Today I’m back with another rant episode. This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, as I’ve been interacting with my clients, social media audience, and friends. It’s a topic that’s been recurring so frequently, I thought it would be important to discuss it on the podcast. I’m sure you’ve already seen the title of the episode, so let’s jump in.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/152
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- The amount of effort you make doesn't correlate with the results you expect to get (2:25)
- The frustration we feel when we can’t follow through the things we say to ourselves (3:50)
- Psychological and mental effects of feeling that you are the problem (8:03)
- The idea of flexible dieting (9:09)
- After all, you aren’t really the problem (10:19)
- Have a customized and enjoyable program (11:08, 16:16, 21:38, 23:58)
- Suck at the moment and reap the fruit of your sacrifices after (12:20)
- The lie that the more miserable we are, the more successful we will be (13:40)
- Do we really deserve the success (17:30)
- Get those long term effectiveness and change your life (25:51)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 152
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
You don’t have to be miserable 0:49
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio, I'm Amber Brueseke, and today we have another rant. I like recording these rants and you guys seem to like them as well. But my definition of a rant episode is where I just kind of, I'm able to talk a little bit freer, and share something that's been on my mind. And typically the things that are a little bit frustrating to me. And this topic has been one that I have been thinking about a lot over the last couple of weeks. As I've been interacting with clients, as I've been interacting with audience members on Instagram and with friends, this is a recurring topic that has been coming up, and one that I thought was so important to bring onto the podcast. And by now, I'm sure you've already seen the title episode. But the title is, you don't have to be miserable.
How transformation and evolution took place over the years 1:47
So let me start with my own experience and a story to kind of set the stage about this. A lot of people look at me and think, Oh, you've probably had your crap together for a long time. You know, working out and eating healthy, and all these things will come really naturally to you. But you would be wrong. And just like anybody else, I've had evolution and, you know, changes that have happened over the years. And I didn't just get where I am today in terms of, you know, goals and achievements, because they just happened. But because there was a transformation, there was an evolution there.
The ton of effort you make don’t correlate with the results you expect to get 2:25
So going back, you know, a couple of years, 5-10 years, I remember being at the point where I was exercising regularly. And that was something that I just kind of developed at a pretty young age consistently because I really relate that to my mom being a fitness instructor and just showing me from a very young age that exercise was just a daily habit that was really important. And so exercising wasn't ever very hard for me, it was something that I developed as a habit, and did very consistently. But I did notice that as many times that I would go to the gym, or any time that I would add extra sessions or like see how you know, increase the amount of exercise that I was doing, I noticed that there wasn't this correlation that I might have expected of like, the more time I spent in the gym, the better I looked, or the closer I got to the aesthetic goals that I wanted to reach, I always just kind of looked the same. And it felt like and I hear this a lot, so you'll probably resonate with this as like, I felt like I was putting in a ton of effort and not getting results back. And if you've ever been in that experience in any aspect of your life, or you put in an effort and don't get the results that you expect, it can get frustrating to keep putting in that same effort.
The frustration we feel when we can’t follow through the things we say to ourselves 3:50
And so I remember a couple of times, and specifically I'm gonna talk about some times back in college, when I decided, Okay, I was like many college students who I went to college gained, like the typical freshman 15 that freshman year and I remember that sophomore year going back to college and be like, Oh my gosh, what is happening to my body, I need to get back on track and lose the weight that I've gained over my freshman year. And the only way that I knew to do that was through cutting out foods, right? Stop eating pizza, stop eating ice cream, stop eating any of these fun foods that we often associate with weight gain. And so I went through this very clear cycle week after week after week. And for me that looked like Monday morning waking up and saying Okay, I'm going to eat clean this week. I'm gonna eat only healthy foods, not gonna eat any treats. I'm not going to eat any sweets or pizza. It's only going to be healthy foods this week, and I would do pretty well with that, you know, Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday, and even into Thursday. But like most of you, if you've ever experienced this cycle, you can relate, come Friday, it was like the weekends coming, my friends were going out to dinner, we were having pizza delivered to our apartment, and all of my goals would go out the window, and I would find myself, you know, eating the pizza that was in front of me, or having a gallon of ice cream and just, you know, chowing down on the ice cream. And at the end of eating whatever food that I had deemed bad foods that I couldn't eat, I would have this moment of like this coming to Jesus moment where I would start to beat myself up and say, I'm never gonna be able to hit this goal. Like, why can't I stick to this? Why can't I? I said, I was gonna do something, why can I follow through? And I see this a lot in us, in women, especially where we get really frustrated with ourselves because we say something to ourselves, and we don't follow through. Now, when we say things to other people, you know, it's like come hell or high water, we're going to make that happen, we promise something to our kids, we're going to make that happen. If we say, we're going to be there for a friend, we're going to make that happen. But then when it comes to the promises that we make to ourselves, we tend to break them. And that was what I experienced is I made this promise to myself, this week was going to be different. And every Friday, it was reinforcing that. Like, I wasn't living up to my promises that I wasn't keeping my promise to myself and it wasn't different. And it was this cycle that I would have. And so then over the weekend, I would eat whatever I wanted and feel kind of guilty, because I knew that I was cheating on myself and cheating on the goals that I had set. And then Monday morning would come and it would happen all over again. And I continue to say, Okay, this week's gonna be different. Okay, oh, no, this week, this week is going to be different. And this happened over and over and over again.
