Twelve years ago my husband and I did our first round of P90X. On day 90 we raised our arms in the air shouting; “Victory! We did it!” We had set out to accomplish a goal and had achieved it. We were done. Or were we?
I’ve coached many people over the years and have had great success helping them get to their goal weight. Once they achieve this target, many, sadly tend to go back to their old ways. The pendulum doesn’t immediately swing back in the other direction, but slowly, over time they find themselves creeping back toward old habits and feeling poorly about themselves again.
You might be a few weeks into a new health and wellness regimen and wondering: “Really? I’ve got to keep this up….forever?”
You might be wondering if you will ever put the word “enjoy” and “working out” in the same sentence.
Rethink Your Purpose
Most of us exercise to improve the overall quality of our life. Many people who begin an exercise regimen have had some kind of wake-up call: A poor report from their doctor, they can’t run upstairs without being completely out of breath, or they want to break a poor genetic pattern in their family history. Being able to play with your kids, be around to see your grand kids and enjoy outdoor activities that you may have never attempted, are all great incentives for exercising daily.
In an online article I read recently a personal trainer said: “There’s nothing wrong with having external or aesthetic goals, but in my experience, most clients who are able to find true, long-term success also tend to fall in love with the process itself.” I would agree. I would add that “falling in love” with the process also means accepting the journey and the ups and downs that happen along the way. Some workouts will feel pretty good, others will not go the way you expect. ALL that is good.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Barre, spinning, P90X, yoga… Which is the best way? No one solution is going to work or appeal to everyone. Every human body is different. Every personality type is different. A big part of enjoying the journey is finding the kind of fitness that appeals to you. Exercise should challenge you, but should be enjoyable to a certain degree.
When my husband and I completed our first round of P90X we felt great, but we honestly wondered if we could sustain that level of intensity day after day. That said, having been consistent over 90 days, we obtained a kind of “exercise euphoria” that we wanted to maintain. We were just ready for something different. Anything, if done repeatedly, is going to become mundane. That’s no different with exercise. To enjoy the process, you have to find new outlets. That might be including friends who will make you laugh, or playing a sport or training for a race.
Treat Your Workout Like Yoga
People who teach and do yoga on a regular basis refer to it as a “practice.” As Joe, one of the yoga teachers at the studio I attend always says: “Remember, today is about yoga practice, not yoga perfect.”
Why don’t we treat ALL our workouts like this?
If we treated every workout like a “practice” instead of like it was the championship match then we’d be less hard on ourselves if we had to grab our knees a few times or had to a walk a mile during our run. Have no expectations going into every workout. Just go into with the mindset that you will give it your best effort. This mindset is forgiving and helps me show up day after day.
Yes, my husband and I work out regularly, 6 days a week. What keeps us in the game is our ability to think in these terms:
- we’re not doing it to outshine anyone else
- we understand our limitations while trying to challenge ourselves
- we never expect perfection, just our best effort
- And the best reason of all…
We know that when we’re done, we always feel 1,000 % better than we felt before we started.