by Aura Muccio
Anyone that knows me at all knows that I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. When I start anything (think hobby, job, sport) I have to learn as much as possible about it. I don’t just want to do “something”, I need to understand the underlying “whys” behind it. Then when it’s something I’ve been doing for years, I still want to know more and more about it and keep asking “Why? Why? Why?” There are so many things to know and learn in this world and something within me just NEEDS to learn as much about all the things.
It’s almost an addiction. It’s this quest for more information that I apply to all facets of my life, especially the things I do in and out of the gym. When it comes to my health goals – both mental and physical – knowledge really is power.
As a result, I find myself spending a lot of time reading blogs, listening to online talks and researching information in the world of health and fitness. I’m sure you’re already all too familiar with the vast information that’s presented all over the Interwebz (Google much?). Everyone and their uncle has an opinion from what you should be eating to how you should be training to what kind of clothes you should be wearing. It can be overwhelming and intimidating. Whether you’ve been training and watching your health for decades or you’ve just started finding your way to a gym, how do you even begin to sort through the information and advice??
To help me figure this out myself, I’ve gathered a couple of ideas that I’ve been using to sort through the smorgasbord of information. And maybe it can help you too in like a “oh, I hadn’t thought of it like that” way or maybe even a “pfft, that is the dumbest idea ever” sort of way. In either case, maybe you can put it to use. Or maybe not, and that’s okay too.
Define YOUR goals. What do YOU want to accomplish? Do you want to get crazy strong and deadlift 1.5 times your bodyweight? Do you want to run faster and jump further? Do you want to start eating more vegetables? What are your short term and long term goals? Do not fall into the trap of thinking you have to look like so-and-so or be as strong as what’s-her-name! This is your life! You only get one go at it. Do you really want to spend the entire time comparing and conforming to someone else’s idea of what you should or shouldn’t be? Get in to your own head and find out what YOUR goals are. Not someone else’s goals. Yours. And own your choices!! It’s impossible to pick incorrectly – they’re yours after all!
Figure out the amount of work you’re willing to do. This part might be uncomfortable but you have got to sit with yourself and really define what it is you’re willing to do and not do. Honestly. Ask yourself if you really want to spend Sundays prepping your food for the week? Do you want to package all your food up neatly for the week? If not, it’s okay (neither do I)!! Find a way that works for you. Do you like cooking everything ahead of time and not have to figure out your meals during the week, go for it!! What about working out? Do you want to work out every day because it makes you feel better and stay on track? Can you shift around your schedule to make it to the gym daily? Honestly. Is three days a week better for you? Do what you can REALLY do – what are you willing to set aside to meet your previously defined goals? Do you really care about who wins the Voice or which MobWife is being dissed now? Or can you just watch the highlights and use that TV time to work on your goals? Maybe you really do want to zone out in front of Once Upon A Time (on Sundays on ABC, ahem!) and that’s okay! Pick and choose what will help you achieve your goals. And make doubly sure you’re going to back up your choices.
Get help. Find a trainer, a gym, a nutritionist, a workout buddy, an app, someone that you can go to, someone that you can trust to help you get to YOUR goals. If you are meeting with someone that says “hey, you need to drop and give me fifty pushups” when they don’t even know whether you can do one. Then, they’re probably not the right fit for you. If someone says “you have to cut out all carbs and cheese and sodium and every other Tuesday only drink water with lemon” to lose weight, even though you LOVE your feta cheese on your salad – but they don’t even bother figuring out what is/isn’t something you’re willing to give up. Then they’re probably not the best fit. Find your fitness/health sanctuary. Find that person or place that is willing to listen to your needs and your concerns and offers advice based on YOU and YOUR goals, (see a pattern?) and not the latest fad diet or workout.
Listen to your internal dialogue. This is probably the most difficult. At least it is for me. Really listen to the words you use to talk to yourself. Every. Single. Day. What kinds of things do you say about yourself to yourself? If you’re constantly talking yourself out of success (“you’ll never be able to do a pull-up”) and talking down to yourself (“my thighs are so gross and fat”), take a breath and ask yourself if you’d say these things to your best friend? Your child? If the answer is no, change the words. Reframe your perspective.
Try “good job, you’re making great progress, you’ll be doing a pull up in no time” or “look at how strong my legs are and how they carry me through the day!” Or “geez, I’m so jacked I can carry all the grocery bags in one trip!!” You’ll be surprised how much more successful you’ll be in and out of the gym when you start listening to yourself – and speaking to yourself with kindness.
Hopefully something I’ve written can resonate with you. Or not. Either way, it’s okay. Just remember to always be true to yourself, your goals and your dreams. As it turns out, YOU are perfectly suited for determining your own success!
Much love :)