You Can Be Your Own Worst Enemy
Being fit is not something that you just luckily stumble onto after a series of disappointing efforts to get rid of unhealthy habits. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing that stands in our way to becoming fit is our own lack of trust in ourselves.
Insecurity or a lack of self-esteem is like a termite that can erode even the strongest of wood and cement foundations from within. To be able to get past such a barrier, we need to understand our negative mental, physical, and emotional drivers – what makes us suck at being fit.
1. I’m not shallow, I’m OK the way I am.
This is an emotional driver. It’s very much akin to self-denial, like fooling ourselves, pretending that everything is OK when it’s actually not. Why do people do this?
Sometimes it has to do with a distorted view of one’s self. A person may actually think that s/he is in the pink of health, when the truth is, being overweight and thus, being susceptible to a host of health problems, is practically staring them in the face.
Sometimes, it has to do with a false sense of spirituality (i.e., caring about the way one looks is equal to being vain, therefore, striving to keep fit and look your best “can’t be good”).
2. I don’t have enough time to exercise.
This is a mental driver. When you think you have no time to exercise, you’re actually trying to convince yourself that you have no time, even when you can make time, if you only, truly, wanted to do so.
3. Exercise is boring.
This can be either a mental or emotional driver. If you have never exercised before, you cannot honestly say that it is boring. If you have exercised and gotten bored, it could be because you were going about your exercising in the wrong way.
4. I’m only going to live once, so, I’m entitled to eat what I want.
This is an emotional driver. In this case, food is seen as a reward or source of comfort. Since the line of thinking is that “we only live once,” it’s just “right” to reward ourselves and enjoy life as much as we want, by being a gourmand.
5. I’m afraid of getting hurt.
This could be both a physical and emotional driver. You may actually have a physical or health condition that precludes vigorous activity. Still, having a health condition doesn’t preclude healthy eating, does it?
If you don’t have a health condition, then, saying “I’m afraid of getting hurt” may be an emotional driver. You might lack self-confidence to undertake something challenging such as an exercise program or a diet that will test your discipline.
6. I’m too young/too old to worry about not being healthy and fit.
This is a physical and mental driver. I personally believe that age should not be a barrier to fitness. You want proof? Just take a look at these over 60 body builders. Unless there is an existing and actual health condition, one’s age should not be a major barrier. After all, diet and exercise can always be tailored to each individual.
7. It’s too expensive to go on a fitness program.
This is a mental driver, that may have roots in your actual life situation. However, not all fitness programs need to be expensive, so this is basically a cop-out.
8. I’m too lazy to prepare “special food.”
This is an emotional driver. What’s actually being said here is “I don’t love myself enough to care about what I eat.”
9. My friends/relatives all eat like this and they don’t suffer any adverse effects.
This is another emotional driver. Comparing yourself with others is self-defeating because you are a unique individual. If you really want to become fit, you need to think of yourself as someone with unique needs.
10. I’m always too tired to even think of becoming fit.
This is a physical, mental, and emotional driver. It’s ironic because the reason you’re tired is because you’re not fit in the first place. Or, you may be taking on too much. Or, you may be neglecting yourself out of a mistaken sense of being responsible for the welfare of others (if you are the family provider), but not your own.
How about you? What’s making you suck at being fit?