Building a Pyramid
Oct 11, 2018
Do you ever feel like you’re being overwhelmed by your “ultimate” fitness goal? Do you get anxious as if you MUST reach that goal as quickly as possible or you never will? If you have, then you are not alone. The human race is an imperfect species that has been berating itself along the endless path to perfection for many years. We push our limits and strive for what is thought to be impossible; but sometimes, our expectations as to how and when we reach those goals do not mirror reality. This can happen quite often when it comes to our physical health and performance. Suffering periods of doubt, a relapse in progress, or just feeling stagnant does not make you abnormal or not “cut-out” for a healthy lifestyle, however.
The important thing to remember is that it takes hard work and a determined mindset to be able to change and grow with the constant ebb and flow of life. I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but we need the reminder that we’re only human and must accept the fact that it takes time, patience, and a little forgiveness of our flaws. Now, forgiving your flaws is not the same thing as not striving for the ultimate vision you have for yourself or using it as an excuse to be lazy. It just means that when you’re being hard on yourself for not being perfect, you’re not letting negative thoughts overtake your mind. Ideas like that can severely destabilize and shake any hope for improvement. For example: Say you’re someone who likes to eat out, you don’t know how to cook for yourself, but you’ve been gaining weight and you really want to fit into that perfect outfit. Taking the first step into change can be daunting; but before you do that, there are three questions you should start with.
What is the problem: I’m eating food that is high in fat and low in nutrients.
Why is it affecting my body this way: I’m consuming more calories than I’m burning off and hurting my metabolism; so therefore, I’m gaining weight.
How do I change this: I’ll have to learn basic nutrition, gain cooking skills, and increase my physical activity.
If you’re someone that has been stuck in these bad habits all of your life, learning to cook, shopping for the right ingredients, and making the time for meal prep and exercise can seem impossible. The good news is that it’s not. The first step to getting yourself mentally ready for this new journey is to remember that you don’t have to be perfect at everything to see progress.
Wouldn’t you say that to have a strong building, you need a strong foundation? If you’re constructing a pyramid, you wouldn’t start with the top and build down to the bottom, am I correct? Imagine that your ultimate fitness goal is the peak of that pyramid and you’re placing one block at a time (a lifestyle change) to build yourself upward. For the person mentioned above, maybe their first steps would be to do some research on healthier meals and how to cook them. Even joining a cooking class can be fun and helpful! Any change will be better than just giving up and letting the idea of failure and imperfection consume you. Just like that pyramid, taking things one step at a time and allowing yourself to embrace small dietary or exercise changes will make them feel more a part of your life rather than something foreign and unwelcome. In the long term, the structure of your fitness identity and how you perceive it will be less likely to crumble apart.