Why Type A People & High Performers Struggle to Transform Their Body

Why Type A People & High Performers Struggle to Transform Their Body

There are numerous successful and smart busy men and women who are highly frustrated with their lack of success when it comes to their fitness.

A high percentage of these same successful and smart busy individuals are high performers with a Type A personality who pride themselves on discipline, willpower and getting results. When things don’t work out, feelings of shame start to creep in which leads to a downward slope.

As a high performer with fitness goals, it’s a rocky slope when it comes to your approach. As a high performer, you want things to be black and white. Unfortunately, life (and especially fitness) isn’t this way.

Why high performers struggle to transform their body

You pride yourself on discipline, willpower,  following the given set of rules, and getting results at all costs.

But when it comes to fitness, rigidly following a set of rules isn’t going to cut it. Often times, you’re following something that is mainstream and built for the one-size-fits-all crowd.

Instead of blaming yourself along with questioning your capabilities due to the shortcomings, it could be the program that’s a failure because it’s not suited to your specific personality and lifestyle needs.

High achievers run into numerous problems with their fitness and struggle to lose fat compared to the everyday person because:

  • They’re exhausted from handling so many things
  • Their emotions are not managed
  • Their stress isn’t being controlled
  • They’re avoiding and procrastinating in one area while overcompensating in another area
  • They’re crazy busy and aren’t effectively recharging

These are legit problems that when left unaddressed will swiftly send you into frustration and far from your goal. Working harder isn’t going to do it.

Instead of letting your personality self-sabotage your fitness, understand yourself and how you operate so you can effectively handle situations.

With that said, here are 3 key areas why high performers struggle to transform their body. Besides merely diagnosing these 3 key areas, here’s how you can effectively reverse them into an actionable solution that propels you forward with your fitness goals.

Area #1— The all or none mentality

Back in college, I was at the point that if I for some reason went off my nutrition plan at lunch, I would equate the rest of the day a failure and also bad talk myself. I would eat crappy for the rest of the day and “reset” tomorrow.

Luckily, I learned the concept of there being four quarters to the day as I mentioned in my book ‘Body Architect which means that I could still win the day despite a minor hiccup in the plan.

With this type of persona, you’re either all in, or you’re all out. Feeling terribly sick? Oh well, you’re still going to workout because the program says to exercise today. This type of personality is super competitive with themselves and others.

On a strict diet, you’ll avoid anything that deviates from the plan by even a fraction. While this seems great on the surface, peel back a few layers and there’s a lot of potential downfalls to this type of persona.

When you’re overly-restrictive with yourself, this leads to a higher probability that you’re going to go overboard the moment you give yourself some leniency. With that said, the biggest problem here is the tendency to be a perfectionist. This pattern leads you to feel like you “blew it” should you make one poor choice or decision during the day.

Solution to the all or none approach — Strive for perfection but plan for imperfection

Don’t ditch your program entirely, but realize that perfection is only a myth and one or two small hiccups in the process isn’t going to ruin your progress.

For example, following a workout plan for an extended time and you’re not seeing results, don’t be afraid to let it go. You’re not a quitter. This is far from being shameful. In fact, this is smart because pivots are inevitable.

With that said, develop flexibility within your process and strategy. Be rigid and adamant about where you want to go (i.e. your desired outcome), but be flexible in the details of how you get there. There are multiple avenues that all lead to your desired results, but one path will ideal for your specific lifestyle.

strategy—why high performers struggle to transform their body
Don’t be afraid to pivot in your strategy.

Even if you fall off track in the morning, you can immediately get back momentum by making the next decision something that empowers you and your goals.

Area #2— Trying to just “work harder”

We’ve heard the saying that “hard work” solves everything and that isn’t true. In fact, believing this is only going to waste your time, lead to frustration, and make you inefficient.

When I’m talking with a client for the first time, I’m getting information on their background and previous experiences with health and fitness. More often than not, they’re doing activities because they think they’re supposed to do them and when it’s not delivering results, they don’t pivot—they double down and try harder.

