What I Hate About New Years Health and Fitness Goals
If you clicked on this looking for magical inspiration, you might want to back click, because shit's about to get real in here and it's not going to be kittens and rainbows. Sorry. I will resume normal cheerleading on the next post.
Now, if you stuck around to read this, let me pass you the haterade. I HATE this time of year for health and fitness goal setting. Hate. My feed is literally clogged with people shouting, "WHOLE 30!" "Hitting the gym!" and I almost pass out from eye rolling. I also see all of the, "I'm gonna try THIS!" as well as all of the 'jumpstarts' and 'cleanses' and requisite January 1st declarations.
I don't get annoyed for the reasons you think I would. I think people getting serious about their health and fitness is great. I myself had a very personal and stark Come to Jesus with myself about the state of my health and fitness and had to set goals according to what's realistic for me in my life.
And I think that's the thing that bugs me the most about all of it. People just aren't honest with themselves. A friend of mine has two toddlers, a full-time job, is still nursing, and all about that Whole 30 life. Today she was about to eat one of those children waiting on her next meal. Like, why in the world would you do that to yourself? Aren't you just setting yourself up for failure?
Don't get me wrong, even though I'm supposedly a 'Fitfluential' ambassador, I think the last couple of years have been health and fitness fails for me because I wasn't honest with myself and set myself up for failure. There's a lot of denial and lying we do to ourselves we will do to justify a lot. I was in phenomenal shape in 2013. Why? It was basically my full-time job and I had a huge support system that kept me on track.
But 2013 me and 2017 me are totally different people. What motivated me then doesn't motivate me now. I also work outside the home a lot more than I did back then, so I have to have a completely different approach to things. I don't have the luxury of a 9:30am run while the kids are in school. That run has to happen either at 5am or 7pm. I also have a very different body now than I did four years ago. I have had a few pretty bad injuries and had to accept and forgive myself that those miles I run will be slow by my standards. I will never 'race' anything longer than 5 miles again. No more 'but maybe!'...nope. Had to get real. I also had to be honest with myself and realize that running can really only happen three days a week now. The idea is to feel better, not feel sore and miserable 90% of the time. If working out is going to happen at 5am or 7pm it has to not be a suckfest. Well, part of the problem is I really don't like to do anything but running... but I also dance. So those Tuesdays and Thursdays I don't run, I will do the NYC Ballet Floor Barre workout. At home. For free. Sundays I will hike the gorgeous terrain right outside my door.
And really, at the end of the day, fitness has never actually been my problem. When you've been an athlete since the age of 7, your muscle memory and metabolism rarely lets you down. I also have really good genes. For whatever reason, I am the unicorn of the family and never had to deal with the obesity and mobility problems both sides of my family suffered from. I can take weeks off from running; come back and run five miles no big deal. My body is efficient naturally, so preaching to people about fitness makes no sense. I don't know the struggle, so I should just shut up about it. DNA is doing the heavy lifting in my case, not anything magical I come up with.
Since we're being honest, I put on 15lbs this year because of wine. My eating habits are pretty on point, but no one is gonna get out of adding an additional 1200 calories of essentially sugar water a day without gaining, even unicorns like me. With that came the poor sleep, reduced activity, and a vicious cycle I was in a huge amount of denial about because my clothes mostly fit... spandex is a liar.
Yes, science being what it is, once I cut out the wine except for one night a week and got active again, the weight fell off in 6 weeks. However, that's meaningless. I know how to get in shape and lose weight, and I take for granted that it's very easy for me. So what is the root of the problem here? I'm doing well because I am in a position to have the time to take care of myself again, but what happens if life throws me back into a stressful cycle of 12 hour work days, emotional ups and downs... and you know...LIFE?
There you go. That's the issue. That's my point. Resolutions and goals are great. I make them every year, too. I just hate seeing the endless, "THIS!" posts from people who aren't looking within themselves, telling the truth, and setting themselves up for success. Whatever goals you choose, the means to get yourself there has to be something you're going to get out of bed or stay up late for on your worst days; being honest about what your real strengths and weaknesses are. Also letting go of what you 'used' to be. Newsflash...your teenage body is gone. Can your body now be stronger than that teenage body? Hell yes! However, wistfully looking back at an ideal that left the building with the Bush administration is foolish and emotional torture. What if I told you that body came back with the person you were dating/married to then? Most of us would nope out of that so fast we'd grab a Snickers on the way out.
If you've made goals for the new year, great! I want to encourage you! I'll be posting all of my health and fitness goals here and on social media all year. Whatever your path, make sure it's what you really feel in your heart to be the right one for you, and not because it's been sold to you as exactly what you need, or you think it's going to be a quick fix for the things you're not telling the truth about to yourself yet. It's not supposed to be easy, but it's supposed to be doable in less than ideal conditions. And you should also be allowed to enjoy life a little, too.
Here's to our healthiest year yet in mind, body, and spirit!