When people learn that I’m a personal trainer, they often start telling me about how they’re unhappy with their appearance or their level of fitness or their general overall health, and how they really need to start taking better care of themselves and working out. As a trainer, I get so excited to hear that they’re taking an interest in caring their for their bodies and I want to jump right in to “how can I help you achieve your goals?!” But I also know that before I (or anyone else) can help them, they need to be committed to helping themselves. They need to take responsibility for their current physical shape, and understand that, ultimately, only they have the power to change their lives and reach their goals.
Be brutally honest with yourself: what choices are you making today that are keeping you from reaching your fitness goals? You know what they are. They may be hard to admit to, but admit them to yourself. What are you doing wrong?
- Are you skipping workouts?
- Have you been doing the same workouts for years with no variety?
- Are you eating fake (a.k.a processed) foods?
- Are you drinking too many of your calories?
- Are you not sleeping enough?
- Are you not drinking enough water?
- Are you snacking late at night?
- Are you eating too much fat and/or sugar?
This can be a painful realization; to acknowledge how the choices we make on a regular basis are sabotaging our fitness goals. It’s so much easier to blame someone else, our circumstances, our lack of time, our lack of energy. We feel helpless to do anything about it and wait for someone to fix it for us, to make the circumstances ideal, to make the timing perfect.
The truth is only you can make it better for yourself. Only you can achieve your goals by consistently making choices that align with what you want. Your trainer can’t do that for you, your spouse, your boss, your kids – no one else can put in the work for you. No one else can eat the right foods for you, or exercise your body for you, or define your state of mind and self worth for you. This is a harsh reality: you are 100% responsible for 100% of the choices you make.
But at the core of that responsibility is empowerment. You are the only one making your choices. So make them good ones. You know what you need to do reach your goals. The trick is holding yourself accountable to do those things consistently, and being honest with yourself when you don’t do them.It’s ok to not be perfect; it’s ok to allow yourself to indulge once in a while or go easy on yourself when you need to. But be honest with yourself that it’s a choice you’re making, and if you want different results, you need to make different choices.
This is something that everyone struggles with, myself included. But instead of drowning under the weight of that responsibility, let it empower you. You know what you need to do, you know what choices you should be making, and you have the power to make good choices for yourself! Everything you want is within reach. Only you can put in the time and effort it takes to achieve your goals, and in your heart of hearts, you know if you really are doing everything you can to get there. Your trainer and your support system can help guide you and encourage you along the way, but ultimately, it’s all you. So what are you waiting for? Get after it!