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13 May, 2020

The Seasons of Body Transformation

Ronnie Oliech

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’re probably aware that the journey is never as easy as you imagine it to be.

At the beginning it’s very easy to think that it will be smooth sailing, but when you get further down the track, you’re disappointed and maybe even concerned that it’s not as easy as you think. Because the diet industry has led you to believe that losing weight is easy if you follow a particular program, this usually causes you to question whether the diet you’re doing is the right one, which leads you to hop from one diet to the next, in a quest to find the one that will work for you.

Rest assured, the process of losing weight permanently isn’t as simple as doing a diet. As we’ve discussed in many blogs, diets, and quick-fixes don’t work. They may lead to some short-term weight loss, but eventually you’ll put all that weight back on, and then you’ll begin gaining more, because they damage your metabolism and hardly solve the problems that made you over weight in the first place. They also steal your health and happiness, by leaving you feeling worse than you did when you started them.

But even if you undertake a body and lifestyle program which is designed to help you lose weight in a structured, sustainable way by changing your lifestyle, habits and mindset, it’s still not going to be plain-sailing.

In the beginning, you’ll find it easy and exciting, because you’ll be able to get good results with minimal effort. After a while, you’ll notice that your physical changes slow down, while your metabolism re-sets and you consolidate your habits. This is a normal part of the process. However, you’ll also go through a sticky point where you’ll find it challenging, and you’ll need to adjust what you’ve been doing in order to keep getting results. Those who adjust and commit to finding solutions to these hurdles are the ones who get the results they’re looking for. Those who become complacent with their initial results and expect to progress without adjusting anything are those who get stuck.

The truth is that success in any field — whether it’s business or losing weight, is never linear.

Success isn’t linear.

You’ve probably seen this diagram to illustrate success.

The image on the left is what most people think success looks like. A linear trajectory starting from zero and ending when you reach your goal. Believing that your weight loss journey will be like this comes from having a diet mindset because the diet industry has led us to believe that it’s easy to lose weight when we go on a diet.

However, success actually looks more like the diagram on the right. As you can see, the arrow begins at zero and ends at the same point as the diagram on the left. But the path is far from straight. There are twists, turns, circles and the path even heads backwards before moving forward again.

That is success. That’s what it looks like. In anything you do, including losing weight.

So if you’ve been thinking that there’s something wrong with you because your definition of success doesn’t look like the arrow on the left, stop worrying.

If your success arrow looked like the one on the left, any results you achieve won’t last. That’s because the diagram on the right shows mistakes, slip-ups and even going backwards — the places where the learning and growth happens. Unless you learn new things, new ways of doing things and increase your awareness of why you’ve become overweight in the first place, you won’t keep your results. And because you’re human, it will take time for you to learn new things. It’s normal to make mistakes when you learn something new.

If your journey is a straight line, you’re missing out on the growth, the lessons and the habit and mindset change that is necessary for long-term weight loss. If you want your success arrow to be straight, then whatever weight you’ll lose, you will gain again.

Achieving results through a body transformation program isn’t easy, and there will be twists and turns, just like the diagram above. We believe that you need at least 12 months for a successful body transformation, but some people may need longer to get the results they crave and the longer your transformation is the better your results will be.

Just like a year has different seasons, so too does a transformation journey. Like a year, you can’t skip a season if you don’t like it; and like a year, one season naturally follows the next. Each season is different and will serve you in different ways. If we’re honest, some seasons are tough, but the good news is that just like the normal seasons in a year, your seasons in transformation don’t last forever either.

Before we go through the seasons of your transformation, it’s important to note that seasons are different for everyone. You might be in your Spring while someone else is in their Winter. Your Winter may last longer than someone else’s. However, the important thing to remember is that this is your journey, and the seasons that make up your journey will be unique to you.

Spring

Spring signals new life; a re-birthing of sorts. How excited are you to see Spring after a dull, cold winter? The beginning of your transformation journey is your Spring.

