I think what frustrates people the most about their physical fitness goals is when the focus is on an ideal end goal. From my experience, when I focus too much on losing a certain amount of weight or looking a certain way, I’ll be more likely to give up. I’ll miss seeing how my stomach has toned because I’m too focused on the remaining belly fat. The problem is there aren’t immediate results in fitness.
Instead, celebrate micro-successes.
The day I wrote this, I weighed in five pounds less than the week before.
Now that’s an achievement that everyone’s looking for in their fitness goals. But here’s the thing: there’s no way I can keep that up for the next few weeks, nor would I want to do that. There’s even a chance I’ll put on a pound or two at next weigh in… (Find out if I did!)
My long-term goal is to weigh under 200 pounds. I’m 5′ 11″.
I don’t have a strict goal on when that will happen and I think that’s the biggest pressure to put on yourself. Don’t set an impossible goal or even one the necessitates burning off ten pounds a month. That’s the quickest way to burn yourself out and then you’ll spiral back up in weight significantly more than where you started.
Instead, incrementally celebrate forward progress.
Don’t hate yourself for gaining weight. One week is fine; water weight, eating a big meal, or even dealing with more stuff can cause you to put on weight unknowingly. Use it as a warning sign and proceed in a healthy manner. A second week is also fine, but remember that you’re going further away from your goals. Maybe use that as an opportunity to put in another workout? Try out some different foods? Address the stress of your life?
Fitness is such a subjective thing, too.
Do you want to rock climb? Climb up some structure to take better photos? Live a healthier, more fulfilled life? Each of these are valid reasons that can take us in different directions in our overall physical and mental health. I think the important thing is to keep pushing forward toward positive goals, and maybe when we reach that point when our current goal is too difficult to attain – when that final ten-pound weight loss goal seems unattainable – push yourself toward a different goal. Mix it up.
Don’t let the goals of your past negatively dictate your future.
My fitness goals have always been broad enough to not control my life: get healthier, do more, and cut back on the worst elements in life. I am still willing to indulge in certain pleasures in life. Pizza isn’t an off-limits thing. It just isn’t a daily thing for me anymore. In small sacrifices like that, over long periods of time, I’ve started to see small changes that can make me proud today.
I’ve only needed to sacrifice the least healthy elements of myself to attain a brighter and healthier future.
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 223.5 pounds
– Last week’s weight: 226.0 pounds
– Difference: 2.5 fewer pounds! …Nice!
|Related: Past weekly column entries.|
|Picture: A rough chart of the ups and downs of weighing myself.|
|Written On: November 18th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: Minor edits on the 30th.|