The central theses
The biggest obstacle to most people's fitness is their expectations, attitude and motivation for change.
You must be willing to be imperfect when you start not comparing yourself to others and motivating yourself when no one else does it (or even when someone does).
Getting in shape is never easy and you will encounter obstacles from a variety of sources, but it is also one of the most enjoyable things you can do for yourself.
So you found a gym.
You have calculated your macros.
They bought new training clothes.
You have created an inspirational playlist.
Now you just have to work out.
That's the funny part, right?
Sure, it can be, but that does not mean that it's the easy part or that there are no challenges of its own.
You can find countless articles, posts, and tweets on how to improve your life when in shape.
What I have noticed, however, is that the "influencers" who write this article tend to stay away from the topics that people new to fitness need to hear the most.
The truth is that getting in shape requires a lot of discomfort, struggle and stamina.
Why am I telling you this?
Because it pays to know what the road holds in front of you when you decide to pursue something as important as getting in shape.
Unrealistic expectations are the most common mistakes people make when they decide to get fit.
They expect it to be easy.
To be fast.
To be consequent.
Like you, I thought of all these things when I started taking fitness seriously. However, I have learned a lot along the way, and much of what I am going to tell you in this article has helped me:
Overweight up to a body fat content of less than 10%.
Weak to have a deadlift of nearly 500 pounds.
And unable, unhealthy and unhappy, to have a purpose, energy and inner contentment that I never thought possible.
Let's start with one of the more unpleasant facts to get fit.
1. To get into shape, a lot of imperfection is required.
Today we are flooded daily with perfection.
Nowadays perfect body shapes are the norm on fitness Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest sites, and unfortunately many people are learning how to get in shape.
Maybe that's also because you are reading this because you have seen so much perfection that you have begun to believe that you are not good enough in your present condition.
On the one hand, this seems to be a good thing.
When we see impressive achievements, we can look forward to something that we can rejoice in and strive for.
On the other hand, it can also become a diseased rat, making you feel hollow, inadequate and broken than ever before.
There are hundreds – maybe thousands – of studies that look into the effects that a bombing with perfection can have on our wellbeing.
And it's not good.
Research by scientists at the universities of New South Wales. Kent State. Cleveland State and Arizona State has shown that the repeated exposure to idealized images makes us more anxious, depressed and dissatisfied with our body.
In addition, three meta-analyzes (two regarding men and one about women) A total of 50 studies have found that exposure to idealized images by the media is highly associated with lower levels of body awareness and satisfaction, as well as increased levels of negative behavioral and psychological outcomes.
What drives perfection?
You guessed it: social media.
A good example of the toxic effects of social media was a study performed by scientists at the University of New South Wales.
To gauge the impact of social media image on the body image and mood of young women, the researchers gave the participants 10 minutes to either surf Facebook, a fashion website, or a craft website.
Afterwards, they were asked a series of questions, which were derived from the comparison scale for the physical appearance and the inventory of eating disorders.
Researchers found that women had a more negative mood after viewing Facebook compared to other websites, and that viewing Facebook in women predisposed to appearance comparisons led to a greater desire to change their physical appearance.
As of mid-2019, Instagram had a billion users. That's one billion people who compare themselves to countless images of people who spend themselves several times a day as perfect and feel crappier with each scroll.
No nice situation.
Or one in which you have to shop.
Let me pull back the curtain so you can see what's really going on in the lives of these "perfect" people.
Models, influencers and online fitness gurus make hundreds of pictures of themselves in completely unnatural poses to post just one picture. Then they act as if they had only taken one shot that would have made it into their feed.
They use preferred lighting, strange angles and tense poses. They use filters and effects, and many of them Use crass Photoshop to improve their appearance.