When you first start, you’re excited. You may feel a little overwhelmed by how much you need to learn, or how far you think you have to go, but the predominant feelings are excitement, motivation and a keenness to learn.

In the beginning, you may find that getting up earlier for training, or making time for your food prep is tricky. However, you’re still buoyed by your motivation and excitement, so you make it happen. Eating healthier, more nutritious meals is still a novelty and your commitment to get results means you’re fairly compliant with the program. Your willpower will be strong, and you’ll find it relatively easy to say no to alcohol and fast-food, because you’re so committed to getting your results.

Plus, you’re now in a supportive community of other people who are transforming their lives, and you’ll feel that you’re free to be yourself without judgement. You feel supported by your coaches and believe you’ve finally found the thing that you know will work for you.

You might be noticing a difference in how you look, but this is likely to be small at this stage. The more noticeable changes will be the invisible changes. For example, you might have more energy, be sleeping better, feel less stressed, feel less bloated and have greater range of motion and flexibility.

This is the start of your journey that leads into a phase where you’ll notice more changes…Summer.

Summer

Summer is a time when things begin to grow and mature. The blooms on the trees that you see in Spring turn to fruit, and the grass grows thicker and lusher.

In your transformation journey, Summer is a time when your results seem to snowball. You’ll be noticing a difference in how you look now. Your clothes will be fitting better or you may need to buy new ones!

You’ll be noticing that your training is getting better — you’re stronger at FIRE and while ICE sessions may still be tough, you’re doing better at them than you used to. Your body will be getting used to moving, so you won’t be so sore, and if you miss a session for some reason, you’ll probably miss it. Training has now become an enjoyable habit!

One of the biggest changes will be in how you feel about yourself. Your confidence has improved and you’re feeling proud about what you’re doing. Your energy levels are even better, you’re more productive at work, and you’ll be starting to notice that these changes are now spilling out into other areas of your life. For example, you may feel you’re being a better parent or better partner.

Summer is an exciting time where you notice lots of growth and changes. You’ll be riding high. Because you’ll be feeling positive, it will be easy to fall into the trap of complacency — settling for the results you have and expecting that you’ll still be able to progress by doing what you’re currently doing. The truth is though, you will have to adjust your plan in order to keep getting results.

Because you’re doing so well and noticing your progression, you may also begin to believe that you’re not going to experience the hurdles and challenges that other people do, and that the road ahead is going to just keep getting better and better.

You’re right. The road does get better. But you have to go through some potholes first.

Autumn

Autumn is a time when things begin to transform. The trees outside begin to change and leaves that were once green turn into shades of red, gold and brown before eventually falling off the tree.

In your transformation journey, Autumn is the time when your doubts will start to creep in. This is particularly the case if you’ve been expecting to get to the next level of your transformation journey without changing what you’ve been doing. In order to keep changing your body shape, you coach will need to change your action plan.

The high excitement of Spring and Summer are over, and you’ll be noticing that your physical changes are not happening as quickly as you’d like, or may have even slowed right down.

Rest assured, that if you’re sticking to your plan, this is normal. You have not hit a plateau and you are not going backwards. A plateau is where nothing is changing and you’re at a standstill. However, during Autumn, your body’s metabolism is re-setting which means that lots of things are changing — you just can’t see them.

Autumn is when you consolidate some of the new habits that you’ve already developed. You may have improved your sleep, or be nailing your food prep. You might also be making progress on other habits that you’ve been working on. If this is the case, that’s great and you should celebrate! It’s important progress even if it doesn’t reflect in your body just now.

You might also be starting to identify some of the other habits that have contributed to your weight, and some that are holding you back from succeeding. These might be more ingrained habits such as people-pleasing or lack of confidence. This can feel overwhelming as you realise that you have some work to do to overcome these habits if you want to lose weight and keep it off. This can be a vulnerable process as you begin to strip back your protective layers, and discard habits and people that don’t serve you anymore — much like the tree losing its leaves.

