Have you ever found yourself wishing your life was somehow “better”, that there was some future version of yourself that was leaner, stronger, and healthier? Of course you have, we all think about …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to Episode 113, of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners, and today getting out of the gap and into the gain. Have you ever found yourself wishing that your life was somehow better, that maybe there was some future version of yourself that was leaner, stronger, and healthier? Of course, you have. We all think about stuff like this, I teach you to think about stuff like this, there’s nothing inherently wrong with doing this.
The problem is when you’re so focused on what you don’t have, that it completely consumed you. When you’re obsessed about where you’re not, that’s when things begin to break down for you. So today I’m talking about the difference between being in the gap. And being in the gain.
When you’re in the gap, you only see the negative, you never feel like you measure up, you never feel like you’re making progress towards your goals. In fact, making any progress toward your goals feels virtually impossible.
There’s a better way to do this, there’s a better way to think about all of this, and it’s called being in the gain. When you’re in the gain, you’re focused on the positive, you feel more energized, you feel more motivated, and you begin to make significant progress.
I’m going to talk all about this today, I’m going to break down why getting out of the gap and getting into the gain is so important for your long-term health and fitness goals. Cool. This is exciting. I’m excited about this one.
But first, if you’re ready to do this inner work, you know, this stuff that I talked about here, like getting out of the gap and into the gain, this is the inner work, you got to shift your mindset. If you want to become that healthy, badass version of yourself, right?
You have to take action, that action involves doing a lot of this inner work, your outer results are just a reflection of whether or not you’re doing the inner work, okay? The mistake most people make is that they focus on the outer stuff, tell me what to eat, Patrick, just tell me how many times I should lift weights each week, just tell me how many carbs I should eat whatever.
Instead, let’s focus on changing our mindset. Because when you do that, your chances of success go up dramatically. I’m going to talk about this today, I’m going to talk about how when we’re focused on the negative and when we’re focused on what we don’t have, it can affect us profoundly.
But when we start to focus on the positive, the progress we made, it can affect us profoundly in a different way, in a positive way. So if you’re ready to do this inner work with me, then maybe coaching is a good fit for you! Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/apply, apply for coaching with me, we’ll get on a Zoom call, we’ll have a short conversation. But I want you to take that step, take that first step of becoming that future badass version of yourself. Cool. runningleanpodcast.com/apply. And let’s have a conversation.
And then I wanted to give you guys a heads up about something, something very cool. That’s coming soon. So in just a few weeks, I’m going to be teaching a live workshop, all about how to effectively transform yourself from the inside out into a leaner, stronger, more badass runner.
This is going to be probably the most informative and most comprehensive live workshop that I’ve ever taught. And I don’t do this kind of thing very often. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever really done this exact same kind of thing before. I like to teach here on the podcast.
But sometimes, sometimes I’m just so excited about the topic that I want to teach it live. There’s a real energy when we get together for a live workshop like this, you know, I get the feedback from you. Are you enjoying this? Are you getting something out of it?
You get to ask questions you get to you get your questions answered, I get the feedback. We all have a lot more fun doing this. It’s very interactive. So I just want to put this on your radar. That’s all I’m gonna say about this right now. This is a little teaser, I know.
But I’m going to keep you updated on dates and times when this thing is coming. It’s a few weeks out yet, but I’m just I’m so excited. I can’t wait for you guys to take part in this. I can’t wait to share more about this with you.
And if I didn’t mention it’s going to be free, it’s going to be a free live training to help you understand the fundamentals of becoming a healthy, badass human being. That’s all. That’s all. Just that. So more is coming soon on this I promise I’m so excited about this is going to be super fun. So just keep your ears peeled for that. I’ll be talking about it. More on the podcast here, don’t worry, you’ll know when it’s coming.
Okay, let’s talk about this today getting out of the gap and in the gain. So I talk to clients every single day who are working towards goals, right? They want to lose weight, they want to get stronger, they want to improve their body composition, they want to run faster.
And every time we get on a call, and my clients will attest to this, I always ask, tell me what’s good. Let’s talk about something positive share a win from this past week, big or small, doesn’t matter, some victory, some win around your health and fitness, maybe you lost a pound or maybe running felt better or easier, or you’re sleeping better. Or you realize for the first time in a long time that you just weren’t hungry all day long.