Oh, and here's the kicker: Most of the Instagram fitness models you've heard of are treated with steroids and have undergone cosmetic surgery. Once you know the size, weight, and body fat percentage, you can enter those numbers into the calculator in this article and find out for yourself whether they're shabby or not:
So much muscle can be built naturally (with a calculator)
Here's something you may not want to hear: you will not be perfect when you start exercising. So was every other person who came into shape.
This is especially true when you start lifting weights.
Learning the right form will be tedious and embarrassing, your strength will be less than you would like and you will be in pain. I suggest that you now deal with these facts, because in the three months after you start training, you will see and feel tremendous improvements in all areas of your health, both physically and mentally.
Summary: As imperfect as you may seem, focus on your own fitness journey and never compare with people on social media. They are not nearly as perfect as you would think.
Use this training and flexible diet program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat in just 30 days and build muscle – without starving yourself or living in the gym.
2. It's okay to admire other people, but do not compare with them.
If you want to feel anxiety, depression and dissatisfaction with your life in a guaranteed way, compare yourself to others, especially if you feel bad.
That's what scientists at University of Central Florida. University of Connecticut. University of Poitiers. University of South Australia have repeatedly found in a variety of experiments.
Of course, that does not stop millions (or maybe billions) of people from doing it every day.
However, this does not mean that you can not improve your appearance.
Every human being can have a fit, muscular and healthy body – that is indisputable.
In fact, one of my favorite cases is when I read studies to like this where researchers refer to models with "unreachable bodies".
Because what these researchers regarded as "unreachable" was really just "very fit".
Unfortunately, many researchers do not understand how body composition works. They do not understand that it is possible to lose fat, build muscle, and more or less change the way you look through proper eating and exercise.
There is no unreachable body type.
There are body types that are difficult to access because they contain little body fat and lots of muscle, but are not inaccessible.
If you follow sound training and nutrition principles, you can get exactly the body type that these studies suggest is impossible. I guarantee this without any doubt. However, it is time to set some realistic expectations.
What your muscles look like depends mainly on how they adhere to your bones. These attachments are referred to as origins or insertion points and are different for each one.
If you look at bodybuilders, you will find that all their muscles look a little different. In some cases, the biceps look like perfect round balls, in others they look like flat strips of meat sandwiched between elbows and shoulders.
What your muscles look like can not be changed. You can build muscle but you do not have to decide what your muscles look like when they are bigger. If I had my way, I would have Arnold's nipples, Dorian's lats, Ronnie's quads, and literally the calves of others, but I can not. I'm stuck with the muscle inserts I have, but that does not mean that I can not make the most of it.
So, if you can not compare with the bodies of others, what do you compare with?
Well, past you, that's who.
Feel free to admire other people's bodies, but do not settle if you can not have exactly the same chest, arms, legs, butt or traps as anyone else.
Take stock of your position and do your best to improve. Over time, I guarantee you that you can build a body that you can be proud of.
Summary: You can change almost every aspect of your body, but it requires work. Insist, stay consistent and soon you will have the body you always wanted.
3. You have to motivate yourself to train. Otherwise, nobody really cares.
Here is a familiar story: Someone decides that it's finally time to get in shape.
They bustle with new equipment in the gym, go to a gym and enjoy the excitement of a dog chasing a ball. Her social media are brightening with fitness selfies, home-cooked sweet potato fritters and avocado porridge, as well as all hashtags.
They get a few likes and post more pictures.
Then the Likes disappear, the pictures are more sporadic and after a few weeks they release memes and pictures of their cat.
Why am I telling you this?
It is an excellent demonstration of a failure of intrinsic motivation,
There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Imagine, you like to paint landscapes, so get up every morning and work on a landscape because it gives you intense pleasure.
This would be an intrinsic motivation. You paint because you enjoy it, regardless of what other people think.
Now let's pretend that you wake up and paint every morning, because that's the only thing you can do to pay the bills. Or because you want to be known as "the artist" among your friends. Or because you admire your partner and you do not want to disappoint him.
