David has great intentions.
At the end of every day, before bed, he tells himself the same story…”Tomorrow I’ll get up early, go to the gym and finally kick-start my new weight loss plan.”
The next morning 6.30am arrives and David is abruptly awoken by the dreaded alarm clock.
Bleery eyed David fumbles around to hit the big red button.
SNOOZE… three times!
(We’ve all done it)
Finally coming to his senses, David realises it’s 7.30am and he no longer has time to get up, get organised and go to the gym before work.
“No problem, I’ll pack my gym bag and go after work instead, problem solved.”
Feeling quite good about making this decision, David dashes about the house to get ready for work, mindlessly necking a double-shot americano and two slices of toast lathered in butter as he does so.
Off to work David goes and by 11am his stomach is growling like no-ones business.
It’s nearly lunch time but he HAS to eat something because he’s getting ‘hangry’ (that’s a mixture of hungry/angry, by the way!).
No problem, a quick coffee and biscuit takes the edge off and sees him through to lunch.
FINALLY, 1pm and lunch break.
David nips out to the local shop and grabs a sandwich, packet of crisps and a bottle of fizzy juice. Can’t beat a Sainsbury’s meal deal 😉
He proceeds to wolf this down whilst having a casual browse of the news websites and catching up on the weekend’s goings-on.
After a ‘proper’ meal, all is right in the world again.
But not so fast… it’s 3.30pm and the mid-afternoon sugar crash and slump hits hard.
Need. To. Sleep…
Not to fear, another coffee and David is back in business….nearly home time now.
Boom, 5.30pm and the working day is finished. Time to head home.
“Oh, shoot, the gym…”
David’s mind frantically searches for an excuse not to go to the gym…and decides that because his favourite TV show is on tonight and he’s too tired after a hard and stressful day at the office that he’ll start tomorrow…
On his way home he grabs a quick microwave meal from the shop to save him the hassle of preparing a healthy meal.
Home time at last…
After eating, David slumps on the coach, plays a little Playstation and watches a little TV, all the while snacking on junk food. In fact. he probably eats more between 7-10pm than he does during the entire rest of the day.
No wonder he’s gaining weight at an alarming rate!
It’s okay though – he’s going to the gym tomorrow…
Obviously, ‘David’ is a fictional character and a metaphor for the modern busy professional.
A ‘reactive’ life revolving around:
- Grabbing fast food when you’re hungry rather than planning and preparing meals when you can
- Skipping the gym instead of scheduling it in your diary like an appointment
- Prioritising work instead of yourself
- High stress – ‘tired but wired’ and not taking enough time to relax and unwind
- Poor sleep and waking up exhausted even after supposedly getting enough hours sleep and…
- Generally just not looking after yourself as well as you should
This is highly prevalent in today’s society and describes the life of millions of business owners and professionals up and down the country.
I know because it’s often the typical day for many of the client’s who come for our help at Luke Bremner Fitness…
…and perhaps it’s a familiar story for you too?
If so, here’s how we recommend breaking the cycle.
How To Break The Cycle
If you’re being a David, when will this change?
What needs to happen for you to finally start living a healthier life?
Well, as simple as it sounds, all change first starts with a decision.
Not a half-hearted decision along the lines of “yeah, I should probably do something about my weight…”
But a proper “I’m going to do this no matter what!” type decision.
You know, that moment when something inside you just clicks and you know from that moment on things will change.
Truthfully, making a decision is the easy part.
It’s getting to that point of making that “fully committed no going back” decision that can be hard.
Getting to that point requires courage and discipline.
It requires you to take a long, hard honest look at your life and have a conversation about why you want (or perhaps have) to make a change.
Looking into a concept known as the pain-pleasure principle, it can be said that “until the pain of staying where you are becomes greater than the pain of taking action, nothing will change…”.
In simple terms, this means that making changes can be hard (and therefore will create ‘pain’).
So hard in fact that it’s simply easier to stay where you are in your comfort zone doing the same things as you’ve always done (even if you’re not happy with where you are right now).
And until you reach the point where you experience more pain with your current situation (which generally means more feeling upset, angry, frustrated or even depressed), nothing will change.
So by having this conversation with yourself about why you want to make changes, the idea is to create massively positive emotions about how much better things will be when you reach your goals (pleasure).
Every human is driven by the desire to avoid pain and move towards pleasure, although most of us to it subconsciously.
But by reminding yourself of how much pain you’re currently in, and how much pleasure awaits when you make the changes and achieve your goals, we flip the equation on its head.
All of a sudden the pain of staying where you are becomes greater than the pain of taking action and in this moment you’ll feel the drive to make that fully committed decision to change.
This is when you’re ready to commit and make those powerful changes.
This is when you’ll break the cycle of David and become the person you know you need to be to life a healthier, happier life.
Have that conversation with yourself today, and watch your decisions begin to change.