Nothing changes if nothing changes

by smithstandard

I was getting so sick of myself, I decided to take some drastic measures.

By drastic, I mean: I needed to do something that would stop me from eating like a god damn horse and get my health in motherfucking order.

Case in point: whilst I have the qualifications to do it myself, I decided to pay someone to calculate my macronutrients and create a meal plan and training program for me. That’s how bad things were getting. I had completely lost my willpower and I knew I needed an outsider to keep me in check and make me pull my head in. Plus, when you pay for a service, you’re more likely to actually use it/stick to it/respect it.

For those who don’t know, counting macros involves balancing meals so that a percentage of your daily energy comes from each macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein and fat). It varies for every person depending on your goals, as well as your body type, height, weight etc. While I think it’s important and somewhat interesting to have an understanding of macro and micronutrients, unless you’re prepping for a bikini/body-building competition or enjoy weighing every single one of your meals, I don’t think counting macronutrients is anyway to live your life. But that’s just me.

I know that I’ve tried and failed at this sort of thing many times.

Challenges, stints, booty programs … I’ll admit it – I like to try things and not finish them. I’ve only ever completed one challenge from beginning to end in my entire life, which went for 12 weeks and that was right back when health and fitness was new and exciting to me. Since then, I’ve tried and failed over and over and over again.

As cliche as it sounds, something is different this time and I know exactly what it is.

A person will not make change until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.

That’s it in a nutshell. My mentality has completely shifted. Staying the same is no longer an option for me. It hit me like a tonne of bricks sometime in the past few weeks: nothing changes if nothing changes.

Now that I’ve decided to lock this in, I’m taking steps to ensure I get the best results possible. I may only be a week in, but I’ve got some tips for anyone else embarking on a similar journey …

Try not to let the changes with food consume you

Easier said than done, I know (especially at two in the afternoon when all you want is a cup of tea and a biscuit). But my current focus is to not obsess over those changes and to steer my attitude towards treating food for what I should have been doing all along, as fuel, instead of using it as a reward/comforter. Try not to make make it a massive deal that you can’t have office biscuits or sugar in your coffee. This is just how it’s going to be for the next [insert timeframe here] and at the end you can reward yourself with a cheese platter or a pizza or an ice-cold beer. Or all three, whatevs.

Be specific AF

Be specific with your time frame

Have a bloody end date, and not one that is six months from now. Having a foreseeable end date means you’re way more likely to stay committed and achieve your goals than “eat healthy and train hard for the next three months.” This regimented program I’m on is only for three weeks, which I’ve reduced to 19 days, because I’m visiting my sister at the end and there’s no way I’m missing out on wine and cheese in the Hunter Valley. Once the three weeks is over, I’ll re-jig my plan and switch things up.

Be specific with your commitments, both food and training related

This means writing down exactly what you’re going to be eating and exactly what you’re going to be doing in your training sessions. Every day, every week. I’ve noticed a huge difference already this time around because I have specific meal plans to follow. The meal plans are basic, easy to put together and the weight of every meal component is specified. Training sessions are also specific. It doesn’t say “train legs”, but instead has a breakdown of exercises, sets and reps so I know exactly what I’m doing when I walk in. If you’re doing group training (which I love), be specific about which class time you’re going to attend and what your goal is for that session.

Be specific about your goals

You’ve probably heard the saying “a goal without a plan is just a dream” – and it sounds preachy AF, but there’s definitely truth to it. Without specific, measurable goals and a breakdown of how you’re going to get there, chances are you’ll fall short of where you were aiming, or you won’t even come close. You’ve got to have awesome long-term goals that scare and excite you, as well as short-term goals that will help you get there each week. If you’re not hungover, Sundays are usually a great time to write down goals/targets you want to hit for the week to follow. Personally, I use OneNote because I love making lists and ticking things off as I go.

Be specific about your emotional attachments to your goals

Write down why you’re doing this in the first place. Why are you wanting to make this change? Why are you starting yet another challenge? And then write down how you will feel when you reach your goals. E.g. I’m doing this because I don’t feel good in my clothes, I feel weak, I’m always sick etc. and once I get to where I want to be I will feel confident, happy, stronger, I can wear the dress from Kookai, I’ll have nicer skin etc. You don’t have to share with anyone what you’ve written, just keep them somewhere where you can see them everyday.

Take all of the measurements

Take before photos, get a bio scan, take measurements … have a variety of ways you can compare your results in the coming weeks and months. You may not think you look any different, but when you take another photo four weeks in, it can be just what you need to see to keep going.

Tell your friends

I’ve approached this slightly differently this time around. I haven’t shouted about it and told everybody, but I’ve told a few people. Enough to keep me accountable. I’ve got my friend Brad taking my measurements every Wednesday morning, I’ve got friends texting me saying “just know we’d love you to come, but we’re not inviting you because we’re drinking beer and eating gyoza” and my boyfriend Josh is very kindly eating the chocolate chip cookies I bought for him out of sight. It helps when your close circle know the journey you’re on, so they can support you, even in the smallest of ways.

This isn’t new information.

I’ve known all of this for a long time and you probably have to. Josh has been telling me all of the above since I can remember – and how the goal-setting part in particular can, and should, be applied to other areas of life (i.e. career aspirations, my blog). The reality is you’re not going to do any of it unless you really really want to, because at the end of the day, you are the one that has to actually do it. But when you want to, when something in your brain shifts, or you get a wave of determination, that’s when to give it another go. And who cares if you fail? Better to try and fail than to have never tried at all. That’s another saying I hear a lot – again, there’s gotta be some truth to it.

A taste of how the past seven days have gone for me …

  • Day 1: I’ve got this, I may be sick, but it’ll be okay.
  • Day 2: I feel like shit, my headache won’t go away even with forte-strength meds and I am craving sugar like a motherfucker.
  • Day 3: I’ve got this again. I totally get why people do this – you feel so much better about yourself in general.
  • Day 4: This is stupid AF. I just want a motherfucking OG Krispy Kreme or bacon and egg roll or just a slice of BREAD. Who needs to look and feel good?! This is stupid.
  • Day 5: I’m so fucking sore, I cannot be assed training again today. I also want gyoza in and around my mouth.
  • Day 6: Feeling good. Workout was awesome, got groceries and random chores done. Just gotta resist popcorn at the movies tonight … fml.
  • Day 7: I wish my rest day didn’t coincide with meal prep day. Thank god I’m allowed black coffee.

Any sort of reset with food is a challenge in itself – it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. But like they say (who even are “they?”) nothing worth having comes easy. Even though it ain’t easy, I’m looking forward to next week, particularly because I will be swapping out some of my sessions for F45. Cos let’s face it, I bloody love that place and all the people in it. Solo gym sessions are great, but there’s nothing like the energy of the F45 shed.

Thanks for reading,

Han x

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