This past weekend I attend this Fit Business Conference thanks to Dennis.
Bedros, the organizer of the event, started the event off with probably the best stories of the weekend…
A story about CRABS.
In his story he spoke of talking to a crab fisherman who had a bucket of crabs.
In the bucket were crabs piled on top of one another…And one single crab crawling to get out of the bucket.
As the crab grasped the rim in an attempt to make a getaway, Bedros said to the fisherman that it looked like one was going to make an escape.
The fisherman told him to just wait and see what happened.
Because, just as the crab looked like it was going to escape, the other crabs grabbed it and pulled it back down into the bucket.
January is a time for many of starting over. Of New Years Resolutions, dreams and goals.
But it is also a month filled with unfinished goals. Unfinished goals because people’s motivation dwindles and their positive mindset falters.
Even when we’ve done the best planning possible, life can still get in the way.
And when life gets in the way the only thing that can keep us on track is our mindset.
Because let’s face it, there are going to be bumps in the road.
There are going to be setbacks.
But we can keep moving forward if we have the right attitude and can pick ourselves back up after a fall and get right back on track.
It truly is all about attitude.
And trust me…I know it’s hard.
January is one of the most stressful months for me. Right now I’m to the point of being completely and utterly overwhelmed.
Part of me wants to throw up my hands and watch chick flicks all day on the couch cuddled by Coconut eating ice cream and Reeses Pieces.
But the other part of me, the larger part of me, LOVES EVERY SECOND OF IT.
Because it is all in how I perceive things.
I can see things as overwhelming and stressful.
Or I can see it as a chance to help more people and make a huge difference.
No, 100% of the time I won’t see things in a positive light. But 70, 80, even 90% of the time I will.
And that is what it is all about – having a positive mindset. It’s about setting your mind to a goal and not letting life interfere or things get out of your control so that you don’t get frustrated and veer off course….At least not for long.
We decide how we perceive things.
Yup…It is your choice to be happy or sad regardless of the situation.
So when you are planning to achieve your goal, you’ve got to include MINDSET into your plan.
You’ve got to decide to be excited by the challenges and opportunities your new diet and exercise program have in store for you.
You’ve got to decide to not dwell on the failures and setbacks.
You’ve got to decide to give yourself a quick break when you get down and then get right back on track if slip ups do occur.
You have control over your attitude.
Stay positive and keep moving forward toward your goals!
A few weeks ago after a tough loss I asked the volleyball girls if they had played to win or played not to lose.
At first a few of them seemed slightly confused by the difference because wasn’t winning NOT losing?
Yes, winning is not losing BUT playing to win or playing not to lose are two completely different things.
When you “play to win,” you play confidently and go for your shots. You move, play and think like you are on top and your body language is upbeat and confident.
You are doing everything you can to CREATE the win.
When you “play not to lose,” you are playing defensively. You are playing like you are hoping the other team just makes a mistake and hands the win to you.
You aren’t GOING FOR IT. You aren’t CONFIDENT.
And unfortunately all too often I see people playing not to lose…and not only in the athletic realm.
If you truly WANT something, be it victory on the playing field, weight loss or even a promotion at work, you’ve got to go for it. You’ve got to give it your all and set yourself up for success.
You can’t just hang in their and hope someone is going to give it to you.
If you want to reach your goal, you’ve got to BELIEVE that you can.
Because when we believe, we train hard. We play hard. We stay focused and confident. We ACT like winners.
And when we act like winners, we do what is necessary to succeed.
That doesn’t mean victory is guaranteed or that it will be a smooth and easy road to success.
But it does mean you will be able to be proud of yourself – proud of how you acted, proud of how you worked – because you will know you did your best.
Because no victory is truly as sweet if you don’t feel like you EARNED IT.
Stop waiting for someone to hand you success. Stop “playing it safe.” Stop playing “not to lose.”
Believe in yourself and go and get the victory.
This past Saturday, the volleyball girls played a team they hadn’t beaten in two years. They’d even lost to the team earlier this year. But this past Saturday, they came back from near defeat to claim victory over the team.
They fought back from NEAR DEFEAT because they started playing to win!
They had the courage to believe they could win even when the odds were stacked against them.
Will you have the same courage and believe you can succeed this week?
Will you play to win!?!
I’m going to wrap up my wedding week reflections with probably one of the most important things I’ve learned, “You are never going to be happy if you can’t accept and LOVE YOURSELF.”
I stated the other day that I feel like fitness, the gym, working out, are sort of a microcosm. If you can learn to be confident and strong in the gym that confidence and strength will then translate into every day life.
And when I say that you have confidence in yourself, I’m not saying that you aren’t going to always work to improve yourself.
I’m just saying that you love yourself because of who and what you are and all of the effort you’ve put in to get there!