This would be an external motivation. They do not paint because they give you pleasure, but to earn the recognition, worship or attention of others.
research guided Professor Tim Kasser of Knox College, Ill., has shown that the more we are driven by extrinsic values, the more likely we are to become depressed and anxious. He also showed that as a society we are much more driven by outward values.
How can you protect yourself against the negative tendency to rely on external motivation?
By not caring what others think about your fitness journey, and doing so because it matters to you,
Think about how good you will feel when you are in shape.
How nice it will be to smile when you see your reflection in the mirror.
How pleased you will feel when you place your hand on your stomach and feel muscles instead of fat.
Focus on these things – not how many likes you get on Instagram, how many compliments you receive from colleagues, or how good it feels to be the strongest in your circle of friends.
Summary: Get fit because you want, not because someone else wants it.
4. Getting in shape is difficult, uncomfortable and exhausting, but it gets easier.
We humans have developed a strong bond of comfort.
The idea of working hard to get in shape is unpleasant for many, and most people will go to great lengths to avoid this simple fact (testify to the world of detox teas, MCT oils and other artificial fat loss supplements ).
Sport is inextricably linked with sweating, fighting and malaise, which most people do not respond to.
More difficult than sport is the discomfort of not being able to eat as much as you normally would. Many people are able to train themselves, but few have the discipline to stick to a structured diet for more than a few weeks.
The hard work you need to spend to get a healthy and healthy body is not glamorous.
Inconvenient facts such as these make it even less appealing to spend hours on weekly training, and for some people it can be difficult to see why someone is devoting time to something that seems so distressing.
Engagement does not happen overnight, it's a long-term process.
Now for the good news, the more consistent you are, the easier it will be to feel and be.
Showing and working hard, no matter how much you do not want, will generate psychological momentum, and once you have momentum, discipline and motivation will grow together.
In addition, the feelings of accomplishment, progress, and happiness you get by completing something that was not easy become a powerful motivator.
After all, once you see the results, it will be much easier to stick to the plan. If you can go through the first 8 weeks (where progress is often hard to see), you'll be rewarded with more substantial changes from now on.
The price of this reward?
Missing one or the other training here and there may seem harmless, but its effects are far worse than at first sight. A missed workout turns into two, three turns into a free week, which results in a breakdown.
In addition, after a long break it will become easier and easier to fall back into the same pattern. Exercise consistently for a few months and then fall off the car.
This ability to drop off the car can be just as ingrained as sticking to the plan. Therefore, it is important that you do not make it a habit.
For this reason, it is also important to choose a workout routine that you can follow. It's much better to pick a simpler exercise program that you actually follow, rather than a difficult one that you follow a few weeks before you stop.
Summary: It's not easy to get in shape. However, the more you emerge and work hard, the easier it gets.
5. You will meet resistance from all sides, including friends and family.
Getting strong and healthy will probably be one of the best things you've ever decided to do. it was definitely for me. But if there is something that tests your patience, people want to undermine your discipline.
For example, you could go out for lunch and ask for water instead of wine, because you know you'll need to go to the gym later, and people will consider you obscene to be what you do.
"You do not drink wine!? Pull yourself together!", They laugh.
"Why can not you just miss a day?"
"Does that really make a difference?"
"Do not you work too hard?"
"You are obsessed!"
"Is not it a bit sad how much you care about it?"
"You do not have to do that! You also have to have a life, you know?"
I've noticed that all the resistance you receive comes from people who are unsure of themselves and their own bodies.
People will feel threatened by the amount of work you are prepared to do and think that this underlines their lack of discipline. That's true, but that should not scare you off.
Summary: It's not your fault that other people (including friends and family) do not have the same motivation and determination you have. Do not let your warnings, admonitions and inappropriate concerns stop you from getting the body you want.
Conclusion: What you need to understand to get fit
It's hard to get fit, especially because it's hard.
We give ourselves unrealistic expectations, impossible standards and too many excuses.
