This week’s topic is one that falls off the back of the previous two weeks, self sabotage, because let’s face it ladies - we are so much better at self sabotaging than men seem to be. And there is actually a reason for it. But have you ever noticed that when men embark on a weight loss journey, or they decide they want to build muscle or even just eat healthy, they do it? No hesitations, no messing around - they just do it. Who has noticed that? They have this ability to just cut through the BS and get it done.
Well, ladies, we (as a general rule) do not have those same skills.
When we embark on a journey to do with our body - we waiver. A lot. We give up too easily. We are always thinking someone else is doing better than we are. We question our choices. We want instant results. We make excuses. We let life get in the way. I have a few theories on why this is, but let’s start with the one that stems from our childhood.
You see, when we were little there was a much bigger stigma around body size and the way boys and girls are treated with food. Boys were told “eat all your food, you need to grow up big and strong”. Boys learn from a young age that the body needs food to fuel growth, particularly muscles.That if they want to be healthy and strong, they need to finish their plate of food. In fact, in some families, boys were disciplined for not finishing all the food on their plates. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Let me know in the comments.
Girls, on the other hand, were told 2 different things at the same time.
1 - that we should not waste food and therefore we need to eat everything on our plate, and 2 - that if we eat too much we will get fat. And nobody likes a fat girl.
Now, no. That is not my view at all - but it IS the ideal and underlying message that girls have been given for many generations.
So, already from a young age, girls are being given conflicting information - do this AND do that. No wonder we have trouble making decisions - which one is correct?
And now - as adults, we are learning that the human body DOES need food to survive and in fact, we need more of it to be fuelled enough to be healthy and achieve fitness goals.
And this is a problem because it conflicts with what we believe to be true - that eating more will make us overweight and unhealthy. Yikes!
Add to all of this the fact that women pay attention to everything that is put in front of them; media releases and gossip from our girlfriends - if it’s out there, we know about it. And there’s no denying that we have absorbed a million and one conflicting perspectives on weight loss, being healthy, being fit, how to be lean, how to reduce cholesterol - blah blah blah.
And because we are comparative human beings, not only are we battling all this information, but we are also watching what other people are doing, and comparing ourselves to them. We compare our day 1 with their day 101. So we think that whatever someone else is doing is better than whatever we do.
Plus- yes ladies - there’s more - we are so friggin busy that we need things done NOW. We don’t have time to be patient, or wait, or see a slow change. We need it now because we are busy running the house, being a boss, doing our jobs, organising kids' sports. Am I right?
So if we don’t see results IMMEDIATELY, we think it’s not worth it, that we have made a wrong decision, that we chose the wrong way to do it, and we are useless human beings (aka- self sabotage).
Then, when it comes to a weight based journey - whether that be to lose weight or to build muscle - of course we are conflicted! There are just too many variables to consider, right? Too many things to get in the way, right?
Well - wrong, actually.
You see, men seem to do it better because they have this innate ability to cut through the BS, they make an informed decision and stick to it. Their stubbornness does really come in handy here.
They have had it in their upbringing that eating food and exercising is good for building muscle and being strong. They don’t pay attention to media outlets as much and they don’t sit around gossiping like women do with their friends. It is what it is, to most men.
Of course, I am generalising here, because there are always exceptions to the rule. Same with women. But men don’t seem to question as much as we do, and they just get it done.
And have you ever noticed that men are better at saying no than women are? If something doesn’t suit them, they say no. If it doesn’t fit with their ideals, they say no. And this comes in handy for their health.
One final thing men are better at - building muscle. Not just because their hormones and genetics allow for it, but because they have been conditioned to do the two things that it takes to build muscle.
What are they ladies? You know it - we’ve been over it 1,000 times.
Lift heavy and eat food. Boys were taught to eat food, girls were told not to. That’s where our mindsets need to shift, ladies!
So what can we learn from men in the weight loss arena?
Pick a plan and stick to it. And stick to it for a good length of time.
When you pick that plan, make sure it is definitely something that fits your ideals, your life and that suits you. Men would say no to a diet plan that seemed strange to them. But women would be like “oh well it worked for KIm Kardashian so it must be good”. Even though it’s drinking 2 juices a day and that's it.
Don’t be concerned with what others are doing.
Don’t second guess yourself and the decision you have made
Keep it simple. Good food and exercise = good results over time.
Remember that nothing happens overnight.
Remember that you need to eat to be healthy, and you need to eat enough to fuel your movements.
Be stubborn and don’t listen to anybody who is trying to tell you what to do. You do you.
Which one of these strategies will you try?