There are basically two ways to approach any challenge. One way is to focus on all the reasons why you can’t do it. The other way is to focus on all the reasons why you can. I find it …
My name is Patrick McGilvray. And I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve learned that running more and eating less does not work for weight loss, and that there’s a better way. Now I help runners like you to get leaner and get stronger, so you can run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode number 38 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners. And today I’m going to be talking about why we need to stop arguing for our limitations. There are basically two ways to approach any challenge. One way that some people do it is to focus on all the reasons why you can’t do it. The other way is to focus on all the reasons why you can.
And I find it interesting that so many people choose option one, when they’re facing something challenging in their life. They spend a lot of time and a lot of energy focusing on all the reasons why they can’t do it. So today, I want to talk about why we do this, why we argue for our limitations, and how this kind of thinking is just keeping us stuck. And I do offer some suggestions on what we can do instead.
But first, if you like this podcast, please come check us out on Facebook, though – Running Lean community on Facebook, you can just search for those words, and you’ll find us. This is a positive, energetic, informative, fun group of like-minded runners just like you that share common goals like losing weight, living a vibrant life, becoming super healthy, running, making running easier.
I host a weekly live trainings in there on things like intermittent fasting, which we’re focusing on this month. Running, nutrition, weight loss, exercise, physiology, all kinds of stuff. Here’s a recent comment from one of our community members, Amy.
Amy says, “I ran a virtual 10k this morning, although it was hot and steamy, I felt great. I didn’t have to eat anything before the run, or even feel like I needed anything to fuel with but water. Thank you, Patrick and the rest of the group for the motivation and helping me change my mindset and my body these last eight weeks.”
That is awesome. Thank you, Amy. Amy’s a great example of the kind of positive, motivated people we have over in the Running Lean community on Facebook. And this month, we’ve got this intermittent fasting challenge going on right now. Intermittent Fasting is just practicing some periods of the day where you just don’t eat anything.
You can call it time restricted eating or meal spacing. But basically, you know, we talk about how to do it safely, how to incorporate this into your running, why we would want to incorporate this into our running. There’s a lot of amazing health benefits, by the way. So just check us out, come and see what it’s all about the Running Lean community on Facebook, and figuring out all this stuff.
How do we do time restricted eating? How do I lose weight and continue running? How do I make running stronger? How do I become a fat adapted runner? All these things take some time to figure out. They take awareness, they take knowledge and they take some support, so that you can create this kind of lasting change in your life.
Listen, this is not about a diet, diets are temporary, right? What I help people do, through my coaching practice, is help people create new habits. And it takes about 90 days to create a new habit. So most of the coaching I do with people is a three month or 90 Day Program. And what you get with that is the knowledge, awareness and support that you need.
So that you can accomplish those goals so that you can create the habits that you need to change your lifestyle to change your relationship with the we’re all different. We all have different dietary needs, what works for one person may not work for somebody else. You know, if one thing worked for everybody, I could just create a PDF and give it to all you guys and be like here just do this, but it doesn’t work that way you need to figure out what works for you.
So together you and I will figure out exactly what will work for you. It takes a little bit of trial and error, but eventually we get it right. I want you to make big changes in your life. I want you to get off of the carbohydrate addiction, I want you to reap all the amazing benefits of becoming a fat adapted runner.
If you’re interested in this, cool, check it out, just go to innerfiretribe.com/weightlosscoaching, that’s one word, and apply for coaching with me, we’ll get on the phone, we’ll have a little conversation, we’ll get on a Zoom call. And we’ll have a quick little conversation and see if this is a good fit for both of us. Cool.
Alright, let’s get into this topic today. So the topic today is, I titled this stop arguing for your limitations. And I have to tell you a little warning before we get started here that I’m doling out a little tough love today. I think this is an important message for all of us to hear. And listen, I need to hear this too. I’m not exempt from this message either.
So part of me talking about this is to remind myself that I need to stop arguing for my limitations too, because I do it sometimes, too. But I’m hoping this message resonates with you. I wrote a short post about this earlier in the week, and shared it on social media, and I think it touched a nerve for a few people.
And so I thought you know, I think I need to do a little deeper dive into this. Because a few people said, you know, oh, that was tough to hear, but I needed to hear it. So I’m hoping this resonates with you guys. So here’s what I’m seeing, I hear you guys tell me things like I want to do something big. I want I want to accomplish this big goal, I have this, this big dream or goal, you know, I want to lose 50 pounds, I’ve struggled for so long with this weight, I really want to lose this weight, or I want to run a full marathon, I really want to do that.