As you begin to shed old thoughts and set about developing new habits, your mind will play tricks on you and tell you that it’s all too hard. You’ll begin to doubt the process, doubt yourself, doubt your coaches and will want to run away from the fears that start popping up.

You may even notice that you begin self-sabotaging your progress through binge eating or heavy drinking. And you’ll probably avoid communicating with your coaches or interacting with others who seem to be doing well.

Typical signs that you’re in Autumn include:

  • Panicking that you’re not getting the results you want
  • Training more and eating less
  • Going on a diet or trying a quick-fix
  • Trying to do a little bit of what you coach tells you and a little bit of what you know from your dieting days. However, these things are not compatible, and won’t get you further down the track
  • Comparing yourself with others
  • Putting your walls up and not communicating with your coach
  • Worrying about what other people will think (e.g. “I’ve been doing this for a year now and my friends will think I should be further along than I am.”)
  • Feeling overwhelmed because you’re trying to do more
  • Seeking advice from other people who are stuck
  • Not taking responsibility for your results and blaming others for where you’re at
  • Taking things personally
  • Being defensive about what you’re doing.

Engaging in the behaviours above will not help you. In fact, they will keep you stuck, going round and round in circles.

During your Autumn season, it’s imperative you stay in touch with your coach and keep the communication lines open. You need to increase your accountability and be specific about what you need help with, what you’re finding challenging, what your thoughts are, and what you’re doing that may be sabotaging you. They know how to help you and they expect you to go through this phase. There’s nothing wrong with you and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. This is a normal part of the process.

You should also take advantage of your community, let them know that you’re struggling, and ask for their support. Go back to your WHY and remind yourself why you started in the first place. Why is this important to you?

Finally, continue to trust the process, trust your coaches, and allow yourself the time for your metabolism and habits to re-set. Remember –the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. As long as you’re sticking to your personalised plan, you will get through this.

Winter

We’ll be honest. This is the hard slog phase of your transformation. Your layers have been stripped back and you’re probably feeling very vulnerable and scared. You’re not excited anymore, motivation is low, and everything probably feels hard and slow. You may be comparing yourself with other people who are getting results and feeling very dejected that you’re not there yet. But remember, you’re in your Winter. They may be in their Summer.

You are still getting results, but they’re not as visible as the ones you get in Summer. Instead of comparing your results with someone else’s, focus on your journey. Remain committed to your plan and to doing the work, because right now you’re facing your fears and doing the most important work of all.

Confronting your fears is hard. It is scary. But if you don’t face them head on, you’ll continue to stay in Winter. Even if you give up, you’ll still be exactly where you are now. We know that right now, you are seriously tempted to give up and throw in the towel. But you can’t. You mustn’t, because all you’ve worked for until now will be in vain.

It’s okay to feel like this. Stay accountable to your trusted coach and be HONEST with them. We encourage our clients to talk to us, because we’ve been there too, and we know how we can help them. This is an important step in getting through Winter. Because your Coach is not emotionally invested in your journey, they can see your invisible progress, so can reassure you that you’re on the right path. They can also recognise any behaviours or habits that are keeping you stuck and so will be able to provide you with a personalised plan to help you move forward.

If you’re feeling frustrated at your lack of physical progress, you might be very tempted to exercise more, or cut calories and diet, in an effort to get results a bit quicker. Whatever you do, don’t do this. It will compromise your metabolism, and only increase the likelihood of binge eating and emotional eating.

The best way to get through Winter is to just hang on. Block the noise and the distractions and stay the course. Your transformation is not at a standstill despite what other people might say. Is a winter tree dead just because it has no leaves? No. It’s just preparing for Spring, doing what it needs to do in order to send out new shoots when the weather gets warmer. Just like the winter tree, you’re preparing for your Spring. There is a lot going on under the surface which needs to happen in order for you to sprout new growth in your Spring. If you try to skip this season, or try to run away, you’ll never achieve that new growth, or reach the next phase.

Right now, you have 2 choices. You can either give up, knowing what the outcome will be. Or you can stay committed, even if you have to grit your teeth and hang on by a fingernail, and see what you can achieve if you can push through.

