Why is it that so many people have a real mental block about wanting to do something about their health but find it really hard to take action?
If you are feeling overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, then it’s probably because you’ve been led to believe that in order to get results you have to take extreme, strict or drastic measures.
And nothing could be further from the truth.
When you understand these 3 little known factors I’m going to share with you today, you can really take claim of your desires and get them to line up with your behaviours.
After a really long and successful career and as an athlete I retired from competitive CrossFit after ranking in the top 60 of fittest women in Australia.
Now that I just have goals around being fit and healthy and doing it long-term and having it fit into my lifestyle, it’s made me understand what so many of my clients have gone through for all these years.
If you’re not a competitive athlete training for the Cross Fit Games – you don’t have to workout like a maniac in order to just live a happy, healthy life in a fit and toned body.
Here are the 3 truths you need to know.
So many fitness trainers are completely out of touch with what the average person’s fitness level is.
My sister is a busy executive and working mum always trying to find ways to include regular exercise in her routine -as it doesn’t always come naturally to her.
She told me a story of how she hired a PT who took her through a gruelling session and by the end she was really proud that she survived this huge circuit with lunges, push ups, squats and interval running.
And then her Trainer said, “Right. You’ve done really well today, but because you didn’t do any other sessions throughout this week, we’re going to do this whole 30-minute session all over again.”
My sister did it. But suffice to say, that that personal trainer lost herself a client.
Fast forward a few years on, what has actually worked for her is finding a community of people that she enjoys working out with, a trainer who keeps her accountable and a program with plenty of variety and flexibility. She also gives herself permission to slow down and either go for a walk along the beach or just stay at home on the couch if she feels like her body needs that.
Success is the sum of your efforts repeated day in and day out.
The number one key that you need to understand is that it’s actually consistency that will get you there in the end. It’s not a 12-week challenge, it’s not about sprinting right out of the gates.
Success is the sum of your efforts repeated day in and day out, so you’re not going to keep on doing it if it’s not enjoyable.
If that means you’re going to start off with just a jog / walk – maybe only running for 50meters at a time and you do this for 20 minutes – but it’s enjoyable enough that you can do it 3 times a week – that’s absolutely a good starting point.
It’s important to feel capable and slowly push your thresholds rather than overwhelmed right from the get go!
I heard a great tip where if you just walk out the door for 10 minutes and if you want to keep on going for the 11th minute, keep on going. If you’re not feeling it just turn around and come back – and see how the level of expectation allows you to bring your focus back from overwhelmed to capable.
Thinking you have to do a “Damn, I have to do a hardcore hour long session in order for it to “work” is way less motivating than thinking “Just get up and walk out the door for 10minutes”.
Taking small steps, getting moving and dropping the expectation so you can just take a small action is your recipe to along term success.
And that’s the real key to understanding that you don’t have to go at this like a bat out of hell, it’s a marathon. This is for your whole life. This is so that you keep on doing it week in and week out.
If you discount those small steps, then of course, you’re just going to throw your hands up in the air and go, “Oh, it’s not worth it.”
But then if you take no steps, you’ll never ever get there always remember – the small steps count.
When I say you can’t outtrain a bad diet, a lot of people think that a diet means you have to be really restrictive – and we’ve all had an experience of that.
However, if we just focused on that All or Nothing cycle – how many good days you have before a “bad day” or an emotional eating binge – by oscillating like this you set your body up into such hormonal chaos – you can’t do enough exercise to “outtrain your bad diet”.
It doesn’t matter how much exercise you do, it’s just not going to make a difference.
If you just want to have a normal healthy weight and maintain it easily without giving up your Friday night wines or your Saturday night pizza, you don’t have to worry about that “calories in, calories out” equation so much.
What’s more important is that you have consistency in your diet, you’re eating a good wholesome balanced diet, and the exercise that you turn up to is enjoyable and consistent.
And, sure, if you want to do some high-intensity training sessions, two or three times a week max, that’s all you need to do to be able to maintain a normal healthy weight. You definitely don’t have to do six days a week of an hour session a day.
I absolutely have seen a lot of people that I’ve worked with, or a lot of people that have subscribed to those types of training regimes, they give themselves shin splints, they give themselves heaps repetitive strain injuries.
I look at them and I think, “You’re working way too hard to be having that much amount of excess body weight on your body. There are far more easier ways to do it – and that’s actually coming down to balancing your hormones in regular food intervals.”
Punishing exercise and restricting your calories actually makes you go backwards. You create a hormonal chain reaction that actually makes it harder for you to burn fat, makes you hold on to that way more stubbornly, makes you crave fattier foods, and slows down your metabolism. So you have to be really careful that you’re not overdoing it.
