Perceiving health and fitness success.
If I was to ask you to tell me about your health and fitness success, what would you say? This may be an over-generalization, but I suspect that many of you would mention your weight as one of the top markers for your level of success. This is probably due to the fact that standing on a scale is very straightforward and gives an ‘obvious’ indicator of how successful your health and fitness efforts have been.
What would happen to you mentally, and emotionally, if you had been exercising consistently and eating well (due to your new found understanding of macronutrients and calories), but the number on the scale hardly moved in the direction you wanted it to go? You’d probably be frustrated that your efforts aren’t being rewarded, and as a result you may conclude that you aren’t experiencing health and fitness success.
I’d like to challenge you to change how you think about your measures of success regarding your health and fitness efforts. If for example, your girth measurements are lower than when you first started, that is success. If your resting heart rate, and blood pressure have normalised and lie within the healthy range, that is success. If you are able to go up and down stairs without losing your breath or holding onto the handrails, that is success. If you have developed the confidence to walk into a gym and perform exercises (other than using cardio equipment) effectively and at a weight and rep range that was once a challenge, that is success. If your favourite dress, shirt, or pants now fit you and allow you to move freely in them, that is success. If you have mental clarity about the steps needed to accomplish your daily tasks whether at home, university or work, that is success. If you are able to maintain healthy relationships both publicly and privately, that is success. If you are someone who used to be crippled by stress, but through exercise and healthy eating you are now better able to handle and process stressful situations, or even decrease your stress levels; you guessed it, that is success.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only measure of health and fitness success comes from the number on the scale or the comments that others make about your physical appearance. The bulk of the successes that I just mentioned start with you and your perceptions. Align your perceptions to look at the overall picture of health, fitness and wellbeing. Know this, if you have been putting in the work consistently you will reap the rewards, today and into the future also.
Cheers to you and the health and fitness success you’ve already attained, and many, many more to come.