Yev: “I now look in the mirror and feel good about my appearance.”
With Flat Belly Firm Butt in 16 Minutes, our online HIIT program, this perfectionist PhD finally stopped feeling bad about her body – not because she got to transform her body into the “perfect” one but because she stopped looking for flaws everywhere.
At a glance
The Problem: Self Criticism.
“I was very critical of the way that I looked. Every time I would look in the mirror, I would focus on what I didn’t like about my body.”
The Solution: The right encouragement.
“There was a big turning point in that with FB16. It was partially because of your encouraging comments in the videos: ‘Not everyone is doing this, but you are.'”
Her Results: Ability to celebrate accomplishments!
“I now look in the mirror and feel good about my appearance most of the time. The negative self-talk has diminished significantly, and that is making its way into other areas of my life like finishing my PhD and job search.”+
“Feeling bad about my body” is a common concern, esp. for women. What is interesting though is that the “golden goal” – whether it is to lose 25 pounds, lose the love handles, fix that butt, are still not going to guarantee body satisfaction.
An obesity doctor friend of mine Dr. Spencer Nadolsky mentioned once that when his clients tell him “they want to go back to the weight they had in their 20s” or something along these lines, he asks them:
“Were you happy with your body back then?”
The answer is usually “no.” This usually serves as a wake-up call because if you have the mindset that you’re looking for flaws, you’ll always be looking for flaws.
And that’s why the “feeling bad about my body” issue is so common.
Now in Yev’s case, the situation was slightly more exalted: She was a perfectionist and a high-achiever, doing her PhD in a top 10 school, etc.
At the time she joined FB16, Yev had very, very high standards of themselves. So high, they cause trouble. Let’s dive in.
Yev was critical of her body.
This ambitious PhD candidate did what many of us do: look in the mirror searching for flaws vs. look in the mirror and look for beauty.
“Every time I would look in the mirror, I would focus on what I didn’t like about my body. Even if I would notice more muscle definition or areas that were more toned, instead of celebrating the change, I would immediately move on to criticizing something else that I was not happy about.”
She did not pat herself on the back for her accomplishments.
Yev previously trained for long-distance races. Instead of high-fiving herself for finishing a race, she would be thinking that she was not fast enough.
“Whenever I finished a race (even if it was a PR – and most of them were), I would be down on myself that I should have been faster.”
With this background, no wonder that a high-achiever like Yev found it hard to feel good about herself for finishing a workout.
Completing a workout seemed too small of an accomplishment to celebrate. With time, I started to internalize that encouragement and sense of accomplishment.
After she enrolled in Flat Belly Firm Butt in 16 Minutes, along with improving her fitness level, she started toning down the negative self-talk.
Yev starts feeling proud for working out – regardless of how big or little progress she made!
I always, always, encourage people throughout the program. “Not everyone is doing it, but you are” must be one of the most common phrases in Flat Belly Firm Butt. Why?
Because we should take pride in that we put in this time to take care of our bodies. Even if it’s just a little time, even if you don’t give it your all today because you were tired, you still showed up, and this still deserves a star and a pat on the back.
(Also, from a creating new habits / habit loop perspective, those feel-good thoughts actually tell our brain to make this thing that makes us feel so good a habit, as soon as possible! I know this, so this is part of the reason I’ve made it my aim to help people celebrate both small and big wins.)
With time, she started to internalize that encouragement and sense of accomplishment that FB16 offered. Once anxious about the before and after photos, she actually found herself in a much better place when it was time to take the “after” photo.
“No matter how little visible progress they would show, I was happy and proud of having completed the program and felt stronger and more energetic. I now look in the mirror and feel good about my appearance most of the time.”
Unexpected benefit: Yev’s new attitude improved her job search!
Yes, FB16 is a workout program, but did you now that every workout ends with the sound of an audience clapping, celebrating the fact that yes, you did it?
Little details like that matter. And once you get in the habit of catching self-criticism when it happens, you don’t just look for it in health & fitness, but in general.
“I have noticed that I have been much more fearless in reaching out to people for help (networking etc.) and going after what I want, and also really conscious of negative self-talk that comes up when something does not work out – such as not getting invited to an interview. In the past, I would have been calling myself a failure, but now I really try (and most of the time succeed) to look at what happened objectively, learn from the experience, and focus on what I can do next and how I can do it differently.”
How she succeeded
6 reasons FB16 helped Yev stop feeling bad about her body.
Sometimes bad habits hide under the mask of perfectionism. We think that being high achievers is a good thing (right?) and let that justify the fact that we’re losing our ability to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.
We think that going big is what we should be doing, so when we go small we don’t even blink. No wonder many people can, say, exercise for 5 minutes, but because this is less that how much they think they should exercise, they don’t exercise at all.
Because perfectionism can create twisted scenarios like that, where doing nothing seems more logical than doing something!
