My experience as a fitness professional has brought me across many people that have only short-term fitness goals in mind. This can be a good start for some, but after achieving that in their 6, 8, 10 or 12-week program. What’s next?
For most, and what I have experienced myself, we go back into our normal lives. Life before we began the fitness journey; losing 5 to 10 kilograms of fat, adding muscle, or both.
A snapshot of the World Health Organisation’s statistics states that more than 1.9 billion people globally are overweight. The rates at which we are gaining weight is at an all-time high. And both are on the rise. We are witnessing the inescapable obsession of body image. This is fuelled by social media. Through celebrity obsessions and endorsements, and industries that play on your fears and insecurities of not having the “beach-body”.
Well before you have liked that photo of your favourite Insta-model, it has been Photoshopped and filtered. Prepared in a way to present the “ideal body” that, from a fitness professional’s perspective, is unsustainable without the use of surgical alterations or "medications".
This dangerous combination of facts and literal figures of the unrealistic type has catapulted the fitness industry in demand for the quick-fix to a deep-rooted problem.
If you are focusing on the immediate, aesthetic goals instead of the important elements such as a good, healthy lifestyle promoted by fitness professionals, you have lost. The aesthetic image does still have importance and can give immediate satisfaction through boosting self-esteem. But this narrow view does little to improve a longer-lasting life in health and fitness and the flagship of fighting obesity.
From me to you, I do my best to not be part of the problem, but more to help find a solution to health and fitness problems. I am not here to tell you what you want to hear but to give you what you need to hear!
When goal-setting, it is good to set some short-term fitness goals and changes to your lifestyle. For you to achieve these the not so glamorous truth about goal setting and why needs to be made apparent:
Why do you want to achieve your stated goals?
Do you want your body for the beach, or would you rather it all year round?
Does this goal come from fear or love of your current or future image?
Fitness is a feeling, not a look. Being obsessed about how you look can be overshadowed on the awareness of how you are going to feel with the future prospect of achieving your desired look. Nothing feels more rewarding than the transformations, from getting skull dragged into the gym at 630AM to asking me to hurry up! I can’t measure that mental state on a set of scales. This comes from within.
How do we go about changing from short-term fitness goals to longer, more sustainable ones?
This is where fitness professionals are either dull or bright. It’s about understanding the difference between a want and a need. When needs a met, the wants become a reality. No one needs a six-pack, we want it. What you need to achieve a six-pack are eating healthy and nutritious meals, drinking water and regularly consistent exercise. By focusing in on meeting these requirements (or needs) first, there is an even greater chance of achieving the desired goals.
Setting these actions and plans will require identifying the short-term goals and long term goals. It will also require educating why a specific training style may or may not be suitable. And lastly, reduces the confusion caused by conflicting health and fitness recommendations.
By being mindful of the process, I feel that moving away from short-term, targeted goals, and focusing on establishing a base of overall fitness in a long-term view with a positive mindset, good weight management and good health will impact far greater than a twelve-week body transformation challenge.
Need help with your fitness journey? contact The Discipline Fitness Coach, today!