Your Body is NOT the Exception

The human body is simply amazing.  In fact, it's one of the reasons I love my job.  The fact that something like breathing can loosen someone's "tight" hamstrings, or eliminate their back pain, is always amazing to watch.

The human brain, on the other hand, can often be our biggest enemy.

What do I mean?  We all like to believe that we're exceptions to the rules.  I can't tell you how many times people have told me about nagging hip, knee or back injuries, resigned to the fact that it won't ever feel normal again.  Alternatively, I also tend to hear people tell me that they've "tried everything" but still can't seem to lose the extra weight. 

Well, call me Tough Love Tanskey, but I'm here to let you in on a secret: you're not THAT special.

In the book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Dan Ariely writes at length about how the human brain is phenomenal at rationalizing our behaviors.  In fact, it's why many convicted felons (Al Capone, Bernie Madoff, Walter White) refuse to take responsibility for their actions, because in their mind, they still aren't bad people.  We have to look at ourselves in the mirror each day, and it's much easier if we place the blame for our actions elsewhere.

For me, if I fail to hit a PR in the gym, it's not my fault....it's simply because I got less than 6 hours of sleep.  I can't find an important piece of mail?  Well, it's not MY fault, it must be Lindsay's....after all, SHE moved it! (Want to see me in a tizzy?  Hell hath no fury like when I can't find something I've misplaced.)

To bring this all back to training, I'm often told by clients and friends that their body isn't programmed to be at a lower body fat percentage.  And, unless your body fat is below 15-20%, that's simply not true.  Real success will occur when blame ceases to be placed on external forces.

 For the Breaking Bad fans..

For the Breaking Bad fans..

The same is true when someone tells me about a back, knee, or hip that's constantly "cranky."  I've heard several different rationalizations for continuing an activity that causes pain: "it only hurts when I'm done," and my personal favorite, "it's just my thing."  Meanwhile, if we were on the other side of the coin, we'd tell someone in pain to see a doctor, physical therapist, trainer, etc., and get it taken care of.  However, the fact that it's our body somehow makes it OK for us to be in pain.  I may only have 4 years of college under me, but that doesn't make much sense.

For every person that's not seeing results, someone else is.  It's not that the plan doesn't work (although it may not), it could simply be that you're not following it correctly.  It's impossible to be overweight and be following a great diet plan, and it's also impossible to be in pain and not have something be wrong.

If you really want to be an exception, then get all of your issues taken care of.  Set a plan and actually follow it.  Realize your goals. It's simple, but not easy.