I remember when I first started in a Health Club many years ago and I had a consultation with a new client.
When I asked him about his goals I was a little taken back by what happened next.
He went to his bag and out from it he pulled a copy of Men’s Health magazine. He held the magazine and pointed to the bronzed Adonis on the front cover.
‘I want this guy’s body’ he said.
In my head I was thinking ‘this is something one would do in a barbers’.
This was one of my first consultations and turned out to be quite the baptism of fire. The rest of the consultation was spent managing expectations and understanding why he wanted this man’s body.
I mean the chap on the cover looked great and I could see the appeal. In my teens I would have had copies of these magazines and trying to emulate the model on the cover. Thinking this is what I need to look like.
Needless to say I never came close (partly because the info in the magazines was so confusing). Partly because of what I’m about to tell you next.
His goal, although endearing, didn’t make sense. He wanted to look like someone else!
I had to the explain to the portly, middle aged gentleman sitting in front of me. The professional model on the front cover had spent years training and nourishing himself to achieve that physique. It was his job to look like that.
Also the model would take extra steps in the months leading up to the shoot. Lighting, tanning, makeup and airbrushing would do the rest.
I told him that ‘the guy on the cover doesn’t even look like the guy on the cover!’
I explained to the gentleman that it would be prudent to focus on himself and getting his body to the best it can be. And we agreed on goals that were going to make him feel good about his body, improve his confidence and health.
This instance wasn’t a one off. I noticed more and more guys were proposing the same thing in consultations. And I know why. It’s because we are constantly subjected to these images of physical perfection. Magazines, advertisements, commercials etc. And we compare and contrast. We look at other people’s chapter twenty and compare it to our chapter one. This seldom feels good and it seems so far removed and unobtainable we become apathetic.
Now, if you didn’t already know; comparison is the thief of joy! So don’t do that! It’s not going to help. Yes you can appreciate the time and effort these people have devoted, but that is all.
When setting your goals concentrate on improving yourself. Becoming a better version of you, then put your energy into the small steps to achieve that. Things like:
*Eating better, without dieting or feeling deprived.
*Being active, no matter what shape you’re in now.
*Ditching the food rules, dropping the fad diets, and conflicting advice. *Building fitness into your life, without it taking over.
*Achieving and maintaining your goals, even when life gets busy.
Which will see you:
*Losing the weight/fat you haven’t been able to shed for years.
*Building physical strength and confidence in your body.
*Gaining mental confidence, no longer hiding your gifts and talents.
*Letting go of food confusion, learning what to do, how to do it.
*Getting off the diet roller coaster once and for all, and never looking back.
So, stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to your previous self.