What would it look like to achieve your biggest health and fitness dreams?
It would be an exciting journey, jam-packed with motivation, willpower, and support from everybody around you — right?
Unfortunately, not always.
In today’s blog and accompanying infographic, we’re pulling back the curtains on what a more realistic health and fitness journey look like.
There will definitely be:
- Days where you want to give up.
- Days where it feels like you’re working hard and seeing zero progress.
- Defeating comments and judgment from people around you.
- Mistakes where you fall off track and struggle to get back into the groove.
- Times when your routine is completely disrupted (think: travel, holidays, stress) and you want to throw in the towel.
- Moments where you revert back to old habits.
But don’t let this make you feel discouraged. The truth is:
Each item on that list above is an important part of any health and fitness journey, not a sign you’re doing something wrong.
Here at Working Against Gravity, we firmly believe in the power of a growth mindset. What this means is that the only things that matter during your journey are a positive attitude and consistent effort. We embrace mistakes and challenges because they allow us to grow.
A Visual Guide to The Process of Success
We’ve coached thousands of clients with completely different lifestyles and goals. We’ve helped everyone from professional athletes to postpartum moms to executives who must travel for work every single week.
Although we coach a wide variety of clientele, we’ve noticed some common patterns. We have seen, over and over again, that there’s a major difference between what a new WAG client thinks their journey should look like versus what it actually looks like.
To bring some clarity to this issue and help people know what to expect during their journeys, we created the below infographic called “The Process of Success: The Journey of Working With Your Nutrition Coach.”
With complete honesty and transparency, our infographic can guide you through what your nutrition journey will likely entail.
No matter which program you choose to follow, it’s wise to be prepared to face the inevitable challenges and obstacles that come with making a big life change!
Now let’s dive into the infographic and explore some parts of it a bit deeper.
The Beginning of the Journey
As you can see in the infographic, motivation, and willpower are usually the highest right at the beginning of a new nutrition or fitness program.
At the beginning of the journey, we feel excited about all the possibilities. We’ve got a clean slate and enthusiastically visualize what our ideal outcome looks and feels like. We have a list of all the things we want to achieve. Some of these “outcome goals” could be:
- Losing a certain number of pounds
- Changing our body composition (gaining muscle and/or losing body fat)
- Improving our athletic performance
- Feeling better overall
It’s during a period of high motivation that most people sign up for a nutrition program like Working Against Gravity. So, let’s say that you made that decision and joined the program.
After signing up, you would likely feel so excited for your coach to send you your customized program – maybe even ready to change your whole life!
Perhaps you’d commit to hitting the gym every day of the week, cooking every single meal from scratch at home (using only organic ingredients), and never touching sugar again.
All of those goals sound great. But let’s pause for a second.
Based on our experience, achieving your health and fitness goals isn’t actually about radically changing your entire life.
True transformation is about learning a new set of tools and adopting a new set of habits that will, over time, help you gradually achieve your goals and – here is the key – sustain the changes you made.
For most people, the struggle isn’t making progress – it’s maintaining that progress over the long-haul.
Although this might sound counterintuitive, we recommend adopting new tools and habits one at a time rather than trying to implement a whole bunch of them at once.
Why is this so important? Because committing to changing our entire lives puts a lot of pressure and very high expectations on us. Too many changes at the same time can quickly create a lot of inconvenience in our lives.
And even worse, if we make radical life changes and don’t see huge progress right away (which is rare, anyway!) – we’ll likely feel discouraged. We might feel burnt out and quit.
Having an experience like that might even make you question whether you can achieve anything at all.
That’s not what we want!
Fortunately, there’s a better way.
Building Your Castle
As our WAG CEO, Adee Cazayoux explains, “Your absolute number one priority when working towards a goal is protecting your confidence and integrity with yourself fiercely. It’s like you’re building the foundation of a fortress. You have to be careful and methodical here – otherwise, the rest of your castle can crumble.”
What she means is that we want to avoid aiming for a long list of very ambitious goals right at the beginning of our journey because chances are high that we won’t be able to stick with all of them and create integrity and trust with ourselves. Our “foundation” will never be built.
So, rather than adopting an overwhelmingly long list of new habits, we recommend “aiming low.”
What this means is choosing one action or commitment that almost feels too easy. You know you’ve picked the right habit when you think to yourself, “Psh, of course, I can do that.”
Real-Life Example of the Power of Aiming Low
We have a real-life client example to illustrate this point. Angela (*name changed) was a competitive weightlifter for many years. While in college, she spent many hours in the gym. Her schedule was flexible, and it wasn’t challenging to stick to her fitness or nutrition regime.
Then Angela graduated from college. She began a demanding career in medical device sales that required quite a lot of travel. In addition, she began a new relationship.
Both of these changes completely altered Angela’s fitness and nutrition routines. No longer could she spend multiple hours each day training in the gym – most of her time was spent in the car, traveling for her job, or spending quality time with her new partner. Finding any time for the gym became very challenging.
With nutrition, Angela felt tempted to grab fast food on-the-go because she struggled to find time to meal prep.
Angela felt discouraged, overwhelmed and ashamed. She had no idea where to go from here.
Fortunately, during this time, Angela was working with a WAG coach. She reached out to her coach and expressed her feelings with honesty and vulnerability. Her coach was supportive, positive and helped Angela see that it’s okay for life – and our goals – to change. Angela’s coach encouraged her to offer herself compassion rather than beating herself up.
Together, Angela and her coach chose just one “aim low” goal for that week. Angela wanted to focus on stretching and mobility, so she committed to 15 minutes of yoga per day.
For extra accountability, Angela’s coach helped her decide on the details for the fulfillment of this goal: what time of day would she do yoga? Where would she do it?
And each day, Angela made a note in her WAG log confirming that she did her 15 minutes of yoga.
By the time Angela checked in with her coach the following week, she felt more confident that she wasn’t a failure – she could commit to a goal and stick with it.
After that, each week, Angela and her coach picked another “aim low” goal. They continued to slowly-but-surely build on all the previous goals.
Something else happened that Angela did not expect. In order to make each of her “aim low” goals happen, she automatically became more disciplined in other areas of her life without even trying.
For example, in order to make sure she had enough time for yoga, Angela needed to plan ahead for it. She wrote it down in her calendar like an appointment she couldn’t miss. This helped her become more time-efficient during the rest of her day, too – which meant she found a little more time for meal prep and the gym.
As the months passed, Angela established a very solid routine and schedule that included time for workouts, her relationship, her career, and everything else that was important to her. She gained confidence and discovered that she could trust herself to follow through on commitments.
Starting Your Own Journey to Success
Most of us have tried nutrition plans or diets that forced us to make some pretty intense changes to our normal routine. Maybe we stopped eating entire food groups. Maybe we stopped attending social events to avoid being tempted by foods that weren’t permitted on our plan.
Chances are, with any type of restrictive program like these, you ended up feeling a little resentful and deprived. And maybe those negative feelings led you to quit.
Maybe you even felt like something was wrong with you for being unable to stick with these previous programs.
At WAG, we know there’s a different way to approach nutrition.
Imagine a program that allows the flexibility and accountability to stay committed even when life throws curveballs in your path. Imagine not giving up when the initial excitement of a new program has passed
Our mission is to create a program that works for you instead of requiring you to make unsustainable adjustments to your lifestyle. We like to say, “a diet that doesn’t bend will break.”
The journey to getting big results and maintaining them isn’t about the perfect diet. It’s about your habits, your effort, and your attitude.