Many people take this approach – ‘As soon as I lose the weight or get fit, then I’ll start doing the things I’ve always wanted to do”. But I like to take the opposite approach.
First, set the goal and in the process of training for the event or activity you’ve always wanted to do, you lose the weight and get fit!
And it’s such a positive, motivating focus. For example, let’s say you set a goal of finishing a 5km fun run. Setting this kind of goal, because it has a deadline, provides a compelling reason to stick to the program and not miss workouts. In contrast, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, if you get off track, you can negotiate with yourself and say, “Well, I guess I can wait an additional week or two to achieve my goals.” But if you get off track with your training program while preparing for an event, you can’t call a race organizer and ask them to postpone the event because you aren’t going to be ready. You will realize that every workout or skipped workout will either positively or negatively affect your performance and your ability to achieve your goal.
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In addition, once you cross the finish line, that’s something no one can ever take away from you. You will always have your medal, finishers’ t-shirt and photos crossing the finish line. Whereas, with weight loss, you could lose the weight and then gain it all back next month and feel like a failure. There is a lot of status associated with conquering a tough challenge or finishing an event and so your confidence and self esteem receives a huge boost providing you with the belief that you can achieve the next goal.
I have also found that when someone succeeds at a goal such as this, they then inherently look towards the next goal – it’s just human nature. So then you may desire to attempt a 10K, half marathon, full marathon, a challenging hike, triathlon, bike tour, learn to paddle board etc. It’s a positive spiral. Whereas, with weight loss, it’s a negative spiral. Some people may lose the 10 pounds but they are still not happy. They then desire to lose another 5 pounds and get rid of this fat and so on and so on. Some people who have the most ‘perfect’ bodies have been those that struggled with their body image the most! For all these reasons, I try to keep the focus away from Body Image and instead focus on behaviors, events and actions.
At Northwest Personal Training, we use a form titled “Fitness Wish List” to help our clients set goals that will bring forth success. We start by having clients write down:
- Anything they have ever thought of achieving with regards to their own individual health and fitness.
- Which goal, if they achieved it, would make this year unbelievable?
- Have you ever wanted to:
- Hike the Grand Canyon
- Complete a marathon or triathlon
- Cycle through France
- Learn to Scuba Dive
- Learn to Paddle Board
- Learn to Rock Climb
- Cycle the Oregon coast
- Stick to working out 4x/week consistently
- What are their health and fitness dreams?
The only rule with this wish list is that none of your goals can be related to your body. Stay away from listing a goal such as losing 10 pounds or 4 inches off your hips. Keep this list positive and focused away from body image.
I encourage you to try this approach this summer and let me know your progress! #LivingLifeToTheFullest
Yours in health & fitness,
Join us for…..
RUN TO REMEMBER WASHINGTON – Memorial Day Mile, 5k and 10k races!
Saturday May 27th in Downtown Washougal, WA – just across the river from Portland Oregon.
Let us honor the brave men and women who have or are currently serving in our Armed Forces and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom. This Memorial Day Mile and 5k/10k running and walking event on Memorial Day weekend will benefit Battle Buddies, an organization that provides Service Dogs for our Veterans.