So I have eluded to failures in my previous writings on health and fitness. I want to take a moment to talk about my philosophy on success and failure. I take the same view in regards to fitness as I do to engineering which is success through failure. If there is anything I have learned through engineering it’s that you often fail before you succeed and sometimes you fail a lot before you finally prevail.
It’s important to have short and long term goals in your fitness journey. Short term achievable goals keep the momentum going. Long term goals give you solace when you miss a short term goal. As long as you are making progress towards your long term goal then you are still good right? While its important to have goals it’s also equally important to keep them in perspective. Most of us did not get unfit over night and we will not reverse the process over night either. The path to physical fitness is a journey and it’s helpful to keep the long view of it in mind.
In I even go so far as to not put to much weight in my indicators on a daily basis. I look at trends over a longer period of time… I tend to look at my calories in daily form but then I also look at them over a week. Having a longer view of calorie intake is helpful because if I have a larger caloric intake one day I can spread the deficit over the remaining days of the week to make the adjustment seem manageable. I look at my weight loss or gain over a period of a week or a month. I also do the same with what I am lifting. Taking the longer view is very helpful in managing progress and not just throwing in the towel because you had a failure or setback.
Now more specifically on the subject of setbacks and failures. They are going to happen. There are going to be things that are out of your control. It’s important to recognize that but also keep things in perspective. But what you can do is work on keeping a positive attitude and work on things that are within the realm of your control. For example, I had a dislocated rib this spring that side lined my lifting for about three weeks. Instead of throwing in the towel I switched to an all cardio workout for about three weeks and then took a few days off all together and then went back to lifting again. Yes it was an inconvenience and certainly not a comfortable experience but I tried to make the best of it. Likewise I also had an elbow injury last year that caused a pause in my lifting routine but again I was able to do cardio while my elbow healed. There will be pain. Pain is a fact of life. But to be honest there is a lot less pain now that I am physically fit than there was when I was unfit. The pain and discomfort was almost constant when I was completely out of shape. Now the pain usually only comes from the occasional injury.
There will be scheduling conflicts too. There will be times when you just can’t get your workout in. I have seasons where I have to work long days for weeks on end. During those times I try and fit two workouts in on the weekends and then try and squeeze in a couple lunch time work outs in during the week. There are some times of the year where I work out in the mornings and some times of the year were I work out late at night. And some times when I squeeze in a few push-ups, chin-ups, dips and planks at home and call it good. Again realizing that some things are out of your control and finding ways to be flexible and creative while keeping the long view will help you keep moving forward or at least not move backwards.
So stay positive, keep working at it and keep on the journey to physical fitness. You can do this. With every step forward you grow stronger. Success will come, but you have to fight for it.
One last suggestion… Don’t waste energy on negative emotions. Instead of wasting your time and energy beating yourself up about the situation, get a good workout in and go to bed with a feeling of accomplishment instead of regret.
just put your earbuds on, listen to some tunes and work out!
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