Do you ever feel like no matter how fit you get, there’s a “fat guy” inside you, trying to get out?
Suppose one day you’re like Charlie Sheen: ‘Winning!’. You’re awesome at the gym, you eat healthy meals, you even get a good night’s rest.
But the next day, the fat guy is there again, suggesting you skip the workout, stay planted on the couch, maybe even dive head-first into a bucket of chicken.
Do you ever wish you could just get rid of ‘fat guy’ for good?
If so, you’re not alone. And I have some good news and bad news for you:
Bad news: your inner fat guy isn’t going away.
Good news: your inner fat guy isn’t going away.
Why is this good news? It’s good because ‘fat guy’ is completely normal. Everyone – including me, I run a nutrition coaching company and keep my body fat below 8% year-round – has an inner ‘fat guy.’
By accepting that he’s there, you can stop wasting energy trying to keep him locked away. Instead, put your effort into building the ‘fit guy’ you want to be.
How to stop fearing your inner ‘fat guy’ and be more of the person you want to be.
Acknowledge that ‘fat guy’ exists
Let me rip the Band-Aid off right now: You’re never going to get rid of feeling schlubby, inadequate, self-conscious, or anything else that contradicts your ‘fit guy’ identity.
Sorry. Truth is, ‘fat guy’ may get quieter sometimes but he’ll still be there, lurking around the corner.
In psychological terms, the fat guy would be called our ‘shadow self’.
Our ‘shadow self’ represents the parts of ourselves that we don’t like.
The parts we aren’t proud of or wish we could get away from. The less aware of our shadow we are, or the more we pretend it doesn’t exist, the stronger it gets.
The lesson here: It’s OK to feel like ‘fat guy’ sometimes. You don’t have to beat yourself up when he appears.
Instead, when you feel the ‘fat guy’ impulses, just acknowledge them. Having those feelings doesn’t mean you’ve “failed” or aren’t “really” a “fit person”.
It means your human.
Remind yourself who you want to be every day
Every day we are tempted to make choices that conflict with our goals. To achieve a goal – like enjoying good health – we must refresh our commitment every single day.
I recommend creating a personal ‘fitness mission statement’. Ask yourself: what do I stand for? What is really important to me? How am I going to live that every day?
Write down your answers and re-visit them each day. They will help you make choices in line with the kind of life you really want… even when ‘fat guy’ comes ‘a knocking.
Work on daily practices that feed your best self
Our shadow self-gobbles up shame, fear, anxiety, and avoidance, while our best self-thrives on creativity, joy, fun, humor, love, and living with purpose.
If you want to feed ‘fit guy,’ you’ve got to create simple – but strategic – healthy habits.
Healthy habits enable us to live as our best selves. But they don’t appear overnight: they are the result of committed, intentional, daily effort.
Want to work out more? Eat more vegetables? Get more sleep? Learn to meditate? Become better at dragon slaying?
Whatever your healthy habits are, aim to practice them every day.
Use your fitness mission statement as a guide. Ask yourself: what habit(s) can I practice today to live my fitness mission statement?
Above all, have compassion for yourself through the process – especially when you slip up.
Because even ‘fit guy’ isn’t perfect.
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