A classic example is dieting. If they’re not losing fat, inches, nor feeling better, they’ll keep lowering calories (which is a big no-no) while doing the same workouts.

Solution — Learn to pivot and be open to new ideas

It’s important to let go of any attachments when it comes to solving your fitness goals. When you pivot, it’s nothing against your capabilities. In fact, pivoting is the smartest thing you can do because you’re going to get to the same desired destination faster and without the unnecessary frustration.

You have enough on your plate, don’t make your fitness goals any more complicated than they should be.

If you’re having trouble losing fat, don’t always assume you need to lower calories or exercise more. Look into your sleep, hormones, stress, and quality of foods being eaten.

Area #3— Poor relationship with yourself

Pushing yourself harder will only make the hamster wheel that you’re on go faster. Results won’t come quicker. You can hate yourself into a new body. There’s a reason why you aren’t hitting your goals and it’s not because you aren’t capable.

Taking extreme ownership of the situation is one thing, but ruminating in negativity because you haven’t seen your desired results or because you ate too much is pointless.

No solution is coming out of this. Only frustration and a guarantee to stay at your current level.

Solution — Act with compassion and thoughtfully investigate

When you feel stuck and not able to breakthrough, it’s not a lack of capability. Often times, it’s a lack of a proper mindset and understanding of your own psychology that needs addressing.

While it’s important to take ownership of the situation, it’s also important to learn to move and navigate through the frustration and self-blame so you extract the wisdom hidden in the mess. Once you do this, you can start asking questions that lead to breakthroughs.

Example: Why did food have so much power over me this week? Why did I not feel like exercising this week? What was going on in my life when I binged and overate? What was going on in my life that prevented me from getting the sleep I needed?

By acting with compassion and thoughtfully investigating, you’re going to have a better understanding of your hidden hunger triggers, stressors, situations, emotions, and issues that led to behaviors that aren’t moving you forward with your health goals.

Let go of the self-infliction and instead ask “why”.

The situation already happened. Get some positives from it by seeking to understand why it happened. Evolve and grow at a fast rate is the name of the game so you don’t make the same mistakes repeatedly.

Being a high performer with a type A personality is beneficial and can be a gift because you’ll be quicker to embrace the structure needed for success. But don’t forget to allow room for flexibility.

Laws Of Success: 12 Laws That Lead to Mastery In Health and Nutrition

“Order and simplification are the first steps towards mastery of a subject” — Thomas Mann

Laws Of Success: 12 Laws That Lead to Mastery In Health & Nutrition

We all are striving for mastery in health and nutrition. However, what usually follows is anything but mastery. Not because there’s a lack of talent or desire. But often times due to the strategy.

Throughout the years, I’ve faced a variety of issues ranging from mild depression, body image issues, creating boundaries, and obsessive food behaviors.

Unfortunately, I let fitness become my ruler and I was its servant willing to do any and everything for results. This worshipping of fitness at all costs may bring results for a short period of time. But in the long run, isn’t something that is sustainable to living a good and healthy life.

Over the years, there have been a handful of laws that have helped me navigate the balance of integrating fitness into a busy life that also meshes with my desired lifestyle. Here are the 12 laws of success that can lead you to mastery in health and nutrition.

1. Review your “why” daily to stay motivated about your goals

It’s important to get to the core root of why you want a particular goal.

Are you doing it for someone else (kids, family, partner, etc) so you can lead by example? Is it to prove a point to yourself that you’re capable of much more than people have given you credit for? Are you doing this because you need a personal spark in your life to change the paradigms of your everyday life?

Whatever it is, search deeper than just relying on looking great naked. That’s important, but transformations take time and you need all the ammunition possible to stay consistent and motivated while pursuing your goals.

If you’re searching for deeper meaning, start with asking yourself why three times about a desire for a particular goal.

