By: Coach Joshua Jericho Littauer
Marriage symbolizes a lot of things. It is a long story of commitment, devotion, hard work, teamwork, constant communication, and doing every bit of life together. There are times of great joy, laughter, fun, and other times of sadness, frustration, confusion. All in all, marriage can be seen as a beautiful tale of two people committing themselves to one another for all of life. Let’s use this framework to look at a similar scenario.
I was talking with some of my clients the other day when we discussed this idea of marriage to your fitness. These clients have experienced a lot of life and have gone through highs and lows in their fitness journeys. The experience they discussed was one of lots of laughs, frustration, disgust, joy, learning new skills and abilities, and a small roller coaster of emotions that has carried them on their journey.
So this got me thinking. In the age of constant changing, instant gratification, little commitment, and short term views; are we treating our health the same way? Are looking for the quick and easy way to do things, willing to change venues and habits, and giving up quickly when something just isn’t working? If you’ve read any of my articles before you know that I talk a lot about perspective, long term mindset, and keeping things in the right frame of mind. This is no different. So let’s look at a few scenarios.
Relationship status: It’s complicated
So it’s complicated. You’ve started exercising and it seems to be going well. Then you missed a Monday workout. And then a Tuesday. Your week is off to a bad start, but you think, “No biggie, I’ll pick it up next week.” Next week rolls around and you find yourself lacking in motivation and you think, “Maybe it will help if I sign up at a gym…” So you go to your local Planet Fitness and start working out. The $10 a month membership is cost effective and gives some incentive to keep working out. You’re on track now, and for a month you work out 5 days a week and feel great about yourself. You’re pretty sure you can even see some abs budding underneath your shirt. But then you tweak your shoulder and take two weeks off to rest it. And then cycle starts over again. Things are just complicated.
Perhaps you’ve started eating healthy as well. You’ve done some research and decide to start eating paleo. It’s going well for awhile…until your sweet tooth kicks in and you realize cupcakes aren’t on the list. You have one…then another… and before you know it you’ve blown a day of good eating. You think, “A little cheating every once in a while is ok.” “Maybe Paleo just isn’t for me.” So you try something new; Keto, 21 Day Fix, Gluten free, soy free, dairy free, taste free, all natural, caveman, growing your own garden. You name it, you’ve tried it. But nothing seems to stick. Things are just complicated.
Relationship Status: Married
So now we’re in a totally different boat. You’ve said your vows, put on the ring, and are dedicated for life. You’re in for the long haul. The ups, the downs, the in betweens, the daily life together in a life long adventure. You are committed to one another. Your days now start with one another, and end with one another. Each is willing to put the other first and make sure they have what they need to thrive on their journey.
Now to compare to your body and health. You are married to your body, and you only get one shot. There are no redos, no trade in for new models, no take backs. When looking at it this way, we need to consider a few things. Is our lifestyle supporting the one body we have? Are we taking care of it like it’s the only one? Or are we using it like a one night stand? Do we practice good behavior for a few days before doing something we may regret? Maybe it’s time we start looking at our bodies like it’s all you have.
Let’s make this practical:
Stop Cheating on your body
You only have one and it doesn’t enjoy being filled with garbage fuel that doesn’t give it the nutrients it needs. In terms of sticking to a diet, a great rule of thumb is picking something sustainable. If you’re like me and like a little flexibility, then doing Whole30 is probably not for you. Your diet should work with your lifestyle not against it. Find something that works and gives you good results and then stick with it for the long haul.
Communication is key
Sometimes your body talks back to you. The nights you can’t sleep, the aches, pains, headaches, lack of energy. You name it, they’re all different ways for your body to tell you something is irritated. So listen. And preferably, listen before it has to scream to get your attention. The fix could be something as simple as sleeping a little more, or maybe changing up what you’re eating a little, taking a rest day etc. You just have to be open to listening.
Be ready for up and downs
Sometimes fitness is fun and glamorous, but most of the time it’s anything but. It’s monotonous and often times a lot of hard work. It is important to be prepared for the downs of fitness, but also be ready and open for any bit of fun you can have. Life should be fun, and your fitness is the same. Like we’ve said, you only have one body, if taken care of well it will last you as long as you’re on this earth and you can enjoy life’s fun things with it.
The big reminder here is really to keep things in the right perspective. With only one body it’s important to treat it well. Health and fitness is a marathon not a sprint, so settle in for the journey. It is a long pursuit in the same direction. So enjoy it, take care of it, and hang in for the long haul.
What are some ways you like to keep your fitness fun? Let me know!
Stay Hungry. Stay Humble.