Updated: Feb 21, 2021
When I first moved from Milwaukee to Miami I rarely looked at myself in the mirror, at least for anything other than a functional check, to make sure I didn't have a chunk of food between my teeth or something.
I left Milwaukee with a ponytail, wearing socks and Teva sandals. Flip flops were an unknown and I was used to layering my clothes. Fast forward 20 years and I refuse to wear anything other than Birddog shorts (that's not a paid plug, I just love the product) and a tank top. If it drops below 60 I'll put a t-shirt on.
In between those outfits there were a lot of changes, a lot of music scene shirts and eventually tight fighting bro-shirts and some very small tank tops.
I retired the cargo shorts and ponytail, bought a lot of different shorts and t-shirts.
I also lost a bunch of fat and gained a bunch of muscle.
I started looking in the mirror more often, picking myself apart. I also started weighing myself everyday, sometimes many times a day.
I got lean, then very lean. I had abs. I looked at them a lot for a while.
"Wow, abs!" I thought.
Then I wondered when the overwhelming happiness would sweep over me.
It never did, at least not associated with those abs I had worked so hard to get.
I had abs when I was a teen, I see the photographic proof when I go back to my parent's home, I just don't recall having abs, or even thinking about it.
Jumping forward to yesterday, I was speaking to a Dan Planner who was having trouble.
The holidays had kicked his ass, he was fluffy and unhappy and a little unmotivated.
"Everytime I get to this point, it's almost like I self sabotage myself, you know what I mean?"
Boy do I ever - I am the king of self-sabotage, or at least I was.
Here's where the years of experience came into play - yes, I had been there, and I had self-sabotaged...and one great way to slow your results and not see the change you want is to focus on that change too much, obsess over it.
I'm talking about habits like daily weigh ins, constantly looking at social media accounts with 'perfect' bodies with unrealistic filtered and cropped images - and critiquing yourself in the mirror based on those images.
When you see those perfect IG pics, those are posed and professionally photographed, and many times the person in that pic is starving and unhappy - even if the spray tan and photoshop-white-teeth say different.
Now, allow me to blow your mind...
When you weigh yourself daily, you're not getting valid data points.
It's too much information, and (as you probably know) if you allow emotion into your weigh ins, it can become an emotional disaster.
So - what to do? Forget about the abs, focus on the day in front of you. The results will come if you focus on the tasks you have to do instead of the end goal.
Be kind to yourself and practice self-forgiveness.
Focus on how you feel, what your headspace is like, how your clothes fit. Focus on what's immediately in front of you. Yes, you need a long game, yes you need a goal - BUT - spending too much time and energy focusing on what you don't have YET will cause stress and in turn keep you from your goal.
#TruthBomb or whatever they say. Have a great day, reach out when you're ready. I am here and I ain't going away.