For the past month and a bit, I’ve been stuck in somewhat of a rut. I haven’t been able to write, and what I do write, sucks; I haven’t been reading because every time I try, I’m struggling to digest the text; even my training and diet has been all out of whack: I’ve been eating whatever and half-assing my training.
Suffice to say: I’ve been struggling.
Now, just to be clear. This isn’t the first time this has happened; I experience this feeling every now and again, so much so, that I even have a name for it: The Pit. After the well-like prison where Bane imprisoned Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight Rises.
For those of you who haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, firstly what the fuck, do you not like awesome things? Secondly, go watch it. Right now. Ok, not right now. Read this email first, AND THEN go watch it.Anyhoo, back to the email.
I call it The Pit because that’s what it feels like. You’re trapped in this incorporeal psychological gaping void, and it feels impossible to get out of. And every attempt at trying to escape sees you rapidly fall right back to the bottom. And it can become disheartening to the point where giving up seems so much more attractive than trying anymore.
Kinda like this.
And it can become disheartening to the point where giving up seems so much more attractive than trying anymore.
I’m telling you this because it happens to everyone. Especially those of you who have started on your fitness journey. The Pit is when you start your diet, have one bad day of eating, which then becomes one bad week, and then one bad month, to completely giving up. And then you try to start again, but the same thing happens, again, and again.
So, what do you do?
That’s what I want to offer next. Some of the strategies I employ when I fall into The Pit.
We’re living in a super fast paced world. And it’s easy to keep moving from one thing to another without stopping and thinking about why you did what you did. And you can’t change if you don’t stop and try to understand what’s going on.Taking a few moments to stop and think about what you did that lead to you becoming stuck in this rut helps.
I’ve been in New York for a month, and I only stopped to reflect on everything a few nights ago. A whole 30 days of knowing deep down that something was wrong, but only stopping to work out what was a few days ago.
This sounds crazy, but it’s an easy trap to fall into when everything is vying for our attention and the temptation to eat the cookie is at a high.
Here’re something to consider.
• What’s causing you to fuck up? Is it certain trigger foods, are you coming back from a stressed day at work and eating whatever you can find?
Take a moment and write this shit down. I know it sounds superfluous, but believe me, just like tracking your workouts and food intake, writing down what’s causing you to get stuck will help you make it palpable and then you can start working towards changing things.
This is a big one but most people underestimate it. Do you know why my coaching clients get results? Well, there’s a few reasons, and I can’t reveal my secrets, sorry. But, one of the reasons, and a very big reason, is because of this little something called accountability.Or, “Skin in the Game”. If you’re paying someone a whole lot of cashmoney, you’re automatically more inclined to do the work because, well, otherwise, you’re losing money.
Most people become so trapped in their own head they don’t see the progress that’s happening and they end up doing something crazy, like unnecessarily slashing calories and doing more exercise or doing some weird cleanse or detox, or simply giving up.
None of these strategies matter if you don’t actually employ them, and having someone hold you accountable helps with that because it adds objectivity into the mix.
If you can’t afford to hire a coach, then simply ask a friend to hold you accountable. The simple act of having to report to someone you respect makes it much more likely you’ll stick to the plan because you don’t want to disappoint your friends (or have them think you’re lame).
When you’re stuck in The Pit, it can seem pointless; which is why giving up seems so much easier than trying again. This is the most nefarious trick The Pit plays on you: the feeling of hopelessness; “what’s the point?” It’s easy to feel that way when things aren’t going the way you’d planned. But here’s a secret – ok, it’s not really a secret, but whatever: the reason you feel like that is because you’re so focused on the moment. When you’re fucking up, or stuck in a rut, the stimulus of right now is far more powerful than being rational and realising it’s not the end of the world and you can start fresh tomorrow.
This is what I call the ‘Magnifying Glass Effect’. We ‘zoom in’ on the fuck up and because we’re hyper-focussed on that one fuck up, it becomes totally blown out of proportion; making it seem much bigger than what it really is.
Remember, your success isn’t dependent on one (good or bad) day – it’s the sum of a series of (good or bad) days.
Here’s how I implement the reset: I realise The Pit is screwing with my head, and the more I don’t do anything, the stronger the pull of the pit. So, I hit the proverbial reset button and start fresh the next day.
Today, I’m back to eating better. I’m about to go hit the gym and train legs. I’ve even written and published this.
And that’s all it takes. One good day to help you build momentum, and that one good day leads to another, and another, and before you know it, you’re back on track.
- Went out on the weekend and ate too much? Doesn’t matter, it’s just one day.
- Or, maybe you’ve missed a few training sessions? Doesn’t matter. Because it’s just one day, dummy.
Look. It’s easy to read this and then be like, AHA! Easy. But, here’s the thing: it’s always easy to read shit like this, its a lot harder to implement. Why? Because it sucks. And it never goes as easy as it seems – things come up, we get lazy, Bane breaks our back and then we have to get our back snapped back in place by some old weirdo, and then do pushups and pullups to get back in shape. Basically, the point is: it’s hard.
I really should have a point here…but I forgot what I was gonna say. SOOO. I’m, erm, gonna go. Heh.
PSSSST. HEY, YOU.
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