Body Goals...Why Though? by Marcus Kain
“I’d like to lose about 3kg.”, “Cool, that’s a very reasonable and achievable goal! Can you help me to understand why specifically you’d like to lose that amount of weight?” …
… *pause* … “Ummmm…”
Usually this conversation leads to me posing one primary question; What is it that this weight loss will bring you that you don’t currently have already in your life?
Before I go any further I’d like to say that there are no right or wrong answers here! Fitness goals are fantastic, when they’re coming from a place that results in a happiness net gain when you set out on your path to them.
Two people might come to me with the same goal of losing 3kg. In order to achieve that goal, one person might have to organise their weekly food a bit better, give up take-away lunches at the office, take part in a programmed exercise routine a couple of times per week, and exchange just a few hours (not all of them, just a few!) of netflix time on the weekends for being outside doing something active… all things that would increase their physical wellbeing anyway and no doubt leave them feeling more energised, more confident, and happier.
Another person in a different position, in order to achieve the same goal, might find that the lifestyle changes necessary to achieving their “body goals” mean their family life, social life, and career, are impacted in such ways that mean the outcome - losing 3kg in this case - doesn’t justify the sacrifice. In other words, the latter person would have been happier keeping their 3kg.
Whenever setting out on a journey, we best ask ourselves “Why?”. Why, deep down, are we doing what we do? Are we making decisions based on what we feel we should do or be or what we want other people to see when they look at us, or are we making a decision based on what lights us up and adds to our feelings of empowerment, self love, and enthusiasm for life? Are we making decisions based on our desire to be healthy and full of energy for all the things that bring us joy?
From a Coaching perspective the “why” is crucial, because it’s often the factor that determines whether or not we succeed. We never get what we think we should have, or what we think it would be nice to have. We get what we decide is a must for us. So on that note, here’s something you can do to get in touch with your inner motivator… Ask yourself “Why” 5 times, when looking at your fitness goals.
I’ll give you two examples that are anonymous and paraphrased from some of my recent consultations, and I’m sure you’ll be able to pick which of the two will lead to the better result, keeping in mind by “better result” I mean a happier person, not necessarily the skinniest one!
Example number 1:
I’d like to lose 10kg
Why would I like to lose 10kg?
Because I want to be slimmer
Why is that?
Because I want to feel good in my clothes and have more energy to do things I enjoy.
Why is that important?
Because I want to enjoy my work, family time, and social life.
Why is it important to enjoy work and time with my family?
Because I spend most of my time either at work or with my friends and family and if I’m not able to enjoy that time I won’t enjoy life
Why is it important for you to enjoy life?
...It’s at this final 5th “why” that my client looked at me with an expression that seemed to say “Are you f*cking daft? I think having the enjoyment of my life as a motivator will be enough to modify my choices in Tesco.” and asked me “So, when do we start?”
Example number 2:
I’d like to lose 10kg
Tell me why 10kg?
Because I want to look good in my clothes.
Why exactly is it important to you to look good in your clothes?
Because I want to look really hot when I go out with my friends.
Why is it important to you to feel you look good when you go out?
Because all my friends are really really slim and I want to fit in.
Why is it important you fit in with these friends.
Because if I don’t then they won’t like me.
Why is it important to you that these people like you?
… I’m going to stop here with Example Number 2, because this is where we start asking questions that have nothing to do with nutrition and weight loss and start looking at some deeper patterns that have been learned in regards to self worth and confidence. More often than not, retraining these mental and emotional patterns will create much happier person than to persist with weight loss goals leaving a potentially damaging underlying belief system unaltered.
There’s nothing wrong with healthy body goals, but all health and fitness journeys require trade offs. So be sure you’re trading up to a happier you, and make sure your choices come from a place of love. Your heart, body, and mind, will thank you for it.
The Gym, Hove, BN33YF