Managing Expectations

“If it seems too good to be true it probably is…”

You’re excited. You’ve just come back from the shops with a shiny new gadget. You’d seen it advertised on the TV earlier that day and knew you had to have it.

You frantically unwrap the plastic cellophane wrapper, which tightly guards your new gadget like a bouncer guards the entrance to your local nightclub with sticky floors and over priced shots. This is a sign of what’s to come…

The packaging is pristine. The message on it is clear. This gadget will solve all your problems. And for only £29.99. Bargain!

Batteries are not included…but it’s OK, they were on offer and conveniently placed next to the new gadget so you bought twice the amount you needed #winning.

Fast forward 4 days…

The wrapper and box is in the bin and your gadget is lying unused in your kitchen draw.

The same draw with all the other rarely used items like paper clips, elastic bands, bent safety pins and the odd Spanish peseta from a time before the Euro. Maybe it’ll be useful one day or a collectors item. There is hope.

The reason it’s been abandoned so soon into this desolation draw? Because your expectations were not met. You had such high hopes for this gadget. It promised to solve all of your problems and when it inevitably didn’t, it was cast aside.

How does this relate to body transformations?

We inherently want the quick fix, which is synonymous with easy fix. Anything to save time, money or both is treasured. And rightly so.

Throughout history humans have been through tough times. Years ago, food and resources were not so abundantly available like today.

We had to be selective with our energy expenditure, as our next meal had to be caught and couldn’t be hand picked from a Sainbury’s shelf.

This innate tendency towards conserving energy still remains. Our brains and bodies have not transformed in the same way that our living habits, society and food availability has. Of course we want the quick fix. It’s totally understandable.

The problem with the quick fix…

But the quick fix is usually a myth. Your body shape is the result of what you do the most, your way of living, your lifestyle. Your eating and exercise habits. Your mindset.

No quick fix solution is going to help you achieve that goal. Not long term anyway.

There are certain ways to ensure you get the best return on your time and effort investment, but ultimately it comes down to some very simple ideas which are quite hard to do consistently. More on those later.

Disappointing reality check…

If you expect, or are lead to expect, that your body will transform overnight you are likely to be disappointed. Disappointment leads to a lack of motivation, feelings of failure and helplessness, which is no good for anyone.

An overnight success

I love the term “overnight success”. I love it because it’s so over used and wrong. Ask anyone about their overnight success and they’ll tell you the same. If by overnight you mean XX years of hard work, thousands of hours working hard, lots of upsets, downs, some highs, disappointments, failures and some wins then yes, it was an overnight success…

The only overnight success you might find is a lottery winner.

For everyone else, the results they achieved are through years of hard work. Trial and error. Dedication and disappointment. All rolled into one.

Success is not Linear

If you believe that your route to “Goal X” is a straight line, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s very important to understand this. Success is not linear. There are ups and downs, highs and lows. It’s like a roller coaster.

Think about your life, your work, your relationships. Are there ups and downs or is it all smooth sailing?

That’s life. That’s the journey and the process you must go through. Some days/weeks/months will be bad, some great, some average and some good.

It’s the same thing for any body transformation programme.

What’s the solution?

It’s simple, yet takes a long time to master. Manage your expectations. Question everything. As the saying goes “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is…

Understand what your expectations are. What are they? Are they realistic or are they the result of too much Instagram viewing of 6 packs and tights bums in bikinis? A programme which promises you an overnight success without much effort on your part?

Pop this magic pill and watch the weight fall off…

If you have a life, wife, kids and want to live it then you have a slim chance of getting down to 8% body fat, have an 8 pack and butt checks that could crack nuts at Christmas. That’s the truth.

Once you accept that, you can get on with achieving a more realistic goal. One where you are in good shape, but fit, healthy, full of energy and able to have the occasional night out drinking and a takeaway. That’s life, right?

What are you prepared to sacrifice?

But it doesn’t mean that 8% body fat and abs of steel aren’t achievable. It depends on what you are prepared to sacrifice to achieve them.

The fitness models you see on Instagram live that life. No alcohol, no McDonalds, kebabs, Special K breakfast cereal, packaged ready meals, cartons of Orange Juice and the many other processed foods that marketers make you think are healthy but are definitely not (more on that in a later chapter).

Anyway, I digress…

The one (healthy) takeaway from this section is to consider what your expectations are.


  • List down what you expect or what you want

  • Then write down what think you need to change to achieve it

  • What are you prepared to sacrifice to achieve it?

  • What are you not prepared to sacrifice?

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