Here are some of the things related to fitness, nutrition and just healthy living in general that stand out to me from 2009. Truly nothing is new under the sun, but these lessons, whether new or old, rise to the top.
I've got to want it bad enough.
What is my goal? How much does it mean to me? I have to tear through the superficial fluff and dig deep. I can hire the best trainer, read every diet book ever printed or try numerous fat loss or muscle building training programs, but if I don't have follow-through it's a waste of time and energy. I'm not going to have follow-through if my goal doesn't mean enough for me to sacrifice some portion of myself to attain it. That doesn't mean the process is hard. It doesn't have to be all-consuming. Remove the hype and marketing and the actual process is simple, but it certainly isn't easy. Anyone who tells me it doesn't take blood, sweat and tears is flat out lying to me. To paraphrase Rachel Cosgrove, if my goal isn't important enough for me to make the sacrifices to achieve it, I need to rethink my goal.
The mental is as important (or more important) than the physical.
No pun intended, but it really took me a while to get my mind around this concept. Just like I can exercise myself into complete oblivion without decent results because of my eating habits, I can embark on training and nutrition programs that I am physically capable of doing but if my mind is not ready I'm setting myself up for failure. My body is smart. It handles all the junk I've tossed its way, right? My mind is really what trips me up along the way. Willpower is not enough for me. I need knowledge, a long-term strategy, a meaningful goal and a sound support system.
I can go to the gym faithfully and eat healthy foods and never change my body.
This statement is downright scary. Time in the gym doesn't cut it. What does? Intensity, challenging overload, calculated progression, beating my personal best. Have I really defined healthy eating for my body? If my body is not changing in a progressive way, if I've stopped making progress or can't maintain, what can I learn from my eating habits? What am I going to change? I need an intimate knowledge of what works for my body and the power that comes from taking action.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? I've written them as if I were speaking them because I have, at some point or another. This is not about a fad diet, the latest ebook or magazine workout, a trainer, TV show, or celebrity who is supposed to have all the answers. It's not really about looking good at a class reunion, a wedding or buying a new bikini for vacation. It's much deeper than that. It's about you. You are important, and this is your life.
What did you learn in 2009 that is going to make a difference for you in 2010 in regard to your level of fitness, your eating habits and your health? I would love for you to share it with me!