If you want to change your body, you have to do it for the right reason. The motivation has to come from within. You cannot try to lose weight or build muscle for someone else, or you will never truly feel driven and will therefore likely sabotage yourself.
I have failed at previous attempts to lean out. I was only doing it because my coach told me to, or because I felt I should. This is the first time I truly want to see my body with a low body fat percentage for me.
Before my accident, I was happy sitting at a higher body fat percentage while chasing strength goals. Don’t get me wrong – I am still very much in pursuit of increasing my strength, however, given that I currently can’t lift at a max level I’m not focusing much energy towards that.
Since I started lifting weights years ago, the lowest body fat I’ve managed to reach is around 18 per cent (this is a complete guess and not an accurate measurement!). As vain and superficial as it sounds, I want to see myself at 15 per cent. At the moment, I’m probably sitting at around 25 per cent.
I am a month into my lean out, and I have never felt more determined to succeed. Unlike attempts in the past, I am not being restrictive which has kept me sane and able to navigate slip-ups. Furthermore, I am also constantly reminding myself of why I am doing this.
I keep three pieces of paper in my diary which I carry with me almost all the time. One is a calendar I drew up myself, where I cross off the days as they pass. It’s a great visual reminder of how far I’ve come and how far I have to go.
This sounds a bit psychotic typing it out, but bear with me: I draw a sad face on the days I fall off the plan for no reason, and I draw a smiley face on the days I stick to the plan perfectly or enjoy a planned treat meal. I also highlight my good days with a bright yellow marker. The perfectionist within me wants to see the paper covered in yellow!
Note that I’m not distinguishing between the two as moments of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. I only draw a sad face on the days where I feel disappointed in myself. There are certain times throughout the week I know I will ‘cheat’, but I don’t view it as cheating (eg Sunday morning breakfast). Whenever I think about mindlessly having junk food because it’s in front of me, I think of my little calendar and it helps to keep me on track.
The second piece of paper is a list of the reasons why I am doing this. This includes things like the photoshoot I would like to book, improving my business, my upcoming summer holidays, and WWBFD. The latter stands for ‘what would Bella Falconi do?’ This lady is a true inspiration to me (follow her here for great motivation!!!) and I love her slogan! It really does help to think of people who are extremely disciplined with their diet and training regime to put your struggles into perspective.
My blog, and all of you, acts as a huge motivator too. I don’t want to let you guys down! Any time I think of throwing my diet away and bingeing on chocolate all week, I think of having to tell you guys with my tail between my legs and it stops me in my tracks!
I often ask myself if a moment of fleeting gratification is worth it over a long-term physical changes, and the answer is almost always no.
The third and final paper I carry is a picture of the Agent Provocateur bikini I will be buying myself as a reward. I love it but I’m only buying it if I reach my physique goals, so it’s the perfect material motivation!!
I don’t really think things like pinning pictures of fit people works. I think comparing yourself to others is more likely to make you depressed and push you away from achieving your goals. While I do look towards figures such as Bella Falconi and Erin Stern for inspiration, it’s for their discipline and work ethic rather than their actual body. It is unrealistic for me to expect my body to morph into a carbon copy of theirs just by losing a little fat.
I’ve never felt more calm and confident about leaning out, and I think it’s because I’ve finally found the right reasons to do it.
What motivates you to be lean?