This question of the week may seem odd. I’m normally all about goals and goal setting. I think it’s really a great way to build confidence. With every goal I checked off my list the more and more confident I became. However, if we aren’t careful the goals we set may actually get us in trouble. As usual I’ll use myself as an example…
I recently posted my workout history and new training schedule. I’ve been working out with the trainer for a few weeks now. Not with the trainer as in he tells me what to do but with the trainer as in we train together. The problem is he is very focused on body building and developing a specific physique. At first I thought that’s what I wanted too.
So we started lifting and focusing on muscle groups. He started questioning what I was eating and sending me recommendations that, honestly, felt very "diet" like to me. For example…
- 1/3 C oatmeal and 6 egg whites
- 1/3 C brown rice and 4oz chicken breast
- 5oz lean ground turkey and 1 C green veggies
- 6oz white fish and 1 C green veggies
- 4oz chicken breast and 1 C green veggies
- 8 egg whites and 1 C green veggies
At first I was like… Ok well maybe this is what I need to do if I want to "train" but every day that I wasn’t able to keep my calories in check I’d get that "I blew it" mentality. All of a sudden, I realized I was beginning to feel like the 18 year old version of myself. Visualizing a specific physique as my goal, restricting my food intake only to rebel against the whole idea on an almost daily basis and snack my brains out before bed. Sounds familiar? It’s what I call the yo you diet cycle of hell.
Taken from my post "Why do you think people have a hard time losing weight?"
I realized all this a couple of days ago and finally had the guts to email the trainer. Here’s an excerpt…
I’m not really looking to build a specific physique as you are. I much rather set fitness goals as in running the mile faster, maintaining my long distances, doing a pull up, etc. I’m just not into body building like I thought I’d be. It had me thinking about my body shape and size too much which is what got me in trouble in the first place and honestly, I noticed my eating issues and bad relationship with food returning. I’m happy where I am and I don’t want to attain a specific "body." I want to stay in shape, have fun and challenge myself physically.
After I wrote that I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I finally feel a sense of contentment with all that I have accomplished and I was able to articulate that. I don’t need to be thinner, more muscular or meet somebody else idea of an "ideal body." I’m fine just the way I am so why set a goal that is going to compromise all of these feelings?
Nope, not doing it. I am no longer going to train for the pure face of sculpting a body. I am not setting goals that have anything to do with a specific size or shape. That may work for others but for me that goal just gets in the way.
Actually now that I start thinking about it, every goal I’ve set has been about achieving something tangible (lose x number of pounds, climb a wall, do a pull up) those are the types of goals that keep me going.
I’m not sure if my example makes sense but I know there are heathy goals that help us on this journey and there are unhealthy ones that get in our way. Considering your goals, do you think any are getting in your way of being a healthier happier person?
P.S. I want to thanks Rollercoaster for a great comment that helped me come to some of these conclusions.