The Fitness Lifestyle Isn’t for Everyone and Why That’s Okay
The fitness lifestyle is one I’ve lived for the vast majority of my life. Even during times when I’m not lifting weights or doing my cardio on a daily basis, I am still doing something to move myself forward physically such as eating well, eating cleaner foods, trying Yoga, or just being more active in some way. Throughout my many years as a fitness professional, I have seen literally thousands of people who struggle to attain physical fitness as a lifestyle, and I’ve seen thousands who have adopted physical fitness as a major aspect of their lives. I can tell you from experience that anyone can achieve a healthy, fit lifestyle if they persist through the challenges and work through the hang-ups that set them back.
That being said, I firmly believe that the fitness lifestyle is not necessarily for everyone. While I also believe that anyone who truly wants to can achieve it, I also believe that some people just don’t really want it. Social media, physically sexy stars in magazines, fitness becoming part of pop culture – all of these things put some kind of external pressure on us to live, act and look a certain way. However, the truth is, that despite these pressures and influences, some of us just don’t want any part of it. We may think we do, but we don’t. I know this to be true by the huge percentage of people who join a health club, never use it and quit or the number of people who hire a professional trainer, realize being fit requires daily work and focus and simply give up. At some point we have to ask ourselves, “is the fitness lifestyle something I want for myself, or am I trying to force it upon myself so that others will appreciate me more?” In the end, many of the things we do in life center around impressing others. What we need to come to terms with when it comes to our fitness efforts is, are these efforts for ourselves or for someone else? If they’re not for you personally, chances are you’re going to give up.
Every physically fit person has had ups and downs in their adherence to their lifestyle and fitness efforts. I’ve gone years without doing cardiovascular training and I’ve gone many many months at a time without any type of resistance training. Sometimes we just don’t want it and despite trying to force it, we inevitably quit. Those who maintain a fit lifestyle are those who have the internal desire to persevere and their desire to live a fit lifestyle outweighs their desires for other things. These people are successful because their priorities are placed on their fitness lifestyle and something else that was previously a priority is moved out of the spotlight.
I try to help people find ways to adopt a more fit mentality and lifestyle, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t always stick. I challenge you now to truly reflect on your life’s priorities and see where being fit and active and eating healthful foods falls on the great big spectrum of give a damn. If it’s low on the list, by all means, stop beating yourself up over it and let it sit where it is. Who knows, it may rise up one day and become a higher priority. Maybe you’ll meet some new people while doing the things you do prioritize and they’ll influence you to place more importance on your health and fitness. Who knows! The key here is to be honest with ourselves and avoid forcing things that just aren’t important to us in the present. If drinking alcohol and eating pizza is more important to your life than exercise and organic vegetables, then don’t force it. Forcing ourselves to do things that we don’t really care much about harms our mentality and emotionally scars us. As we force these things upon ourselves, we feel worse and worse about who and what we are every time we give up and “fail.” I challenge you to stop trying to be something you’re not in any way, but definitely with regard to a fitness mentality. I find it very refreshing to meet people who can appreciate that I enjoy exercise and clean eating, but plainly admit that it’s just not something they want for themselves. I find these people to have a much healthier mindset than those of us who keep trying to force a fitness program on a physiology that just doesn’t care about it.
If nothing else, this article is a simple line of thinking that has been going through my mind lately. I won’t keep rambling on, my friends, but I will encourage you if I may. If you find that you are struggling with maintaining a workout and healthy eating schedule, take time and pause. Reflect. Ask yourself hard questions and work to list your priorities. If health and fitness aren’t high on the list, there is no need to exclude them completely from your life, but don’t allow yourself to try and force them higher on your list of priorities than they already are. Let things be where they are and continue to live your life. I dare say that as you mature, grow older and move forward in life, I’ll bet your health and fitness level will become more of a priority than it is now.
Live well my friends. Refrain from placing undue stress on yourselves. If you love to live healthy, fit and strong, then by all means do that. But if these things just aren’t the most pressing things on your mind as you go through your daily life, then by all means, give yourself a pass and work through the desire to prioritize things that you don’t care much about. Be happy with yourself, your life and who you are, as you are. Change comes as time passes and so do our priorities. I have no doubt that you will find your personal health and fitness increasing in importance at some point in the future.
I wish you well my friends!