What if it turns out your Before photos are stalling your Transformation, not igniting it?
In the quest for your shiny new lean, fit Transformed body, the Before photo is your catalyst—a less than pleasant reality check that is gets you moving.
Getting the image in your head of “what I look like” out of your head and “on paper” helps you get objective about the current “reality.” It’s powerful technique to awaken you to action.
It should, and often does, the trick of getting people moving towards change. But as with all the best laid plans, this one fails as often as it works. And when it does fail it’s an invisible trap that can keep you stuck in a vicious cycle, expending terrific effort for little to no results.
Hating Yourself Forward
When you first get a look at your before photo—the current and often painful reality—you may have a violent response. Awakened to what you’ve been successfully ignoring for years, it’s a natural and even healthy to get twisted mad, be revolted and find yourself saying, “This sucks and I’m done with it! NO more! Damn this!”
Getting pissed can be the appropriate and even necessary healthy response to a bad situation—and this is one of those cases. Get mad… Get good and mad and then get over it and get moving.
Imagine the sort of mad you’d feel if the boat you were in sinks in the middle of an ice cold lake. For a minute or two, while the craft plummets and about 10 seconds in the water you’d be mad as hell about the ass-puckering freezing water. Then you’d stop being mad and start swimming your ass off.
Now, if your boat sunk like this and you sat there in the freezing water, getting madder and madder, focusing on the 100’s of ways this sucks and all the things you could have done “in the past” to prevent it you wind up cold and dead.
No amount of mad about where you are is going to change anything. Only you, aiming at the distant shore and the focus of survival is going to save you.
When the Before photo works to inspire action it’s because of how you view it—it’s all perspective. You could be 30-plus pounds overweight and look beyond the disappointment and say, “I see how I got here. I haven’t trained, I’ve been eating poorly and not taking care of myself.”
There’s no mystery here.
Don’t make it personal. When you recognize your actions—or lack there of—are to blame, not yourself, you retain the (accurate) belief that you can change what you are doing and change the outcome.
No excuses, knowing what got you here and that it’s not YOU who are broken; is empowerment and freedom.
On the other hand, the “stuck” group, for whom the before photos are paralyzing, do take it personal. They see the fault not with their actions but much deeper in their being.
Like the first group, they have a violent reaction to their before photos but something different happens. Rather than turning the “yuk” into a fuel for change, there’s something about the “before” photo that is disturbing and strangely familiar. And the before image is seen not “the situation” but “the self.”
These people tend to get madder, bringing more emotion to the struggle. But all the pain and emotion is aimed back at yourself—such that it’s not just your photo you’re mad but you that you are disgusted with.
“Being angry with yourself, emotionally hijacked and self condemning, with the hope of this initiating change is like screaming at a nickel to become a quarter.”
And yet, as much as it sucks this negative energy provides a strong short term boost of effort, keeping you trying to “hate yourself forward.” Which explains why these wonderful people will work as hard as anyone. They sweat, they show up, they struggle but the keep experiencing disappointment after disappointment.
This terrible trap is invisible. You seem to be doing all the right things but you’re the one of a few who are failing—you must be doing something is wrong.
Something is wrong all right. But the wrong is not in the effort, not even in motivation or discipline, nor even in your hormones or the wrong diet pill. The wrong is in your head.
You can’t get a fit body from a fat head.[PLEASE share your story below: How have your before photos helped or hindered you? Have you dealt with negative self-talk? How have you overcome it or struggled with it]
PART 2: What’s the Solution?
You Can’t Get Strong from a Position of Weakness
One of the fundamental errors I see people in fitness and all areas of life is in believing they can create strength from a position of weakness. If you hate where you’re at, and it’s personal, you’re not in Strength.
I’m sure you agree.
And hating yourself more to get motivated is not the answer. In fact, it’s the opposite of a solution.
Everything I teach, that I packed inside Strength for LIFE is about how to first get yourself in a position of Strength and then move forward from Strength to Strength.
In Part 2 of this series, From Struggling to Strength I will show you how to turn it all around, to exchange weakness for Strength—and how to move forward boldly, with confidence and clarity from a position of Strength.
How do you go from struggling to thriving—stop fighting yourself and start building your inner strength, confidence and lean body from the inside out?
I can tell you now the solution is both simple and wildly successful but it requires some specific structure, practice and guides. All which I will share so that may embrace the simple daily, weekly and monthly practices that can ignite your true and full strength.
Stay tuned for PART 2 — after this post receives 25 comments.
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