· By Amber Elizabeth Dodzweit
A BIGGER WHY
When I walked in to the boardroom at Bodybuilding.com headquarters I had a flashback to walking into the wrong classroom when I was in Jr. High. If I could have found the nearest hole I would have certainly climbed inside of it- the only thing close was the garbage and I found that to be slightly excessive. Initially, I wasn’t invited to this particular meeting, but last minute was asked to come along making it an exceptionally strange entrance on my part, I even wore a button up shirt, whoah. A team of fitness industry standouts including scientists, doctors and high power executives were assembled to brainstorm new concepts for fitness program retention rates and cutting edge motivational tools. What was discussed was beyond compelling and this meeting of the minds signified a shift in our industry that I believe will change the game forever.
Bodybuilding.com is a big deal. They have hundreds of millions of unique page views to their website every single month. As the largest online retailer of supplements in the world you would imagine that these sorts of meetings would surround profit margins and quarterly financial reports…yawn. Not only were neither of these things discussed, but the hours of conversation between these masters (and believe it or not…me) were all based on how to motivate, inspire and change the lives of those that come to their site looking for answers. Let me repeat that- not one minute was spent talking about money.
One of the hurdles in our industry that was dissected was the fact that in most cases our “why” is not nearly big enough to keep us motivated. Now what this says to me is “If all you’re looking to get out of a program is abs, there’s one distraction that has the potential to derail you” enter- pizza. Hah, ok maybe not for all of us. In all seriousness though, if your goal is simply to get “abs”, it takes self-discipline made out of steel to stay focused on such a shallow reward over a long period of time, what happens when you get “abs” then what?. So, what if we tilted the focus from these image-focused goals and really allowed people to begin to understand what exercise can truly offer them.
Did you know that current clinical studies are pulling data that support the fact that a consistent exercise program offers the same results in patients with anxiety and depression disorders as prescription drugs?
Yeah- now that’s a “why” that’s worth sticking to a program for.
What if this isn’t a struggle you’re facing. Imagine if your entire life began to improve because of the benefits of consistent workouts. Nobody can tell me their life doesn’t contain at least one thing that they feel they’ve lost control of….now imagine if you had the power to wrangle THAT thing in.
So has the fitness industry just missed it from the beginning? “Wellness” by definition is the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind. It sounds like fitness, in some cases, has lost sight of establishing true wellness by focusing solely on a bodily result in hopes that it brings the mind happiness along with it…definitely a short-lived method. Another thing, the imagery the fitness industry puts out is undoubtedly inspiring but when the hopeful participants at the end of their program don’t see striated delts or washboard abs…isn’t it equally as demoralizing? Maybe the fine print beneath the models should read **5 days water deprived, 14 days carb depleted, spray tanned twice plus baby oil and diuretics**. Juuuust sayin’.
I encourage you all to truly analyze your “why” behind the program you have selected. In our Transform Programs (available at www.clutchbodyshop.com) we have done our best to incorporate life principles to establish this type of thinking but drop off numbers are staggering after the second week in all programs no matter what brand created them.
If you have thoughts about how to establish bigger reasons for people to change not their bodies but their lives through proper nutrition and training we would love to hear them. As always if you are looking for programs and products that are backed by a message of true wellness, we always appreciate you sharing our vision. #Clutcharmy #Clutchrevolution
Thank you for this post…I know that what I have below is a bit lengthy, but I figured I’d share some thoughts along this line… it is something that I originally posted on my blog. I am passionate about the subject, and you did ask for feedback ;)
When people set about to make a change of any kind, especially when it comes to their health, their focus tends to gravitate toward a very long list of things they feel they will have to sacrifice. By doing so, they inadvertently attach a sense of negativity to the process of behavior and lifestyle modification. This will ultimately discourage, rather than encourage progress. Additionally, anything that evokes the feeling of restriction is not typically sustainable for any length of time. Once the excitement of change fades, motivation fades as well. At that point, all that is left is the draining burden of restrictive activity.
