I’ve been remiss, not for lack of trying but for lack of multiple ‘ME’s to achieve the many tasks at hand. I’m sure we can all agree that life has a way of happening and not necessarily in the ways we’d like to see. We’ve all been there and if truth be told, we’re probably going to go there again at some point and time. We take a back seat to what’s happening and fall off our little fitness wagons. In most cases, we chastise ourselves for those moments we should have gone for a run, dropped a few squats or opted for a healthier meal instead of copping to a cheeseburger wrapped in waxed paper as a time saving alternative. We condemn ourselves for being human and not fully fitness focused…or are we?
In my case there’s been a return to school, a change of jobs, a few rude awakenings and two untimely losses of both family and friends…in short, it’s been a rough year. Whereas I’ve been maintaining my weight within a few pounds up or down my level of fitness seems to have slid to the wayside while I’ve been chained to a computer and a daily three-hour commute. I’ll be honest, my fitness focus isn’t always on chin ups, back flips and how long I can hold a handstand; sometimes it’s on everything but my physical self.
There is more to fitness then buns of steel and a six pack.
Hold up! The heck you say?!
With all seriousness, I kid you not!
Fitness is a package deal…I repeat…Fitness is a package deal!
It’s true, when we think of fitness we think in purely physical terms. Height to weight ratios, waist width, caloric intake, and good lord almighty those ever-present assets. It’s how we have been conditioned to think based upon the partial definition of the word ‘fit’. Suffice it to say the original definition of ‘fit’ was given to a person having an extreme emotional tantrum or to those suffering acute epileptic type seizures. (Perhaps not what you may have expected and in no way related to a person’s size, weight or shape!)
No different then you, I sometimes find it difficult to look past the surface reflection and see the bigger picture…I mean what does 10 lbs of excess weight have to do with my mental outlook and emotional state? Well, quite a lot! Fitness is an overall concept; it is the cumulative aspects of your mental, emotional and physical self. To focus on only one aspect is to deny yourself the experience of ‘whole health’ or ‘whole body health and fitness’.
With that in mind, and without sourcing out every medical and training related reference on the interrelations of mind-body fitness, systemic effects of depression, low self esteem, anger, guilt and the body’s biochemical response and/or issues of immunological suppression under long term stress…let’s agree that when we are depressed we are more likely to feel physically ‘off’ and when we’re happy, we are more likely to feel physically ‘on’. In short, it’s easier to shed a few jiggly pounds when we’re feeling upbeat and positive then it is when we’re down and depressed.
So, with the New Year creeping up around the corner, here are 3 simple things you should remember when it comes to general health and fitness before you step on the scale, write down your resolutions and declare war on the battle of the bulge.
1. Don’t sabotage a good goal for lack of planning.
By taking time to plan for your success, you will be more likely to achieve it regardless of what life throws at you. Quite often we declare on the spur of the moment, “I want to…(fill in the blank)” but we never achieve it simply because we don’t take the time to plan for it. Don’t just declare a goal, create the road map you will need to achieve it. Understand that the ‘how’ is often more important then the ‘why’.
We all have those moments of frustration when we find we’ve slid a little left of centre or lost focus on our main objective. We encounter set backs that take us away from our main goal or throw an unexpected roadblock in our way. This crazy little thing called life isn’t always sunshine and roses, sometimes it’s a prickly little handful of thorns!
Don’t let these set backs make you throw in the towel. Life isn’t personally attacking you simply because it’s happening and all is not lost in these moments! See them for what they are, take a deep breath, refer back to your plan and continue forward. You will always be further ahead for re-starting right here and now then if you simply give up.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. I can not stress this enough, there is no quick fix or fast solution to any fitness goal be it weight loss, gain or improved tone. A good rule of thumb is to expect a three-month time frame in order to visually see a difference, however you can ‘feel’ a difference within a matter of a couple weeks…so don’t be fooled by your reflection!
Every year, countless people step forward on January 1st with a list of resolutions that last less then a week. They lose motivation when they realize it takes a level of dedication and commitment to themselves more so then the goal they’ve set. Value yourself and the benefits you will achieve while you’re reaching your goal. Be realistic in your expectations. If you want to lose 30 lbs, don’t get discouraged when you’re only down 1 lb within a week! A good average for weight loss is 1 to 1.5 lbs per week, so plan for it in the timeline you create to achieve it!
Set your objectives, write them down or create a vision board to help you stay focused. Plan for your success in simple daily or weekly ways. Create a menu, shop for it and stick to it. Pre-plan your indulgences to have something to look forward to and try to keep your rewards activity based over food motivated. Eat to burn, don’t burn to eat.
3. Make YOU, Part of Your Goals to Succeed
We all need balance in our lives between the physical, mental and emotional. Make it your goal to love yourself or at the very least, love yourself enough in order to achieve the other goals you set for yourself. Without a sense of value or self worth, we never seem to be able to fully appreciate our own efforts or justify the time it takes to accomplish self oriented goals. We think that self oriented equates selfishness, but that isn’t the truth. You have every right to put your health and well being as a priority.
Be ‘right minded’ in why you want to achieve your goals, it’s easier to achieve them when you believe in the ‘why’…and the ‘why’ is YOU.
With that, albeit it a bit belatedly, I wish you all a very Merry Fitmas and a Successful and Happy New Year xo