Q: Hey Mark, I can’t stick to the plan and I don’t know why. What should I do?
A: I know where you are coming from, and it’s not uncommon. Trust me, I hear you; you have every intention to eat well and train as prescribed, but for some unknown reason you are finding a way to self-sabotage.
You have typed up your food plan; heck it’s stuck up on the fridge. Training has been equally mapped out. So how does a well-deserved treat turn into a raid of the whole pantry? Or a morning coffee into a mid-morning movie, and the rest of the day spent on the couch.
In my eyes, the worst part of the situation is not that you had deviated from the plan. No, it’s not that at all. It’s the feelings and emotions that come with a slip up: guilt, shame and loss of motivation. I have found that these feelings are amplified in over-achievers and as a result they often further self-sabotage.
I am a trainer that believes in his clients. When someone comes to me and tells me that they have every intention to stick to the plan- I believe them. However, I also have a keen intuition and an understanding of the emotive mind. When a client deviates from the plan, it often has nothing to do with a lack of want or will to achieve the goal. Often there is something deeper at play; our emotive mind.
If you find yourself torn from your goal, and you can’t for the life of you figure out why, it could very well be because your emotive intention lies elsewhere.
What do I mean by this? I trained a young woman; let’s call her Tinkerbelle (like from Peter pan). Tinkerbelle told me time and time again that she wanted to compete. According to her, it was the most important thing. Yet she struggled to concentrate during her sessions at the gym. Her diet was chaotic and she would often binge eat.
Yet she kept her story true, reminding me often “Mark I want to compete.” I believed her. She did want to compete. But I could see that the goal of competing was not where her emotive intention lied.
I questioned Tinkerbelle about what was going on in her life. I discovered that her father was ill and she admitted that the hours she spent in the gym were leaving her riddled with guilt. She knew that she needed to be with her Dad. As a result she could not focus at the gym and the guilty feelings were leading her to binge.
As her trainer, I told her that her emotions were drawn elsewhere, and that it was ok if competing, and her values at the time did not align.
The mind talks, the heart can only feel. And no matter how hard you try, your heart will always trump your thoughts. If you can’t stick to the plan, and you don’t know why, maybe reassess your plan and make it so your goals and your emotions align.
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