Will Smith on Getting in the ‘Best Shape’ of His Life: It Was Emotional

Moments into the first episode of Will Smith’s new, six-episode YouTube docuseries, The Best Shape of My Life, we visit the celebrity strolling up a mountain trail at sunrise, crawling under a chain-link fence, obstacle-race style, and doing overhead presses with dumbbells. Cue more agony-at-the-gym scenes and green protein drinks; we are expecting to see the typical body transformation montage.But Smith effortlessly flips the script. It’s still the first episode, and Smith (simply five weeks from the end of his “best shape” schooling regimen) is sitting on a weight bench shopping thoroughly depleted, both physically and emotionally.”I think I do now not want to do any of this. I’m complete with The Best Shape of My Life,” he says. He stands up, takes off his microphone, and walks away.The leisure of the episodes in the collection (there are six in total, on hand on Smith’s YouTube channel) explain what led Smith to that element.We be informed that Smith had set a goal to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks, and to finish his autobiography in the similar time frame. We watch him working out, attending meals consultations, and reading his in-development memoir to pals and circle of relatives.But only a week into the task, unexpected weight advantage sends Smith spiraling and reasons him to query his present assignment and all the existence decisions that have led up to that point.The series displays Smith grappling no longer simply with writing and weight lifting, on the other hand with the prime expectations he’s set for himself and the fallout while he struggles to meet them.This is marvelous because it’s relatable.Pursuits like the one Smith embarked on (to lose weight and make himself over) can indeed heighten feelings and push no longer just our physical limits, even so also our mental ones, too, according to the psychiatrist Julian Lagoy, MD, of Community Psychiatry in San Jose, California.”With any kind of transformation, physical or emotional, or not it’s possible and even probably that you are going to come across challenges you did not are expecting,” he says. If a modification is purely physical — like Smith’s goal to get have compatibility — it may also suppose even more unexpected to have emotional problems crop up, says Dr. Lagoy. But that does not mean it’s bad when they do.”This may also be a chance to learn a lot more about yourself than you thought,” he says.Smith’s adventure deals these vital insights into the relationship among mental and physical health, according to Lagoy and others.RELATED: What Is Self-Care, and Why Is It So Important for Your Health?1.

Negative Thinking Breeds Negative ResultsSmith’s weight loss project seems easy enough: lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks. Considering that many individuals have gained weight throughout the pandemic that they’d like to lose, it appears like a in your price range (and popular) aim. And his projected speed is sustainable, judging by comments his personal instructor, Aaron Ferguson, makes in the show.But for Smith, the ones 20 pounds are wrapped up with disgust, recrimination, and disappointment. At one element in the series, Smith appears at a cutout of himself from the film Men in Black and talks approximately how mad his more youthful self would be to visit this older guy with a “dad bod.”Although self-blame can be motivating initially, that motivation does not final long, says Lagoy. It’s particularly demotivating to compare yourself with a more youthful edition of you, because you’re house on what you’ve lost quite than focusing on what you can gain in the destiny by potential of making valuable changes, he says.”This all comes down to aim and how you view yourself,” he says. Making a amendment because you view yourself in a bad way is going to breed negativity. Making a modification because you want to benefit something constructive is going to bolster self-love.When it comes to surroundings goals that have to do with getting more healthy or changing behaviors, Lagoy indicates centering them on what you’ll get out of it (fitness, consistency, a better sleep time table, or a fitter weight).RELATED: Here’s How to Show Yourself Some Self-Compassion2.

