It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that more is better, especially when it comes to fitness. We are stuck in the rat race of doing more and more exercise with the belief that the more you do and the more your burn the better. And if your main purpose for exercise is weight loss it’s even easier to get sucked into this mindset, since you hear from everyone that you gotta do more, you know “it’s all about calories in vs calories out” right?
I can’t tell you how many women I hear from that tell me stories of how much training they do and how frustrated they are with their results. There are a few problems with this common scenario:
- What results are you working towards?
- Is your fuel intake adequate for the volume of training you are doing?
- Are you listening to your body (for training & nutrition information)?
- If your sole purpose for training is weight loss you will most likely lose this battle since you are doing the opposite of what your body needs.
- Are your expectations realistic?
Look the truth is we all need to slow down. We need to live, eat, and train more intuitively. We need to stop listening to all the nonsense we see in the media. We need to focus on taking care of ourselves physically and mentally.
#1: If you define results as weight loss then get ready for a roller coaster ride of emotions, feelings of failure, lowered self-esteem and defeat. I am not trying to be a pessimist here; I just want to be real with you! You must put weight loss on the back burner and HONESTLY focus on health, happiness and feeling good. You can get faster at running, stronger at lifting and more powerful at punching and feel amazing regardless of how much your body weights. Focus on performance verses body!
#2: If you are training hours a day and not fueling your body for this endeavor you are setting yourself up for disappointment. News flash you aren’t a professional athlete and you do not have the time, resources, or support to train like one. When you train for hours at a time and do not provide your body with enough fuel you are doing yourself a disservice and compromising your performance (and body results if that is what you are stuck on focusing on).
#3: If you choose to train when your body and mind are exhausted, or when you are sore from a previous day’s training you are not listening to your body. Contrary to popular belief you shouldn’t be sore all the time. Rest is when your body makes progress. Yes you will be sore when you start a new routine or make changes to your current routine but listen to your body and adjust your training accordingly. Your body is an amazing thing and needs adequate fuel, rest, and movement, but you must pay attention to what it is telling you to get the most out of it.
#4: If you are only training because you want to lose weight you are fighting a battle that usually doesn’t lead where you hope it will. You will over train, under eat, binge, feel guilty, punish yourself with exercise and in the end most likely won’t feel or look any better. But if you can find the courage within to let go of weight loss as your goal and trade that in for feeling better and improving your overall health you might be surprised at the end result. Train because you love the activity you are doing. Eat because you enjoy feeding your body and taking care of it’s needs. Rest because you know you need time to recover and heal.
#5: If you are fixated on looking a certain way as a result of your training efforts, it might be time to get real with yourself. Look we all have different genetics, body types, lifestyles, and strengths. You must accept your body and make it they best it can be, but it can’t look like someone else. I have a gym full of amazing women of all different shapes and sizes and not one of them has a similar body, but they all work hard to be better & stronger and that is what makes them awesome!
I encourage you to pause and take an honest look at what you are doing to yourself and your body. I recommend you focus on feeling better physically and mentally verses pursuing a vision of physical perfection that isn’t real. None of this is easy, but it is worth it. Find one small thing you can do each day that makes you feel better and do that thing. Find a form of exercise/movement that you love and do it. Find foods and eating habits that make your body feel good, energizes and alive and eat. In the end looking better all comes from feeling better!