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Last weekend, I went to a kettlebell training clinic and was chatting with some Cross Fitters.
I was listening to them rave about their gym, the individual attention they received from trainers, and the support and encouragement they received from their classmates.
Later that same day, I saw someone online ask the question, "My workout partner has been injured, so I'm not working out as much....how do you stay so motivated to workout at home, amidst distractions and alone?"
Following these two experiences I began to think about how individual personalities, fitness histories, and lifestyle restrictions present us all with different obstacles and can shape our wellness journeys.
Actually, not only can they shape them, they should!
If we don't spend some time getting to know ourselves and being completely honest about what sorts of schedules, environments and situations bring out the best in us, then we might not discover the best and most direct means to becoming our most health-FULL selves.
These women I was talking with, they all knew that in order to workout, they needed the accountability, support, and instruction that they had found at their Crossfit gym.
In finding an approach to exercise that really worked for them, they had also found consistency, growth, and enjoyment.
Going back to Crossfit...the Crossfit Games are this week in California.
(I do not currently do CrossFit, but I DO enjoy watching the games!)
In a video posted on the website, Sarah Sigmundsdottir (who took second place last year) talks about how as a teenager she was always over-weight and actually hated sports.
She would even put ketchup under a band aid on her foot to avoid having to participate in sports.
Isn't that sort of amazing?
She LOVED food and never was active, that is, until she was.
She found Crossfit and was hooked.
Now she's literally one of the most fit people in the world.
Sarah found something that she loved so she was able to do it all of the time, and do it well.
I love her story because it illustrated a concept that I feel has shaped my whole philosophy on fitness and wellness.
You have to create your own path. You have to think about who you are, what you can do, and then continue to take mental notes about what is and isn't working.
Obviously we're not all going to find some form of movement and then become better at it than most people.
But we can be consistent and enjoy our wellness journeys when we create a program that meets our needs and jives with our lives.
Are you someone that requires accountability and community in order to exercise?
Or maybe you're someone that needs the option of working out at home because getting to the gym or a class is too difficult for your life right now.
Think about who you are and what you prefer to do for exercise!
Treat the world of fitness and healthy eating like a buffet.
Take what you think will work, try it, and if you don't like it, go back and try something else.
The options are endless.
.Pilates, swimming, yoga, dancing, rowing, sky robics, walking.
The same concept applies to eating.
Maybe you feel awesome on the Paleo diet, or being Vegan, or grain-free or dairy-free or gluten-free.
Or maybe you love to eat salads, or smoothies, or eat really strict all week long and then go nuts on the weekend?
If something works for you and it works for your physique and wellness goals, then do that and don't be afraid to try something new when your current plan gets boring or no longer yields the results you desire.
Spend more time getting to know yourself, what works best for your personality and your life and less time trying to conform to what's working for someone else.
Myers Brigg Personality test
Start a wellness journal to keep track of your movement, exercise and eating. Take notes on how you feel and look.
How is your energy? Digestion? Mood?
Do you clothes feel good? Are you wanting/seeing definition from exercise?
When it comes to your wellness, you just gotta get amongst it.
Make it yours.
Make it happen.
Oh, and if through reflection you discover that you require the accountability and support of a trainer, coach, class or gym to be more consistent with your fitness, then don't wait to make that happen.
Don't get caught up in the mentality that you have to lose weight before starting to workout!!!!
I've spoken with countless people that have allowed their current shape or weight stop them from reaching out and finding help and support from others.
You don't need to "fix yourself" before getting proactive about your wellness!
No one (worth their salt) is going look at you and think that you don't belong.
In fact, most people are impressed and encouraging once they know that you are taking the first step towards becoming more active.
They've been there too.
They will support and encourage you.
If the cost of a class is prohibitive for you, even just going to something once a week and working out at home on 2 other days can help you keep motivated and to feel connected without spending lots of money and time traveling for exercise.
If working out at home works for you, then that's great.
If you follow me here or on social media, you know that I'm a huge proponent for working out at home, especially if you're tight on time.
Learning to do efficient and effective exercise in a convenient location can often times facilitate consistency in exercise.
But if right now you need the accountability and support that comes with community, then go out, find a fitness class, coach, or gym.
There have been many times in my life when this has been immensely helpful in keeping me consistent, because I know that if I can just get there the energy of the instructor and the group will carry me through.
Stick with forms of exercise where you will get good instruction and guidance so that you don't hurt yourself or create bad movement habits.
Email me if you need suggestions or advice!