Ten years ago when I started answering the phone for my fitness company I remember being struck by how much people wanted to talk before registering for classes.
After several months of 20 to 30 minute long phone calls, it dawned at me what was going on with most of these folks: they felt vulnerable about joining an intense fitness program. And when we feel this way it’s often helpful to talk it out.
Realizing that changed the way I viewed fitness as an industry, forever.
No longer was the way I viewed the business of fitness as a cheesy, soulless and vain quest to get people better abs, but, for me, it became a quest to take people by the hand, give them good information, quality workouts and respect their feelings.
See, here’s the thing. Fitness is in logical terms, simple. We all know that working out is good for us. We all know that potato chips aren’t so good for us.
But that doesn’t make our feelings about these things simple.
It doesn’t make getting out of bed to get a workout in before a long commute, simple.
So, while I know that this is the time of year when many of us feel the need to go on a strict diet and be really, really hard on ourselves in the pursuit of fitness and health, I urge you to re-consider how you’re approaching your fitness and health goals as we head into 2016 using these three principles to guide you:
- Acknowledge Your Vulnerabilities. It’s okay if you’re intimidated by the gym. It’s okay if you’re not sure how to use a machine, do a push-up properly or the best way to get more veggies in your day. This is all just information. You can figure this out. You can hire a coach (ahem!). You can talk to a gym-going friend. But acknowledging your feelings will help you. Trying to pretend that you don’t have insecurities will likely only get in the way of success. Because when we are putting our ego at the forefront, we are less likely to ask for help. And it’s my opinion that you are less likely to make true change without some help — be it via information gathering, coaching or support from a family member for things like childcare.
- Practice Self-Compassion. You are going to have set-backs. You’re going to sleep in and miss your workout one day, you’re going to have a slice of pizza for lunch when you intended to have a huge-ass salad. The question is, how do you handle these situations? What isn’t going to serve you? Beating yourself up for these slip-ups. What will serve you? Realizing that you are in a bigger-picture scenario — that is, what you do most of the time defines your physique, your fitness and health, not what happens on a day when you didn’t get enough sleep.
- Be Realistic With Your Goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t decide that you are going to run a marathon in 4 months when you haven’t ran in 8 years. Sure, you might hear of people doing such things, but that is a rare case, not the norm. One of my goals is to be active and fit well into old-age. This guides me well because it means that I don’t do stupid things — I don’t train through injuries and I don’t try things that I know I’m not ready for.
You can definitely do this! Don’t let your vulnerabilities stop you. Don’t let your setbacks set you back 😉 And be honest about what is realistic for you, right now. You are worth this journey.
Here’s to healthy, happy and magical 2016!
P.S. If you need help with information gathering, don’t forget that I send out weekly workouts to my email list each Sunday. Sign up for my list here.