Now back to Yev – here are the 6 takeaways I’d take from her journey that helped her turn around this all-or-nothing, “feeling bad about my body” thinking.
1. Choose a workout plan with a trainer whose personality is a match to yours.
Too many people pick workouts solely based on what they think they should be doing vs. what they’d actually enjoy more or what trainer they like better. For example, if you don’t like someone yelling you wouldn’t want to pick, for example, Beachbody’s Insanity – a 6 days a week HIIT program that’s really, really intense.
However, if you find that type of training motivating or you like Shaun T’s (the instructor’s) energy, then absolutely, go for it.
This aspect was a huge turning point for Yev as she started FB16. Yev really listened to FB16’s encouragement and thrived on that.
“In one of the workouts, as the end, you say something to the effect of you just finished the workout: you must be so proud. And I realized I was not proud, at least at first.”
She also loved my random comments during the actual workouts. Yev recalled, “you are a cardio machine!,” “not everyone is doing this, but you are!”
Krista is another FB16 grad who improved her attitude towards her body. The right encouragement was a huge factor in her successful journey: “You’re human, and I like that – I just think it is wonderful. I love your personality and you’re so encouraging the whole way through the videos, which is part of what makes me come back.”
2. Life IS going to get in the way, one way or another.
We don’t live in a boring world – thank goodness! Lack of boredom though equals life interruptions.
- You planned to work out this Wednesday evening, but guess what? Your in-laws are visiting.
- You wanted to up the strength training part of your workout and then you started having daily headaches. You actually need to exercise less, not more! (this happened to me!)
- You want to go camping, but that means you won’t be able to stick to even a do-anywhere-anytime workout schedule like FB16’s. (that’s Yev.)
Life getting in the way is not just a probability but a certainty. The question then becomes less about how you avoid those interruptions from happening and more about how to deal with them when they happen.
Yev loved the advice she received when she shared her concerns about missing workouts. My response to her: “Don’t stress yourself about going camping. Interruptions are expected. What matters is to keep going :)” Her response?
This really made it clear to me that I need to be kind to myself, instead of being critical all the time.
3. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, when you can instead follow a workout plan that is done for you.
FB16 is a system with 12 different workouts, progressive instruction from easier to more difficult workouts, modifications, and accountability. Because of Yev’s experience with distance running training schedules, she really liked the structure of FB16.
“Having an actual structured program was great, just like having a set running training schedule. It eliminates the need to think and try to figure out what type of exercise to do, which is great when one already has lots of other things to think about and worry about. In the morning, or after work, instead of getting stuck with ‘should I go for a run? should I do cardio? should I go to a yoga class? should I go lift weights?’ and not actually doing anything because of indecision, with this program there is a clear workout laid out for you so you can just right in and exercise.”
4. Pick a workout plan that includes modifications.
FB16 caters to all abilities, and Yev credits this particular feature as a key reason she succeeded with FB16.
“The instruction is fantastic, it includes proper form demonstrations, modifications, and a lot of motivation and encouragement.”
FB16 is BIG on form and safety, which is why modifications are a key asset in this program for participants of all abilities. FB16 grad Jessica had a similar story to share about this feature. She tried many other workout videos and programs before finding FB16.
“I knew my knees would hurt afterwards, so I would keep putting it off.”
5. Sticking to a plan requires convenience – FB16 can be done anytime, anywhere – on your schedule.
Yev loved the fact that she could do her workouts in her own home whenever she wanted. There was no travel to or from the gym, or special equipment required.
“The convenience of online workouts is also great and eliminates the logistic obstacles that can arise with other workouts due to planning required for travel, etc. Such as in a situation of yoga starts at 7pm and is 15 minutes away and it’s 6:55pm. Or I wanted to go to yoga after work, but forgot to take my yoga clothes with me in the morning.”
In fact, that’s why FB16 grad Helen also recommends the program. As any busy professional, she didn’t want to depend on anyone else’s schedule in order to succeed.
“Every week I seem to do different things on different evenings, so I could choose which days and times suited me each week.”
6. Exercising for hours is not a requirement because FB16 is only 16 minutes!
Since FB16 is only 16 minutes, you can always find time to fit it into your schedule. This gives you no excuses to skip your workout, no matter how busy you are! As a PhD candidate actively searching for a job, time is precious for Yev.
“The length was a great motivating feature. Even on days when I didn’t want to work out because I was busy, I would tell myself it’s just 16 minutes and that would get me going!”
“It’s only 16 minutes and afterwards I have sweated so much!” We hear this from Vicky and so many other FB16 participants. FB16 is designed to give you an hour’s results in 16 minutes, not just because it’s High Intensity Interval Training, but also because only the most effective exercises were handpicked to be included in the program.
And you know my friends what happens when you can actually work out consistently? Not only do you get better results in your body, but your sense of pride and accomplishment gets build up!
So if you’re also part of the “feeling bad about my body” camp, come on, sign up below to test FB16 out for yourself.