Because of ALL THE EFFORT YOU’VE PUT IN TO GET THERE…
Almost every day I hear women complain about things they want to change about themselves. Occasionally I hear women mention something they like about themselves.
But rarely do I ever hear women say anything about all the hard work they put in to become stronger, smarter, healthier, happier, BETTER each and every day!
And as I mentioned earlier this week, the journey is the BEST part.
Everyday we choose the person we are going to be. Everyday we have a chance to reinvent ourselves and become an even better version of ourselves.
Everyday you get another chance to be who you want to be and not worry about what anyone else thinks.
Over the years I can say I’ve become more and more comfortable with myself. And it’s not because I’m perfect or because I don’t have anything I want to improve about myself.
It is because I know how hard I work each and every day to become better and stronger. It is because I know how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished.
It’s because I truly really don’t care what anyone else thinks as long as I MAKE MYSELF HAPPY.
And the bulk of my strength and confidence was developed on the playing field and in the gym.
I developed it by pushing myself to compete against people who were supposed to be better than me. I developed it by putting in hard work every single day so that no matter what happened, I could at least say I gave it my all. I developed it by putting myself out there and trying new things – things that were far outside my comfort zone.
I developed it by pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible to realize what I could truly achieve.
I thought a lot about all of this when planning…and carrying out…our wedding.
We did a lot of untraditional things. A lot of things other people might not like or may even “judge” us for…aka laugh AT us not WITH us.
But honestly I didn’t care because those things represented ME and RYAN.
Loving yourself is about ACCEPTING yourself. About knowing your strengths and your flaws and giving yourself credit for the journey.
Don’t let another day go by that you aren’t proud of the person you’ve become.
Challenge yourself every day. Work hard every day. Appreciate your journey.
These are things you can control. Other people and their perceptions, you can’t control. So don’t let them influence your opinion of yourself!
Here is a little video to hopefully entertain you on this Monday! Ryan and my first dance! We are far from champion dancers…but boy did we have fun!
I think that often fitness and working out is where we learn a lot about ourselves. I think it is a great way to become empowered and find the courage to be the person you want to be in your every day life.
It is a little microcosm that allows us to become the people we want to be.
I think working out is almost more important for the mental health benefits than the physical.
That being said, I’m going to stray today into the realm of sappiness and mental attitude with Part 2 of my Wedding Week series.
I think all big life events make us take time to reflect.
To reflect on where we’ve been. To reflect on what we really want out of life and who we are. To even reflect on where we want to go.
And when we reflect it isn’t necessarily the BIG EVENTS that truly stand out the most or seem the most meaningful. Actually it is often the boring little things that you can’t even fully describe that mean the most.
It is those boring little things that happen day in and day out that mold us.
Those boring little things are sometimes even the true adventures, whether or not we recognize it at the time.
I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently because of getting married…and because I was trying to figure out how to express how much I loved Ryan in my vows.
Actually it was super frustrating writing my vows. I generally have an easy time writing. I pick a topic and I just go. I rarely write a second draft. Most of the time if I have any sort of block I just walk around my apartment until the block has passed and that is often only a matter of minutes.
But with my vows nothing just seemed right. I can honestly tell you I wrote at least 10 drafts…some of them were even written in the note pad of my phone when I would randomly have an idea that seemed amazing.
In the end though, I wasn’t happy with any of them. They all seemed empty.
They stated that Ryan was my best friend….DUH.
They told funny stories about our relationship in an attempt to show our love. Like about how oddly perfect we are for each other.
But none of them could fully express just how much Ryan meant to me.
And then I stumbled onto a quote from the movie “Up.” (This by the way is one of my favorite movies and Ryan and I started our first dance to a song from this movie!)
In the movie, the little boy, Russell, tells a story to Carl about hanging out with his dad and then says, “That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.”
The boring stuff is the stuff that I remember the most….
The boring stuff is the stuff that relationships are made of…That love is made of.
It isn’t grand gestures or romantic getaways that make you love a person. That stuff isn’t LOVE.
It is the little things that happen every day. It is the boring little routines, even, that won’t interest anybody but you that truly shape things – that truly shape YOU.
It is those seemingly boring little events, routines, habits that are the TRUE ADVENTURES.
And this doesn’t just apply to love and relationships.
Honestly life, in general, should be about remembering and appreciating the boring little things because those are the things that truly matter.
At least I’ve always found that to be true.
Thinking back over the years what I remember more than specific victories (like winning the powerlifting competition) or defeats (like not hitting my goal at the kettlebell competition) is the journeys.
I remember all the hard work that I put in day in and day out. I remember that feeling of signing up for something that I’d never attempted before and then committing to training as hard as I could.
And don’t get me wrong, the big events are nice highlights, but they aren’t what truly mattered. They honestly didn’t do near as much to shape me as the journey….As the boring work I put in each and every day to reach them.