Stressful Life Events Can Be a CatalystA main nudge for Smith’s task got here from his preference to get out of a pandemic-induced slump. In the show, he admits to living a pretty sedentary mindset to life and overeating consolation foods during this stressful time.Although foremost lifestyles pursuits can cause us to lapse into dangerous behavior like these, they can also act as a catalyst for constructive change, according to Lagoy.”Often, the essential barrier for making large-scale adjustments is motivation,” he says. “But whilst you have those big, possibly stressful lifestyles movements, you’re inclined to preference to amendment more than you could otherwise.”The trick is to view major life events as motivation to make a helpful push forward, somewhat than as a result in to punish yourself for less-healthy behaviors, says Haylie Yakrus, a national qualified counselor at The Berman Center in Atlanta. (Remember that point about bad thinking breeding terrible results?)”This shouldn’t be approximately feeling bad approximately what’s been happening,” she says. “Instead, you are attempting to suppose inspired. The stressful life event can turn into a eye-catching change when you attitude it from that angle.”RELATED: Tips for Getting Back Into a Workout Routine if the Pandemic Disrupted Yours3.

Exercise Can Be Really EmotionalAs Smith discovered, the adventure of start extreme exercises can lead to a flood of emotions, says Garret Seacat, CSCS, a instructor with Absolute Endurance private education and patience training in Manhattan, Kansas.Exercise that is unfamiliar or difficult may immediate you to believe back on past struggles. For many, undertaking is connected to body picture and, for some, judgment approximately how they see or cost themselves. “This does not just arise [for] beginners; even the maximum experienced athlete can have this happen,” Seacat says.Emotional breakthroughs can agree with overwhelming if you don’t move to them coming, adds Lagoy.In the collection, Smith seems blindsided by manner of the emotions his project provokes. In episode one, he stands shopping dejected after his first weigh-in (because he received a pound even after daily, intense workouts), and calls the entire assignment into question.”Helping people evolve?” he says. “That’s stupid.”As potent feelings arise for you (like this instance of Smith’s self-criticism), take time to recognize and pay recognition to them; it’ll aid you work thru them, Lagoy explains.If you discover that a new workout program or fitness regimen is bringing up new or complex emotions you’re not able to cope with on your own, Lagoy suggests talking with a therapist or other mental fitness professional.RELATED: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Finding a Mental Health Care Provider4.

Rest Days Are for Your Body and Your MindIn episode four of the show, we see Smith beginning week 15 — in spite of this we’ve already found out this week will end with him quitting the assignment, and as the episode progresses, we come to discover out why. He already appears exhausted, notwithstanding he decides to dial up his agenda anyway. That ability a run in the morning, followed by means of two exercises, hours of writing, another run in the evening, and about four hours of sleep.As the days tick via, Smith seems more and more depleted until, thru Thursday of that week, he’s a no-show at exercise sessions. Although Smith’s trainer, Aaron Ferguson, says that it’s k to take occasional relaxation breaks as needed, it’s clean he’s disappointed.Smith’s clinical psychologist, Ramani Durvasula, PhD, says in the episode: “Will is so focused on his goals he does not trust his limits.” She adds: “The more a adult is stretched, quicker or later they’ll snap.”Aaron Leventhal, CSCS, a instructor and the owner of Fit Studio in Minneapolis, says whilst it comes to making progress with any education plan, it’s essential to pay cognizance to your calories point and how you’re feeling. Just because your calendar says you have six hours a day to paintings out, that doesn’t mean you should.”Understand that coping with calories is different from managing time,” he says. Make certain you’re not stretching yourself too thin, and you’ll be more arranged to deal with the emotional challenges that can also come up, he says.RELATED: Why Taking Time Off Is So Good for Your Health5.

Personal Growth Is a Team SportBy the end of the series, Smith has worked via an amazing quantity emotionally, and the scale has ticked down closer to his aim weight. But it’s important to acknowledge that he didn’t do it alone, Lagoy says.In addition to his instructor and film crew, Smith enlists circle of relatives members, pals, and writers he respects to listen thru table-reads of his in-progress autobiography. When he runs a 5K via the streets of Dubai at night, he’s observed thru his education team, and surrounded via fanatics yelling encouragement along the route. About a year in the past the collection, he began seeing a therapist.In practically every scene of the show, Smith talks through his feelings to an individual — and having this kind of multi-person team is an crucial part of intellectual fitness, says Lagoy. Your team want no longer come with costly professionals. Advice, feedback, and the open ears of those around you can cross a long way in assisting you navigate the stresses, turns, and successes of setting out to meet a private goal.