In my almost 15 years as a coach if I had a dollar for every time someone said in frustration, “I have tried everything.” I would be typing this from the back of my private jet instead of seated at this expertly crafted Wal-Mart Desk.
If you can’t handle brutal honesty then you should probably stop reading now because here is the truth…
YOU HAVE NOT TRIED EVERYTHING, YOU JUST QUIT.
Your health, fitness, nutrition and strength are all a journey, a journey that will have obstacles, roadblocks, hurdles and setbacks. Each one of these presents you with a choice; make an adjustment and keep going or give up. When things get difficult you will hear all kinds of criticism and doubters, some of which will be your own voice, telling you it’s just too tough, or not for you, or impossible even. I’ve been there, I get it. But let me tell you something, that’s all a bunch of bullshit. It’s not too tough, it can be for you and nothing is impossible. Don’t let other people project their fears or doubts on you. You can accomplish more than you could ever imagine if you would just keep going. One of the greatest tragedies in life is seeing someone not realize how close they were when they quit.
Here are some quick questions to see to what extent you actually “tried everything”.
1.How long did you try? If the answer is less than 30 days then you did not truly give the new workout routine, meal plan or lifestyle change a chance…not even a little bit. We are constantly bombarded with images, movies and TV shows that are just not real life. Changes in any way require an adjustment and time for it to become habitual. 30 days is bare minimum for that to be realistic.
2.Was it sustainable? 2019 is right around the corner. The New Year is a time where people love to be completely unrealistic and try some crazy new fad that has no hope of ever being permanent. When you are looking to try something new ask yourself if it is something you can realistically see yourself doing long term. If it is working out make sure you have multiple options. The same workout video, a gym with limited options or no direction from certified coaches, or choosing a single modality such as running has a very small chance of allowing you to progress over time and stick with it. A “diet” that is unbelievably restrictive or does not incorporate all three Macros (Carbs, Protein and Fat), or better yet has no solid foods of any kind will not last. Start with the basics before you branch out.
3.Were you consistent? Working out 2 to 4 times one week then missing the next week is not consistency. Sticking with your meal plan less than 80% of the time is not consistency. Without consistency you cannot truly say one way or another if something was working or not.
4.Did you record anything? If you did not record your weight before you started, your workouts, your meals, etc then you have ZERO proof of how effective this new venture was. Feeling better or worse is very subjective. What numbers or objective things did you have recorded to show improvement or decline? If you didn’t then you are just guessing.
5.Excuse or legit reason? Think about why you stopped. Was it time? Not meal prepping? Too early or late to workout? If you are honest with yourself I think you will find that most things you consider legitimate reasons why you stopped or why something wasn’t working were in fact just excuses. It got too difficult, uncomfortable and your motivation and/or determination failed.
This may seem harsh, but I am a tough love kind of coach. I have seen too many people over the years blame other things on not being where they want to be. I hate to tell you, but a lot of times it is you. You are the one preventing you from achieving your goals. I have prevented myself from achieving a lot of things in life. It sucks and I know it is hard to accept sometimes, but being honest with yourself is something that can open the doors to infinite possibilities. It comes down to blame and responsibility. No matter who is to “blame” for where you are at, you are responsible for how you move forward from here. Take ownership of your goals.
Always remember…you do have control, you can make the change, you do have the ability, drive and determination. You do. Think it, say it, believe it.
Maybe there is something you are thinking about right now that you have quit. It happens, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Any day, any minute, any second can be the moment you turn it all around.
Written by Kiel Holman, CrossFit Coach