Gains Over Losses: Setting goals that are good for your body

TDB Fitness Newsletter 10/24/2021

One of the most common fitness goals is weight loss. However, have you ever thought of the psychological impact of approaching fitness with a deficit mentality? How we frame our fitness goals impacts our motivation to reach them. See this week’s for trainer’s tips on how to set goals you’ll want to reach.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Tip of the week:

Gains Over Losses

Vinnie and I talk to a lot of people about fitness. Relatives, friends, strangers; when they find out what we do, they want to talk about it. Almost everyone we come across has fitness goals. Almost every fitness goal has to do with “losing” something — losing weight, going down in clothing size, decreasing inches around their waist, etc. Another thing most people have in common? They are typically struggling to achieve their fitness goals.

After years of experimenting with different fitness goals for ourselves and our clients, we’ve come to believe goals that are subtractive in nature are more difficult to achieve. A “subtractive” goal refers to a goal where the purpose is to take something away from you or your body. Why is this the case? Simply, humans do not like giving things up.

Psychologically, the practices of giving something up, sacrificing, and “losing” carry negative connotations. When we decide we need to lose weight or size, we’re comparing our bodies to a certain standard, and doing the mental math to figure out everything we need to take away from ourselves in order to make up the difference. We give up foods and drinks we enjoy. We give up sleep or opportunities to relax. We give up free time. We burn calories. And on and on it goes until it feels like we’ve given up so much all we really lose is motivation.

Now, think about how it could feel to work towards goals that are additive rather than subtractive? Vinnie and I encourage ourselves and our Teammates to stick to fitness goals that focus on adding to our bodies’ abilities, health, or skillsets. Examples of goals with an additive purpose include: gaining strength, becoming more flexible, gaining a new physical skill/ability, learning a new sport, eating more of something, etc… As much as humans naturally dislike sacrificing, we are naturally inclined towards learning, creating, and growing. Simply put, it’s just much easier to motivate ourselves to do something if we’re getting something good out of it. Something good that is much more tangible than the constant drive to meet society’s impossible beauty standards. (Plus, if weight loss is a natural need your body has, engaging in physical activity to gain new skills and adding healthy foods to your diet will likely help you achieve that goal as a super cool byproduct anyway!)

On Team Di Bella Fitness, “fitness” refers to holistic health and wellness. That means we value psychological, social, physical, and emotional health. However, we live in a diet culture that does not promote the same approach to fitness. It is easy to get caught up in comparing our bodies to others, and punishing ourselves for standards we can’t achieve. However, if this has been your approach all along and it isn’t working, maybe it’s time to switch it up. By simply reframing the language in your goals, you could gain so much.

Goal Setting

If you are looking to revise your fitness goals, remember back to our S.M.A.R.T. Goals newsletter from a few months ago. If and when you set new goals, make sure to check in with Vinnie to create a fitness plan that’s right for you!

Team Announcements


Halloween is coming and we love a good costume. Join us for spirit week starting tomorrow. Each day this week we will dress to workout according to a different theme. We invite all our teammates to do the same. Make sure you share a pic to the private Facebook Group!

Spirit Week Daily Themes
  • Monday 10/25: super hero
  • Tuesday 10/26: Disney character
  • Wednesday 10/27: historical figure
  • Thursday 10/28: villain
  • Friday 10/29: a costume that’s funny, punny, or clever
  • Saturday 10/30: spooky Halloween character

Got Tea?

Renea’s a really good person to talk to — it’s part of what made her an effective middle school teacher. She’s good at listening, asking pointed questions, and giving gentle feedback.

Have something you need to get off your chest? You now have the opportunity to Spill the Tea With Renea… Watch our social media in the coming weeks, and you’ll learn how to take advantage of one on one vent sessions with Renea.

6 thoughts on “Gains Over Losses: Setting goals that are good for your body

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