2. Never resort to deprivation nor any other extreme measures just to lose weight

I tried a 28-day liquid diet in college where I had nothing but shakes. I lost 15 pounds at the end of it (mostly water).

However, on day 29, I ate nearly 100 pieces of sushi at the buffet and then got sick over the next few days.

Besides being sick, I had a supporting cast which consisted of extreme waves of mood swings, achy joints which made me feel 79 (not 19), and a reunion with my 15 pounds as soon as I started eating whole foods again.

Besides not going on an extended liquid diet, the moral of this story is to never sacrifice your long-term health for short-term gratifications.

3. Make fitness fit into your preferred lifestyle, not the other way around

Life is meant to have rich experiences. Fitness is a key component of being able to do those things, but it doesn’t have to become your ruler.

Lifestyle first, and then find the workout routine and nutritional method that suits your personality and preferences.

4. Seek improvements in your health and fitness out of love, not out of hate

I started working out weighing 165 pounds and became an athletic and muscular 200 pounds.

I should be happy, right?

Not exactly.

The problem was my mindset never changed. I was exercising and putting on muscle at times out of hate and not feeling enough as a man—not for health or enjoyment.

You can’t hate your way to losing weight and improving your self-esteem. If you don’t address your inner world, those perceived deficiencies will still be there.

5. Make sustainability and longevity the priority when making health decisions

Make decisions about your fitness and nutrition that lead to long-term success, not just a season of success.

6. Address your 4 pillars of fitness daily (physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual)

Looking at Instagram and browsing the various magazines on newsstands and you’ll notice that the only messaging is concerning the physical aspect of ourselves.

mastery in health and nutrition
Be mindful of your consumption.

But, there is more to us than just a physical body.

There’s a mental, emotional, and spiritual side of fitness that needs to be accounted for our overall well-being.

Challenge your mental world by improving your brain through reading and other cognitive tasks. When it comes to your emotional fitness, assess your relationships and the environments you find yourself in. And lastly for your spiritual world, look into meditation or some type of habit that allows for a space of inner reflection.

7. Place a premium on sleep

I know, maybe you’re tired of seeing this on every health article, but it’s important.

Weight loss, productivity at work, better (and healthier) relationships along with your mood improve when you’re getting optimum amounts of sleep on a nightly basis.

Try meditating at night, cutting off electronics 60-90 minutes before bed, having an orgasm (hello Oxytocin), or reading a hardcover book to help yourself fall asleep.

8. Commit to finding a team to support you and keep you accountable

Maintaining a fitness regimen while juggling work and your personal life can become overwhelming. Therefore, it’s important to find some accountability in the form of a gym partner, someone to check in with, or an online community to hold you to a high standard.

9. Establish personal boundaries in your life so you can show up as your best version

What good are you to the world if you’re burnt out, overweight, moody, lethargic, and sleep-deprived?

Not addressing this is short-changing your potential impact on the world because the best version of you isn’t showing up.

Block out time for exercising, a quiet bath, meditating, or whatever else is needed to allow you to show up as the best version of yourself.

10. Remember that your food choices, not the specific type of diet are most important for long-term success

Paleo, Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting, Atkins, and the Ketogenic diet all work. At the basic foundation, if there’s a caloric deficit, then you’ll lose weight. If there’s a surplus, extra weight will arrive.

The key factor for nutritional mastery is making good food choices along with establishing a plan that suits your goals and specific lifestyle.

11. Recognize that consistency and commitment are more important than “tactics” & “life hacks”

It’s better to workout for 20 minutes a day than to overcommitment to 60 minutes and only workout one day per week. Set realistic goals and realize that repetition, time, and consistency are the true ingredients to long-term success.

12. Prioritize a way of eating that includes a plethora of micronutrients

Micronutrients (from your fruits and vegetables) contain a plethora of minerals and vitamins that boost your metabolism, fights against chronic illnesses, and helps your mental state operate at a high level.

