It’s that time of year again… The days are longer, the weather is heating up and we all can’t wait to get in our speedo’s and bikinis to grace the beach…
In an ideal world, when summer rolls around we would all be in the best physical and mental shape imaginable. However, unfortunately for most, this isn’t the case and many of you reading this will be scrambling to get your summer ready physique in the nick of time before it’s all too late.
So, you’ve sat down, realised you’re unhappy with how you look and feel and set some SMART goals…
You want to look leaner, feel better about your body and bring your A game to the beach, right?
My question to you is:
Does your current lifestyle align with these goals?
In this article I will cover why your lifestyle is the primary driver of your body composition, and outline 10 questions you need to ask yourself before setting any sort of physique related goals.
One of the first questions I will ask a client when they want to work with me on achieving their summer body goals are:
What have you been doing over the past 6 months?
What does an average week look like for you?
And I implore you to ask yourself the same thing!
Whether you like it or not, your health and your physique is a by-product of your lifestyle.
It may sound harsh, but it’s true.
You know it, I know it and so does your cat who is sitting there watching you slam down uber eats whilst you watch Sophie Monk break hearts on the Bachelorette.
For sure, many of you may indeed be living a lifestyle that is healthy and conducive to being lean and strong.
Kudos to you, you can go back to scrolling through social media and uploading images of your shredded rig!
However, if thats not you, then its time to start addressing your lifestyle and take ownership of your habits, behaviours and accept that it is time to change.
Before I delve into the key areas you need to address when looking to make a lifestyle change, we must first ensure that your goals and lifestyle marry up!
If your goals are to look like the dude on Instagram with veins through his abs, or the chick with the perky butt and tight mid section, then the first thing you need to consider before proclaiming that you want ‘their’ body is:
What are they doing on a day-to-day basis?
How long have they been consistently training?
Do they regularly make sacrifices?
Are they content in giving up short term ideals in pursuit of their long term goals?
Sure, your insta-fit idols are likely to be somewhat more genetically gifted than you are and they probably do the whole fitness thing for a living. But I bet my bottom dollar that they aren’t eating takeaway daily, skipping workouts and and boozing on the weekends!
A picture perfect physique is a full time commitment, and it requires 7-day dedication and discipline over the long haul. And between you and I, just remember that many fitspo physiques are supplemented with some Vitamin S, but you didn’t hear it from me!
But that’s at the extreme end and no doubt many of the physiques you idolise are attainable, but it takes more than 6 weeks of dieting and training to get there..
My point is, if you’re just an average Joe and want to look like Hercules, then have a good think about what it takes to get to that level.
Do you really want to live that lifestyle?
If so, then its time to get to work and start making some serious changes!
If not, then that’s cool, you just need to re-evaluate your expectations and ensure that your goals align with your lifestyle.
So now that you’ve realised that your goals may be a touch out of reach given you work 9-5, don’t make money from supplement sponsors and are busy running around after your kids on the weekend, then it’s time to shift your focus to analysing what an average week looks like for you.
So get your pen and pad out, and start answering these 10 questions:
- How much alcohol am I consuming weekly?
- How many nights am I getting to bed before midnight?
- How often do I buy takeaway?
- What does my fridge/pantry look like?
- How many of my meals per week do I prepare myself?
- How often do I exercise?
- Am I consistent with my training?
- How much do I enjoy my current training regime?
- Does socialising with my closest circle of friends support my goal?
- Am I taking ownership of my goals?
If you noticed that 5 or more of these questions that your answers don’t align with your goals, then its time to address these one by one and start making some inroads towards your goals.
Just like your bank account is a reflection of the decisions you make with where and how you invest your money, your physique is a reflection of your habits, behaviours and ultimately your lifestyle.
Don’t get me wrong, changing your lifestyle takes time. Many people excel with small, incremental changes to their lifestyle, whilst some people do require drastic overhauls. This is where hiring a coach or being super analytical of what you’re doing can be handy!
Measurable physique changes take time, but you MUST start looking in the right places if you want to change your physique – your lifestyle. Placing too much emphasis on quick fix diets, training programs and supplements will only cause you to spin your wheels and yo-yo diet.
Finally, be sure to remember that we don’t all need to be six pack lean. Often this is unsustainable and won’t make you any happier than you already are, despite what you may think. Your lifestyle must support your goals, sure, but it must also be sustainable and enjoyable. Whatever you do, make sure you are progressing towards your goals without compromising your happiness and well being.
So, your lifestyle dictates the outcomes you see in your body composition and for the most part, if you’re lifting weights consistently, eating a flexible, well balanced and energy controlled diet and remain consistent over time, then keep chipping away.
However, if you’re goals aren’t aligning with your current lifestyle, either you have to change the things your doing on a daily basis or lower your expectations and adjust your goals so that they marry up with a lifestyle that you can uphold and is enjoyable!