Like these are all little wins that we want to talk about and celebrate. Whatever it is, maybe it’s an “aha” moment, like, you know, I just realized that I can run perfectly fine without eating a bunch of sugar. Or when I make a plan ahead of time, and it’s a lot easier to just stick with it. What an aha moment, you know.
So this is the kind of stuff I always like to talk about, I always want to start out our conversations with wins, right? I want to give equal airtime to the good stuff to the positive to the wins, and to the negative to the problems to the obstacles to the struggles.
But sometimes when I ask people, “Hey, tell me something different this past week”, they just sit there and stare off into space. And they’re like, “I don’t know, I can’t think of anything, just crickets. Nothing positive from this whole past week.”
But then I’ll go like, “Hey, okay, well, let’s talk about what’s going on, like, what’s wrong, what issues you’re having, what’s the problem?” and then the floodgates open, there are all kinds of stuff they talk about, they can go on for days telling me what’s wrong, why things aren’t working, the stress thrown at work, the kids are driving them crazy, blah, blah, blah, right?
So there’s a real issue here, right, you’re consumed by the negative, when you’re consumed by all the negative stuff that’s going on in your life when you can’t even articulate one positive thing that has happened for you this past week. You’re in this constant state of like, inner turmoil. It’s a very negative state to be in, by the way.
It has a compound effect on your life. And I’ll talk more about that in a minute. But there’s a real issue here, there’s a bigger issue here because this is a negative state to be in. Right?
This is a place where you are constantly in your whole mental, emotional, physical being is a state of negativity. All right. And I was talking about this recently with my coach, and I was saying, “Listen, I have these clients, and they have a hard time articulating what’s good, and how can I help them?”
You know, why do we have this negativity bias? You know, how can we can’t see the good things in our life. And she started telling me about the gap. And being in the gap. I’d never heard of this concept before.
And so she recommended a book to me. And the book is called The Gap And The Gain by Dan Sullivan. And Dan Sullivan is a coach. He’s awesome. I love him. I read the book. It’s a very simple concept. I’m going to break it all down for you here. I just felt compelled to share with you sort of this concept from this book.
It’s a very simple concept, but very powerful. It explains why we’re so focused on the negative, why it’s so hard to see the good things in our lives. And how we can change our mindset so we can start getting better results.
So what are we talking about here? What is this gap? What’s the gap? So the gap is the space between where you are right now, and where you want to be in the future. So this is awesome. Like I said earlier, if you have a goal of wanting to get leaner, stronger, and faster, that’s awesome. I encourage you to create a very detailed, very compelling future version of yourself. Create that vision of where you want to be that’s important to do you got to know where you’re going if you want to get there, right.
But when you’re not there yet, it can be very easy to focus all of your attention on that gap between where you are today. And where you want to be. There’s a gap you’re not there. And you can focus on the fact that you’re not there.
You can focus on the gap between where you want to be and where you are right now and where you want to be in the future and this can start to feel very terrible, right? You’re focusing on the fact that you’re not there. This is what I don’t have, I am not this person yet.
When you’re in the gap, you start to feel this inner conflict is inner turmoil. So let’s say you want to lose 30 pounds, and you’ve lost 20. So far, right? But you’re so focused on those last 10 pounds that you haven’t, that you haven’t quite lost it that you’re in the gap.
Or let’s say you want to improve your running performance, you want to go from 10-minute miles for half marathon to 9-minute miles, and you’ve made some progress. you’ve increased your speed to 9:39:30 per mile. But you still got like 30 seconds per mile more to go. When you’re just focused on that you’re, you’re in the gap here again, okay.
You may not be in control of your food choices, you’re still binging you’re feeling completely out of control, sometimes, you know, you’re not acknowledging that all the other times that you didn’t binge eat ice cream, that like you used to do. So you’ve made some progress here. But you’re only focused on the gap, you’re only focused on what’s wrong.
Maybe you look in the mirror, and every time you look in the mirror, you just see your flaws. You see the flab, and the wrinkles and the sagging skin, but you don’t see that you’ve already lost inches, your clothes fit better, you’re sleeping better at night, you have a ton more energy throughout the day.