And so, you know, you say you’re all in, you want this with every bit of your soul, you’re like, I’m so focused on this goal, I’m gonna do it. You might have a plan, you start working the plan. But then you know, stuff starts to happen. Maybe you wake up in the morning, and then the weather’s not awesome, it’s raining outside, and you’re just like, I don’t really don’t feel like running today.
Or maybe you just get tired or maybe stuff like your job is stressing you out. You know, your kids are driving you crazy. Or the one that I love, you know, well COVID hit and so you know what that means as if like it was some hurricane that you know, knocked your house down or something.
But here’s what’s happening, we have all these external things that happen in our life. You know, we get an extra workload at work, you know, our boss is demanding more of us or, you know, the kids are being, they’re doing school from home, they’re doing like remote schooling, or the husband doesn’t help as much as he should be, according to you.
And you have all these external things happening. And instead of just forging on, you use these external things, as an excuse to give up to quit, you use these excuses to give up on these big goals and dreams that you said you are all in on. You wanted more than anything else. And you just use his excuse to quit.
You know, you say, I can’t focus on my health because you know, my kids are our home and they’re doing school from home now. So there’s no longer I can’t focus on my health anymore. What, really? Or I was doing fine, not eating sugar and carbs. But then I had this really stressful day at work. And, you know, my boss gave me a bunch of extra work. So I needed to eat a whole pizza and a half gallon of ice cream at one sitting.
If you’ve done that before, it’s fine. You’re normal. I’ve done that before. Or you’re just like, you know, this is just hard. It’s really hard. Training for a marathon is hard. Or losing weight is hard. So I just, that’s why I can’t do it. By the way, all this stuff I’m talking about here, this stuff is just life.
Stuff happens all the time. Life’s not supposed to be some carefree, happy existence. You know, flowers, daisies, unicorns, rainbows, it’s not like that. It’s more like 50/50 – half the time you feel pretty good. Half the time you feel not so good. That’s okay. You can either just accept this fact, or you can just fight against it with everything you’ve got.
And when you accept it, when you accept that you won’t feel happy all the time. Honestly, there’s a lot of freedom in that. What happens is we get ourselves into trouble when we have this belief. And we hold on to this belief very tightly that we have to feel happy all the time.
And I got news for you, that’s just never going to happen. This is you fighting against reality. And I see it all the time. I see it every single day. Well, I just want to feel better. Guess what, you’re not always going to feel good. And that’s okay. The inner turmoil that you feel is mostly caused by resisting these negative emotions, quote, unquote, negative emotions, unwanted emotions, like stress, like anger, like fear, like sadness.
All these emotions, we feel are just part of the human experience. We’re humans, we get to feel all kinds of amazing emotions, some of them are pretty amazing. Some of them feel so good. And some of them not so much. But to be human means we feel all these emotions. And we have to accept this fact, we will feel some positive and some negative emotion, some wanted emotions and some unwanted emotions, and it’s all good.
Life is 50/50 – be willing to accept all of it. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t have to accept it and say, well, that’s just the way it is. I can’t do anything about it. No. It’s like I tell my weight loss clients all the time, I’m like, you have to love yourself exactly as you are right now. Look in the mirror and love yourself exactly as you are every bit of your body.
You can’t hate yourself and expect to lose weight, I always say can’t hate yourself thin, you got to love yourself exactly as you are. And you can work to change that. But you have to accept what is. It’s when we resist what is when we resist and reject that half of our existence that we quote unquote, don’t like or, you know, don’t think is normal.
That’s what causes us the internal pain and the agony, we resist and reject any kind of unwanted emotion. Okay, that was a little a little tangent, I went off on there. But I just need you to understand that there are external circumstances that are going to happen in our lives. And those things are neither good nor bad, really, I’ll talk about that more in just a second.
But understand that you may feel some stress, you may feel some anger, you may feel some fear. And it’s okay. Don’t push it away. Don’t push it away, just accept it all. I love this quote from Henry Ford. He said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” This is perfect for what I’m talking about here today.
So like I said, at the beginning, there are basically two ways we can approach a challenge. So we have something challenging in our life, we want to lose a bunch of weight, we want to run a marathon, we can focus on why we can’t do it. Or we can focus on why we can do it. Let’s talk about these.
When you focus on why you can’t do something, here’s what happens. You find all sorts of excuses, all sorts of reasons you have stories you want to tell me about why this isn’t going to work for you want to lose weight, but stuff happened at work, you know, my husband doesn’t help as much as he should. The kids are screaming in the background.
And in your mind, these are all valid excuses. They are valid reasons why you can’t do this thing. Why you can’t stay on your protocol, why you can’t train for your marathon. But let’s look at this. Let’s look at how this works. Because here’s the thing, these are all just stories that you’re telling yourself. These are all just stories, you’re believing you’re choosing them, and you’re choosing to believe them.
