The Mistakes That Sabotage Your Fitness Progress

The Cusp’s fitness expert James Anderson has seen the extremes we go to in pursuit of a leaner figure – and it turns out, we might be causing more harm than good.

Personal training has got to be one of the most interesting careers one can have. In fact, if I told you some of the things I’ve seen, heard (and smelt) over the course of my career you’d probably not believe me. But that’s another article.

For the time being, let’s just discuss 3 of the most common ways mistakes people make to get themselves into the “best shape of their lives”.

#1 The all or nothing approach

If you’re only ever reaching for the “all” then you’ll always end up with nothing.

This approach is usually just a perfectionist mentality and/or a disdain for moderation – or, “failure waiting to happen” as I like to call it.

But, we’ve all been there, and we’ve all done that…some of us more than others (cough-cough).

Now, the reason this approach will lead us to failure is because it lacks the flexibility inherently required by our everyday lives.

If you try to change your entire life to a point where it feels like you’re lost in a foreign land, then not able to speak the language will quickly become so overwhelming that you’re shoved back to reality by your need for control – back to the comfort of your old habits.

Just know this: You’re not perfect.

So, now you know this, I hope you can breathe a sigh of relief. Because “perfect” needs to be nothing more than a journey of trying to become a better version of yourself?

Because you deserve to feel like a success, not like you’re looking to find failure for something as simple as a missed a training session, or because you ate an ice-cream!

Understand that moderation isn’t the enemy, it’s your best friend. Because when you find yourself enjoying the finer things in life and you’re getting the results you want, then that’s a win-win for your body and mind.

#2 Diet Jenga

You’ve played Jenga, right?

Well, if you haven’t, it’s is a game in which you stack wooden blocks into a tower, then take turns pulling out blocks one by one until the whole stack crashes down.

And, if you’re the last person to pull the block out and successfully stack it before it comes crashing down — you win.

Well, in health and fitness there’s a similar game people love to play called “Diet Jenga”.

It’s quite similar – the only real difference is that in Diet Jenga, you’re the only player, and instead of wooden blocks, each block represents a part of your health that you’re pulling away (carbs, grains, fats) then trying to stack back on top in the hope of reaching something along the lines of a “summer/beach/bikini/shredded body”.

However, what people don’t realize is that your health isn’t a game, the blocks you’re pulling away every time you diet are actually making your health more unstable.

Rather than building a strong foundation, you’re setting it up for what could be a catastrophic crash – and since you’re the only player, no matter what happens, you always lose in the end.

Understand that your body doesn’t know that summer is coming, and it couldn’t care less that you want to feel more confident in your swimmers, it just believes that you’re starving and so it will force you to feel and function like s**t in the hope you stop.

There’s a fine line between being in a small calorie deficit and treating and beating your body up like it owes you money for the food it’s obviously starving for.

All I can say is that you need to first and foremost be kind to your body by nourishing it with quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats; not trying to see how few calories you can stay alive on in the hope your summer body gets you a few extra comments at the beach.

#3 The addiction to motivation

Motivation is B.S.

There, I said it.

The reason why so many people need to hear this tough truth is because motivation never stays around long enough to get you the results you want.

It’s often just a fleeting feeling that comes and goes like a thief in the night, stripping you of what you truly need to get long lasting results; which is consistency.

Far too many are so addicted to motivation that they must wait for it to hit their bloodstream before they make a commitment to their health and wellbeing.

The problem with this is that there will always be time between our periods of motivation where things can go back to where they were. This is even more prominent if these “things” you’re doing are causing you discomfort or fatigue.

So, although motivation may get us started, consistency is what keeps us going long enough to yield a result.

Stop yearning for the sweetness of “being motivated” and remind yourself of what it is you want, and why you want it; then make a non-negotiable commitment to do the things that will take you from where you are, to where you want to be – regardless of how you’re “feeling” at the time.

Know that it’s not going to be rainbows and butterflies; make peace with that fact.

Look, I could continue on for another hundred pages about how amazingly bad we can be at doing something good for ourselves, but I won’t, because as I said earlier, we’re not perfect and this is all just a learning curve in this little thing we call “life”.

But now you’re a little more aware of some of the things that might be setting you back, maybe it’s time you start trying to better yourself by using this newfound knowledge to create a stronger foundation for your future.

Because as Maya Angelou said – “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

James Anderson has combined over 10 years’ experience as a personal trainer with a background in NLP coaching and a couple of near death experiences to develop a very unique outlook on life. As a result he speaks, presents and writes no BS content in the hope that he can help others find their long-term personal health and happiness solution. He is the founder of Sydney-based female group training program PHAT Fit.