But you don’t see any of that stuff, you just see where you’re not you just see what’s wrong, you are in the gap.
So what happens to us when we’re in the gap? Like when you’re in the gap, you’ll never measure up, you’re not going to see the progress you’ve made, you’re not going to see the good stuff, you’re not going to see the incremental improvements in your health and your well being you’re only going to see what’s wrong. Being in the gap creates this state of inner conflict.
When you’re constantly focused on what’s wrong, and how you’re not where you want to be, you are going to feel pretty miserable, like all the time. And you may not even know why you’re feeling so miserable.
But you’re constantly comparing yourself to some arbitrary place that you’re not there, right. And this conflict, I want to be there. And I’m not, this is what’s going to make it very hard for you to keep going. Alright.
So being in the gap creates this state of inner conflict. It’s also very demotivating. Why the hell would you want to go out there and run faster? Or why would you want to stick to your food plan when all you do is ruminate about how crappy everything in your life is.
Being in the gap will destroy your motivation. Even if you’ve had a little bit of motivation, it’s going to just break it down.
In order to feel motivated, you have to focus on the progress you’ve made, right? motivation comes from within. And focusing on how you’ve been making slow and steady progress can help create this feeling of motivation within you.
Being in the gap, though, has the opposite effect, you feel less motivated, you feel frustrated, you feel like why bother trying, you’re just like tired and frustrated. And you just want to give up.
I talked to a lot of people who have a decent amount of weight to lose, like let’s say you’ve, you know, I’m talking to someone who’s got like 50 pounds to lose, right? And they start making some progress.
So they might lose one or two pounds a week. But they get super frustrated because they’re consumed by this idea of they’ve got like 45 more pounds to go. And it all just feels so overwhelming. I’m never going to get there. Why should I even bother? They just want to throw in the towel.
And I want to just encourage them to stop doing this stop being in the gap. You’re in the gap when you’re getting frustrated and focused on where you’re not.
And it creates these feelings of unworthiness within you, you might know you’re in the gap when you compare yourself to others. Have you ever done this before?
Everybody’s hand should be going up right now. We have all done this. We all compare ourselves to others. But is this ever a good idea? Do you ever come out on the winning end of this comparison? No, never.
Other people are losing weight faster than me. Other people are running faster than me. Other people are making progress, more progress than me. It’s easier for other people. It’s harder for me like this is all the stuff we tell ourselves. When you get caught up in these comparisons. When you’re comparing yourselves to others. You are deeply into the gap.
Alright, you start to feel less than you don’t measure up. And again, you’re like, it leads to frustration and these feelings of just unworthiness, and you feel like a failure. Because you’re like, this isn’t working for me, look at how it’s working for everybody else.
Right. And in this just your perception, the truth is, we all have our own journey, and it looks different for everyone. You have to stop comparing yourself to others because that’s being solidly into the gap. When you’re doing that you’re comparing yourself to others, you are absolutely deep into the gap, okay?
Also, when you’re in the gap, you’re going to have a very hard time making progress, because all of your thoughts and feelings are consumed by where you’re not. And this is demotivating. So you’re demotivated, you experienced this inner conflict, you feel unworthy, you feel like a failure.
Do you think you’re going to feel like you want to stick to your food plan when this is your mental and emotional state? Do you think you’re going to want to stick to your workout schedule when you’re feeling like this? No. Most people just give up, they quit. They can’t see past the gap.
So what about this idea, Patrick, of creating a clear vision of your future self, I mean, should we not be doing that? And, and like I said earlier like I teach people to do this, I think it’s important that we do this, we have to know where we’re going, we have to create this vision of ourselves.
So I want you to, this isn’t about not having a future vision for yourself, okay? You can’t make progress towards your goals if you don’t know what you want for yourself if you don’t know where you’re going. Right?
So I strongly encourage you and I work with all my clients on this to create a vision for their future self, right? Who do you want to become? How do you want to feel? What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your body to look like? What do you want running to look like for you?
These are all things that it’s important to know. Got to know where you’re going, right?
So when I talk about being in the gap, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a vision for your future, what I’m saying is stop obsessing about not being there. That’s the part where we’re in the gap.
