Just a short blog post today about two very common characteristics of those clients of mine who find it difficult to stick to their good intentions of training consistently and eating well. Firstly focusing their whole life on the needs of friends and family and always putting themselves last – this is particularly true of some female clients. Secondly, being surrounded by people who don’t share their desire for self-improvement and being unduly influenced by them.
You ARE allowed to have your own needs and interests too. Maybe your children would actually grow into better, more responsible, self-sufficient, human beings without you dropping all your good intentions to attend to their every whim – same for husbands, partners too. In looking after your health and fitness you are far more likely to be around for much longer to be around for them when they really need you, than if you die early or are in poor health.
Very often these people you are giving up your own life for also happen to be the same people who hold you back in other ways, such as ridiculing your healthy ambitions, asking you why you want to waste your time getting fit or why you can’t eat the same meals as them. Realise that (apart from the fact that they may prefer you to not train so you can be at their beck and call), this is not really about you at all but rather about their own failures. In effect you are showing them up and making them feel less worthy in comparison by trying to change your life for the better. You are stronger than them and they would rather not have to face the truth about themselves. They will make every excuse and provide you also with some nice easy excuses not to take control of your life.
I am very fortunate in having a wife who has always supported me in my fitness activities and is open-minded when it comes to trying different things to make our lives better, whether it is changing our nutrition or sleep patterns or taking proper exercise. For many though this is not the case, with partners hanging on to old habits and being unwilling to try new things. This can make change very difficult for both partners. If talking openly and honestly about what you want from life doesn’t work, maybe you should reflect on the value of the relationship.
It really is so critical, especially in the early stages of a fitness regime, that you surround yourself with others who support your ambitions and think like you. Clubs and informal groups can play a vital role in this if it can’t be found at home. I would most likely never have transformed from a 52 year old overweight, out of shape guy into an ironman distance triathlete and ultra distance runner if I hadn’t taken the important step of joining the Abingdon and Vale Triathlon Club and been surrounded by other positive, ‘can do’ people who understand and support your ambitions. So find other people with similar goals, wherever they may be, and make a habit of spending time in their company and minimise time spent with those who have given up the ghost – they will only change when they see the results of your efforts and, often, not even then – you cannot change that.
So take charge of your own life and don’t let others hold you back. You owe it to yourself and you only have one life so make it count.