My experience of making myself throw up because of the unnecessary food intake 7:07
And something that I haven't ever shared before, was that I even had a couple experiences and I remember them pretty clearly. Even trying even getting to the point over those weekends, where I would try to make myself throw up. Like I would eat a bunch of food and feel sick and guilty. And like all of the things, I would try to make myself throw up. No, I never did it. And honestly, like it's kind of hard to even, like say that I feel a lot of like, a shame around the fact that I got to that point where I was almost just trying to, like, throw up the food that I ate. But I remember, you know, two to three times specifically where I would go in the bathroom and try to make myself throughout. Apparently I suck at making myself throw up cuz I never was able to do it. But again, it just it, you know, gets you to understand that cycle. And there are probably some of you guys who can relate to hearing that story. But the cycle that I just found myself in.
Psychological and mental effects of feeling that you are the problem 8:03
And more so than even the physical effects of that was the psychological and mental effects. Because I started repeating this story to myself that I was the problem, right that if I could just have more willpower and just keep going and not break down every weekend, then it would work. And if I wanted to get the results, then I just needed to suck it up and I needed to stick to this. And so I reflected back on to myself that I was the problem, I needed to fix the things I needed to change. And I told myself I wasn't dedicated enough, like I didn't want it enough. And that's a cycle and a pattern that I see a lot of women getting into where you've taken on the burden of saying the problem is me, like, I'm not good enough. If I had more willpower, if my goals were more important to me, then I would be able to be successful.
The idea of flexible dieting 9:09
And I can remember the moment when I was like shown this new way. You know, as we go through life, we believe that things happen at the time they're supposed to happen. And that was absolutely for me. It was, you know, after my fourth baby, I was kind of caught in this cycle again. And I remember scrolling through Pinterest and seeing a pin and reading a blog post of a woman who was talking about this thing called flexible dieting. And I was intrigued because flexibility was not anything I ever associated with dieting. To me it was like No, I go into the week I say I'm going to eat clean foods. And that's it like you just stick to that plan. And if you stick to that plan, they're gonna be successful. And if I don't stick to my plan, well then that's my problem, I need to try harder, I need to have more willpower. But you know, but the plan works, you just have to execute on the plan. And so I was really intrigued by this idea that reaching my goals could be more flexible and that we could introduce flexibility into the journey.
You aren’t the problem 10:19
And that really was the precipice for everything that came afterwards in terms of biceps after babies and this realization that I had, that I wasn't the problem, that you are not the problem. In fact, I have a podcast episode, back at Episode Number 102, where the title is, You Are Not The Problem. And it's this thing that hit me that I wasn't the problem. The problem was that I was following a plan that wasn't built for me and that I didn't like, I didn't enjoy. I was taking the joy and the fun out of the process, because I was thinking that I had to do something that was hard and that wasn't enjoyable and I just had to suck it up and execute on it if I wanted to reach my goals.
Having a customized and enjoyable program 11:08
And this, like epiphany, really changed everything for me. And I learned at that point how I could create a customized plan, I learned how to incorporate my goals into the lifestyle that I wanted to live. I was able to make it fun and enjoyable and not feel deprived and not feel restricted, which is what I had relied on before I'd relied on the tools of deprivation and restriction to try to get to my goals. And I realized that those tools are really crappy tools. And instead, I swapped them out for some better tools of making my program customized and enjoyable. And that's when things really turned around for me, it's when things really changed. And I was able to actually enjoy the process, I was able to actually have fun in the middle of it, instead of just reminding myself that it was going to be fun at the end. And I think that's a really important point to make here is that sometimes we are able to say, okay, it's not fun now but the end destination is going to be worth it and we're able to keep going.