Okay, it’s important to have that future version of yourself that future vision for yourself. But we have to be, we have to approach this in a different way. We can’t be focused on “Oh, I’m not there yet.” Okay, so there’s a, there’s a difference there. Okay.
So at this point, I think we can all relate to being in the gap, right? We’ve all been there happens to all of us, it’s okay. I don’t want you to freak out about it. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, you’re broken, or you’re a negative person, or you’ll never reach your goals.
If you find yourself in the gap, even regularly, it just means that you’re normal, okay? Just means that you’re a normal, healthy human being with a normal human brain. That’s it. Nothing wrong at all.
And I see this all the time with clients, we all do it. This is normal. As humans, we have this bias towards negativity, this is how we have evolved. We’ve evolved as humans to recognize dangers, right?
We are really good at spotting the problem. “Oh, this other human creature that’s coming towards me does not look like one, one of the human creatures that I know, danger, danger.” Or “This plant that I’m about to eat looks just like the one that Grok ate last week. And now he’s dead. Danger Danger!” Like spotting danger is hardcoded into our DNA.
Now, you know, if everything’s cool and safe, it doesn’t set off any alarms in our brain, right? Everything’s just copacetic or everything’s cool, no big deal. But as soon as something seems dangerous, we go on high alert.
And the funny thing is that there’s no real danger for us these days, right? There’s no other human that’s trying to murder us, I hope not really. We shop at Whole Foods. So we really don’t need to worry about eating poisonous plants.
You know, we see things like, “Oh, I’m not at my goal weight yet.” That’s the danger we see in our lives, right? That’s the problems that we experience in our lives or our half marathon time doesn’t measure up to other people we run with. This is what we perceive as being a threat to us or dangerous. So just know that your brain is normal. It’s doing what it’s been conditioned to do. It’s not your fault.
But there’s a different way of seeing things, there’s a better way to experience everything in your life. And this is called being in the gain. So when you’re in the gain, you’re focused on the progress you’ve made up to this point. Being in the gain, means you’re no longer obsessed about where you’re not instead, your focus is on how far you’ve already come.
Being in the gain means you have a bias towards positivity, not negativity. Your focus is on positivity is on progress, not on the gap between where you are and where you wish you were.
So what does it look like to be in the gain? Well, let’s go back to that example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, and you’ve lost 20 stuff tend to go. So being pissed off about why those last 10 pounds are taking so dang long, you celebrate the fact that you’ve lost 20 pounds already, you focus on the progress you’ve already made.
You see now that you’ve got your sugar cravings under control, maybe for the first time in your life, you feel better, you’re sleeping better, you have a ton more energy running is getting so much easier.
Or maybe you’ve improved your running pace by that 30 seconds per mile, you still have you know, another 30 seconds more to go by, instead of getting all worked up about it like “Oh, I’m not as fast as I want to be.”
You can see how your running is improved, your running form has improved, your running efficiency has improved, you keep increasing your lactate threshold, your heart rate is going down even when you’re running faster, all of the signs that you’re becoming a total running badass, right.
But when you’re in the gap, you don’t see any of this, you’re just focused on where you’re not. I have this goal, and I’m not there. Right.
Instead, we want to focus on the gain, we want to focus on the progress we made. Here’s the cool part about this: when you’re in the game, things will begin to shift for you internally, you’re going to begin to create a whole new mindset for yourself.
When you’re focused on the gap, this is very demotivating, right. But when you’re focused on the gains you’ve made, it has the opposite effect. Being in the gain means you’re focused on progress.
And when you track progress, and you see you’ve made progress, and you’re always moving a little bit closer to your goals, this is very motivating. This builds motivation, it builds confidence, it builds your self-esteem, it creates momentum, making little itty bitty bits of progress creates a little bit more momentum and a little bit more and a little bit more. And this momentum keeps you feeling even more motivated, which keeps you making even more and more progress, right.
So the more you focus on the gain, the more gains you make. And the more you focus on the gain, the more games you play, it’s a cycle. It’s a beautiful little cycle that continues to repeat, creating more momentum and more positive results.
So the secret really to making any kind of big changes in your life, especially when it comes to things like long-term health and fitness. The big secret is consistency, right? I guess it’s not a secret, really. But like, you’ve got to stick with it, you’ve got to stick with it for the long haul. Like these are changes we make for life. And you’ve got to be committed to being a healthy human being as a way of life.
