Losing weight and getting stronger requires so much more than just eating right and hitting the gym. Those are the easy parts. The hard part is living up to the expectations you have for yourself.
As a personal trainer, I like to venture out of the realm of traditional exercise and give my clients exercises to expand their outlooks on movement, food and their future selves.
One of my favorites is to have some of them write down one sentence explanations of what kind of person they want to be. Simply finishing the sentence: “I want to be the person who…”
This is important because losing weight or wearing a size 2 is so often seen as the main goal, but it is not actually the goal we want. After focusing on how we want to eventually see ourselves, we find the motivation to keep at our current routines.
Idolizing a certain size can only motivate us for so long.
So what are examples of this? Here are a couple of mine and some common ones among clients:
- I want to be the person who can say no to food I don’t need when others are saying yes.
- I want to be able to sit next to my husband, watch him eat ice cream or a donut, and not eat one myself.
- I want to be strong enough to complete a pull up.
- I want to be able to go without makeup because my skin is finally clear.
- I want to be able to walk up stairs without pain and without being breathless.
- I want to be the person that says yes to active adventures, rather than worrying I’m not in shape enough to keep up.
- I want to be the person who doesn’t have anxiety over food.
- I want to be the person who eats more to fuel my body, rather than my emotions.
- I want my outside to match how I view myself in my mind.
This exercise usually starts with simple phrases and eventually morphs into really insightful statements. These sentences are so important to get out of your head because it’s like, “Holy crap, I actually wrote that.” It makes them more real to admit it on paper because there it is….staring back at you.
And this matters because after we push past the desire to be “as skinny and carefree as that girl” (insert any chick you see on the street), we still have something to work for.
The real stuff.
We tend not to forget the time we admitted that it makes us sad to have little control near certain foods. Or that we don’t see ourselves as overweight – we just see us – but that other people don’t see that. And we want to overcome those sadnesses.
I can still remember the exact moment where I felt like my outside matched how I had always felt about myself.
It wasn’t during the days when I was trying to be super skinny. It came once my body was more capable, stronger and, surprisingly, physically bigger. #muscles 😉
This is an exercise I like to do from time to time, to realign with my true goals when I get caught up in the BS that is the world.
There are a lot of ways I could be, but there are only a few that will bring me true happiness and confidence. I have to be honest and genuine with myself about who I am, who I really want to be and not who I want to try to be to please people around me.
Working at the things that we really want in our lives gives much more satisfaction and joy than chasing others’ expectations.
Take a few minutes today to think about the things in your life, fitness or non-fitness related, and jot them down. This will be the beginning of a new way of thinking when it comes to how you go at your goals and live your life.
And the day you realize you are capable of achieving these things – man oh man – that’s going to be a great day 🙂