For a moment, I’d like you to think of a time when you’ve felt disrespected, talked down to or felt that someone was treating you with a condescending tone.
Maybe it was a co-worker, employer, friend, or a loved one.
And I’d like you to think about how you felt at that moment.
Did you feel insulted or betrayed?
Did you tell yourself that you deserved better than that?
I believe it can be a slippery slope with human behavior. The unfortunate thing is sometimes it’s those exact scenarios that elicit change.
I think back to employers I’ve had who treated me with disrespect, especially when it was done in front of my staff or my peers. I remember how small it made me feel. I also remember that, in many ways, they got the desired result from me.
I recall one manager who could (and would) rip me up one side and down the other. And as much as it embarrassed me and made me feel terrible, I would ultimately come around and do what he asked of me (in the short term.)
Sometimes a degree of shame can make a difference in delivering desired results.
But workplace efforts are different than weight loss efforts.
It’s the rare person who can shame themselves to a life of happiness and better health.
It’s the rare person who can berate their self image and turn into a person of adequate self-worth.
So rare, that it’s probably not worth considering.
And yet, this is the place so many people that I see decide to start from.
They begin with a foundation of shame but hope and pray and kick and scream that maybe, just maybe, they’ll get the body they wanted.
I’ve never seen this work.
Let me rephrase that.
I’ve seen people with low self esteem make progress with strength training and progress with weight loss. I see that frequently, if I’m being honest.
What I don’t see is people who maintain their efforts or applaud their success who have this self-destructive emotional foundation they’ve set for themselves.
And there will be more I have to say in future posts about why I think this foundation is set.
But today, I’d just like you to reconsider your foundation.
Because if you are hoping to motivate yourself through self-hatred or at the very least a place of self-deprecation, you’re going to find yourself in a perpetual state of unhealthy eating and unhealthy training.
I’d like you to do something really uncomfortable.
I want you to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can be okay with that person.
You don’t have to be over-flowing with body positivity and pride.
You just have have to accept that this is your starting place.
It’s a good place because this is the place that arguably has the most room to improve. And when you can see that there is room to improve you can shine your own light at the end of the tunnel instead of waiting for someone else to provide it.
I find that many of the same people who have no tolerance for being disrespected by others have zero problem disrespecting themselves.
They feed that low self-esteem with poor quality food or even too much of the high quality food, they self-medicate with things that don’t fill the void but blur it and temporarily cover it up, they treat themselves like shit when there’s no way in hell they’d let someone else treat them that way.
The really clever ones will use exercise as a way to punish their indulgences and hope that enough HIIT classes will swoop down and unveil the happiness they’ve been begging for.
And in case you haven’t guessed yet, I haven’t seen this work before either (certainly not long-term.)
It’s that kind of person who looks in the mirror and says: “You don’t deserve better. You’re too fat/unworthy/unattractive/unkind, etc. You are doomed to stay right here and never make progress.”
This person becomes the manifestation of those thoughts.
Or as famed speaker Earl Nightingale once said: The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.
That can be a scary thing. So when you’re planting those seeds, plant good ones.
Here’s the thing: despite your lack of belief in yourself, I believe you do deserve better health, a more capable body, and a stronger positive self-image. I believe you can have those things without a degree of narcissism (which can be equally destructive.)
Perhaps your original goals were unrealistic and thereby unattainable which makes each failure along the way more painful because it’s one more reminder that you didn’t achieve what you wanted.
You can get closer to where you want to be…actions that only you can accomplish for you.
But you will likely need support, which is where a trainer or like-minded community or friend can be of help.
If you don’t feel worthy of your goals now, your ability to accomplish them is minimal.
The best person to get you where you need to be is you, right now. You just have to believe in that person.
The people that come through our doors, our RevFit family, I believe in them and we succeed together.
The goals you want to achieve may have to be modified to fit your lifestyle and mental well-being at this stage in your life. It may go well beyond a scale number or a pant size.
But make no mistake, you do deserve those goals.
Below is just a handful of our RevFit family. I’d like to introduce you (left to right) to Pam, Brandon, Adam, Jaylen and Kelvin. They all came here with goals. They all deserve those goals. We’ll help them get there.
“We Make Great People Greater”