Being a ‘Health & Fitness Professional’, you may be surprised when I tell you that healthy living doesn’t come easy to me. Every day, every moment, I consciously choose to be better. Just as a lavish lifestyle requires a constant supply of income, a healthy lifestyle requires a constant devotion to betterment. Today, I’m much healthier than the old me and due to on-going effort, I’m healthier than the average person. I’ve had to unravel some old mindsets that kept me in destructive patterns. I will never be invincible from them but I’m more aware which is self-empowering. The following are 6 mindsets that I’ve personally battled and continue to observe in the general population.
- Training To Undo Vs. Build
If your exercise routine and nutritional habits are fueled by undoing the damage from the night before, you are likely not progressively building but instead regressively undoing. Working off the pizza you ate last night on your bender with 2 hours of cardio and fasting for the day isn’t exactly healthy. This type of pattern, especially if it’s re-occurring, is not allowing you to progress to your full potential. On top of that, thinking that a single workout can undo the surplus of calories you consumed or trump the lack of sleep and other unhealthy choices you made is very unrealistic. The fact is that you may be taking 3 steps back and only 1 step forward. In the long run, your regressing. A good starting point would be to pick one day as your “off” day, where you can splurge out of the norm. This gives you 6 days to take steps forward and only 1 day to take a step back which in the long run won’t be much of one anyway 😉
- Thinking That The Only Time You’re Making Gains Is While You’re Working Out.
It’s a misconception to think the workout is the most significant force towards achieving your goals. Yes, a workout is a contributor but pales in comparison to the 23 hours outside of it. This fallacy is one of the main reasons rest days are avoided; people think they are not working towards their goals unless their body physically “feels” as though it is! We are used to sensory feedback so work or effort should “feel” like something familiar. To rest, eat healthy, stay consistent, meal prep, track your food, fuel your mind, and devote time to self-care are all ways of making gains. They don’t “feel” like the work you’re used to but they have more impact. If you’re not over-indulging in unhealthy habits, know that you are progressing!
- Training So You Can Temporarily Feel Better About Yourself.
How often have you heard someone say something like, “I’m going to Cuba in 3 weeks so I gotta get ready” or “I have to wear a dress in 1 month so I need to tone up”? Can you hear how temporary those sound? It’s no wonder that these types of comments generally get repeated from the same people. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that building self-love can be a long journey and temporary feelings of contentment towards yourself is better than not. However, what’s most concerning here is the rebound effect that takes place. The more you keep achieving your goals and then letting them go only to repeat the process is tough on your mind, body, and emotions. If you could string those goals together by even maintaining your achievement through regular exercise, mindful nutrition and healthier lifestyle habits, the temporary feelings will last longer and you might not need to keep setting these types of goals.
- Building Too Much Dependency On Fitness.
Yes, it’ possible! A perfect example of this mindset is when someone is unable to make it to the gym due to whatever reason and uses it to resort to poor choices. “I’ll just get back on track tomorrow!”. When the gym cannot be scheduled, you forgot your Lulus, didn’t pack your lunch, or didn’t sleep the 7 hours your trainer told you to, doesn’t mean you should give up the entire day…or week. This ties back to my previous point of making progress the other 23 hours of the day. Fitness should not be a crutch but instead a step. If you’re unable to workout on a day that was planned, use the time to plan ahead and be productive. Work towards making the next workout or the next day even better. Remember, small steps forward are still moving in the right direction. 😉
- Using Workouts As A Form Of Punishment.
Pounding yourself in to the ground each workout may be the reason you’re having trouble staying consistent. Who wants to schedule punishment in their calendar anyway? Well…some do 😛 The experience of exercise should feel challenging but rewarding. The endorphins should be something you want to frequently come back to. You should feel excited about making continuous progress, seeing results and feeling stronger. All of this is very hard to appreciate if you’re slaying yourself out of guilt on a daily basis or every time you muster up enough desire to go back to war. Consistency is #1 in my books!
- It’s Not Worth Starting Until Your Life Makes More Sense.
Six years later and you still haven’t started. Welcome to the new age, people. Life is hectic. Get used to it! The only thing you can control is your reaction to it and what better way than to incorporate health and fitness for some balance? There’s never going to be a perfect time to begin. There will always be an effort involved in healthy living. The truth is, if you want to get healthier, you will make time for you. You will find ways to save money to afford help. You will restrain from old behaviour to create new ones. Exercise can help develop the discipline that’s needed to gain control of your hectic life so stop waiting for things to settle down and make more sense. Get right in there and settle it down yourself!
Total health and fitness starts from the inside out, getting to the root and creating the self-awareness to make conscious choices for your betterment. If you resonate with any of these mindsets then you now have the first step in making a change. It’s your choice.
In strength and vitality,
WE THE STRONG