During church service this morning the pastor said something that really got me thinking about a problem I see on a daily basis with people not only regarding health and wellness, but many aspects of life. The pastor said that at times it is necessary to show people that their actions do not match their words and that this can be an insight into what someone actually wants or needs. Now while the pastor's sermon was not related to the particular issue I see taking place it did set off a chain of thoughts about people, their actions, and their stated goals. I read once in one of Dan John's books that he often gives people the advice that they need to look all their decisions through the lens of their goal and they need to evaluate whether their decisions match their goal. He then tells people that if your goals and decisions don't match you either need to change your goal or change your actions so that one lines up with the other.
I really love this piece of advice because it gives up a way to see that decisions and whether or not the decisions is right or wrong are all relative. What is the right choice in one instance is wrong in another. Now I don't want to get into a philosophical debate about life, but what I mean to do is show that the right answer to most questions is really, "it depends." Especially when talking about health and fitness.
For example if you are someone who is preparing for a physique competition then the answer to the question of how compliant to my diet do I need to be is probably going to be extremely compliant close to 100% compliance, but if your goal is to simply lose some body fat, look better in your clothes, and feel better than the answer is probably only 90% compliance is required. The point being here that the answer to what you should or shouldn't be doing has to be based upon what your are trying to achieve.
Now I read this advice quite some time ago and have since really taken it to heart when talking with clients and looking at myself. But what the pastor said today opened my eyes and made me recognize that so many people's actions do not match their words when it comes to their health and/or their body. And I think this is something that needs to be pointed out because I believe the answers to what is really going on with these people lies in this disconnect between their actions and words.
For example I'll bet that most of you have more than once woken up looked at yourself in the mirror and have either thought or said man I really wish I had a flat stomach or I really wish I could lose the extra weight around my gut, but then later on that very same day you order a double bacon cheeseburger and fries for lunch. Or you skip the gym after work because you'd rather go home and watch that favorite show of yours. Or you eat two pieces of the cake in the break room instead of the one you know would be a better choice for moderation sake.
All of these actions don't match your words or thoughts! And the important questions is why? Why aren't you willing to choose a chicken salad over a burger and fries? Why won't you control your temptation to eat the second piece of cake? Why won't you set your show to record so you can watch it later and still go to the gym? Why don't you make the choices that fall in line with your desire to have a smaller waistline and flatter stomach? To be honest I don't exactly know why. But you have to start to begin searching for the answers or connecting the dots as the pastor said this morning to figure out what it is you truly need and want.
If you want to be a great deadlifter then you need to study up and start practicing the deadlift frequently. If you want to lose fat then you need to tighten up your nutrition, start resistance training, and add in a couple conditioning sessions per week. If you want to have more financial stability you need to write out a budget and stick to it. Get it? The point is if your actions are not in line with your goal then you will never get to your goal and you need to answer why they are not in line.
So as a final piece of advice when your not making progress and you become frustrated don't start asking why you aren't succeeding or what more you need to do or begin doubting everything you've been told. First ask yourself do my behaviors match my goals. If they don't second ask yourself why don't my actions match my goals. Lastly figure out whether it is your goal or your behavior and attitude that need to change.
Oh and your probably thinking that I haven't talked about what to do if your behaviors match your goals and your still not making progress well that is because I honestly then don't know what to tell you. But I promise you if this was the case I don't believe I'd be writing this blog post. I am just sick and tired of watching people continue to slam their heads against a brick wall which is what wanting to lose weight and then eating McDonald's for lunch with cake for desert amounts to.
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