Crushed by the battle of the bulge or slipped off the track?
It happens to everyone, and you're not the first.
We've all had those moments where we get frustrated or angry at ourselves for the reasons only we can understand. In modern day fat loss, where the stress of living is enough to fill up the reserves, anger is unfortunately one of the most powerful motivators in the world.
Some philosophers, such as Baruch Spinoza, and Descartes, have hypothesized that the sensations of pain & pleasure are part of a continuum. There is strong evidence for biological connections between the neurochemical pathways used for the perception of pain and those involved in the perception of pleasure. Selected theories state that you cannot feel true, unbiased pleasure without the unbiased emotion of pain.
When it comes to losing weight, the continuum theory is the basis for every Zone bar, Healthy Choice frozen dinner and Hydroxycut pill sold in the world. Do you really think we, as vital beings, were meant to live eating frozen boxed food, injected bars and energy pills? Hell no.
Currently, over 70% of our country is reported to be struggling with their waistlines. As per the 2009 CDC numbers, it seems that our weight loss pain is sitting heavily inside the continuum vehicle on the road to desire.
Speaking of desire, we all want the same things in life, don't we?
-Health and Vitality
-Love in all relationships
Last time I checked, anger doesn't get us any closer to these common goals. Yet, millions of Americansuse the motivation of anger and guilt to lose weight and “feel better” about themselves everyday. This is simply an answer to the means of instant gratification; feeling pain hurts, and that can fuel you for change like a rocket. I'm not saying that anger doesn't have a place for life improvements. On the contrary, it can be very useful in small doses. However, if wellness is your goal, take a big deep breath and listen, because what I'm about to say is from from the heart of experience.
In the journey of true wellness, our pain will make us change quickly, but our pleasure will sustain us for a lifetime.
As the health and fitness industry leaves the western dietetic and medical model in the dust, making it's steady turn into holistic and wellness services, the winds of change aren't just blowing; it's a blizzard. We now sit in the calm before the next massive storm. Most of my fellow health practitioners and enthusiasts are well aware of the feelings around the industry, as we are on the brink of radical change. Personal training alone is obviously not the answer, as we find that training and sweating harder, in most cases, just makes our clients fatter, sicker and not one step closer to relieving their pain.
Holistic trainers, coaches, nutritionists and therapists have realized that the motivation to become what we desire in body, spirit and mind must be congruent with our 4 common goals, or it's doomed from the first second we and our clients ever step foot into a weight room.
Personally, I can relate to the pain and pleasure continuum as I've had my share. Before I was ever being interviewed, posting videos or training clients in studios, I was where many are at the beginning of their quest- overweight and unhappy, weighing in at over 260 lbs.
After being an athlete in high school, I had continued to eat as if I still competed in the 3 years that followed. Life happened, and extra pounds became something I just “dealt with,” covering up my weight issues with another beer or party; anything rather than deal with the uncomfortable truth. I also was eating poor food choices due to my lack of education and little knowledge about metabolism via nutrition. One morning in 2001, the pain that I'd ignored for years fell on me like a plague. I had the will to change but was just not sure about how to accomplish it. America can you relate?
I was at rock bottom and the reality of my disregard for healthy choices had turned into frustration soon followed by anger. How could this happen to me? I jumped on the first bandwagon I could find and used my pain as the gasoline; what can I say, it was a very powerful motivator. Little did I know at the time that my anger to “be healthy” was about to fuel me into losing 85 lbs in 3 months on a roller-coaster diet plan I found in men's health and fitness. This catabolic eating plan would then cascade into another 3 cycles of weight loss and re-gain over the course of the next 2 years. It was only when I realized, after quitting my job and moving to the island of Oahu in 2004, that self-meditation and discovery would bring me happiness. I knew then that I would finally have to let go. This ride came grinding to a stop; pain didn't work anymore, it was time for passion.
Releasing the pain as my fuel and choosing to be healthy for the sole purpose of happiness is what lead me to become a personal trainer. It was from that moment on that I became dedicated to the well-being of not only myself, but anyone I felt compassion for who was stuck in the cycle of pain-motivation.
Regrettably, weight loss and pain motivation have become a secret that no one really wants to address in today's media. In wellness, the “quick” results of pain-induced fitness training are usually calorie deprived, drastic, noticeable and rarely ever challenged. Who's going to tell a lanky, glycogen depleted and malnourished person they're unhealthy when the example of how society thinks you should look is plastered on every magazine in every grocery store checkout line?
At some point in time when they were growing as a child, their parents, teachers or those who were responsible for showing them how to establish healthy lifestyle habits failed beyond recognition. Whether it was the poor example they set by their own lifestyles, or that being healthy just wasn't a priority, the fact remains that teaching the true balance of living had somehow been left behind. These caregivers were only doing the best they could in light of their times, and no judgment can be passed to them, only awareness. Without this proper balance however, will come the neglect of our body's spiritual needs.
These unfulfilled needs will eventually turn into open gaps that are filled by the distractions of modern day society, and sooner or later, frustration. This connection isn't a crutch or rationale to lean back and let the excuses of your past control the outcome of your future. Rather, a recognition of behavior patterns for taking personal responsibility in your health. Breaking the chain at the weakest link, our happiness will only come from the freedom of health.
Knowing the source of pain, the clear antidote is pleasure. Rest easy though, because total peace lies in our biology. Modern science and the exploding wellness industry have given us the tools we need to succeed and have a life of total abundance; now all we have to do is listen. Accepting the responsibility that our discipline to take the extra time for choosing whole foods and planning exercise can be the deliverance into freedom, is worth far more than any day sitting ever sitting on the couch in pain. Any questions or in a rut? My goal is to help as many people as I can in finding the pleasure of health.
Whether you've lost your desired weight or just starting your journey, it's vital that you tap the source of positivity for long term results.
Here's to living with zest! This is gonna to be fun!
Questions? Start here
Weight Loss Without Anger