I am a big believer in supporting the fitness industry. I am not interested in having a dig at what any other gym or coach is doing. For the most part, we are all just trying to motivate people to live healthier, happier lives – & each of us do it differently.
I will say though – I am sick to freakin death of the ‘challenges’ that are being pumped out. Sure, ‘results’ are achieved. But how fulfilling are those results? Have you built your body to last? Or are the results going to disappear just as quickly as you earned them?
My problem isn’t with the excessive exercise or calorie restriction that manipulated these results (even though that part of it is pretty shitty too) during these challenges. My real issue with them is the way in which they set you up for short term gain and long term failure.
Why are you counting weeks? Why are you committing to something that you acknowledge isn’t sustainable long term?
Let me be clear – this blog is not intended for people that are training and eating specifically for the purpose of body building or entering a figure contest and walking on stage. I am actually a big fan of body building and find the sport fascinating (so much so that I have travelled to Las Vegas numerous times for the Mr Olympia Bodybuilding Competition and Fitness Exhibition!) If that is what you are working towards – power to you! In no way am I suggesting that there is anything wrong with that.
But, if your goals involve being able to shop for clothes without anxiety, having more energy to play with your kids, feeling more confident in front of your partner, finally dropping that last 5 kg that has been haunting you forever….then I am most definitely talking to you.
We all know someone who dropped a staggering amount of weight in a short period of time only to put it all back on.. and more. When you are counting the weeks that you are doing something, what you are really doing is counting the weeks until you go back to what you were doing before.
You have made no commitment to long lasting change.
You might feel ok with that at the time because you feel desperate for quick results.
But without consciously building healthy habits that are sustainable for you and your lifestyle – it is inevitable that those results will slip away from you when the challenge ends. Then what?
Then begins the binge on all the poor choices that lead you to feel like you needed to overhaul your life with a challenge to begin with. And so the cycle begins.
What upsets me is that as a society, this has become acceptable.
I’ve overheard women describe the ways in which they are depriving their bodies all in the name of weight loss & their friends commend them on their commitment.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
People have negative attitudes towards gyms and the fitness industry in general because there is a sense of distrust. You are sold the dream of weight loss and fitness if you complete a challenge – only to find that your results were fleeting and all that time, money and effort has left you back where you started.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
I challenge you to get real with yourself. I challenge you to slow down. I challenge you to start being kind to your body, mind and spirit.
Most of all I challenge you to question – what are your beliefs about health and fitness? Do you believe it is hard work? Do you believe you have to punish your body with gruelling workouts? Do you believe you cant remain accountable to yourself?
Where do these beliefs come from? Are they fuelling positive actions or holding you back?
Do you truly believe a challenge will be the answer to long term health and fitness? I know that you don’t. I know that you are hoping it will be the kick start you need to boost your motivation and keep you in line.
Health and fitness isn’t a game. There shouldn’t be winners. We shouldn’t celebrate after 8 weeks or 10 weeks or 12 weeks.
We can celebrate ourselves every day. Any day that we consciously choose to do something that moves us towards improving our health and overall fitness – we have won. Celebrate the little things – and soon enough you will feel capable of bigger things.
Our bodies do so very much for us. This year alone, my body birthed and fed my son. It has endured sleep deprivation and a hormonal shit storm. It has shown love to my partner. It has run, jumped, danced, played alongside my stepdaughter. I am proud of it in every way.
I have no idea what I weigh at the moment. I don’t count macros. I certainly aim to fill my body with nutrients – but I also enjoy chocolate. Every day.
I love exercise. It is not something I do, it is part of who I am. It allows me to check in with myself and consider how well I am functioning. Have I had enough sleep, enough water ? Movement is soul food.
I believe I have been able to establish and maintain such a positive, healthy approach to health and fitness because I have NEVER made it about being in competition with anyone. There have been chapters of my life that I have pushed harder than other times – but I have never had an end date. My commitment to my health and fitness is unwaivering.
Find something that you love. Find a community that supports you. Slow down. Start again for the very last time. Do only what you can sustain – and do it with complete commitment and consistency.
There is no end date.
We are living this one life we are given right now.
Don’t spend a moment of it feeling like you are in competition with anyone.