Suck at the moment and reap the fruit of your sacrifices after 12:20
This works well for things that you don't have to maintain. So let me give you an example. I think probably while people are climbing Mount Everest, they aren't having a whole lot of fun. That's not, I mean, maybe parts of it are enjoyable, I think it's just really hard. But they know that that sacrifice that it's sucking in the moment right now is going to be worth it when they get to the top of Everest and have that experience of having climbed the world's highest, you know, peak. Another example, I have been watching the CrossFit Games recently and I think a lot of the training that those teams and those individuals do on a day to day basis is probably not all fun. I'm sure they have fun during the process. But a lot of it is not very fun. But they can tell themselves, hey, it's really hard today, it really sucks. It's terrible. But it's all for like that moment of being able to stand on the podium to be able to win the event that you want to win. And so I think when we have these moments that we're looking forward to, we have a more capacity, a better capacity to allow for it to suck in the moment because we have that end goal that we're reaching.
The lie that the more miserable we are, the more successful we will be 13:40
Now, here's where I see that not relating as well to your fitness journey. If you have a momentary second or day that you want to get to, i.e. maybe a fitness competition, then yes, our brains can do pretty well by just reminding ourselves that it's all going to be worth it for that one pinnacle about one day. And you can see fitness competitors go to a lot of lengths, a lot of crappiness, a lot of terrible days, because they remind themselves of that one moment. If instead Your goal is not to reach one moment, where you step on the scale, and it weighs a certain you weigh a certain amount, but rather, you want that to be your new normal, like you want that to continue moving forward. So it's not just a moment in time, but it's a moment in time and then everything moving forward. That is a very, very different situation than peaking for one day. Does that make sense how those are different? It's different if I want to do terrible, crappy things to peak for one day. But when you do terrible crappy things, to then build a new lifestyle that you hate, and that is terrible and crappy. We can't sustain that long term. And here's the lie that we're and as I say it, I want you to start to think about how this has maybe creeped into your life. It's this lie that the more miserable we are, the more successful we will be. And I think it's a sneaky lie because it shows up. I mean, if you say that the more miserable you are, the more successful you'll be. I don't really believe that. But it shows up in really sneaky ways, in ways like, the more restrictive something is, the more things I cut out, the more successful I'm going to be? Or how can we make macro counting harder, let's have to be exact with all of our macros. And let's also add carb cycling and intermittent fasting onto there to make it harder. It's as if it's more complex, if it's more complicated, if it's more miserable than on some level, it's going to be more successful. How do we know that this isn't true? Because think about it, there are plenty of women out there who are miserable on their journey. And if misery was the key to success, then they would all be successful. And we know that isn't true, there are lots of women who are miserable and unsuccessful. So misery cannot be the key to success.
Having a non-restrictive fun plan 16:16
And that's actually been the exact opposite for me and a lot of my clients is that it isn't that the more miserable I am, the more successful I can be. It's the exact opposite, that is more easy. And the more fun the process is, the more successful I am. And that's what I saw, when I started to learn about being more flexible with my plan and figuring out how to customize it to me is that it was more fun. It fit me, it fit the lifestyle that I wanted to live, instead of me trying to fit myself into somebody else's diet, I was creating this in the way that I wanted to create it in a way that felt fun and light and easy and not restrictive to me. And that was the key to being able to see the results that I wanted to see. When I could eat ice cream and get a six pack that was fun. No, forced me to choose between those of say, okay, Amber, do you want a six pack or ice cream? I'm gonna pick the ice cream every time. And so I had to get out of this dichotomy of having to choose between enjoying what I was doing and having fun and seeing results. That is a false dichotomy. That is not something you have to choose between. Instead, I started to ask myself the question of how could it be both? How could it be fun? And how can I eat ice cream? And how can I start to see results? And that was when everything changed for me.
Do we really don’t deserve success 17:30
Now, I was thinking about this. In fact, I went on a walk yesterday and I was thinking about why we believe on some level, that the harder things are that the more complicated they are, that the more effort is required, the more miserable they are, then the more successful they're going to be. And here's what I came up with, and see if this resonates with you. I think on some level, this lie comes from the belief that we don't deserve success. I think there is a deep part in some of us who think that we are worthy enough. And that if we put a lot of effort in, if it's really hard, then we will finally deserve it. If we do hard things, then that will somehow create us deserving of success. Oof, that's heavy. But I think that for a lot of people, that is the underlying thought the underlying fear, the underlying thing that makes them go out and and think that it has to be hard, that there has to suck, that they have to just grit their teeth and and try harder because on some level that will make them be worthy of the results that will make them be deserving of the results. And this, my friends, is what we differentiate between what shows up in our journeys as the symptom. And the difference between the symptom and what is actually the root cause. Because I think the symptom is jumping from diet to diet. I think the symptom is restriction. The symptom is deprivation. The symptom is cutting things out. The simple symptom is thinking that it's harder and that it's going to be more effective. That's the symptom.And what the root cause is of that symptom is not feeling like you deserve it. And you can start to see that if we don't actually attack the root problem, the root cause is not feeling worthy, they're not feeling enough and not feeling like you deserve success. It doesn't matter what we do with all the other things, it doesn't matter what we do at the diets, it doesn't matter what you do with the restriction, it doesn't matter what we do with how much fun we make it. If we don't address that root cause, you're never going to be successful.