Because guess what the next season is? That’s right. Spring! And the fruit that you bear in your next seasons of Spring and Summer, will be so much better than what you bore the last time.

How to get better, faster results

If you go into your transformation journey understanding that there will be ups and downs, but you stick with it, no matter what season you find yourself in, and no matter how tough you find it, we guarantee you’ll get results.

We also know that the more you embrace your seasons without picking and choosing, the quicker you’ll move to the next season. If you’re in Winter the best way to move through it is to stay focused, be committed to your personalised action plan, and do what you need to do. If you pick and chose, whinge or complain, the process will just take longer and be more difficult.

The more you embrace your seasons, the better your results become and the quicker they’ll happen. Your first Autumn and Winter might be challenging. But when you go through your next Autumn or Winter, you’ll have the confidence to know that you can get through it, because you’ve done it before. It also gets easier the more you do it. In addition, you’ll have a whole lot more skills and knowledge to help you move through the tough times. And you’ll understand that what lies on the other side of hard work and fear is something better than you had before. Keeping this in mind will help you continue to choose to face the hard stuff and keep you progressing.

Once you get past Autumn and Winter, everything will become a whole lot easier for you.

Create the right environment

If you want to make sure you keep progressing without getting stuck in your challenging season, make sure you put yourself in the right environment, and associate with and seek guidance from people who are further on in their journey than you. If you keep turning to others who are also struggling, none of you will have the experience, awareness or skills to help each other. Instead, you’ll all be stuck in a hole together, enabling each other’s complaining and justifying why it’s all too hard to keep going.

Success leaves clues. Associating with people who have been where you are now, and got through the other side, will help you navigate your way through to the other side too. First and foremost, stay in contact with your coaches. The more accountable you are, the easier it will be for you to progress and get results. But if you don’t communicate, and go into hiding or try to run away, no one will be able to help you, and you’ll remain stuck in the same cycle.

The importance of never giving up

Your transformation journey isn’t linear. It will involve you making mistakes, learning new things, and even taking a few steps backwards from time to time. All of that is okay, as long as you don’t give up.

Remember, it will be easy in the beginning, but after a while your physical changes will slow down as your metabolism re-adjusts to your new normal, and you’ll go through some sticky, tricky times. But if you can stay committed and see out your Autumn and Winter seasons, everything keeps getting easier, and your body will continue to change.

The people who don’t get the results they’re after are the ones who quit during Autumn or Winter. And unfortunately, many people quit just before they hit the jackpot. When you’re ready to quit, remember that you’re probably closer to your results than you realise. You just can’t see it because you’re caught up in your emotions. If you feel like quitting, think about what you might be walking away from.

Helping you achieve results

Undertaking a body transformation program is not a quick-fix. It will take time. But we know we can help you because we’ve been through everything you’re about to go through. We know that the long-way is the short-way. We know that if people pick and choose and try to take a short-cut, it never works and the whole process takes longer than it needs to. We know the highs and we know the lows. But we also know that every step you take will be worth it.

Through our online coaching program, you’ll be given all the support, help and time you need to develop habit and mindsets that will help you lose weight and keep this weight off for life.

Right now, our online coaching program is OPEN. This program, delivered completely online includes guidance on habit and mindset change, as well as nutrition and exercise. And because it’s delivered online, you can do it from anywhere in the world. Find out how it works and then, click the link below to see if you qualify.


Personalised online coaching

If you’re not ready to commit to our online program, sign up to myPersonalised eCoaching program, our NEW state-of-the-art, at-home, do-it-yourself 6-week program designed to help you bridge the gap between exercise and long-term results. Customised for you to reach your personal goals, build healthy habits around mindset, discipline, nutrition and exercise that stick, and transform your life. You get 12-months’ worth of content compressed into 6 weeks, complete with worksheets, personalised action steps and resources. You also have lifetime access so you can learn at your own pace, and revisit any lessons you need to.


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