I suppose because everybody sees this on Biggest Loser, everybody sees this on TV, where you got to get smashed, you got to be vomiting and everything, so in your head you think that’s what you have to do in order to get amazing changes. But this is a really small-known part of the equation – and that is the law of adaptation or the law of diminishing returns.
If you go from 0 to a 100 kilometres an hour, you’ve got nowhere to go, right? If you go from doing no exercise to six days a week and smash yourself, your body will get to a point where it will just plateau and it will go, “What the hell is happening? This is supposed to be my new normal.”
And your body will actually start fighting against you and start doing all those things I was telling you with that cortisol response, and slow down your metabolism, and make it heaps harder for you to lose the weight, make you crave for fattier foods.
There was this girl who was probably about 120 kilos. She did this 12-week challenge, she went straight on to 1,200 calories, which is something that Biggest Loser and those 12-week online challenges do – and she was doing like 10 classes a day. I don’t even know how she had time to work. But she lost 20 kilos.
So, she had lost 20 kilos in like seven or eight weeks, she was looking fantastic, everybody was telling her, “You’re doing so well! you’re doing great!”
And then she actually came up to me at the front desk and she said, “Bianca, I can’t lose any more weight. I haven’t lost anything in the last two weeks. What am I going to do? What am I going to do?”
And she told me what she was eating. She’s actually stripped out even all her carbs from vegetables, like she was only eating lettuce and protein and no carbohydrates. She told me what she was eating and I was shocked. I was half the size of her and I said, “I eat three to four times the amount that you eat. You’ve got to start feeding your body, otherwise something really serious is going to happen to you.”
Sure enough, she won the challenge. I just was really outraged because she had a personal trainer, she won, she was put up on the the members board about being this champion. And I always talk about there’s the before, there’s the after – and then there’s the after the after.
What happened is, three years later, I saw that girl again and she was double the size she was even at her heaviest. She was probably another 50 kilos heavier. So, 170 kilos. She was huge.
And the poor sweetheart, they had used her as another promotional piece in the newspaper about how she’s getting off her bod, and she’s going to get excited again, and she’s going to get motivated again, and she’s gone back and joined that same gym again. They didn’t talk about how she’d actually been set up for failure by the very same gym only three years earlier.
Some of the quotes there were she was really down on herself, she’d really let herself go – and I just felt to her so much that she didn’t realize that she had gone from 0 to 100 and had nowhere else to go.
Imagine you’re out in the ocean and you want to get the fastest way back. You think about, “Who’s going to get the fastest way back into the beach?” There can be these really big waves and you think, “Yes, I’m going to pick a really big wave. I’m going to get on the big wave and I’m going to go all the way into the shore.”
But what happens is those big massive waves are also the ones that crash and dump you. And then you hit yourself and you’ve got a mouth full of sand – and you get sucked back out to sea again. Because that’s essentially what going from 0 to 100 is doing. It’s like getting smashed by a big breaker.
But if you decide instead to go take the small little breakers and just go, “I see the small undulating wave.”
And that might be just implementing a 10-minute walk. In the morning, get up, get your body moving, get your hormones working, go for a walk for 10 minutes. If at the 11th minute you want to keep on going, keep going. If you don’t, just turn back around. And that will get you a little bit closer to shore.
Hang around. Make sure that you implement that lifestyle change. Maybe the next one is taking your lunch to work, or maybe it’s taking out your carbs for dinner, or including some carbs at regular intervals, or getting someone to do a cook-up, or ordering some of those healthy fresh meals to your door. So when you get those things delivered, that might be your next little wave.
And it’s the accumulation of these little waves that will get you there, you know, where you’re at the end, you’re on the beach and you’re like, “Woohoo, I made it! I got to my goal!” And it’s not like you’re exhausted, you’re like this bedraggled shipwrecked sailor. That is actually the key to getting to the end. It’s The Tortoise and the Hare.
If you think, “Calories in, calories out. It’s all just about eating less and exercising more, then surely eating nothing and exercising all day, I should be skinny and then that’s it,” it doesn’t work that way.
There’s a reason our body has this amazing coping mechanism. It’s so intelligent and it’s happening all the time, like we are pretty naive to think that we can circumvent it and try and trick it without a whole bunch of science and health. You know, why not just work with your body instead of trying to punish it?
Brooke says, “This happened to me. I did a challenge, I lost 10 kilos, I’m now 20 kilos heavier and I’m trying to do it on my own now.”
Absolutely! I think that people start to do it on their own because you realize that’s not the way to do it – and then you’ve got to kind of like create this whole new way of understanding. And there are shortcuts of you doing it on your own terms.
But if you take those three things on board – you can’t punish yourself healthy, consistency is the key; you can’t outtrain a bad diet or outrun your hormones; and the law of adaptation that just a gentle wave will actually get you there in the end – that’s going to help you design a lifestyle that supports the body that you want.
