I’ve got the career, I’ve got the house, I’ve got the family, I’ve got the friends, I just can’t seem to get my shit together with my health and fitness.
Contrary to popular belief, being a successful woman, maintaining wellness and achieving weight loss are not mutually exclusive. Sure, it can be harder to focus on your health and fitness when you have a highly demanding career or a taxing home life, however, quite often our brain translates ‘harder’ into ‘impossible’ which is simply not the case. Juggling career, family, friends and our own wellness is exactly that – a balancing act! What we can sometimes fail to realise, however, is that our own health is not one of the balls thrown in the air, it’s the hands throwing them. Our health and fitness not only dictates the height of our throws, the balance in our hands and the certainty of our grip, it can also be the decider as to whether we get to juggle in the first place or if the right to do so will be taken from us.
Without our health, we lose everything and the things that seem so important to prioritise day to day simply vanish. For most people, this is common knowledge, if we’re not healthy, we’re sick and if we’re sick we lose the ability to achieve a lot of things we want to achieve. So if this is well known to so many of us, why is it so difficult for us successful women to achieve wellness or weight loss goals? Here’s some common ways we can be sabotaging ourselves in this area.
1: We expect immediate results and rewards
This is a huge one! These days we’re so hell bent on getting immediate rewards for our actions that it can make working towards our long term goals extremely difficult. When we submit something great for work we want instant recognition from the boss. When we make good food choices we want to hop on the scales the next day and see the weight has gone down. When we do a couple of workouts we want the Doctor to tell us our health has improved. Now most of us can agree that these actions usually don’t reap immediate rewards so let’s take a look at some that do. When we have a glass of wine we instantly feel relaxed, when we eat a chocolate bar immediately we feel joy, when we get likes on social media we receive instant gratification. These habits all offer us immediate rewards which regardless of the fact that they may be small compared to those of losing weight, regaining health or reigniting fitness, we choose them anyway.
2: We aren’t prioritising ourselves
Well we’ve all been guilty of this every once and awhile. Putting the partner first, putting the boss first, putting the kids first, putting the parents first, putting the friends first, putting the job first, the list goes on. It’s a rarity these days to find someone who regularly prioritises themselves and for those that do, they’ve usually achieved this because in the past they’ve burnt out from prioritising everything else first. Some of us do this out of obligation, some out of social pressure, some out of deep rooted habits and belief systems and some of us even do it because we believe prioritising ourselves is ‘selfish’.
3: We haven’t been willing to pay the price
“If you want to be successful, find out what the price is and then pay it.” – Scott Adams
In this instance price can be, however, is not always a dollar figure. Incorporating health and fitness into your lifestyle requires sacrifice. It requires your currency in time, energy, effort, and more often than not – dollars. Quite often we are stuck when it comes to our goals because we’re trying too hard to bargain on the price. I want to lose weight but I only want to eat healthy on weekdays, I want to improve my fitness but I can only dedicate 30 minutes a week, I want to regain control of my health but I don’t want to put too much effort into it, I want someone to hold me accountable to this but I only want to spend $20 per week.
4: We’ve run out of all f*cks given.
Last but not least, we just don’t give a f*ck.
Sarah Knight’s ‘The life changing magic of not giving a f*ck’ illustrates this concept perfectly. Knight compares our ‘number of f*cks’ to other measurable resources like time and money – both of which we can run out of. When we spend our days (as a lot of women do) looking after complete strangers we don’t really care about, going to the party we really don’t want to go to and continuing the painful conversation with Janine from work – we give out our precious and well earned f*cks only to run out of them when it really matters.
So if we’re up against these bold and longstanding concepts, how on Earth do we regain control of our health and fitness as a successful, hard working and time-poor female?
The four steps to success!
1: Identify what is blocking you from achieving your health and fitness goals.
|Step 1: My goal is to start exercising again and I just can’t seem to stick to the habit. I’ve been expecting immediate results and rewards and as a result of that have given into habits like eating junk food, drinking and just lazing around.|
2: Strategise how you can reframe your problem to help build your solution.
|Step 2: If immediate rewards are what’s driving my brain to keep habits, I will need to find a way to gain immediate rewards for working out. Some options could be: While I’m on the exercise bike I’ll watch my favourite show on netflix on my phone. When going for a walk I’ll invite a friend I want to catch up with so I can socialise as well. When I go to the gym 3 x in a week for 2 weeks I’ll buy myself a new gym outfit.|
3: Reinforce the reward three times.
|Step 3: I will go on the exercise bike for 3 x 30 min slots this week and watch an episode of my favourite show each time guilt-free.|
4: If you’re finding the reward is enough to motivate you to continue the desired habit, continue reinforcing it. If you find you’re still not motivated enough, increase the reward or lower the expectation.
|Step 4: Lower the expectation – I will go on the exercise bike at least twice this week for 10 minutes per time. I can watch an episode of my favourite tv show guilt free for the time I’m on the bike and once I get home I can finish that episode.|
Increase the reward – I will go on the exercise bike for 3 x 30 min slots this week and each time will watch an episode of my favourite show guilt-free and if I do this consistently for a fortnight I will buy myself a new gym outfit.
Remember the 4 steps to success don’t work unless you do. Don’t identify what is limiting you but not be willing to alter or change the strategy if it doesn’t work first go. Finally take control of your obstacle and reinforce your power as a strong and successful woman!
Last but not least, as always, if you are having trouble with any of your 4 steps to success, don’t hesitate to contact me through our contact page on this site or our socials.
When women support each other, incredible things happen.