Here’s a printable infographic with the 12 laws for you to save and refer to.

Laws of Success: 12 Laws That Lead to Mastery In Health & Nutrition

The Health And Fitness Audit: 15 Questions You Must Know in Order to Succeed in Fitness

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X

The Health And Fitness Audit: 15 Questions You Must Know in Order to Succeed in Fitness

When you think of the word audit, you’re probably directing your attention to the world of accounting and finance. However, audits exist outside of accounting and finance.

Audits exist in sports and politics to name a few among many.

Sports teams routinely assess the state of their organization and individual players by analyzing various key metrics. They investigate these metrics and based on the numbers, they make adjustments to give themselves a better chance of winning.

In politics (a sometimes interesting but unfortunate subject that divides people), auditing is used on the campaign trail among many other areas to effectively improve the specific parties mission.

It’s safe to say that auditing is a powerful force that deserves a spot at each of our tables. When it comes to fitness, auditing is critical since it’ll provide more clarity and awareness to your current endeavors.

Here’s an example of some fitness auditing: we all have 168 hours in a week. At the extreme end, work and the commute are costing you 14 hours a day Monday-Friday. There’s weekly sleep which costs you 56 hours (8 hours a night).

From these two things, you’re paying 126 hours. Plenty of time for family, exercise, errands, and other extracurricular activities. By auditing your time, you’ll discover that you have 42 hours to play with. With this approach, squeezing in three to four hours at the gym doesn’t seem impossible now.

This is just one example of auditing. There’s a deeper level you can go with your auditing that will help you develop clarity about your true commitment to health and fitness. Below is a health and fitness audit, consisting of 15 questions that you must know in order to succeed long term.

Take some time to answer the questions and below the questions are a print off with the 15 questions as well.

1. Do you know why you want to change?

You must know yourself and how you personally operate. What makes you tick? What truly motivates you to want to change your health and fitness?

What are the benefits to swinging the health paradigm in your life?

I want to lose weight isn’t good enough. Why do you want to lose this weight?

Discovering your “why” is your most powerful weapon to staying the course with your commitment to fitness. Be specific and have zero judgment for whatever your answer is.

2. Do you know exactly what you need to be, and do, in order to achieve your desired fitness goal?

What type of traits and identity must you adapt to achieve the fitness goal that you want? For me, I had to become the person who didn’t feel guilty for saying “no” to friends and family when offered food that didn’t fit with my goals.

I had to become the guy who took action (small steps often times) despite how I felt in that current moment or when the inner chatter of self-doubt made an appearance.

Look at your habits and think what kind of person and actions are needed to reach that goal that you want?

What will you give up, everything has a cost attached to it. To really create my desired body, I prioritized sleep over partying and aiming for perfect attendance at every social extravaganza.

Know your costs and be okay with it and you won’t have any unforeseen friction down the line.

3. Do you have a health and fitness mission statement?

For me, I have the mission of the AFL, which is to help busy individuals and companies maximize their performance and impact in this world through simple changes in their health routines.

Working out and feeding my body quality nutrients isn’t just about me and my outside appearance. It’s now a deeper purpose, which is to help me stay cognitively sharp and to help bring out the best in my capabilities so I can serve others to the best of my abilities.

What about you? Write your health and fitness mission statement out on a card and keep it with you at all times. When indulgences arrive, it’s a simple perspective of assessing whether this action expands or constricts your mission.

4. Do you have a crystal clear one-year goal that you can clearly explain?

Let’s take a brief trip down “woo woo land” for a minute. You can’t expect the universe to open doors and create opportunities for you if don’t even know what you want.

When you aren’t specific with your goals, you leave room for uncertainty and for other miscellaneous “things” to occupy space in your vision. Don’t fall into the trap of achieving and doing only to find yourself down a road you don’t even want to be on.

biking down the road—health and fitness audit
Make sure you’re riding down a path that you want to be on.

