The first ‘E’: Entitlement
“I’ve had a hard day at work so I deserve a glass of wine.”
To plagiarise one of my favourite Instagram memes – “Don’t reward yourself with food and treats, you are not a dog.”
The meaning is, you don’t need to justify what you put into your face to anyone else.
You are an adult, and as such you have full autonomy over your decisions.
The fact that you feel the need to justify it means that you are aware – albeit subconsciously – that you shouldn’t be doing it, but you are trying to convince yourself that you should.
Moreover you are trying to convince yourself that, through your emotion, you are able to turn off the laws of physics, biochemistry and thermodynamics, energy balance.
You are trying to convince yourself that science will stop applying to your personal universe because you are feeling a little bit sensitive.
Science should cut you some slack because you’ve had a hard day at work….
Anyone feel a bit ridiculous yet?!
There is no one monitoring your reaction to this so you can be honest, have you ever told yourself you deserve that wine, that cake, those crisps to make yourself feel less guilty?
I can say with 100% confidence that you have, why? Because we all have at some point. I know I certainly have. The problem isn’t that it has happened previously, the problem arises when it becomes a habit.
Get takeaways regularly because you’ve worked oh so hard at work that you deserve something nice? – if this sounds like you then I’m afraid you have the entitlement habit.
The next ‘E’ is Envy
“Well he is eating a croissant, so why can’t I?”
Ok, let’s break this down.
This ‘he’ may, and in every case will – if the statement is coming from a female, have a different body composition. If he doesn’t look the same as you then that’s the first clue, but here are a few more:
His BMR will be different because he plays football twice a week, goes to the gym three times a week and cycles to work.
His other meals are lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
He sleeps minimum 7 hours per night
Recovery, hormone and appetite regulation.
He drinks water and not hot chocolates, fizzy drinks and after work alcohol
Hydration and toxin excretion
His goal also may not be fat loss, and if it isn’t and yours is, then deal with it. It’s not his fault!
Now let’s break down your routine….
- Wake up
- Put food in face
- Drive to work
- Sit at desk
- Put food in face
- Stare at screen, type a bit.
- Put drink in face
- Check phone
- Put food in face
- Etc, etc for rest of the working day
- Drive home
- Glass of wine
- Takeaway because work was soooo hard
- More food in face
Weekends: drink til you can’t speak and cure the hangovers with full English breakfasts!
Sound familiar? Of course, I’m pushing the extreme here, but as you are reading this you will know what your reality is and you will be able to do the calculations for your own personal exercise to poor food ratios.
Can you get away with the food that the person you envy is getting away with?
Why can they get away with it?
This leads me onto another favourite quote….
“if you aren’t willing to work for it, don’t complain about not having it”
Directly translated as, “if you aren’t willing to monitor your food and your exercise then don’t complain that you are fat!”
The best example I can personally think of was a client of mine who has become a friend, before you experience shock at my blunt manner with her.
Through envy, she decided she was entitled to eat the same full English breakfast and ice cream chaser as her partner, who is a competitive athlete and very stocky bloke to boot, even though I had her working to a calorie deficit for a fat loss target she wanted to meet.
Social media is fantastic.
As she was gloating and showing the world her lovely breakfast, she received a text from me saying “congratulations dopey, it is 11am and you now only have 500 calories left for the whole day!”
Last ‘E’: Excuses
“I just can’t do a press up, I’ve tried everything.”
“Diets just don’t work for me, I’ve tried them all.”
“I just don’t have time to get to the gym.”
Oh that’s a shame, can you just remind me what happened on X-Factor, Eastenders and Power this week. Also, how are those Kardashian’s doing?
“Oh but I need to watch telly to unwind after work!”
We’re finding patterns here, folks.
Nutrition, health and fitness are areas that directly affect our wellbeing, yet they are areas for which we will make excuses not only frequently but almost automatically.
Understanding why we behave the way we do will make changing our behaviours that much easier. Telling people that they make excuses to justify how they behave is not a criticism…..
It’s explaining how a fairly simple and easy to implement psychological premise can change a person’s outlook and lifestyle, allowing them to achieve the look or the physical goals they desire.
If this applies to you, you need to consider coaching. The power of accountability is what you need and what you will ultimately get results from.
If you know someone who this applies to -and you do- forward it to them with which ‘E’ applies to them as the subject line.