How many teachers do you want to call and say how Sweaty Betty told you, sometimes thinking is just straight up cray cray? I mean, I know I have at least 3 in mind 🙂
But anywho, let me get to how I’ve come to this conclusion. I’ve had this conversation more times than I can count with some of my clients. They come in with a whole plan (and 9 backup plans) as to how they are going to lose the weight: no carbs, intermittent fasting, a juice cleanse, run 5 miles every day, wine only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and then twice on Saturday), only drink shakes…the list goes on.
Goals are incredibly important in our lives. And plans are necessary to reach them, I know this. I’ve lived this. But what I’m noticing more and more is that we set our goal, we know the ins and outs, we set our timeline, we get overwhelmed, and then our effin brains kick in…and all the mental shit hits the fan.
I asked my Coach how she lost the 50 or 60 pounds she recently threw the ol’ peace sign up to, and her response was simple, yet incredibly profound: “I don’t know, I just started running.” That’s it. She started running; and then she signed up for a Spartan race. And then a triathlon. And then a half marathon. It snowballed so naturally, so organically that she didn’t even notice the weight coming off. Talk about a nice surprise, am I right or am I right? 🙂
I know most of you are rolling your eyes at me, and there are 579 reasons why you can’t do the same thing that she did. And I tell you what, I can give 400 more to add to that really awesome, confidence-boosting list. But here’s what I’m going to tell you all to do: crumble up the list, light it on fire, throw it out the mother-friggan window, and go for a walk. Just start moving!
Honestly, how many times have you been lounging on the couch, laying in bed, or sitting at your desk before lunch when the ever-guilty thought pops into your head: “I should really go work out.” – this literally happens to me all the time – Oh no! Not again!! So your beautiful mind comes to the rescue:
“But I only have 20 minutes, I can’t get a workout in in that time.”
“Ugh, I have so much to do today; I know I have all day but, ugh SO MUCH TO DO.”
“I’m traveling all week for work, it’s impossible to work out and eat how I normally do!”
You know what I have to say to that? Bullsh#$ bullsh#% bullsh$#%…in the nicest way possible of course; and also in a British accent, like Forgetting Sarah Marshall style 🙂
Our brains will always find a way to justify something we either don’t want to do or when they may seem too difficult for us. That’s when you need to stop. Stop thinking. Stop analyzing. Just stop and friggan do it. Put on your sneakers without thinking and just go. Start walking on the treadmill and who knows how long you’ll want to go once you’re there. Just cook the damn chicken breasts for the next three days, you’ll feel so much better knowing they are there for you (and so much better than eating that stupid burrito…much less rebellion from the belly too).
As most of you know, Sweaty Betty likes to get down and dirty in those mud runs over the summer. Well, one of the toughest obstacles (mentally anyways) in the Tough Mudder is this one called Walk the Plank, where you climb up a 16-foot platform and jump off into dark, murky, and straight up freezing-ass water. Physically, not that demanding; mentally…holy crap you guys. I’ve seen more than one person have a panic attack up there in the four Mudders I’ve done in my life. I learned very quickly that when I reach the top, I gotta go. I gotta go fast. I can’t think. I can not let my mind wander; that’s when I get overwhelmed and all the doubt creeps in. And that doubt turns into every reason I should not do this.
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes again; how is jumping into a pond as difficult as losing all that stubborn weight?? I get it, it sounds ridiculous, but honestly, that’s just one step in a long, vigorous 13-mile race. It’s one thing we can do to work towards our finish line, whatever that looks like (because every one of ours looks different. It may even be different than we thought at the beginning of our own journey). When I race up those two-by-fours, climb up on that platform, and jump before my brain even realizes what I just did, it’s the most unbelievably freeing feeling I’ve ever felt (woah alliteration!). It may not be as exhilarating, but when you know you have to move and you just do it without even thinking; believe me, you’ll feel liberated.
Like I said before, goals are wonderful. As a trainer, we’re programmed to talk about goals, to get our clients to set, talk about, and reach them. But I’m gonna go rogue here folks and say maybe, just maybe, we need to stop thinking in terms of goals, and start setting intentions. I feel like behind every goal is an intention, but it gets overshadowed because we’re so focused on doing this and that and those things to reach our goal. And when we don’t exactly reach that goal, we become a failure. I know I talk about this a lot (so clearly I’m not that over it) but when I set that goal to do a a figure competition, it wasn’t just to attempt one, it was to motha-friggan win the damn thing. And because I didn’t (cough*lastplace*cough), I’m a failure…100%. But what I actually lost was my intention behind doing it in the first place: I just wanted to try something I had never done before, so I could show my clients that pushing your limits into a place of severe discomfort is when you truly grow and progress as a human being.
So to make a long story short…haha :)…stop thinking so much and just go do what you need to do. Figure out what the actual intention is behind your goal; why are you setting this or that goal? What do you actually want out of it? And then stop thinking, and do it! Don’t worry, there will always be 9,000 reasons not to, but the scariest part of listening to those excuses is that you become stagnant. Stagnancy is not an option for us, for it can only lead to true unhappiness.
“Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Well that’s all I have to say about that 🙂 Peace, love, and deep squats y’all