Those nondescript events, those daily struggles that looking back I can’t pinpoint, but just remember the feelings of, are what truly mattered. Those were the true adventures.
Those are the feelings that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
So I guess after all this rambling, what I want truly want to say is, “Stop getting caught up in accomplishing something big. In doing something BIG.”
You don’t have to force some big adventure or think your life isn’t complete if you don’t do something HUGE. Adventure is out there every single day. All you have to do is be willing to put yourself out there and live.
Because 50 years from now when you look back, I honestly think more than anything you’ll be proud of the journey. Proud of the days you spent in happiness or even in struggle working to move forward, grow stronger, become more yourself.
Adventure is out there! Don’t wait for something big to happen. Go out and enjoy all those boring little things that happen every day!
Sometimes I am completely and utterly irrational.
There are freaking random things that can make me feel completely confident or completely depressed about how I look.
My clothes might fit well and I may look no different than I did the day before, but sometimes even just KNOWING that I ate badly the day before can make me “believe” I look bad.
There are a bazillion different things that can do it to you.
It could be a change in weight on the scale. It could be a pair of pants you haven’t worn in a while fitting differently. It could be some random little comment about one of your body parts that does it!
It could even just be your MOOD that day that determines how “fat” or “thin” you look that day.
Actually I would say mood is a huge determining factor.
Let’s face it, if you have a negative outlook or are down on yourself for something…anything…you are probably going judge yourself with that negative attitude.
If you are in a good mood, a bad meal the night before probably won’t bother you. If you are in a good mood, a little fluctuation on the scale probably will just make you think “water weight.” Tight pants….hey you haven’t worn them since you washed them!
Anyway, the point is that your attitude toward life is going to affect how you interpret things.
Try to remember that!
Try to remember all of the hard work you’ve put in to look and feel good. Don’t let one day of feeling down on how you look spiral into a “I don’t look good anyway so I’m going to binge eat and not workout” cycle.
Remember that things really aren’t going to change day-to-day – it is all about consistency over time.
And on those days when you do feel down on yourself, re-dedicate yourself to your goals.
Remind yourself of all your hard work. Remind yourself of all your progress.
Focus on the positive instead of honing in on that one body part you always seem to feel insecure about!
Anyone else ever have those days where you just have a negative body image even though you’ve been working out hard and eating well?
- Did you know that stressed is desserts spelled backwards? I just saw this the other day and I LOVE THIS FACT!
- Here is a great article about the8 People Who Will Ruin Your Attempt to Lose Weight. Do you know any people like this? I definitely know people like this..they both sabotage your diet and their own!
- Also, I’ve been looking at some article about fitness trends for 2012…I was glad to see strength training on there! But sad to see that “training for obese youth” was also a trend. This needs to change! We need a Man Bicep class for kids (which will include lots of dodgeball and climbing in trees!). 🙂
- What truly is “functional fitness?” I see a lot of different workouts being called “functional” and some of them don’t seem like they are training your body to handle real-life situations AT ALL…
- I think this may be why our youth is fat. Pizza is NOT a vegetable!
- I’m definitely guilty of trying to convince people that my diet is the best BUT I try to do it by questioning them on why they do theirs not by raving about mine (unless they ask for details of course…or I’m posting to Man Bicep!).
- I am AWESOME! 🙂 I found this link on Fit and Feminist the other day (She beat me to posting the pizza is a vegetable link too!) 🙂 and I think it makes a great point. A lot of us don’t praise ourselves enough. SO start today by saying, “I’m AWESOME!
There are just some days that no matter how hard you try, your workout just isn’t up to par. You can’t lift the weight you lifted last week; you can’t row that 500m as fast as you did the other day.
And that just sucks.
And it frustrates you. And you get down on yourself. And then you carry that bad attitude throughout the rest of the workout, which prevents you from really getting the most out of your workout.
But don’t let it! Stop those negative thoughts in their tracks!
Everyone has workouts that aren’t as good as they would like them to be. You can’t make progress every single workout, which sucks but is true. You are going to hit plateaus or have days where you are just worn out and your muscles don’t want to work.
But you can still get a lot out of those bad workouts. You just have to change the way you think about them. Instead of seeing them as not a good workout, think positively about the fact that you even worked out at all. Most of the time when I’ve had a bad workout, I didn’t want to workout that day anyway. I was either super tired that day or stressed or even worn out from the workout the day before.
So instead of getting down on myself about the workout, I think about the fact that I managed to push through an intense exercise session even though I would rather be eating ice cream on the futon in front of my TV.
I like to think that I’ve only had a bad workout if I didn’t give it everything I had that day. And the only time I seem to slack off is when I have a negative attitude.
So drop the attitude and just enjoy the workout! If you give every workout your all, you should never be disappointed!
This post was inspired by Judy Fleming. Thank you Judy for the post suggestion!