I often find myself browsing the web for a little fitspiration; a new workout idea, a trending fitness topic, or just to get a better idea of what’s going on outside my little fitness bubble. While the endless flow of fitness content out there is nice, I can’t help but a feel a little assaulted by it at times.
Anyone else feel as though we’re constantly being told there is one specific way to live? As if there is only one path between A and B? I don’t know about you, but I often get the sense that some of these people dishing out advice have already determined our goals for us. Forget what we want, they apparently know what’s best.
And not only that, do some of these bloggers not realize how similarly repetitive they all sound?
“Don’t try to work out X times per week – schedule your workouts in advance and just do it!”
“You need to eat (pick your favorite number) grams of protein per day, no matter what!”
“Just cook all of your meals in advance – this way you always have something to eat!”
“Allow yourself one cheat meal per week so your cravings won’t get too bad!”
They say this all happy and cheery and then send us on our merry way. Not without a selfie or two first, of course. But back to reality; is it me or is this advice just absolutely miserable? Sure, cooking 18 pounds of chicken breast and 25 servings of broccoli may work well for them and their washboard abs, but does that mean it’s going to work for you?
Is their cookie-cutter version of a healthy and happy lifestyle transferable to you and what you want out of life?
If you’re like most people I’ve talked to, the answer is a resounding NO.
Not a One Size Fits All
What these bloggers/fit models/health coaches don’t get, is just because a rather extreme approach works for them, it sure as hell doesn’t mean it’s going to work for the people they’re trying to help. Sure, in theory, eating a perfectly clean diet, working out 7 days a week, and living a life devoid of excess and/or fun is going to transform your body pretty quickly. But at what cost?
Is having a fitness mag cover body worth living the life of a monk? Is skipping dinner with your friends on Friday night worth that one percent loss in body fat? How about telling your buddies you can’t go out on Sunday to watch the games because Sunday is the day you slave enough cooking enough to feed a small village for a month. The point is, you’ve got to figure out where your balance is. At what point will you be happy with your body and health AND still able to live the life you want?
This is not something myself or some fitness buff on the web can answer for you. You know when you’re happy with your body and when you’re not. The problem is, so many easily impressed readers are repeatedly told they need to live life by a specific set of rules, and end up feeling defeated and burnt out if their personal habits don’t stack up.
Finding Your Balance
From now on, I want you to start making your own fitness decisions. Don’t live life a certain way, just because some chick on Instagram tells you to. It doesn’t matter if she has the waist of a 3rd grader. She probably doesn’t like eating all that much to begin with…which makes her rabbit diet much more palatable.
If you’re forcing yourself to live HER lifestyle, you’re going to fail. Absolutely, positively, 100% of the time. You need to find your balance. At what point are you happy with your lifestyle AND the way you look? Once you find this point, you can put it on cruise control. Of course, you may find you want to increase the intensity of your workout program and/or diet. This is perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a strict diet and exercise regimen – just make sure you’re doing it because you want to, not because you feel you have to.
For anyone who knows me, they know I enjoy eating and cooking. A lot. Food provides one of the single greatest pleasures in my life. On the other hand, I genuinely enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and if I can vainly admit, I’d be a little sad if I couldn’t see my abs. As a result, I make concessions and cut out enough things to achieve this. That said, if one of those hardcore fitness model wannabe’s on Instagram saw what my weekly diet was like, I’d be picked apart in two seconds flat.
It’s time you found your own balance. Have an honest conversation with yourself and decide at what point you’ll be happy with the way you look. Determine how much you’re willing to sacrifice. When you’ve arrived at both of those conclusions, you’ll have a much better idea of how to live your life.
Still not sure what you need to do to achieve the body and health you want? I’m here to help. Leave a comment below and I’ll get you set up with your own FitPlan designed specifically with YOU and YOUR goals in mind.