I’ve been thinking about how I’ve changed my ways with health and fitness over the past couple of years, and realized the major determining factor: I got out of my own head.
(photo credit: Whitney Benjamin)
For so long, I didn’t want to work out, unless it was a “real” workout. Back then, it was all about duration instead of quality. if I didn’t have an hour, it didn’t *count.* Now, if I have 30 minutes, I MAKE it count, and I do the things I love.
Fear of failing and feeling like I needed to be “perfect” to succeed. I think a drive towards perfection can be a tightrope walk. On one side, it can gently nudge you towards working harder, or giving a little more than you thought you could accomplish. On the other side, it’s an unattainable ideal that often will lead to frustration. For years, I fell on the latter side, and instead of being proud of what I did, I looked at how I failed. I’ve learned that by dropping unattainable expectations, you can surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
Food fears and avoiding indulging in things that weren’t *healthy.* I’ve mentioned it a few times here on the blog -most recently in this post- but when I think of some of the things I used to do, I give myself the side eye. I let myself become brainwashed by the various media outlets -magazine articles claiming “Five foods you should NEVER eat again!” and the various nutrition and fitness books I studied, which all somehow contradicted each other- and added certain things to my fitness routine and removing others from my diet. It took a while to tap into an intuitive style of eating, but it’s freeing to eat everything and still attain your fitness/health goals.
Comparing each workout/run/race to the previous. This is what initially sucked a lot of the fun out of running, and I stopped for a while before slowly easing back into it. My next run or race always had to be better than the previous one, and we all know that isn’t possible.
When I stopped comparing myself…to myself… it helped me achieve the PR goal I’d wanted to achieve for so long. When I did my long runs, I focused on mileage instead of time. My long runs were slow, but I completed the distance, and I used my Orangetheory classes to help with the speed and hill training.
Some things that have helped:
-Honor your body. It sounds like such a simple thing, but can actually be challenging to do. There were times when I logged miles on the elliptical because I thought I had to get in “x” amount of cardio, or when I avoided certain desserts/treats. I remember when I posted about eating ice cream again like it was a big deal, which just goes to show this weird bubble that I was stuck in. (Now if I want ice cream… I eat ice cream…) Transitioning from weight loss mode to maintenance mode can be tricky, but it’s a lot easier when you honor what you’re feeling and what your body is telling you to do.
-Drop your expectations and give yourself some patience. I was listening to a podcast about YouTube filming, and the expert was saying that your worst thought about yourself is 100% worse than anyone, even the harshest critic, will think about you. (And this is coming form the YouTube world, where if you’ve read the comments section, you’ll see some of the worst/nastiest things ever.) This struck a chord with me and made me realize that so often we really are our worst critics. Over the past couple of years, I dropped a lot of my expectations in favor of attainable/positive goals and given more patience to myself.
What’s something you had to do to get out of your head? Anything related to health/fitness that you dropped or changed over time because it wasn’t working for you?
As always, I’m excited to hear your thoughts and read your comments.
Have a wonderful night <3
This post was originally published on Fitnessista.com.