Health, fitness, training and nutrition have so many different meanings to so many people. Looking just at training for a minute, if you think about the why for people? Why are people training? Why are you training- what do you want from it all? Yesterday a friend of mine who is trying to lose weight said she is now training to lose weight but after the initial weight loss she then wants to train to be fit. Isn't that a wonderful switch of focus and one I would be more in favour of.
I hate talking about 'diets' I hate when the focus is on 'diet'- I really find these conversations pointless and almost on a level frustrating. You know when you tell yourself you can't have that, it's all you want. Psychologically I feel this is what restrictive diets do. You become obsessed with food, it is your only thought and it's draining. This is why training for health is far more sustainable and rewarding but don't fret the weight loss will come. I see friends of mine who are obsessed with the scales, literally bin yours today. They will be up a pound on a Monday, down two on a Tuesday and back to the original number on a Thursday, by the time Saturday rolls around, we have all lost count and are slightly demoralised by this numbers game!
When the focus is switched to training progress, you will have a far healthier mindset on training and what you are managing to achieve. Think about it, imagine week one you are asked to complete 15 burpees and you are struggling at number 7, in week three you are smashing out 15 and able for another 5, these are the numbers that you should focus on and not the numbers on that scale.
Life is tough, we compare ourselves to so many others, from job titles, financial status, to how people look and dress. The last thing you need to be doing is looking at others when you are on your own journey- sure a little competition is healthy but from only if coming from a healthy outlook. When I was younger everything I did in terms of training was all with one focus- to be skinny!
Needless to say after many failed attempts, I knew I needed to switch my thinking. I was always only ever ok at team sports but I loved playing them and although the training was tough, I loved the feeling of being a part of something, a group collective of like minded people with the same goal- to win.
Now I approach my own training with the same gusto- the goal posts are different though, there is nothing to win, the only prize on offer is a personal rewarding feeling. This is something I am always communicating to people, a lot of our happiness can come from external factors these days but imagine you can be the sole creator of a little token of happiness each day and it is all done for yourself by little old you.
So even if your goal is weight loss, try not to over think it and focus your energies on becoming a little faster, stronger and more flexible. Personal victories such as increasing your dead lift weight, knocking time off your 5km or finally getting a hand stand will resonate a better feeling of good will between you and training and therefore will encourage you mentally to have a better relationship with physical activity and perhaps even to stop seeing it as a chore.
When you begin to see exercise as just part of what you do, this is when you know you have made it and you will now never be without it again. This will only come though when your mind is in a space where you want to not only better yourself physically but mentally. The rewards of being healthy far outweigh any feeling from drastic diet measures which allow quick but unsustainable results.
So start today, get a notebook, write down where you are at physically, how many push ups, how fast you can run for 3 minutes, how long can you hold that plank and track your progress. The great news is that there is always more, so all we can do is get better and better!