Most people simply stumble upon these issues when they decide to get in shape, which is why most people fall off the car after a few months of trying.
If you face these facts In front When you start, your efforts will be richly rewarded.
They are ready for the setbacks, disappointments and frustrations that come with getting fit and can fight through them to know what's on the other side.
The five most common truths that you need to understand to get fit are:
In order to get in shape, much imperfection is required.
It's okay to admire other people, but do not compare with them.
You have to motivate yourself to train. Otherwise, nobody really cares.
Getting in shape is difficult, uncomfortable and exhausting, but it gets easier.
They will meet with resistance from all sides, including friends and family.
Once you have taken these truths to heart, your personal fitness journey will be much easier.
If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you want to hang out online! 🙂
How do you want to get fit? Do you have anything left to share? Let me know in the comments below!
+ Scientific references
Kasser T, Ahuvia A. Materialistic values and wellbeing of business students. Eur J Soc Psychol. 2002; 32 (1): 137? 146. doi: 10.1002 / ejsp.85
Kasser T. Materialistic values and goals. Annu Rev Psychol. 2016; 67 (1): 489? 514. doi: 10.1146 / annurev-psych-122414-033344
Thornton B, Ryckman RM, Gold YES. Competitive orientation and acceptance of cosmetic surgery in women. Psychology. 2013; 04 (01): 67? 72. doi: 10.4236 / psych.2013.41009
Pidgeon A, A. Harker R. Body Focused Fear in Women: Associations with the Internalization of the Thin Ideal, Diet Frequency, Body Mass Index, and Media Effects. Open J Med Psychol. 2013; 02 (04): 17-24. doi: 10.4236 / ojmp.2013.24b004
Peterson RD, Tantleff-Dunn S., Bedwell JS. The effects of exposure to feminist ideology on the body image of women. Body image. 2006; 3 (3): 237? 246. doi: 10.1016 / j.bodyim.2006.05.004
Hargreaves DA, Tiggemann M. Idealized media images and youthful body image: boys and girls "compare". Body image. 2004; 1 (4): 351? 361. doi: 10.1016 / j.bodyim.2004.10.002
Bocage-Barthélémy Y, Selimbegovié L., Chatard A. The proof that social comparison with the thin ideal influences implicit self-assessment. Int Rev Soc Psychol. 2018; 31 (1). doi: 10.5334 / irsp.114
Bessenoff GR. Can the media influence us? Social comparison, self-distinctions and the thin ideal. Psychol Women Q. 2006; 30 (3): 239? 251. doi: 10.1111 / j.1471-6402.2006.00292.x
Agliata D, Tantleff-Dunn S. The influence of media exposure on the body image of men. J Soc Clin Psychol. 2004; 23 (1): 7? 22. doi: 10.1521 / jscp.184.108.40.206988
Fardouly J, Diedrich's PC, Vartanian LR, Halliwell E. Social comparisons in social media: THE influence of Facebook on the body image and mood of young women. Body image. 2015; 13: 38-45. doi: 10.1016 / j.bodyim.2014.12.002
Groesz LM, Levine MP, Murnen SK. The effect of experimental presentation of images with thin media on body satisfaction: a meta-analytical overview. Int J Eat Disord. 2002; 31 (1): 1-16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11835293. Access to the 9th of September 2019.
Barlett CP, Vocal CL, Saucier DA. Meta-analyzes of the effects of media images on the body image of men. J Soc Clin Psychol. 2008; 27 (3): 279? 310. doi: 10.1521 / jscp.2008.27.3.279
Stice E, Schupak-Neuberg E, Shaw HE, Stone RI. Relationship between media exposure and symptoms of eating disorders: investigation of mediation mechanisms. J Abnorm Psychol. 1994; 103 (4): 836 – 840. doi: 10.1037 // 0021-843x.103.4.836
If you liked this article, you will receive weekly updates. It is free,
100% privacy. We do not rent or share our e-mail lists.