At CFR we are big on goal setting. But honestly, most people looking to join a gym or get started on a workout program typically have the same goal – fat loss. Even those looking to improve their overall health still usually want to achieve fat loss.
When someone tells me they want to lose weight, the first thing I ask is…
I have yet to meet a woman who can’t find one thing about her body that she would like to change. And while women are far more vocal and honest about it, I do believe that most men feel the same. But why is everyone so focused on esthetics? Often times so much so, they are willing to sacrifice their physical health in order to drop a few decimals of body fat.
Making a fitness goal for esthetic purposes isn’t necessarily bad, as it can be incredibly motivating for some. However, it’s very important to shed light on the motives behind your goals.
Ask yourself constantly…
- Why am I doing this?
- What will I get out of this once I have reached my goals?
- How will this improve my life?
- What is my underlying motive?
Anyone who has read a tabloid or watched a reality TV show can clearly see – beauty does not equate to happiness. Esthetic perfection does not guarantee you a happy, healthy marriage; it will have zero impact on the unconditional love of your children; and it certainly doesn’t get you closer to discovering self-love. More often than not, hyper focusing on one’s esthetics produces a level of shame, guilt and self-hate.
I can attest to this; I have spent many years of my life on an obsessive pursuit to build myself a juicy booty and find my abdominal muscles. In the process I have sustained numerous overuse injuries and restricted my dietary intake so much, I ended up sick, weak, listless and fainting from time to time – but I managed to get down to double-digit body weight. What I soon discovered when I got there was that I was not happier by any stretch of the imagination. I was HUNGRY and depressed, and not one single person who mattered in my life loved me any more as a lightweight than they did when I was at my maximum capacity!
You see, our minds are magnifying. The more you focus on something, the bigger it will become. My focus on achieving an unrealistic idea of perfection only made me hyper focus on how far I was from achieving it so the closer I got to it, the more I found wrong with myself.
It has taken me years to get to a place where I am now focused on what my body can DO for me and how my body serves me, flaws and all. My fitness goals are far more loving than they ever have been. I no longer workout to punish myself for binging on Berger Cookies or to fit into a size 0 – I workout now because this is the only vessel I have to carry me in this lifetime, and when I am 80 years old, I want to rock my Velcro shoes by choice – not because I can’t tie my own laces. I also want to be able to get down on the floor and play with my grand babies, and get back up. I want to be a rockstar grandmom, because being a badass mommy who climbs trees with my little one’s feels amazing to me! I want MORE of that!
It doesn’t matter if you are at an ideal weight in search of some idea of perfection or overweight in pursuit of a healthy weight. They key is to shift your focus from a place of negativity and disdain to a place of positivity and self-love.
Yes it is OK to love yourself. And you should!
Right now, as is. Self-love is not to be confused with narcissism.
If you’re thinking – this girl is getting all Oprah on me, I’ll take it, but stay with me.
Focusing on the negative will only bring you more negativity. Focusing on what you need to eliminate from your diet will only make you feel deprived. Shift your focus from deprivation, to nourishing your body and suddenly everything changes. If you think of every meal as an opportunity to fuel your body and every workout as a means to make you stronger and more amazing, you will become stronger and more amazing. The added bonus of fat-loss is a pleasant side effect.
If shame, guilt and self-hate are what lead you to CFR on a quest for physical perfection, consider that a blessing. In all my years in the fitness industry, I have not seen a gym so in tune with the bigger picture. We are not about punishing you into submission and crushing you into the ground with self-defeating workouts. We are ALL about building you up, starting at the foundation. We are ALL about making you thrive.
“OK, but seriously, I just want to lose weight!”
You WILL – trust me!
Tracking our fat-loss, body stats, and the like are an important part this journey – but how about taking the time to track your progress in other areas? For some, it may be as simple as being able to get up and down from the floor unassisted or being able to open a jar of pickles without asking anyone for help. For others, it could be improving your golf swing, setting a new deadlift PR or getting your name on the CFR Leader Board. Try tracking your sleep! That one is HUGE, and consistent workouts have a HUGE impact on the amount of RESTFUL sleep you acquire each night. Track your heart rate variability, your moods, menstrual cycle, sex drive (another awesome side effect of living a healthy lifestyle), allergy symptoms, aches and pains. When all is well, we seldom notice these things, but if you focus on what is GOOD, you will get BETTER in return!
If you are eating mindfully; fueling your body with healthy, whole foods with the sole purpose of nourishing it; working out; and focusing on ALL aspects of your progress, fat-loss WILL come. In my experience, it is inevitable.
In Health ~ Kristy