Summer fitness, getting started and why so many people give up…

I was honoured to be invited back on to 93.7 Express FM’s Business show, to talk Summer Fitness with the wonderful Miles Henson. And given that he kindly played Jason Donovan for me the last time I was on (see the clip below) and has still not forgiven me for damaging his street-cred, I pretty much have to refer to him that way at all times…

SO what did we talk about? The theme of the show was getting fit for Summer, something as you can imagine is keeping me pretty busy with personal training clients at the moment; as well as my own fitness to get ready for a trip to New York and Toronto with my husband!

It’s funny how having something to aim for can often transform even the most de-motivated people into focused, determined and suddenly motivated individuals. But when the holiday/occasion/event is over…then what happens?

More often than not, once that goal has been and gone, it is all too easy to fall back into old habits: the odd ‘naughty treats’ become daily, exercise takes a back seat as other things have become more important and before long, we are either back to where we started or even worse off than before we did!

That is precisely why, when new personal training clients come to see me, we always focus on long term health, and how to make it a way of life, rather than just the imminent event.

Miles and I discussed getting started, and why so many of us find it difficult. Having made so very many mistakes myself when I was first trying to lose weight (a mistake within itself – I was weighing myself twice a day!!!) I’m pretty grateful that each mistake taught me so much. And I agreed, I certainly wouldn’t be able to do my job had I not had such experiences to learn from.

One very important point that came up was the focus so many people have on the ‘outside-in’, rather than the ‘inside-out’. Having an ‘outside-in’ focus on something external, like weight or dress size (again something I used to aim for) will not make you happy.

If a person is unhappy with the way they look, and attaches the terms and conditions of their happiness on to something as superficial as body size/shape, they therefore believe looking a certain way will make them happy and change their life. More often than not, it doesn’t. The short-term pleasure derived from wearing different clothes is exactly that: short term pleasure.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not for a second saying that being healthier does not make you happier. On the contrary, it can make you very happy and bring an infinite amount of benefits for you and the people around you. What we need to remember is that it does not and will not solve every problem.

This might sound ridiculous but it is the very reason so many people get results and don’t keep them: they have not sorted out what is causing the problem in the first place. This is why I believe the ‘inside-out’ approach is what we need to switch to.

Many people I work with have previously struggled with: subconsciously, they believed being slim would make them into different people. When all that happens is that they are the same person, they just have a different shaped body!

Feeling unhappy may well be from a deep-rooted belief we have within our subconscious, aka the inside. For example, “I am not good enough and never will be”. This belief can cause unhelpful behaviours like emotional eating, as well as drawing us to people who are ‘drains’ rather than ‘radiators’.

So what’s the answer? Sometimes we might need to chat with somebody. And by somebody, I don’t necessarily mean a personal trainer, but somebody with the ability to help you talk through things; helping you live the life you want to live and be the person you want to be. I speak from experience that this might be exactly what you need.

Thanks again, Miles for having me back!

Personal Trainer Gen Preece on Express FM