Instead of having to subscribe to a lifestyle of 1,200 calories a day and six hours of training every week, instead of having to exchange that in order to get the body, work it the other way around. You be in charge of what lifestyle you want to live, just like I don’t like smashing myself at training anymore. I just go, “I’m all right, coach. Already awesome. Don’t have to try harder.” Which really infuriates him because I wasn’t like that in the three years I was a crazy hardcore Crossfitter. But now, I’m designing my own life.
I hope that has helped you guys get over that overwhelm that I see so often.
My brother has this great analogy about “build a house of bricks”. So many people build a house of straw. It’s really sexy to get quick results and lose four kilos in a week and and go and do all the selfies and #EatCleanTrainHard #Goals #Abs. All that crap, you know. It’s so alluring to do that stuff. And that’s the house of straws.
Because you can get so excited on these really supportive 12-week challenges, which are fantastic – but if you think that at the end of the 12-week challenge you can just go back to living life normally, that’s normally when it all comes undone. When you think, “I’m just going to push myself that much harder and then I can relax,” you’re probably not going to maintain those results at the end of it.
When you’re building your house of bricks, it’s really easy to look over at the people with the house of straw, and they’ve already built it and they’re sort of kicking back and going, “Yeah, I’m looking awesome.” And you’re still just pulling your weight, making your house of bricks.
In six months time, they might have a before and they might have an after, what did it cost for them? How much did they neglect their kids or neglect their family or use willpower to avoid social situations? How much did that really cost them?
Because if you have to use a lot of willpower to achieve your goals, you will have to pay it back. You have to pay that psychic energy back, right? It doesn’t come for free.
As soon as you find yourself having to use willpower to force yourself to do something, you’re going to have an episode which does the exact opposite, so you’ll have a couch potato episode. And this is the way it happens. Whereas if you just keep on realigning yourself and regrouping and going, “Right, I’ve achieved this, here’s where I want to get to, how can I align myself off emotionally, vibrationally with this next step that I’m going to make?”
I normally have great breakfasts, great morning teas, great lunches – and in the afternoon I’m just going to eat all the chocolate. All of it. And then sometimes it’s two chocolates and then sometimes it’s even an ice cream.
I know that if I keep on going like that, I won’t get to my goals. So when I feel ready for it, I’m going to start addressing that – but I absolutely know that if I start using willpower and go, “I’m not going to have it, I’m not going to have it for the next three months and I’m going to quit it,” then three months and one day I’m going to have it. And I’m going to start to wake up and have chocolate mint sliced biscuits for breakfast.
Like I did straight after my win at the Miss Brisbane Figure Championships. I had chocolate mint sliced bread biscuits for breakfast, I had toasted cheese sandwiches and sausage rolls for morning tea, I had all the stuff that I hadn’t given myself in the last six months – and I had to pay it all back.
Those are my keys for you. I hope that really helped you guys. If you implement this advice, I’d love to hear how you went!.
After suffering a fairly serious breakdown I was unable to cope with life in general. My body felt broke, old and frail – I didn’t just feel middle aged, I felt half dead. I hadn’t realised that my body was self destructing and I was doing it to myself, working long hours, too much alcohol, lots of bad food and absolutely no exercise.
After six months of working with Bianca, I no longer need my blood pressure medication, anti depressants and my cholesterol is in a safe zone. I have lost 2 dress sizes and more than 26 kilos. I now have a life outside of our business and can see a happy, healthy future for our family. I hope the person I became never comes back as I like this girl so much better.
I had heard of Bianca through some magazines – it was an investment but I had tried and failed so many times but in six short months, 20 kilos melted off me and it had a massive and unexpected effect on our styling business. While working with Bianca we secured a national gig, increased our prices to a level we previously thought no one would pay, AND we were booked out weeks in advance.
The majority of this 20 kilo weight loss has only been 5% diet and exercise, the rest has been an emotional journey. Bianca confronted me and called me on my BS and challenged some of my most deeply help beliefs about who I am. And the results are undeniable. I haven’t completely quit drinking, I still get to eat chocolate, I’ve had the best year in my business EVER – and perhaps the most important thing is how differently I react to things emotionally.
Who knew that taking it slowly and being kind to yourself could get you the results that yelling at yourself couldn’t.
Before working with Bianca I was super stressed and I thought it was too hard and I didn’t have the time to be slim AND successful. But I was surprised at how easy it was to implement Bianca’s system – I haven’t counted calories and I still pig out on foods I love. It’s been no coincidence to me that as a result of the new clarity of mind I’ve actually doubled my business at the same time I’ve made these changes to my body.