Getting into shape is easier said than done, especially when you hit that annoying plateau where no amount of dieting and exercise seems to shift stubborn areas of fat. Often we put up with these unwanted lumps, bumps and wobbly bits—that is until something happens to trigger us into taking action.
Health worries often serve as a wake up call for people who are significantly overweight, but for those within a healthy BMI range—who simply want to get rid of stubborn fat—the triggers are purely aesthetic, as our survey revealed.
What would trigger the public to getting in shape?
We asked 1,000 women what would influence them into refining their body shape, here’s how they responded…
- Seeing an unflattering photograph of themselves came out as the top trigger that would prompt women to refine their body shape, attracting 50% of the votes.
- Getting back into clothes that no longer fit would encourage almost a third of those surveyed to tackle unwanted curves.
- Shaping up after childbirth would be the incentive for 8% of women.
- One in twenty feel they would be triggered by a divorce or relationship break-up.
- Peer pressure plays little part in shaping up, with only 4% saying they would choose to tackle stubborn fat because their friends were also trying.
- Encouragingly, only 2% would be influenced by celebrities/role models’ bodies.
Although these triggers can lead to positive results, it can still be shocking—not to mention upsetting—to see an unflattering photo of yourself or fail to squeeze into your favourite jeans. The good news is, there are a number of things that you can do to slim down your body shape.
Andrew Challenger, owner of personal training company Arch8Fitness, specialises in helping his clients refine their silhouette by supporting them both in and out of the gym. During his time as a personal trainer Andrew has experienced clients coming to him citing all manner of reasons for wanting to get into shape, and he has seen how these triggers can help them stay on track to achieve their goal.
“Setting goals gives your life direction and boosts your motivation and self-confidence. It’s key to set yourself a goal or target, otherwise you won’t be motivated to achieve the desired results.”
Reminding yourself of your trigger—and how it made you feel—is a good incentive to take positive action; however, it is important to be realistic about how quickly you will achieve your goal. This also applies to those who use a particular date—such as a wedding or beach holiday—as a trigger to tackle stubborn fat. As Andrew explains, the pressure of an unrealistic goal can sometimes have the opposite effect:
“Having a target can sometimes put clients under too much pressure. If you are getting into shape specifically for a special occasion, you can put so much pressure on yourself that you end up feeling really low and just give up. Have a realistic target that you can gradually work towards, even if it takes a few months.”
Plateaus are often mentioned when working towards an improved silhouette. As Andrew highlights, this is a common point for his clients to give up, hence the importance of keeping gym routines fresh and ensuring that exercise is supplemented with a healthy diet.
“Giving up is easy, some clients get to the point where they just can’t go on and need to try something new. I always help with nutrition as this is equally important and a key factor for weight
Crossing the final hurdle
Although embarking on a stricter diet and exercise plan is the obvious solution for tackling unwanted curves, this is not always the right solution for everyone. Some people—particularly women in or approaching middle age—find it almost impossible to shift the last bits of stubborn fat, no matter how hard they try. This is where non-invasive cosmetic treatments like SculpSure can help them over the final hurdle and smooth out any lingering lumps and bumps, particularly when stubborn fat tends to cling to areas which are harder to target, such as the chin or love handles.
While an unflattering photo can provoke you to take positive action, it is important not to become obsessed with it. Many things can contribute to an unflattering image, as professional photographer Timothy Taylor says:
“There are so many things that can make even the most photogenic person look bad on camera, especially if they are caught off guard. People are always snapping away on camera phones so chances are you will be captured eating, mid-conversation or staring into space at some point or another. Factor in poor lighting, unflattering angles and even being positioned on the edge of a group—which sometimes can give the illusion that a person is wider than they actually are —and it is no wonder we can sometimes appear not looking our best.”
The key to successful body contouring is to keep everything in perspective. Although a bad photo or a too-tight outfit will undoubtedly rock your confidence, if it proves to be the trigger to help you achieve your perfect silhouette there is every chance you will be thankful for it in the long run.