I would say there is a good chance right now that you…
1) Feel fat after Christmas.
2) Made some ‘solid goals’ for the year but you’re already struggling or you gave up.
3) You’ve been largely in the same rut for month or maybe years.
That strong guess is based on the fact that you live in the modern world!
The fact of the matter is that all of the above are rooted solidly in the fact that you are living in No Man’s Land, the mythical wonderland between living how you REALLY want to live and living how you feel you have to because of the demands other people put on you.
You can talk about new diets, the latest exercise program and all the other stuff but be honest, you tried that already 20 times and go nowhere for very long.
Do you want to know why?
In a (very brief) nutshell, whenever you get stressed your brain moves into ‘animal’ mode and you start doing what animals do.
You dive for food, you run from danger, you ‘fight’ (in our case angriness and lashing out) and you do whatever you think will pull you back in line with what everyone expects of you…
…which rarely involves eating well, regular exercise and a calm, relaxed state of play.
EVERY time a stress reaction kicks off, you get pushed into that brain space.
EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Stress reactions involve energy changes which ultimately, if not used for physical activity (like running away from the danger) leads to ‘re-storing’ that energy, usually as body fat.
Combine that with lack of sleep, food cravings and needing sugar and alcohol to pacify yourself and you’re in trouble.
Why are you stressed?
Consider your day which probably goes something like this:
You wake up and immediately feel shitty and potentially sick about going to the job you hate.
After hitting snooze 4 times, you get up and head to the bathroom where you politely remind yourself that you are in fact ‘fat as fuck’ and you look like a whale in pyjamas.
Oh and by the way your boobs or willy are so small is so nobody will ever want to be with you.
You may realise you have boobs AND a willy if you truly are an average modern male.
You summon up the courage to get on with your day and go get the kids up.
One shit the bed in the night and the other pouts and refuses to move because they hate school.
You blame yourself.
Finally you’re all sitting happily in front of the breakfast news which joyfully lets you know that ISIS are about to behead your cat, the economy is struggling again, mortgage rates are about to go up and your local council just voted in the most ignorant and corrupt person you could imagine.
Oh and in case you can’t hear the golf sized hail stones, the weather is yet again, shit.
After rushing to get ready and forcing your (supposedly) ballooning butt cheeks in your suit, you finally get in the car to go to work.
The next 30-60 minutes involve a fresh hell of roadworks, assholes who bought their driving license from Stevie Wonder’s School of Driving and more news that makes you want to punch yourself in the face.
You finally make work, your heart sinks at the sight of those files you forgot about when you went home and then the computer excitedly pings to tell you about 43 emails that arrived overnight from Japan and those guys in the other office who never seem to go home.
A coffee will sort you out…
…until you have to spend 10 minutes in the kitchen listening to Lisa Lifesucks who just wants to unload about what a bellend her boyfriend is, how she hates her family and why Eastenders just isn’t the same anymore without Pat Butcher.
She is Pat Butcher.
If this was a pub you would have told her you needed the toilet and climbed out the back window but alas, the job you hate anyway is forcing you to spend time with people you can’t stand.
Shit the bed, we’re not even at 10am yet.
Nevermind, get stuck into that project which makes no sense to you but someone, somewhere said it was important.
Simmering hatred for the files, those emails and the boss who makes your skin crawl is finally broken up with a visit to Facebook where you discover that everyone in the world is on a sunny holiday, has discovered a secret to six pack abs and got a pay rise.
You get an email to say nobody in your office is getting a pay rise this year.
You remember those rising interest rates…
Lunch arrives to save the day.
After getting soaked in the rain you make the shop, buy some chemically infused ‘food’ guaranteed to make you even fatter but after all you do ‘need’ some carbs (having sat on your butt all morning…)
You rush back to the office after remembering an urgent email and shovel that dogs dinner of a Pasta Pot in your face unconsciously ignoring the fact that you ate twice as much as your nutrition plan instructed.
That doesn’t include the cake you had because it was Dave’s birthday.
Dave left a year ago but who cares, he was a good guy and they are exceedingly good cakes.
You realise you haven’t had a shit for 3 days because your digestive is so messed up and lunch gave you stomach ache.
You go to the loo and attempt to clear the backlog enjoying the break where you get to sit on your own.
You burst into tears at the state of your life and promise to go to the gym after work to start making changes.
You then realise the thought of going to the gym in this state of ‘blubber’ can only end in embarrassment and more failure as you wobble about on the treadmill.
You decide to ask the stick thin girl at the desk next to you for some advice that you will ‘do on your own until you lose 2 stone’ THEN hit the gym when you feel like a model.
Jilly Gymfreak tells you to just eat no carbs as she lost like 6 lbs in 4.2 minutes.
You start IMMEDIATELY and you are properly buzzing now!
You suddenly panic at the thought of no carbs FOREVER!!!!!!
4.3 minutes later you are not as lean as Jilly Gymfreak and panic even more.
You decide to have carbs just one more time because you’re stressed and deserve a chocolate bar for putting up with your boss for so long.
You now feel even more fat.
5PM HOME TIME!!!
You drive past the gym but look the other way and pretend you never saw it.
You get home and wish you had gone to the gym because you know Jilly Gymfreak was doing the Triple Double of 6 classes in a row.
You hate yourself so much now the only solution is to go and see Ben.
600 calories later you feel horrific, neck a glass of wine to numb the pain and start to relax at last.
Life’s not so bad because your new sofa that you had to take a loan out for just swallows you up like the heart warming cuddle of a pregnant Polar Bear.
That ice cream was good and the X-Factor re-run is on now.
But Cheryl Cole looks so lean.
You could never wear that dress because you’re just FAT.
You go up to your room to weigh yourself and confirm that yes you are definitely FAT.
The scales haven’t changed since this morning but you convince yourself that the Pasta Pot, cake and chocolate bar have added 12 inches to your hips.
Fuck it, you go on Instagram to get some ‘Gym Motivation’.
Jilly Gymfreak did in fact do the Triple Double AND nailed 30 minutes on the X-trainer and she feels EPIC!
Wow her abs look so good in that spot that took her 25 minutes to find whilst she got the lighting, angle and photo filter right and changed her gym pants to her favourite photo pants which highlight her quad definition.
Jilly has also posted a self-righteous photo of her One Diet Lettuce Leaf, Square of Air, and Zero Calorie Cornflake.
“What a nob, Jilly is” you think.
“But I wish I looked like her because I am FAAAAAAT.”
You then remember you haven’t studied in 3 weeks and have an exam coming up to help you progress along the career you don’t want to do anyway, but you want to climb the ladder so you get paid more to do more of the work you don’t like and have another room on the house you live in on your own because you don’t have the confidence to start meeting people and building the relationship you said you want.
BUT…at least you’ll be able to have more money to go on the holidays you need to get away from it even though you won’t want to take your clothes off on the beach because you feel like a Flump.
And bed time.
Oh shit, you can’t sleep.
You finally drift off before that damn alarm screeches at you to signify to start it all over again.
Do you think this is the way you create a happy life where you look and feel good?
I kinda wrote this in jest but it is SO close to what so many people go through on a daily basis.
You don’t have to carry on like that if you don’t want to.
There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with you, it’s not your fault and it’s not just how your life is.
You CAN make changes that make a huge difference with less effort than you think IF you understand a few things about what’s going on and why.
If you don’t learn to manage the relentless barrage of stress, you’re facing a losing battle.
I’m holding a webinar next Tuesday (12th January) to show you how you can start getting out of the rut.
Hope you can make it.