The difference of my coaching compared to other coaches 20:13
And I think this is such a good highlight to the difference in how I coach from a lot of other coaches. There are a lot of great coaches out there. But a lot of coaches are coaching the symptoms, they're focusing on the behaviors, they're focusing on changing the way that you do things, instead of focusing on what's actually causing that, what the root cause is of some of those behaviors. And when you can address the root cause, then you can really start to shift things permanently.
Having a fun and enjoyable strategy is much more effective 21:38
So at this point, you may have heard me say that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. I say that a lot. And I truly believe it. And I teach it and I preach it to my clients. And so I want to as a coach give you a really good question that you can be asking during your journey. And that question is, how could this be more fun? That's such a powerful question. And I've been asking myself, in terms of my business, how could this be more fun? What could I do to make this more fun, not that it isn't fun. But I think that we can always incorporate more fun, because we know that fun and enjoyability as a strategy is much more effective than deprivation and restriction. And an example I was thinking about that really showcases this in a story is I remember when I was a little girl, when it was time to go and get our jammies on and get our teeth brushed, which is like for kids is like the lamest part of the day, right? Like no kid wants to go to bed. So we didn't really want to go get our teeth brushed and our jammies on. And so anytime my dad would say that we would be like, oh, and complain and whine and like it was terrible. And it took us forever to be able to get it done. And so my dad got really smart. And instead of saying it's time to go get your jammies on and teeth brushing, he would say, I'm gonna time you and see how fast you can get your jammies on and teeth brushing, and we'll have a competition and see who wins, who does the fastest. And as soon as he did that, as soon as he turned it into a game, it was like Game on. I'm gonna go as fast as possible. And it was fun. And we would like to raise each other and we would get our jammies on as fast as possible and brush our teeth. And then we'd run downstairs and be like, what was my time? How fast Did I do it? And my dad knew something that, you know, I would later learn in life was that using fun as a strategy is so much more effective at accomplishing things. So we could have just slogged through it. We could have just said go just Go brush your teeth. You have to, it's like well you are supposed to do. But instead my dad realized that a better strategy than yelling at us or giving us punishments was just to make it more fun. And as soon as it became more fun, and as soon as it became a game, then we wanted to do it. What if your fitness journey was like that? What if it was a game for you? What if you enjoyed what you were doing so much that it wasn't just about the end destination? But it was like you actually enjoyed the process of getting there. And I think that's a huge takeaway that I want you to have from this is that we and we say this all the time, enjoy the process. smell the roses, right? Like there's all these clichés, but there's a purpose to those clichés. Again, I think if there's a one time thing you're trying to achieve, then the process to get there can suck a lot more and still be effective. But I think if there's something you're wanting to achieve and maintain for the rest of your life, it has to be fun, and enjoyable to get there.
Now what is fun and enjoyable for me is going to be different than what's fun and enjoyable for you. And so this is where we start to bring in this idea of customization. This is not about me saying okay, this is the fun way to do it. Now you do it this way. It's me as a coach bringing up this idea of Are you having fun in your journey? Is it enjoyable to you? You know, what could you be doing to have more fun and bring that into your journey and then you look at your lifestyle and what you want to do and what feels fun to you, and be able to include more of that. So one of the things I work with my Macros 101 clients as they come into the program is we introduce this idea of non negotiables. Non negotiables are things in our journey that are as the word says, non negotiable. It's something that is important to you that you're not willing to give up in order to get the results that you want. And non-negotiables are really important for long term goals. Again, if we're just trying to peek for one day, we're just trying to get to Mt. Everest. If you're willing to go through a lot of suck, you're willing to give up some of those non-negotiables for that one day. But if you need something to last long term, and in order to get there, it has to suck, and you have to give up all the things that matter to you, you're never ever going to be able to maintain that long term. Because we don't want to stay in a position that makes us give up everything that is important to us, we can do that short term, we're not gonna be able to do that for years and years and years and years. So determining what your non negotiables are, as you start this process is a really valuable exercise to go through so that as you're building your plan, you can make sure it's fun, you can make sure it's enjoyable, you can make sure it aligns with the priorities that you have set in your life and the things that are important to you in your life.
