Many people take this approach – ‘As soon as I get fit and lose weight, then I’ll start doing the things I’ve always wanted to do.” We suggest you take the opposite approach.
Set the goal and in the process of training for the event or activity you’ve always wanted to do, then you will get in great shape! It puts purpose to your workouts. And it’s such a positive, motivating focus.
For example, let’s say you set a goal of finishing a 10km fun run. Setting this kind of goal, because it has a deadline, provides a compelling reason to stick to the program and not miss workouts. In contrast, if the goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, if you get off track, you can negotiate with yourself and say, “Well, I guess I can wait an additional week or two to achieve my goals.” But if you get off track with your training program while preparing for an event, you can’t call the event organizer and ask them to postpone the event because you aren’t going to be ready. Every workout or skipped workout will either positively or negatively affect your performance and your ability to achieve your goal. In addition, once you cross the finish line, that’s something no one can ever take away from you. You will always have your medal, t-shirt, and photos crossing the finish line. Whereas, with weight loss, you could lose the weight and then gain it all back next month and feel like a failure. Plus there is a lot of status associated with conquering a tough challenge or finishing a event, so your self esteem receives a huge boost providing you with the belief that you can achieve the next goal. We have also found when someone succeeds at a goal such as this, they then inherently look towards the next goal – it’s just human nature. So after you finish the 10km, then often you’ll decide to attempt a half marathon, full marathon, a challenging hike, a triathlon, etc. It’s a positive spiral. Whereas, with weight loss, it’s often a negative spiral. You may lose the 10 pounds but may still not be happy. Some people who have the most ‘perfect’ bodies are those that struggle with their body image the most!
For all these reasons, we suggest you keep the focus away from Body Image and instead focus on behaviors, events and actions. The end result is that you actually will start to lose weight, tone up and get in the best shape of your life en route to the finish line!
So grab a piece of paper and write down all the fitness goals you would like to achieve. This is your personal fitness wish list. Write down anything you have ever thought of achieving with regards to your own individual health and fitness. Which goal, if you achieved it, would make this year unbelievable? Have you ever wanted to hike the Grand Canyon, complete a marathon or triathlon, cycle through Italy, learn to Scuba Dive or inline skate or rock-climb, cycle the Oregon coast, or would you just be happy with working out 4x/week consistently? What are you health and fitness wishes? The only rule with this wish list is that none of your goals can be related to your body size, shape or weight. Stay away from listing a goal such as losing 10 pounds or 4 inches off your hips. Let's keep this list positive, action-oriented, and focused away from body image. Then circle one item on this list, that you will focus on completing in the next 3 months. YES YOU CAN!
Yours in health and fitness,
ps. On that note, if you’re not doing anything this weekend, join us for our annual 6mile Run/Walk, Live Concert and community fundraiser for the Kearney Breast Center.
pps. Or perhaps you'd like to try our Girlfriends & Dudes Triathlon on July 19th. It's a short distance so you can do it. And if you're not feeling up for the whole thing, inspire a few friends and form a relay team!