Pain or Pleasure will likely explain why you do what you do. The rationale behind our auto pilot response to everything we do stems from the two important things we should actually make an attempt to acknowledge; pain or pleasure. Now you might be thinking what exactly am I talking about right? But take a second to think about this for a moment:
On a macro level we make the majority of our decisions in relation to either doing or avoiding something to gain pleasure, or avoid pain. Now this could be a subconscious thought that we may not be aware off, but it always exists. Take losing weight for example.
- It is painful to diet, workout, avoid your favourite foods for an extensive period time.
- It is also pleasurable to eat your favourite foods, watch hours of Netflix and skip a gym session.
Now, one of these drivers will determine your actions to basically not work out. Some of us are fuelled by pain, others by pleasure. However we need to flip this!
Utilising the examples above lets try this instead:
- Using the pain of ill-health, dying early and relying on others to care for you, if you don’t prioritise your health now.
- Seeing the pleasure in transforming your body, mind and being alive longer to enjoy the world and all its glory by swapping the gym for Netflix.
Now both scenarios, can be manipulated to fill your excuses or justify your actions, but both scenarios will also give you totally different results!
Let’s think about cake for a moment. Okay got it? Perfect, so imagine eating that slice of cake that will at some later stage cause you physical or psychological discomfort when the guilt kicks in. You know what I am talking about right? The feeling off, being ashamed, guilty at giving int your temptations and now the stress of having to workout to burn off those excess calories. But let’s imagine you put that pain at the forefront of your mind prior to tucking in. Imagine you then hit yourself with the pleasure factor of feeling confident, strong willed and excited at the prospect of doing less exercise and looking better tomorrow morning.
How does that sound?
Now of course, I am not condoning or preaching for one second any one type of food is bad, like cake for example but I am asking you to be more self-aware about your own choices and decisions.
Remember, the key to life is fulfilment and happiness, but it should always be thought about in both the short and long term. I hate those sayings “oh life is too short” so people try to make it shorter by eating worse, exercising less and sabotaging their physical and mental health. Life is short, and therefore we need to maximise it as much as possible and shift the odds in our favour!
Back peddling oh so slightly
Let’s just go back to the cake scenario. Say you had perhaps evaluated or understood your initial decision of picking up that slice of cake. You then aligned it to your values and your long term goals. How would you have reacted different? Maybe take yourself back to the last time you said you would do something and didn’t.
Remember this isn’t a post to make you feel bad about when you fail yourself. I do it. They do it. Everyone does it. We are humans, not robots and sometimes our urges for short term pleasure overweight our long term goals. But the aim of this post is to at least recognise why you do what you do, and then try to work on that more in the future.
Self awareness is key
As I often preach and try to show my clients, self awareness is the key to success. Nobody is built like you, you design yourself (quote Jay-Z). I have had my own battles with binge eating disorders, dietary adherence, exercising and keeping promises to myself many times. But the more self-aware I become and the more aware of pain pleasure cues that dictate my decisions, the better I can control my goals. I know that when I have a stressful week ahead, I eat more. So it is in my best interest to avoid fast food snacks and do a better food shop that week. If things come up unexpectedly as life has a habit of doing from time to time, I know that removing myself from my kitchen worktop table is in my best interestt.
I also know that most of my motivation and inspiration comes from pain. I use morbid nightmares to keep me going from time to time, as you may have heard me speak about. For others the pleasure component may work better. Some people get ready for summer by being excited about the beach and how fab their abs will look. For me, that never quite works. But neither is wrong. We just have to know which 1 to utilise.
My social media
Now my Instragram and previously more so, my snapchat had all sorts of weird and wonderful foods. I would inherently get asked why and how can I eat so much, ‘bad foods’ and not put on weight. Well we know the answer to this as I state in all my blogs is thermodynamics, but there is a reason I do what I do:
1 To prove to you that IF you know what you are doing, you can eat whatever you like. Again this isn’t a shameless plug to promote my own products but all my knowledge and advice that I have not only used on myself, but also across 1500 hours of Personal Training sessions works. It is that simple. I know what works and I can 100% guarantee results.
- To buy a fat loss program click here.
- To buy diet training plan click here.
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- To buy diet plan (with gym plan included) click here.
2 I have a sustainable diet that I don’t need to chop and change every summer/winter. I can adhere to it all year long and still achieve my goals.
You see my food snaps show foods many people associate with fat bellies and poor cardio vascular fitness so it’s understandable when I get 100s of messages saying: “You’re lucky you have a fast metabolism.” or ” You must have good genes” etc
Now even if this was remotely true, which it’s not- does your explanation of my current situation change your own situation? Will you be judged on your ability and effort versus my metabolism? Hell no, so why are you?
Now what people also forget, or purposely choose to ignore is:
– I train extremely hard. I don’t write this post as an ego boost but I generally lift an excessive amount of weight every session.
– I run during peak training months 15-25 miles a week
– I train 6/7 times a week alongside this
– I have done this for 8 years straight with no longer than 2 weeks off, from the gym.
To add to this, I count my calories for about 350 days of the year.
So the secret here isn’t my metabolism or anything else that negates your lack of progress. The secret is how I use pain or pleasure every single day!
The 4 Pillars
It is down to the key components I teach all my clients:
Sustainability + Consistency + Hard work + Enjoyment = Results
You see you can always avoid pain by rationalising why you can’t do something, or why others can do it. But it will never get you the pleasure you are truly seeking. You can also opt for short term pleasure, knowing that deep down it will cause long term pain. The choice is in your hands, it does not lie in my metabolism, it does not lie in your excuses, it lies in your willingness to take action.
There is a reason when I work with my clients my first few questions are based around their mindset and whether they work out.
Remember it all starts between your ears and utilising the gym enables you to have many transferable skills you can move into any facet of your life giving you tremendous amounts of pleasure, if you are willing to endure the pain of course!
Have an awesome day!