5. Have you broken that one-year goal into quarterly goals?

One year is a long time for now. It’s better and more soothing to your mental state to break that macro goal down into micro goals so you can build up momentum. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds over the next year, then setting goals in 5-pound increments is a great approach.

6. Have you broken your goals into small and manageable daily actions that lead to your end-goal?

Setting goals can bring a rush of blood to your head that leaves you feeling great, but taking action is the only way to make those goals a reality. I recommend aiming to complete a few critical tasks each day that places you closer to your one-year goal as well as moving you to complete your quarterly goal.

For example, you want to lose 20 pounds in a year. Five pounds is the quarterly goal. Your daily goals could be some form of exercising for 45-60 minutes daily, in bed before 11 pm, eating four complete meals each day, and add something socially to balance you out.

7. Do you have a morning routine suited specifically to your needs?

How you start the day plays a pivotal role in dictating the flow of your day from both an energy and performance standpoint.

8. Do you have a weekly plan for how you’re going to eat that fits with work?

Many of us are “time-crunched” during the week due to work demands and other various responsibilities. With that said, it’s highly important that you have a game plan for your nutrition during the week because when you’re caught off-guard,  impulsive decisions follow along with other areas of compliance dropping.

The weekends are a little easier for nutrition. Therefore, on each Sunday, plan for the work week. Where will you eat your meals? Are you meal prepping, using a meal delivery service, or developing a uniform style of eating throughout the week where you relatively eat the same thing each day.

9. Do you know your workout days and what you’re doing each session?

It’s important to treat and schedule your workouts just as you would a doctors appointment and important business meetings. This is psychologically signaling that this event is the highest of priority along with decreasing the chances of you making excuses for why you can’t work out due to time among many other excuses.

Schedule your workout days at the beginning of the week and also know what you’re going to do each session to maximize time and effectiveness.

10. What are you doing to ensure you get optimal sleep nightly?

Sleep is the most important element to maximizing your performance and impact in the world along with transforming your body.

The majority of people know that sleep is important, but through overwhelm, lack of time management and distractions, people fall short with consistent high-quality sleep.

Your goal is to develop a routine 60 minutes out from bed to help signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Some of the essential habits include placing a curfew on electronics.

11. Whats your biggest obstacle to succeeding?

Knowing your chock holds is critical because it lets you plan for them in advance.

In recent years, my biggest chock hold was properly allowing space for rest and recovery. I didn’t set boundaries and would let others slide into my recharging time.

What about you?

Identify two–three obstacles that could stop you from succeeding?

12. Once you know your obstacles, what’s your plan to attack and defeat those obstacles?

Knowing is one thing, but actively taking action is another thing. Clearly, define a few measures that you’re going to use to defeat and prevent those obstacles and chock holds from sabotaging your goals.

strategy — health and fitness audit
All victories start with a plan.

13. What are you doing to mentally & emotionally prepare to change?

We all most likely want to change and improve certain areas of our life. But, are you really committed to undergoing change? And, do you understand the price and pain required to change?

Changing and transforming starts with leveling up your mental and emotional fitness. Neglecting to only change the external world without the internal is setting yourself up for self-sabotaging at some point down the road.

Take some time to think and realize what you will need to change in your core existing identity to become the type of person who achieves the goals that you’re striving for.

Are you okay with the necessary sacrifices and are you willing to do it?

14. Do you have some form of accountability and support?

No one succeeds in this world on their own. I have to remind myself of this at times because I still have difficulty in adhering to this principle.

It’s tough to ask for help and support, but we all need it. Assess your circle and community, do you have a few people you can rely on for help toward those new goals of yours?

15. If yes to number 14, then who is it and how are they helping?

Be specific with how you want them to help contribute to your mission. Will you have workout partners, accountability partners to check in with you weekly, or someone to routinely provide the necessary tough love to keep you going?

If you rather have a print off of the questions to answer on your own time or refer back to, download this free infographic below.

The Health & Fitness Audit