Are Your Actions Sabotaging Your Results?

Have you ever had that feeling that everything was going to be different?  That this time it was going to work. 

You’d seen the transformational photos, the draw dropping results, the Instagram posts that left you feeling hopeful and those Facebook ads that promised you quick easy results.  

You were just one click away from securing that body you’d only dreamed of since giving birth.

I know the feeling all too well.  It’s like the people are speaking directly to you, it’s like they seem to understand the struggles you’re facing and how you are feeling.  They paint the most incredible picture of what can be possible if you just commit buying their program.  

That’s why I would eagerly click the purchase button envisioning my transformation taking place, right?

That’s why I would instantly download my purchase as soon as it arrived in my inbox ready to learn the latest techniques and secrets that would give me my transformation, quick and easy.

Sound familiar?

Yet it doesn’t seem to matter how many programs I’ve purchased over the past twenty years.  From nutritional plans to exercise programs, gut protocols to parenting courses. 

The results are always the same.

I’ve noticed that having a plan just doesn’t work?

They don't give you results.

They don't transform your life.

No matter how carefully crafted it is or even if it’s the latest cutting edge tips and tricks.

Having a plan doesn’t give you results.

Have you noticed that too?

I have over a dozen different programs packed away, email subscriptions that I’ve never clicked on or tried out.  I have a myriad of fitness books, nutrition strategies not to mention the cupboard full of recipe books I hardly touch.  But for some reason just having them around seems to give me a little bit of empowerment.

PHOTO: Just a few of my programs I've brought over the years

PHOTO: Just a few books on anatomy, exercise, cardio, strength training, pre and post natal exercise and nutrition. 

Or does it?

Over the past twenty years as both a teacher and fitness trainer I’ve come to see one repeated mistake that we tend to make time and time again.

The program itself doesn’t give us results.

It doesn’t matter how long my “I QUIT SUGAR” book sits in my cupboard, or even how many times I underline the revelations of changes it recommends me to make to change my life.  UNLESS I actually put it into practise it’s just information.

PHOTO: A reflection of the cookbook fads I went through over the years. 

Have you noticed it doesn’t matter how many fitness apps you have on your phone, UNLESS we actually follow the programming or take action and do the work we do not get fitter.  My knowledge will increase but how many know that knowledge without action is just knowledge.

Have you noticed that it doesn’t matter how many pieces of active wear that you purchase, UNLESS we are actually active, we are just wearing comfy clothing. Though activewear is ridiculously comfy, it was designed for people to use when we are active.  

TIME TO CONFESS AGAIN...

Ever had a piece of exercise equipment that sat in the corner gathering dust? I have had an AbSwing PRO for the past 15+ years.   From house to house, each time I moved that AbSwing PRO  would find it's way and once again would take up real estate against a wall with the promise of a six pack waiting for me.  Ever few years I'd give it a little swing, "feel the burn" and put it back to once again gather more dust.  Once married my husband would suggest we get rid of it each time we moved, yet I would fervently defend the right for it to stay in my position.

PHOTO: Here is my AbSwing PRO in it's final resting spot in the studio before I finally came to terms with the truth.

The funny thing is in the over 15 years of having it I had only ever used it about 10 maybe 20 times.  Yet I had every excuse under the sun for why we should keep it.   

In retrospect I think I was holding onto the AbSwing PRO with the hope that it would give me the six pack that the informercial had promised me when I was only 20 years old.  

But truth be told once becoming a qualified personal trainer I knew that this piece of equipment would not give me the six pack it had promised.  No amount of swinging was going to give me a six pack! As the words of wisdom goes: “You can’t out train a poor diet”.  

So only a few months ago, whether it was my desire to declutter or finally giving into the truth that my husband was right (he seems to be a lot of the time) , I finally let it go.  Even made $10! Bonus. 

The reality is, though having a gym membership, buying an exercise program or signing up for a nutritional plan can be helpful - UNLESS we take ACTION and use them and follow them, we will not get the results that are promised.

The truth is there is no shortcut to results.  It takes time.

When it comes to recovering from giving birth, whether by c-section or by vaginal birth, there is no quick fix.  Time and time again we all look for the shortcut that we hope will get us there sooner.   But if you are wanting to get real results check this out:

 

Common mistakes people make that sabotage their results

  • Trying to change everything all at once. People tend to do all or nothing and work in extremes instead of making small but consistent progress.  I’ve worked out that quitting sugar and flour completely forever doesn’t work for me and neither does having a cheat meal at the weekend.  I’ve learned what works for me through trial and error - in other words through restricting and then binging.  Think about the story of the hare and the tortuous - who won the race?
  • Putting too high expectations on ourselves
  • Beating ourselves up when we don’t succeed or mess up. Nobodies perfect, we all will make mistakes or not get it right.  But sometimes it can be very easy to be own worst critic.  Right? I don’t know about you but I can sure do with giving myself a little more grace and kindness somedays. 
  • Comparing ourselves to others.  Yikes this could be a blog of it’s own!  It can be so easy to do - right? Especially as a mumma!  There will always be others out there who are further along the journey than we are.  Sometimes that can leave us feeling less than or that we should be doing more.  But we need to remember to stay in our lane, keep our eyes on our journey.  Can I encourage you again, with social media, if you are following someone and you feel worse about yourself after seeing their posts - then stop following them.  We need to find ways to build ourselves up and see that we are incredible.  Because YOU ARE!!  
  • Believing there are quick fixes and shortcuts to results.  We live in an instant society where we want everything quicker and faster.  Advertisements give us this impression that it is possible - “why wait get it today”, “buy now pay later”.  When it comes to healing our bodies and improving our health and fitness there are no shortcuts to get the best results.  There are more effective ways to get results, but there are no shortcuts.  

