When it comes to health and fitness, what is your primary goal? The big one? The Number One something that you’d really love to achieve above all else? Be honest here. Is it performance? Function? Energy? Aesthetics? Hint: if it’s to look good, admit it. If it really is health, or wellbeing, or athletic ability, then fine. But there’s nothing wrong with admitting to a little vanity. Just be honest with yourself about what it is that you really, truly want. That’s a start.
But next, ask yourself this. How badly do you really want that goal? Are you really, honestly, truly, 110%, no exceptions committed to achieving it? To making sure that once you get there it doesn’t slip away? Last week I noticed that I’d gained a little weight. Looking back I realize that it’s entirely possible (although I really didn’t think so at the time) that no one else even noticed this. But I could feel it. And that’s really all that matters. I know you know what I mean. I blame it on hormones. When it comes to my weight, to bloating and fluid retention, some months I cruise through without even a hint that my body goes through any kind of hormonal cycle. But other times I puff up like one of those bomber jackets my generation used to wear in high school. And I feel disgusting. Like I really shouldn’t be allowed to leave the house. I know, I know, I’m overreacting. What can I say? I don’t think I’m the first one to react unreasonably when it comes to the way I look or expect myself to look.
Now as I just said, when I feel this way, I generally don’t want to be in public any more than is absolutely necessary. Particularly not in gym clothes. Strangely, whenever I feel down about my body, I tend to want to cease all activity and take up permanent residence on the couch. Preferably with half the confectionary aisle within arms reach. Sometimes I even do that – but never for more than one night.
Because as much as I sometimes question my sanity for being so caught up in my health and fitness, I am committed. Truly, madly, deeply. 110% and then some. And if I ever think I’ve gone off the rails – even a little – then I do whatever it takes to get back on track. To fight down the demons that tell me I may as well give in, that I’m nearing 30 now, my metabolism is going to slow down eventually, that it’s normal to gain a couple of kilos each year, that I’m too tired or too busy, or I just don’t feel like it. As far as I’m concerned, these and other excuses are just a load of you-know-what.
Thursday last week I felt miserable about the way I looked. And I could very well have gone with my gut (literally) and spent the weekend indulging my ‘I feel sorry for myself’ mood. And you know what? In the grand scheme of things, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. One weekend does not make or break you. But the pattern does. The giving in to the excuses does. And – more than anything – the lack of respect for the person in the mirror who never lives up to their own promises definitely does.
Let’s take a closer look at your patterns. Do they match your goals? Just how committed are you when it comes to crunch time?
Ask yourself the following questions –
- Do I miss planned workouts more than once a month due to being tired, feeling under the weather, feeling lazy, or because I just can’t be bothered?
- Do I (more than once or twice a month) let work dictate whether or not I exercise and eat well?
- Do I (more than once or twice a month) merrily abandon healthy eating plans when friends or colleagues suggest a naughty alternative?
- Am I an expert at justifying why today was just not the best day for exercise or eating well?
- Do I constantly find a reason why creating a healthy living plan will have to wait another day, week, month?
- Am I more committed to my goal – or to my emotions?
Hard questions to ask.
But the answers should be simple enough. In my experience, there are two groups of people out there:
- Those who make life happen
- Those who let life happen to them
So which one are you?
Life is Now: Press Play
*Oh, and no, I did not stay stuck to the couch all weekend. As much as I really didn’t want to at the time, I spent the better part of the last four days training my butt off, sweating copious amounts, eating well, drinking plenty of water – indulging in a little wine and chocolate, but basically doing what I had to do to get back to pre evil hormones me. Crazy? Maybe. Committed? I’d like to think so. And the part that really matters? I feel like me again. I feel in control. Happy. Ready to face the world. And that’s what true commitment to your goals is all about. Isn’t it? Tell me what commitment means to you – and what you do to combat the oh-so-justifiable excuses that pop into your head now and then.