It’s not an all or nothing approach. Knowing this will keep you from becoming overwhelmed. It is practice over time. Mostly, it’s a mind battle. It is in the seemingly small positive choices that the larger conquests are made. It’s simple, but it’s also not. In his book The Slight Edge, Jeff Olsen explores in detail the principle of compound effort over time. It’s not a new concept, but it is one that we all too often fail to capitalize on. Each forward step makes the next step seem a little easier. Continue taking steps, and before you know it, you will have covered terrain you never would have believed you could.
All areas of life benefit from discipline. Whether we recognize it or not, they are all interrelated. The concept of wellness involves continual growth in aspects of the physical, intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual, and vocational. When we begin to practice purposed growth in any one area, it carries over to the others, and serves in their development. The advantage becomes apparent when you understand that any advancement made in areas of higher competence can positively influence and encourage progress in those areas with which you are not as comfortable. When you utilize this approach (what I refer to as the process of being an intentional ‘work in progress’) your full potential becomes attainable.
Each small step forward in discipline brings a new level of confidence in one’s ability to handle the next challenge. The energy that builds with each step we make in a positive direction gives us not only the self-confidence to try for just a little bit more each time, but also the resolve to keep at it, even when we don’t feel like it. Each destructive habit replaced by a disciplined and meaningful one clears the way for us to move with intensity toward our success. The key is in gaining this traction and momentum.
With this frame of mind, rather than experiencing dread over the thought of developing new disciplines, you will become excited by the process instead. When you remove the stress, you’ll actually enjoy the journey, and will be much more likely to accomplish even the most challenging of your goals.
When you choose to focus on the positive, you will then recognize “what can be gained.”
kaci cheeseman on
Just another reason why you are one of my favorite athletes. Keep going Amber. The Clutch army just got another member strong. #Clutchtastic
Todd Willis on
You forgot to mention the huge picture of Ashley in that room!
In all seriousness though, great write-up. I recently read that something like 65% of people who have successfully changed their lives feel like it was all started when they hit bottom and in their very soul they KNEW that it was time to change.
Why does it take these watershed moments to get so many people on track? Why do we have to reach a point where it cannot get any worse before we take steps to move forward, to improve our lives? Is it our inherent nature to take the path of least resistance? To follow in the footsteps of the rest of society, slowly killing ourselves with the toxins we put in our bodies?
While I don’t have any direct answers to any of these questions, I can say that for myself often times my poor decisions (food, skipping workouts, etc.) are often made almost unconsciously or instinctively and until we can get ourselves out of those quick decisions where we do not consider the lasting effects we will continue to get the results we are getting.
Stop thinking short term. I talk to so many people with the “ab” mentality you mentioned before. They want those “quick and easy” results. That is why the supplement industry is so full of garbage. Promise those two things and your product will likely sell. Tell people they have to work hard and eat right and they will typically disregard your advice.
Sorry for the rant here, and I know this was likely not very insightful but merely an echo of the things you think all the time, but I think you guys are doing a great job over there and feel strongly that though slow, the changes are happening each and every day.
I absolutely LOVE that post! Incredibly on point – as someone who uses a lot of programs and advice from the bodybuilding.com site, I love hearing the focus OFF of how to get my money and how to get my LIFE in line. Thank you!
everyone who is successful in their fitness field is there because they love what they do .them having an amazing pyshique is a byproduct of them enjoying what they do .so why try and sell the science that got them that body instead of helping people enjoy doing exercise, if people are enjoying ther exercise program the by product is more then likey going to be results they want
I have to admit that losing weight was my initial motivation. After having a kid and feeling too lazy to really put in the work to get the extra weight off, I felt disheartened and unmotivated. When my office hired a personal assistant who also happened to be a fitness/nutritionist, I suddenly had a free resource to ask all the questions I wanted about weight loss, bodybuilding, etc.
She ended up turning me on to bodybuilding.com where there was suddenly a whole world open to me, not to mention motivating pictures of incredible transformations. I figured if these people could do it, why not me?
Cut to a year or so later and I’m down 25 lbs, eating (mostly) clean, and have no desire to change back to the way I was eating and working out before. My goal weight is still 10 lbs away, but man, that is so do-able considering that I now KNOW how to do it.
Knowledge is power – and it’s motivating as hell.