"You Don't Have TO Go Fast... You Just Have To Go.

Endurance Wellness Coaching

Normally, I'm not one for motivational fitness Pinteresty 'work your butt off' pictures. I'm all for finding someone to look up to and something to strive for, but who wants to look at this random, skinny, sweaty girl on a picture berating them for some choice or another? They can be so demotivating, and (if you're anything like me, you might just make that bad choice out of spite).

This one was posted earlier this week by someone I consider extremely motivating! This person has put in so much effort to create her healthy lifestyle, and, like everyone I've ever coached, hits some bumps along the way. The quote on this motivational Pinteresty picture applies to everyone who is trying to get it together, get it back together, or just continue keeping it together!

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best. If MyFitnessPal saws you should eat 1200 calories, why not cap out at 900? Is the person next to us in our group fitness class beating us on step ups? We'll show them, even if it kills us! We need to work late at our extremely stressful jobs only to come home to clean a messy house and fix a perfect dinner. This kind of lifestyle pushes you deeper and deeper into the ground until you're buried under your stresses. 

When do we say "enough is enough"?! When do we stop pushing ourselves to the very limits of our stress capacity and just say "I've done a great job today. Let's take a well-deserved break"? When will we accept that we don't have to be the absolute best in everything we do but just do the best that we can while still taking care of ourselves? 

Our wellness is a perfect example of this mess we create for ourselves. We're trying to be better, eat better, exercise better, but we are so good about placing an unreal amount of stress on ourselves in the process. I'm not saying we shouldn't be striving for better health, but extreme stress isn't putting us on a path to increased wellness. Don't try to exercise until your limbs fall off. Don't beat yourself up if you forget to pack a healthy lunch one day. You're mental well-being us just as much part of your health as your nutrition and fitness! 

How do we get ourselves out of this stress mess when we may not even see the burnout we are hurdling toward until it's too late? 

  • Ask for help. Friends, family, coworkers, a professional. Get help where you need  it! Do you doubt your ability to choose the right foods or stay on track with a nutrition plan? Get a health coach. Do you just need the house clean when you get home so you don't pull out your hair? Your spouse may never know if you don't tell them. Are you struggling to move past the anxiety of making and keeping to changes in your life? Finding a professional you're comfortable talking to may help you move past fear that could otherwise hold you back!
  • Be mindful of yourself. You don't have to be 100% at everything if it mean sacrificing your sanity. Would making dinner tonight after dealing with work and family make you crumple into a heap on the floor? It's ok if you do something not on the meal plan. No, that doesn't mean pick up a pizza after every hard day. It means leftovers may be a better option than that complicated recipe you were planning. The same goes for work, exercise, and everything else! Know your limits. Be the best you can be, but know when pushing yourself is just too much. 
  • Slow down. Sometimes we go so fast that we don't necessarily see the damage we are doing to ourselves until it overcomes us. Take a few minutes each day to slow down, and enjoy that moment. 
  • Evaluate your health. You may realize in that moment that it's time to take something off your plate that is adding undue stress. You may realize that the days you skip your workout class are just more difficult, because you didn't have that outlet. You may realize that when you don't plan ahead and pack meals in advance, you're overstressed the next day trying to scramble for something to eat. Pay attention to this! Figure out what works in your life, what doesn't, and focus on taking the steps to feel your best. 
  • Reward the small things and appreciate every achievement. Not every goal needs to be a 50 lb for a new outfit or big treat kind of goal. Did you journal your food every day this week? Awesome! Go grab that book you've been wanting to read and reward yourself with ten minutes of reading before bed. 

So, realize you don't have to be the best in everything. You don't have to run the fastest or eat the cleanest. You just have to do what you can.