But if you’re in the gap, this is going to be incredibly frustrating and super, super hard to do. I’m just going to tell you right now, it’s going to be almost impossible.
On the other hand, if you’re in the gain, this is how you do it. This is how you become the healthy badass runner that you want to be and how you make it last for life. Being in the gain feels light, it feels energizing, it feels free.
You build confidence and trust in yourself you create momentum towards your goals, you create these feelings of motivation. And then you just want to keep going.
So if you’re at someplace in your life here, where you’re experiencing the gap. I’m going to just give you a couple of tips on how to get out of that. Okay. So I want to give you an example. Like, let’s say you’re at a point in your weight loss journey where you’ve experienced a stall. So maybe you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss and you’re you’ve lost some weight, but it hasn’t changed for like four or five weeks and you’re getting super frustrated. You just want to give up right?
Do this one thing. Make this one change and see what happens. Stop being in the gap and start being in the gain. Start focusing on incremental progress. start focusing on all the little things that are good. Start focusing on all the tiny little bits of progress you’ve made, and see how that doesn’t feel for you.
Start celebrating all that progress is going to create momentum and motivation within you and you’ll want to keep going and you know what, I have a feeling that scale just might start to move again.
Or maybe you want to run faster and you say, can’t seem to get past that 9:30 pace, right? Start really tracking your progress, celebrate all the metrics that are improving: heart rate, VO to Max, you know, speed, overall pace, you know, splits, you know, interval paces, all that stuff, start to track all of that.
And start to celebrate the progress that you’re making. And I have a feeling you’re going to see your times improve because you’re going to feel more motivated, you’re going to want to keep going.
Slow and steady progress is how we win the game, right? Slow and steady progress, track it, and celebrate it, all of it.
And I talked to people all the time about how long it takes to lose weight. And the truth is that first some people, it just takes a while, right? It just takes what it takes.
So let’s say you want to, you know, lose those last 10 pounds. And it’s super frustrating. It’s taking forever, cording to you.
And you’re like, “Oh, this is just taking so long.” I’m like, “How long is it supposed to take?” So let’s just say for S’s and G’s like to lose the last 10 pounds, let’s say took a year.
Now when I just said that, did you freak out a little bit like, “Oh my god, it shouldn’t take that long.” Whatever. Let’s just say it took a year.
Think about this a year from now, would you rather be at your goal weight? Or would you rather be upset because you gave up because you got frustrated? Because you quit on yourself.
If you are feeling like it’s just taking too long, and you say screw it and you give up this is what most people do. They just say you know what? Why bother.
But even though you’re making progress, even though you’re on track to lose a pound a month, or whatever it is, when you’re in the gap, you cannot see this progress, you can’t see that you’re making changes, and it’s incremental, slow and steady. And you’ll get there eventually, but you can’t see it.
And so you just end up, most people just end up getting frustrated and quitting. throwing in the towel. Do not do this.
Here’s your call to action for this week, I want you to identify one area of your life where you’re in the gap. I know you know what this is you’ve probably already been thinking about this, right? Where are you focused on where you’re not. Alright.
And then I want you to stop doing that. Okay, stop being in the gap and start being in the gain instead. Don’t be obsessed about where you’re not, start being obsessed about all the tiny little incremental progress that you’re making.
And when you start focusing on that, you’re going to start to feel energized about that progress. And then you’re going to start to feel more confident. And you’re going to start to feel more self-esteem, right? And you’re going to start to make slow and steady progress and you’re going to start to create this unstoppable momentum for yourself. You’re going to feel more motivated to keep going.
So that’s your work for this week. Stop being in the gap. Find one place in your life where you’re, you know, you’re in the gap, and start being in the gain. Start being obsessed about progress. Cool, I think this is super fun, and life-changing. Do this this week. Don’t put this off. Do this for sure.
And remember, if you’re ready to get out of the gap for good and stop comparing yourself to where you’re not, and start focusing on the real progress you’re making towards your goals. You might want to see if coaching is right for you. Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/apply. Let’s have that conversation. Let’s get you out of the gap and into the gain. Cool? Love you all, keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
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