The ultimate goal with fitness shouldn’t be to live your life tied down to a super strict meal plan, living on chicken and broccoli, avoiding tempting social situations and/or training militantly with little enjoyment. That feels stifling, and is not really facilitating your best health and life.
Instead, the goal should be to train yourself to live healthfully and in alignment with your fit life values-without having to obsess. You can then trust that you will make wise decisions using your inherent knowledge. I call this following your fitness intuition. To reach this point, some training must be done!
Step 1. “Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.” Stephen R. Covey
Break old, unhealthy habits and install new ones. To do so, you must fully commit to a nutrition and training plan. BUT you should not just follow it blindly. Be engaged, interact with others, and find a friend or family member to join you on your fitness adventure. Staying engaged in the process and learning what works for you builds the foundations for your fit-life future.
Use mindfulness to assess how you actually feel while you are eating certain foods, when you feel hungry or full, energy levels, how certain exercises feel, etc.
For example, when I first started my health and fitness journey I realized that I loved making an omelet every morning and serving it with oatmeal and fruit or toast and fruit. I always felt energetic, satisfied and satiated (comfortably full) after that meal. Few years later and I still start my day off with that combo daily.
Step 2. “All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.”
It is so difficult to establish new habits with a wishy-wash work ethic. You must fully commit with your head AND your heart. When you think about why want to change, it should fire you up. “To lose weight” isn’t motivating enough. However, “Feeling confident in my own skin” or “Being able to play with my grandkids” are much more powerful. So, dig deep for you real reason WHY, then get moving don’t look back.
Step 3. “Fear is the path to the dark side.” -Yoda
We have all been there before. Worrying about how vacation would set you back, if you might come unglued at a special event, etc. In effort to control one of these fear-inducing situations, we often create unrealistic expectations of ourselves like vowing to do two-a-days throughout a vacation r slashing calories drastically during an injury recovery. Guess what happens when you do this? We make ourselves miserable worrying about it and/or our fears become a reality. This is not following your fitness intuition, which leads me too..
Step 4. “I believe I deserve to be fit, as healthy as I can be, as well as look my best. All those things make me a more productive human being, and actually able to serve others better than ever before. When I am at my best, it is easier to put my best efforts forward. I’m also taken more seriously because people see that I respect myself.”
At some point on our fitness journey, we must take off the training wheels and realized we can continue to live fit without perfect conditions or following an inflexible plan. We must trust our innate wisdom – the intuition that will set us on the right course if we just tap into it.
Build your fitness foundation. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Be open and honest with your trainer, family and friends to help assist you in your goals. Don’t settle for anything less than satisfactory, and the most important advice of all: BE CONSISTENT. Treat each workout session like it was your job. You wouldn’t be late for work or skip a day just because “You were too busy”, find time to better yourself and JUST DO IT!
Follow your heart and believe in what you do.