- Stop comparing yourself to others. No really. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. You don’t have washboard abs like that fitness model you saw on Instagram? So what. You can’t clean and jerk your bodyweight like the girl you saw on the Crossfit games? It’s okay. Your progress photos don’t look like that one girl on Twitter that lost 30 lbs. in a month? SO WHAT. COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS IS THE #1 WAY TO DEVELOP A NEGATIVE MINDSET. And with the extremely large rise of fitness themed social media accounts and fitspiration, it’s oh, so easy to fall into this trap. I know this because I used to fall into it ALL THE TIME. I’d complain to my fiance about my body and he’d look at me like I just grew a horn on my head. Honestly, because of this I’ve stopped following most of the fitness models on Instagram that I used to because it created a false sense of what is “normal” to me. Maybe to some people it motivates them, but all it did was highlight my OWN flaws. Now I try to compare myself to myself ONLY, and to still not get hung up on the aesthetics as much as the things that I can achieve. I mean heck- I can squat 140 lbs. for 3 sets of 5 and do some pretty awesome yoga handstands. I’d say that’s impressive! It’s important to focus on the THINGS you can DO- instead of only the way you look. So I try these days to not get so hung up on guilt-tripping myself if I don’t have a perfect “bikini competition prep” diet. Because you know what? I. FREAKING. LOVE. FOOD. And I train HARD. So I deserve to have Atlanta’s best pizza every once in awhile or a craft beer I love. Because life is too short to obsess over every calorie. And if you’re training to be a bikini model and want to exist solely on chicken breast and broccoli, then so be it. But I’m not. And I don’t have to eat a 100% perfect diet every second because I’m just a human. And I don’t care if I don’t have a ripped 6 pack at the moment. Because you know what? There are more important things to focus on. Sure, it can be a future goal, but it takes patience. Don’t get so hung up on comparing yourself to others in the beginning. Life just becomes a competition and that’s no fun.
- There’s no “right” way to get fit. Everybody thinks that their routine and what they’re doing is the best. You’ve got the “Push Play” people (P90X and Insanity) who swear by it. You’ve got the cardio bunny defenders that claim that lifting weights will make them into the Incredible She Hulk. You’ve got the “Broscience” chicken leg lifters, the Crossfit WODers and the I’m just trying to get toned “Barbie-bell” 5 lb. weight lifters- The emaciated marathon runners and the Zumba queens.The thing is- honestly- You CAN be fit doing any of those things. However, there are varying degrees of fitness, and different GOALS. And even some of the same goals can be achieved with the different forms of fitness! It’s all about what is the most effective for you. I could tell somebody everyday that they need to lift heavy weights for the fastest fat burning and most longterm results, but unless they WANT to do it- they just won’t. Yes, I know many people are “uninformed” and you may want to be the fitness myth crusader- but it’s almost like religion- you can’t push your favorite routine down people’s throats. Let them ask, guide them to the right materials, but it’s ultimately up to them in the end. And all different forms of fitness CAN coincide. I love to run, but I stick to sprints instead because my strength training coincides with that. Don’t feel overwhelmed with all the many different ways of fitness out there. The most important thing is that you find something that makes you feel awesome, and helps you reach your goals, whatever they may be!
- Don’t let fitness consume your entire life. It’s a very thin line between dedication and obsession. And yes, I’ve seen that “fitspo” quote “Obsessed is a word the lazy describe the dedicated” but I’m sorry, being obsessed with anything is unhealthy. If you’ve pushed everyone out of your life because you can’t miss a workout, offend your grandma because you won’t have a bite of her famous chocolate cake, or injure yourself because you can’t take a rest day, that’s borderline obsession. There’s so much information out there and things to absorb, and it definitely can become a consuming hobby, but it’s important to balance your life out. Fitness is a way of life, not a DESTINATION. So skipping a workout isn’t going to cause the wrath of Thor on your life. You can just pick it back up the next day. That being said, it’s important to stay consistent with your training goals. Don’t take what I’m saying the wrong way! All I’m saying is I hate to see people become so engulfed in defining themselves by their calories, macros, etc. that they can’t enjoy little things in life. Trust your training. Trust your diet. Trust yourself.