So let’s look at how this works. You got stuff happening at work, the husband’s not helping the kids are demanding stuff from you. These are what we call circumstances. Circumstances in our lives are always neutral. The circumstances in our lives are facts. They don’t hold any meaning on their own. They only mean something after we have a thought about the circumstances. Okay.
Neutral circumstances are true for everyone. They’re just facts, facts that can be upheld in a court of law, let’s say. So, the kids have to attend school from home, that is a fact. My workload has increased at work, tat is a fact. These are just facts. Everyone would say, yeah, that is true.
None of this means anything, until you have thought about it, until you choose a meaning that you want to assign to this particular circumstance. You with me so far? Circumstances, always neutral. If it’s something happening outside of our thoughts, feelings and actions, it is neutral, we have no control over it.
So the kids have to attend school from home is a circumstance, millions of parents are dealing with this right now. Right? This is just a neutral fact. Kids have to attend school from home, it does not mean you can’t, you can no longer focus on your health. It doesn’t mean you can’t train for a marathon.
Those millions of parents that are dealing with this right now, you know, half of them are probably out there, focusing on their health right now. They’re probably training for their first marathon right now. They’re figuring it out. Kids doing school from home does not mean you can’t run. If that were true, it would be true for everyone. But it’s not.
You’re choosing not to focus on your health, you’re choosing not to run. And what you’re doing is you’re using your kids having to do school from home, you’re using that as an excuse. Because what you’re trying to do is hard. And you don’t want to do it. Because it’s hard, because it’s uncomfortable. Because it’s gonna take a while.
By the way, nobody said this stuff was going to be easy. It’s why it’s a challenge. But you want that thing. You want it with all of your being. But instead, you’re choosing to focus on all these reasons, you’re choosing to believe, you’re choosing these reasons. This amazing story that you’re creating in your mind about why this won’t work for you.
And then I come in as your coach and I say, listen, here’s what your mind is doing, your brain is just making up these stories about why you can’t do this. This is a choice you’re making. These are just neutral circumstances, you can figure this out, let’s figure it out together. And then that’s when I get the pushback.
I get people digging in and fighting like hell, for all the reasons why they can’t do it. Why, you know, it’s different for them. They have all these stories, all these excuses, all these reasons. They defend these things, to their dying breath. They are fighting tooth and nail for these beliefs that they have about why they can’t do it. Why? It’s too hard for them and they argue with me.
No, it’s just the way it is Patrick, there’s nothing I can do about it. But you know what, there is something you can do about it. These are just beliefs that they are choosing. They’re arguing for their limitations. They’re basically saying like, look, I have these limitations. I can’t do it. Here’s all the reasons why. And then they list them all out.
And I hear stories and stories and stories. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re basically saying I want this goal. I want this thing that I’ve wanted for so long, but I know it’s a challenge, but it’s it’s too hard. And here’s all the reasons why I can’t do it.
They’re like focusing on the reasons why they can’t, creating all the reasons, all the excuses in their mind. And choosing to believe them. That’s the scary part right there. You’re choosing to believe these reasons. You’ve got to stop doing this. Just stop it right now.
Stop arguing for your limitations. Because the more you focus on why you can’t do it, the more reasons you’ll find, the more excuses you’ll find. You look for reasons why you’re failing and you will see these reasons everywhere. When you start looking for all the excuses, you will find them everywhere.
My friend Samantha says it this way. She says, “When you argue for your limitations, they’re yours to keep.” Powerful. So there’s another approach. This is the one that I would suggest you take on. It’s up to you though.
Let’s go back to those neutral circumstances. Okay, so my boss is asking a lot of me at work right now. It’s really stressing me out. So you can choose to believe that this workload is stressing you out, you can choose to believe that this means you can’t focus on your running anymore. You can’t focus on your health, and you have to like quit running.
You can choose to believe that this extra workload means you can just sit around and watch Netflix eating a whole pizza and half gallons of ice cream. And that’s just the way it is. As if you know, it’s all happening to you. What results do you think you’re gonna get from that? From taking those actions?
I can pretty much guarantee you’re not going to be running a marathon anytime soon, I can pretty much guarantee your health will definitely not be improving anytime soon. All right, my boss is asking me to do more work right now is a neutral circumstance. So what if you thought, you know, my boss was asking more of me. And I’m up to the challenge.
Hey, I’m really good at what I do. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve done way harder things in my life. This is no big deal. You know, I might need to adjust my training plan a little bit. But hey, I got this. Wow, that’s a little more powerful, isn’t it? or what have you tried on a thought like, nothing is more important to me than my health.