Effective actions to take to help you get results and keep them:

So a few thoughts that may help you when you find yourself stuck and not getting the results you had been promised or were expecting, or maybe you’re starting out.  

1. Make a specific plan.

The more specific the easier it will be to action.  

Not specific: I want to improve my fitness and strength.   

Specific Plan: I will exercise for 15 minutes three times a week and walk every other day.

Not specific: I want to be less stressed.

Specific Plan: I will take one night out or one hour a week to do……(xyz) and take time to enjoy being me      with no other responsibilities. 

2. Take action!

It’s not enough to plan or think or dream.  Take action everyday.  Write down what you will do and do it.  Results take time, but ever action you make in the right direction progresses you towards your goals.

PHOTO 1:  This is me doing strength training, there was a lot of action to get in this condition.  PHOTO 2: Running my marathon.  It took 9 years and a lot of tears, injuries, new strategies and approaches to training, hard work, time and a lot of action to make this a reality and to run it pain free!

3. Start small

When you start achieving these small goals you will start to feel encouraged because you’re making progress and it will increase your motivation.  It might be as simple as writing down three things you're grateful for or drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning.  

4. Be consistent.

"I accumulated small but consistent habits that ultimately led to results that were unimaginable when I started." 

– James Clear

Sticking at it long term.  Keep being consistent and the results will be far greater.  As the quote goes "it's not how you begin the race, but how you finish the race that counts".  I’ve found that having a sleep-in at the weekend (though nice) doesn’t make up for all the late nights I have throughout the week.  But what would happen if I instead went to bed 30 minutes earlier each night instead?


Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:

What is it that you want to achieve?  

What is one step that could move you closer to this plan?  

Here’s a few ideas or examples.

  • Is it drinking more water?  Then how much water are you aiming for in a day?
  • Is it going for a walk each day?  Then how long is the walk.  Start small.  Maybe it’s 10mins a day and then you can build it up to 20 mins etc.
  • Is it doing your belly breathing and pelvic floor exercises?  Then choose a time and stick to it.  Could it be just before you’re about to go to sleep? Or when you are feeding your little one? Or after you put your little one down for a nap?
  • Is it taking time to meditate and unwind?  When will you do this?  Is there a reminder you can set on your phone to help you remember and take 3 minutes to belly breathe and become aware of your breath and slow down.  Or is it to have a bath once or twice a week when your partner is home so they can tend to the kids?
  • Is it to eat more healthily? What does that look like for you?  Start small.  Maybe keep a food diary for a week and see what ‘normal’ looks like.  Maybe it’s sticking to eating at meal times (for me that breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner - approx. 3 hours apart).  Maybe it’s increasing your vegetable intake or decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat?  

PHOTO: Me and my three boys.  Ryan (5 years old) wanting to train with mum so learning how to do a burpee while I'm doing knee repeaters.

My current goal is to exercise 4-5 times a week (including 3 days at the gym), stick to eating five meals a day, three hours apart.  I’m also really trying to be intentional with my breathing throughout the day - breathing into my belly with deep breaths, particularly when I’m preparing food, which with three kids and a hubby that’s rather frequently. =) 

What is one thing that you will commit to this week?  

Remember:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Take action
  3. Start small
  4. Be consistent

I would love to hear what action you are going to take.  CLICK HERE and share your plan so I can encourage you on your journey!  

And hey if this all feels rather overwhelming and you’re really not sure where to start or maybe you feel stuck,  CLICK HERE - I would love to connect and see how we can help you take small doable actions to get you moving towards your goal!

Have a wonderful day! 

Nomes xo


 

Naomi van Jaarsveld

About the author


Hi I'm Naomi, Founder of Birthmark Sisterhood. I'm a wife to an awesome husband and mum to three energy filled boys

As a qualified personal trainer with over 10 years experience I've journeyed with people of all different walks of life and helped them achieve their health and fitness goals. I'm a certified REHAB trainer and Pre & Postnatal Specialist.

I have experienced both an emergency c-section and two VBACs, a miscarriage, minor prolapse, horrible perineal tears that took hours to stitch (yikes), reflux/collic bubs, back injuries, knee injures and the list goes on. I never thought I'd be grateful for these however the reality is each one of these journeys I've had to walk (some over months, some over years) - has made me a far more effective, strategic and compassionate personal trainer. I'm on a mission to lift the level of postnatal care for woman and especially for c-section mummas!

I believe every woman deserves to have a healed, restored and strong body from the inside out! I'm passionate about taking the guesswork out of their recovery so they can enhance their recovery and get on with living their best life!
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