness and insecurities.
At first, as the fat kid growing up, and up into my late 20’s, I had many issues I can now reflect on and see how they were all related to being overweight. I remember not liking some people for what I thought was no reason at the time. Later, I realized it was typically from envy when I saw a happy, healthy, well rounded person. It was the exact opposite of what I was. I had subconsciously decided that I didn’t like a person for being what I’d like to be. I never took my shirt off in public or the bedroom, I blamed all of my problems on everyone and everything else, including whoever it was that made my belt, I even remember getting mad at my shoes for not being able to reach them! I drank heavily over and over again, I feared talking to girls and was certain that I’d be rejected and laughed at immediately.
After losing too much weight too soon, I was left far too thin, light and weak for my height and frame. I had “made it” in the sense that I lost about 100lbs, yet I had a body dysmorphia and feared certain foods. I thought that if I ate more food to get stronger or add muscle that I’d gain too much fat. I felt small and weak compared to other guys that worked out around me, my ego was shattered when I saw smaller guys and some women, lift more than me. Looking back, I remember realizing that something was wrong. I made the weight loss goal, but what’s next? I lost all of my fat but still looked flabby. I was “skinny fat” and lost. Fast forward a couple years and I had discovered that I was a victim of mass amounts of misinformation and dogma in the world of health and fitness. That’s when I decided to seek out and hire a trainer myself to help me take those first steps towards where and who I am today.
What this all boils down to are our insecurities. These insecurities are the reasons why we do the things we do whether they be conscious, or subconscious.
These insecurities need to be recognized, unburied, dealt with in a reasonable manner, and used as fuel to develop that Iron Will towards success. Eventually our insecurities will become a thing of the past.
When you say you want to lose 20lbs, you don’t have any particular reason as to why it is 20lbs. What you mean is that the excess body fat is causing you pain and want rid of that pain, not the number. The pain of embaressment of taking your shirt off at the pool, or maybe even the pain of feeing self conscious with your shirt on, the pain of being uncomfortable in your own skin, maybe the feelings of shame when taking your clothes off in front of your partner or the pain of not reaching your true potential.
This is not an easy process. It is in fact quite a slow process. Especially if insecurities have been a part of your life for some time now. As we find the sources of the issues, we can address them. These things should happen as we progress towards taking action of our health and fitness. Neglecting the true reasons why you started pursuing a journey into fitness will more than likely get you back to where you started in a short lived period of time.
Always remember why.
Some common examples I have come across with some people I have trained and coached, are that after digging into their lives and figuring out exactly why they are in front of me as a fitness professional, is that initially their goals seem vanity based. “I want to lose weight”, “I want to get bigger”, “I don’t like how I look”, “I want to look good naked”, “I want to look better for vacation”. That’s fine, but it’s very superficial. After further assessment and some real conversations as to why someone wants to lose weight, I’ve heard several reasons as to why people have these goals. Usually it’s the fact that they have trouble finding a date, don’t feel like their partner is attracted to them anymore, feel ashamed to be around others that aren’t overweight, holding onto comments that have been made recently or throughout childhood, they can’t stand the thought of being the center of attention at their wedding with excess body fat etc. For those that want to get bigger and stronger, which is typically guys (but not always), this usually comes from the insecurity of feeling inferior to other guys, they feel like they can’t run with the pack, they come from people saying they are “too skinny”, they “need to eat something”, they’ve imagined themselves being bigger and stronger with more confidence, they have dealt with a social complex their whole lives.
All these things need to be reflected on when setting goals. Ask yourself the true reasons why.