Define your idea of fitness success
I have been in this fitness game for a long time. 16 years to be exact. But only recently did I start to think about what success looked like for me in terms of my health and body. For so long I was basically chasing butterflies. Just chasing some image I had in my head of what “fit” was supposed to look like based on magazines and the industry. I’m sure I am not the only one. It’s pretty easy when you see how the media portrays fitness.
When you look at the fitness industry and see these “models” with crazy six packs in magazines and bikini models on covers, they say they want to look like that so they start hitting the gym. But do you really? They pound a way for a few weeks and eventually quit because they don’t look like a Calvin Klein under where model in 8 weeks. They think that is what fitness success looks like. Comparing yourself to others is the worst way to determine your own success. The issue many face is they never define what their own fitness success would look like. So they chase some dream for years of an image they have of someone else’s success. They may never achieve it or even want too it was just something they saw. They miss the process and journey, and never arrive at a destination to celebrate.
For me I always wanted to look like some crazy huge fit guy. Really defined goal I know. But only until recently I even asked myself why? Why did I want to look like that? What sacrifices would I have to make to even do it? What do those models do to achieve it? Drugs? Extreme diets, 4 hour training marathons, etc. Was it even achievable working a 9-5 job with other responsibilities in the “real” world. Most of those pictures are photo shopped, or they diet for a week in extreme conditions to look better in an exact moment then actually looking that extreme on a daily basis. Limiting salt, cutting carbs etc. The fitness industry is a marketing genius. So to pursue those looks is very discouraging.
The same goes for the rest of the community. It’s great to follow people on Instagram who have great results, are really strong or can do some insane moves. It’s really inspiring. But don’t put your definition of success with them. By all means, if you want to be able to parkour over buildings and jump 2 stories and roll on the ground or be able to do human flags, or have 5% body fat by all means go for it. Just make sure you define your idea of that success and ensure you are doing the things on a daily basis to move you towards that goal. But don’t think you have to make those things to be successful in your fitness journey. It can be progressive and it can be on your own terms and happiness.
For me I recently defined success in fitness personally on some strength and conditioning goals. I felt these goals in various moves would benefit my sports games. Hockey and baseball. The stronger I am the better I can skate, shoot, hit and throw. Those are my passions, so what purpose do I have pursuing 5% body fat our being a 200 pound body builder. I realized it wasn’t even what I wanted. I just wanted to be better at sports. My path to those was with strength training. I defined success on my own terms. I feel like I have started to meet some of those goals. As I get closer I may redefine it. But for now that is what success will look like for me. Because of that definition I am much happier at where I am instead of looking at something that may be way too far away for me to obtain or irrelevant to me.
Same goes for you. Success can be something small that you progress as you get better. Maybe success for you is sticking to your new diet for 6 months, losing 20 pounds, bench pressing 300, performing a human flag or whatever. Just make sure you define it and make a path you can follow to get you to your goals. Otherwise time will fly by, you will never achieve bench marks, and you will wonder why you haven’t achieved the results you wanted because you didn’t define them in the first place.