Twenty years ago, I had my first encounter with a barbell. What can I say…it was love at first lift. ❤ Hooked is an understatement. The competitiveness lifting created within me was something fierce. My diet was virtually non-existent as I was still in the throws of my eating disorder. Thank goodness for peanut butter and my age (29 at the time), otherwise the barbell would have never been raised more than an inch off the ground.
Life is different now. And while my love for lifting remains, other aspects of my existence have definitely changed…all for the better 😀
But 18 years have schooled numerous lessons in the world of diet/fitness. All of which I share now.
If only we knew then what we know now. How much would truly be different? You decide…
You can’t out train a bad diet.
Yep, it’s true – no other way around it. Even the Peanut Butter Diet won’t work (I keep trying!)
Push the sled as fast as you can until you can’t hear yourself breathe, relish in the soreness as you attempt to wash your hair, secretly compete with the blonde hunk you’ve been eyeing in spin class – it’s not about the exercise!
Of course exercise can help you reach goals more quickly. But at the end of the day, it’s what you put in your body and not what you do it!
Rest days are your friend.
Oh sure, it sounds sexy (and a bit boastful) to say you workout every day. But your results probably indicate something different.
More fatigued? Less muscle development? Chronic issues? Welp, overtraining leads to all of that and more. Your body is a well-developed machine but even the best machines need down time. And so do you!
Yeah, you may be thinking this – “I’ll gain weight if I don’t work out every day!” Farthest from the truth! Your body can only renew and grow with rest.
Take a ‘time out’, please! Or your body will do it for you 😢
Change will happen when you are ready for it to happen.
Sound familiar? BFF Susie coerces you into a Transformation Challenge. You know your heart is not in it yet you say ‘yes’ because she’s your bestie. Susie is pumped and can’t wait for the Challenge to kick off. You, on the other hand, loathe the deprivation that’s about to ensue.
“Calgon, take me away!”, you think to yourself.
Day 1 arrives and guess what? It’s an EPIC FAIL! Why? Because your head and heart were not ready for it!
Unless you are in the right frame of mind and have decided that change is the only option, inevitably, the roller coaster of change will set the world record of highs and lows and longest ride!
When you are ready for commitment, you’ll know it. And even then, it will be slow and steady. Remember “The Tortoise and The Hare”?. Who won?
Establish your own goals and not the ones of others.
Here comes Susie again. She’s opted to compete in a bodybuilding competition. During her first month of training, you’ve observed some drastic changes in your BFF. But is bodybuilding really for you?
Susie is single and works part-time allowing for a significant part of her day to be dedicated towards her goal. You, on the other hand, have three children with jam-packed schedules and can only make it to the gym 2 or 3 days a week.
Ah hem…focus on what you can achieve based on the time you have. Your day will come when life allows for something different. But for now, enlist the help of a professional to assure you are making the most of the time you have given YOUR goals.
Train to feel better and improve, not to look better.
Ok, so maybe this one is a challenge to wrap your head around…
We ALL want to look better, right? Yes…DUH!
Yet as we get older, we truly would rather maintain as much strength as possible – because we still want to be able to do what we did when we were 20. And, of course, we want to feel like we are 20 – zero joint paint, minimize back issues, hold on to muscle and bone mass for as long as possible so we don’t walk hunched over. You see where I’m going?
Your training should be a mix of boosting performance, improving mobility and gaining strength. The aesthetics will come naturally when you focus on more objective goals.
Oh, and those lingering psycholological issues? I bet they disappear when you shift your focus. Trust me…
Ok, I’ll say it – I coined this hashtag! 😂 Well, maybe not totally but I’d like to think that its popularity has increased because I preach this!
This one is simple – If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you won’t stay engaged.
As with anything in life, that’s the truth. Find your fit (yes, we’ve discussed this previously). Find what works for you – not Susie. Find who you are and life will discover you.
Because at the end of the day, if we aren’t having fun, then what is the point?!?!