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I was at my middle son’s Sports Day the other week.
It was great to watch after 16 months of little to no school stuff like that.
The format of Sports Day there changed a few years ago.
The kids go round in groups, doing various activities and scoring points for their house.
So there’s less in the way of ‘placing’, especially for the younger ages (although they usually work out where they’ve come compared to their mates and there are more conventional races for the older ones).
At the end, they add up the scores and announce where each House has placed.
And everyone gets a participation medal.
Some like the inclusivity of it and how it’s less likely to discourage those that, perhaps, would’ve fared less well under a conventional, more competitive set up.
And some don’t like what they perceive to be “medals for everyone” and how that might not set kids up for the realities of life.
I completely get both sides of the argument for and against this kind of structure.
But, that’s not what this blog is about.
It’s about what, in the real world, you never get a medal for.
Most things your efforts might get recognition for have some measure of success.
You have targets at work.
You hit them and all’s good (usually).
Doesn’t massively matter how hard you may or may not have worked to hit them.
You don’t hit them and you don’t get any bonus points for having tried hard.
The hitting of the targets was the important bit, not how much effort went into that.
And it’s the same with our efforts to lose weight.
Over the years I’ve had many, many conversations with people who’ve been disappointed with their progress.
“I’ve been trying really hard” they might say.
And, whilst that’s great, it doesn’t really matter.
From a weight loss perspective, the body responds to being in a sustained average calorie deficit.
The body doesn’t know or care how hard you’ve been working at that.
Just if it was in that deficit.
Being in a deficit through relatively easy adjustments will get better results than working really hard but not being in a deficit.
Chances are if we feel we’re “trying really hard” but the results aren’t coming…………
Then our efforts are somewhat misdirected.
We might benefit from looking at what the easiest adjustments are.
Some trimming of portion sizes and tactical swaps to what we eat can be little to no physical effort.
Much of our challenge with that comes from our internal resistance to it.
Which might mean that the swaps we’re making weren’t all that tactical.
Whenever we feel we’re “trying really hard” at something and it’s not happening, we might benefit from questioning what we’re doing and what we think about that.
Because there are no medals for trying hard.
Jon ‘Of Honour’ Hall