Get those long term effectiveness and change your life 25:51
So coming back to that question that I asked, Have you come up with any answers of how could this process be more fun, what comes up for you, what is something that you can take away, and start to implement to make it more fun? Because listen, it doesn't have to be miserable. I promise you. I found it on my journey. I've helped thousands of clients find it in their journey. It doesn't have to be miserable. It isn't like, the more miserable you are, the more successful you are, in fact, it's the exact opposite. The more miserable you are, the less likely you are to be successful long term, you can do it for a while, we can give up things for a while, our brain can hold on to that goal and you know, skip out on things for a while. But if you're listening to this podcast, I have to assume that you're not somebody who just wants to stand on the stage. And you know, in a fitness competition, that you're here because you want the long term results, because you want to actually change your life. This is not about a day, it's not about a couple of days, it's not about seeing a number on the scale for one day, and then never seeing it again. This is about changing your relationship with food. It's about changing your relationship with your body, it's about getting you to a new place and maintaining it long term, maintaining those results year after year after year. That is why I assume that you're here. Because that's what I focus on. If we wanted to just get quick results, we could do all sorts of crazy drastic things to get you as fast as possible. But in a lot of ways, when you start to try and get as fast results as possible. What you are giving up in exchange for speed is long term effectiveness. So which do you want? Do you want speed? Or do you want long term effectiveness? Do you want to hit your goal weight as fast as possible, but then not be able to maintain it? And yo yo back up? Or would you rather do it a little bit slower. But once you get there, you never have to worry about it again. If you're listening to this podcast, I have to assume that you're the second. And if so you're in the right place. Because this is the person that I'm talking to who has recognized that this is not about getting there as fast as possible. It's about getting there in the most fun and permanent way possible. We're all about long term results here in this community of real internal to external transformation.
Take away 28:29
So as we wrap up this episode, I want to know what you think. Did this episode resonate with you? Did it give you some things to think about? Do you totally disagree with me? Are you going to argue with me about it? That's fine, too. I'm happy for some disagreement. But I'm curious what hit home for you in this episode because for some of you, I think I may have exposed some things that you hadn't ever considered or thought about in your journey. And just this idea that it doesn't have to be miserable, that it can be fun, but it can be enjoyable, that the process can be actually the best part of it. Like Imagine that. Imagine if the process to reach your goals was just as fun if not more fun than actually hitting the goal. That's when you know that you are winning is when the process to get to the goal is just as fun as the moment that you reach the goal. That's when everything changes. And if you're not there yet, that's okay. But now you've identified something that is maybe holding you back and asking yourself that question, how can I make this more fun? How can I make this more enjoyable? What comes up for you? And how can you start to implement that moving forward? That's what I hope that your takeaway is coming away from this episode.
Free five-day challenge 29:44
A quick reminder, if you haven't yet signed up for my free five day challenge, it is coming. And we're gonna be talking more about this idea of how we bring enjoyability into our plan. How do we make it more sustainable? What does that actually look like? And how can we set you up for success so every day during the challenge, I'm going to be giving you many assignments that are going to allow you to start to build this foundation for yourself. This foundation that's going to make everything different in your journey. That's going to really catapult you to the results that you want and stop relying on having it suck the deprivation restriction diets, cutting things out, stop relying on those old ways of doing things. That's not the way that you get results. Instead, it's this idea of how we customize it to you. How do we bring in enjoyment, How do we make this fun, And how do we set goals that are really aligned with what you actually want to achieve? That's when everything changes and that's what we're going to do together in the five day challenge. It's free. It's a great way to come and experience what it's like to listen to me teach to be in a coaching environment where you can start you know, getting a sneak peek into what it would be like to work with me. If you have not signed up yet go to bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge and I'm so excited to be able to coach you in our free five day challenge coming up, August 23rd, bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge. That wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
Hold up, sister friend. Do you love Biceps after Babies radio? If so, the best way to say thank you is to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes. I know, every podcaster wants you to leave a review, but it's because those reviews help the podcast to reach more people. And I do truly want to know what you think. If this particular episode resonated with you, will you also please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your friends and family why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @biceps.after.babies so I can hear your feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps after Babies radio.
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