What is the first thought that comes in mind when you think about fitness? How do you define it for yourself? Would you be able to give it your very own definition or would you base your answer on what you hear in the gym, on the telly or from your friends? If the latter, you may not be on the right track to achieve your fitness goals. You may even already think fitness is not for you. Let me explain where I think you're going wrong.
I think the media, celebs and even TV shows and movies made fitness this magical skill that you can only reach a certain way, and whether it's about exercise, nutrition or other habits, most disciplines promote their best way to achieving a fit body, insinuating that all other means are sub par.
I'd say, the best way is the one you can sustain for life. To clarify, I am not talking about specific sports performance goals, because those will need you to follow a goal specific plan. This article is about all of you amazing people out there who'd like to lose some weight, get stronger, feel more functional, have more energy and generally grow old gracefully. Here are 4 ways to change your attitude towards fitness.
It's a cliché I appreciate, but as a boxer can only win a fight if he believes he can do it, you will only be able to see the results you desire if you believe in yourself and the process.
That, in my opinion, starts with your body. Whatever your current shape, form or fitness level, your body keeps you alive 24/7. That's pretty amazing, and for that alone, you should love it.
Now, if you love your body and yourself, there is no other choice than giving it everything it needs to stay fit and healthy. See what I did there? This whole fitness journey is not just about the workouts you do or the food you eat. It's also about how you see yourself and your body. Find your way back to self-love, and all else will start to make sense.
Many people fail because at the first obstacle they give up, like skipping exercise at the end of a tough day, because you are feeling shattered, OR buying that fast food because your schedule changed and the time you thought you'd have to cook vanished.
Build your mindset so when things become tough, you take it as a challenge you want to win, rather than a failure. You can't always control what happens, but you can control how you react. Why not take a half an hour walk instead of the planned gym session and pick up a grilled chicken and a salad from your local deli?
This way you exercise and choose a better option for dinner. That will boost your sense of achievement and improve your motivation to get back on track the day after. While if you pick up the first take away you find, head home and eat it all on the couch while watching TV, you will likely feel awful. Sounds familiar? Next time try to tell yourself "challenge accepted" because there is always another way.
If your first reaction to that is "I hate it!" you are not alone. Many of my personal training and online coaching clients started like that. Over time they realised the secret I am about to tell you. Nobody likes all kinds of exercise, but everybody can find at least one activity they enjoy doing.
You may not like running, but how about cycling, rowing or even dancing for cardio? Maybe you don't like lifting heavy weights, but yoga and callisthenics can help you just as well to build strong muscles. Do you see where I am going with this?
One thing is for sure. Only you can figure out what type of exercise you enjoy, and I encourage you to keep trying new things until you find the one that causes you joy. When exercise doesn't feel like a chore, you will be able to stay consistent and have fun.
While it doesn't feel like it has anything to do with fitness, it has more than you think. Let me quote the latest definition of health by the World Health Organisation: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
Do you ever come across handsome and beautiful people in the gym who seem to spend half their lives there, but they hardly ever smile? Can you guess why that is? Yes, because likely their whole life revolves around their workouts and the food they eat. They avoid going out in fear they would fall off the diet wagon, and I can tell you that there is so much patience friends have for someone sinking into fitness too deep.
I am not judging anybody, and I understand some people have very specific body composition goals for which they are ready to work hard. However, if you're like me who likes a little bit of socialising, spending time with friends and family even if it means my diet won't be 100%, then keep doing it and don't worry too much.
On another note, socialising doesn’t always have to mean eating out and drinking. You can organise an active day out in the forest, going wall climbing or ice skating, whatever activity you all fancy. Life's short. If I had to choose between slower results but more fun with friends or faster progress but feeling miserable all the time, you probably already know which one I would want.
How about you? If you have questions on any of the above or would like some commitment-free advice to your specific needs, feel free to get in touch.
My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be a part of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.