Ok so maybe you’re a former athlete or prior military, or perhaps you just miss those glory days when you felt good and you felt like you looked good. Now you’re looking in the mirror and saying “how did I get here?”, “how did I let my health get to this point?” Maybe it has nothing to do with what you look like, but you found yourself huffing and puffing walking up the stair and you thought “I used to be an athlete now I’m struggling with steps, well that’s not a good sign”. If you’ve experienced any of that you’re not alone. It’s easy to lose track of your health and fitness especially after high school or college. You have careers, maybe children and any number of responsibilities that continue to take priority over proper nutrition and exercise. However, you’re now recognizing your health and wellness needs to be a priority. If you’ve made that epiphany, you just made a giant leap towards change.
There’s a difference between knowing you need to do something and accepting you need to do something. Once you’ve accepted it, setbacks won’t cause you to quit because you realize health and wellness are a journey not a destination. The next thing I recommend wrapping your head around is accepting that there will be days when you’re running late, don’t have the energy for a good workout or stressed, and it is on those days that even doing what appears to be a lame workout is actually not just a victory but is necessary. You see when you perform a lame workout it may be true that you did little to move toward your fitness goals physically. However, that workout serves as a place holder in the habit continuum. In other words you strengthened the habit and your mental/emotional state by going through with it. Even if you dramatically reduced the intensity, even if you were so late that you showed up and only walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes because that’s literally all you had time for. Why? Because when you show up for those albeit lame workouts you still went, and if you’ve ever skipped a day working out you know how much easier it is to miss the next one. Think about it. How many times have you skipped a workout and that one skipped workout turned into two, three, four or more?
So getting back to your former glory starts with truly accepting that your fitness journey is life long. The second step is to accept that sometimes the workout is more about the habit than it is about fitness. Each time we choose to stick to our workout schedule the stronger mentally we get. In the beginning it is mentally painful… maybe even more than it is physically. However, over time you’ll become so mentally strong that it’ll just become something you do. You’ll reach a point where you don’t associate any pain with going. Once you’re at that point, you can then apply the same mental strength to developing proper nutrition (if you hadn’t already).