And running a marathon has been a dream of mine for way too long. Now, I’m not letting a little extra workload stop me from reaching this goal. You know, what if instead of looking for all your limitations, because when you look for them, you will find them? I promise you? What if you looked for all of the possibilities? Focus on why you can’t and you’ll find reasons why everywhere.
Also focus on why you can and you’ll find reasons why everywhere. If you get to choose what you want to believe about your circumstances, because they are neutral, why would you ever choose to believe that you can’t do it? Why would you choose to believe that this stuff means you can’t reach your goal?
Why would you ever choose failure? Because that’s what you’re doing. By the way, I don’t really believe there’s such a thing as failure. You either keep going until you succeed, or you quit. These are two choices that you get to make. And they have nothing to do with anything outside of you know, kids screaming, no workload can change that. These are choices you’re making. You either keep going until you succeed, or you quit. For me, quitting is just not an option.
These are choices you get to make based on your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. It has nothing to do with COVID. Okay. Lots of people are training for a marathon. Lots of people are building a business during this global pandemic. Lots of people are improving their health. I see it every single day. Lots of people are getting amazing coaching and changing their lives for the better. Stop using it as an excuse.
Sorry, this is where the old Tough Love is coming in. I do love you guys. I hope you know that. Everything I’m saying I’m saying with kindness and love. I’m smiling. But listen, where are you in your life with this right now? Like where are you arguing for your limitations? Think about this.
Like, let’s say you want to lose 50 pounds? It’s pretty common for a lot of people I’ve talked to. Why do you think you can’t do it? Think about that. Why do you think you can’t do it? Why? Why isn’t this going to work for you? Ask yourself that question. See what your brain comes up with for an answer.
So maybe you came up with answers like well, I’ve tried everything, nothing’s ever worked before or you know understand I’ve time to figure all this out right now I don’t even know where to begin. These are just reasons you came up with, they’re just thoughts in your head. They’re not the they’re not the truth unless you choose to believe them.
Take a look at the circumstances in your life right now. Ask yourself this question: What am I choosing to believe about this particular situation, whatever it is? You know maybe it’s the kids being home. A lot of people are talking to me about their kids being home and doing school from home and it’s posing some challenges, some unique challenges for people.
What are you choosing to believe about that situation? Are you holding on to a story or a belief about it? That means you can’t do this. You can’t succeed at your health goals or your weight loss goals or your running goals. If that’s you, like, maybe think about that, and what do you want to believe instead? You get to choose what to believe.
By the way, this is a very important question to ask your brain, what thought can I choose to believe? What thought can I choose to believe that will motivate me, that will fill me with courage and passion and excitement about this big goal? It’s so important to me. Maybe something like you know what, I’m going to lose 50 pounds, no matter how long it takes.
I’ve tried a bunch of other stuff. It didn’t work. That’s all behind me now. Now. Now is the time I’m going to figure this out. I will not stop until I figure it out. I will not quit until I succeed. This is way too important to me. I don’t want to ever feel sick and tired again.
I don’t know, I don’t really know where to begin with all this stuff. But I’m going to start today. And maybe I’ll ask for help. I’m going to seek out a coach, I’m going to get guidance, I’m going to get direction, I am going to make this work. Damn, that is a much more powerful way to approach something, right?
What if you took all that fight, all that energy that you’re putting into arguing for your limitations, and instead, put all that fight and all that energy into searching out like the possibilities and all the reasons why you’re going to succeed? I wonder what kind of results you’d get if you did that.
Remember, whether you think you can or you think you can’t. You’re right. Okay, I hope you don’t mind. This little bit of tough love for me today. So here’s what’s coming up in the Running Lean community on Facebook. Remember, I talked about doing the September intermittent fasting challenge.
We’re talking about time restricted eating, meal spacing, that kind of stuff. This week, we’re going to be talking about training in a fasted state running on empty. Why do we do this? It sounds crazy. I know. But why is this good for us? And why would we want to do this? Why would we choose to train without calories and without fuel?
So I’ll talk about that this week. So join us in the Facebook group, just go to Facebook and search for Running Lean community. That’s all I got for you today. Lots and lots of love to each and every one of you, my friends, keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.
If you’ve tried to lose weight by running miles and miles or starving yourself and you’ve had zero results, you are not alone. This model of weight loss is broken. It’s never worked, and it has to be replaced. That’s why I created a powerful new training just for you called How to Become a lien running machine. You’ll discover why running more and eating less does not work for weight loss and you’ll learn the three secrets to losing weight and keeping it off for good to get this free training right now just go to runningleanpodcast.com/lean and learn how you can become lean running machine.