A quote from Herman Hesse has stuck with me for many years:
“Most people are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path: no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and path.”
This is a very powerful quote and saying and sadly when it comes to fitness I feel many people allow themselves to be the falling leaf. As soon as life gets a little difficult the fitness routine is the first thing to go out the window and quite often eating for optimal health follows that too. There’s many factors at play here and much of it comes down, I believe, to priorities but it’s also got to do with the way one views training, fitness & nutrition in general ie. Why would I put myself through physically demanding activity when life is already being harsh to me? This “poor me” mentality can then lead to emotional eating, drinking and other forms of self sabotage to help balance out the perceived pain of life with the temporary pleasure of indulging.
The primary problem is that training and eating healthy is still viewed as a chore, a burden. A paradigm shift needs to occur. The temporary pain of exercise must be linked to the long term pleasure of living inside a healthy, strong and capable body. The question is at what point can this shift occur or can I create a catalyst or hack to perceive fitness differently? I believe you can if you can create enough perceived pain around continuing the same bad habits – where will you be if you don’t stop the same patterns from occurring? Maybe it’s a self love issue that exists on a subconscious level, a deeper belief that for some reason you only deserve mediocrity or you don’t deserve to live in a body that makes you truly happy?
Whatever the case may be, if you feel like the same patterns are playing out for you, I suggest some time for reflection and then some time for action – Consistent action to create a new habit – long enough that you may see some results, be happy with that and link that pleasure as being greater than the pain of exercise and discipline required for healthy eating. Love yourself enough to nourish your body. Be hard enough on yourself to create a new standard. Sit with your emotions for long enough that you don’t become reactive. Use negative emotion as an alarm signal to create a new response that brings you closer to your goals and not further from them.
Suffer the pain of discipline today or suffer the pain of regret tomorrow, if it’s to be you, it’s up to you…
By Chris Rae
Fitness Specialist and Owner of Target Life Fitness
Chris has been a trainer since 2006 and has been running Target Life Fitness since 2012.
Chris is a strong believer in functional fitness, holistic health and well-being.