In fitness, we’re always looking back.
What’s your medical history? What other programs have you tried? Do you have a history of orthopedic disfunction? Have you ever worked with a coach before? Did you play sports in high school? And this list goes on…
In fact, I’m always surprised at the history that is divulged when a new athlete comes in the gym. I mean…I’ve heard a lot of unsolicited history.
There’s this weird human inclination to evaluate all the circumstances that have led up to this very moment. Fitness isn’t the only area we do this – family, relationships, career, money, and overall sense of self in society. And, it’s completely normal! One of our biological adaptations is to evaluate trauma, hardship, or mistakes to ensure that they don’t happen again.
A lot of really bad things have happened to a lot of really good people. Often times, there’s no reason or logic behind it. It just happens.
How can we improve our circumstance when we have no control over our circumstance?
Success in career, life, and – especially – fitness lies in one simple fact: The path forward is the same.
In recent episodes of the Podcast, we’ve explored some ways that the industry tries to profit off ignoring this fact – that a nutrition “challenge” will yield positive long-term outcomes, that Saran wrap will reveal your abs, or that “These 8 Exercises Will TORCH Body fat!!!”
But, we’re always faced with the (sometimes harsh) reality that your path to health involves 3 things: 1) Move Consistently, 2) Eat Reasonably, and 3) Support and Be Supported by Others. THAT’S IT! NO JUICES, CLEANSES, CHALLENGES, OR WRAPS.
“But, Matt, you don’t understand my circumstance. I have a busy life with lots of meetings and travel and work and lunch meetings and family and school and I don’t know how to cook.” Or, “I have a thyroid problem or I was born without arms or I have nerve issues.”
You’re absolutely correct – I don’t understand your circumstances. Nobody does and nobody will. Just as you’ll never fully understand anyone else’s. One thing I do know in the core of my being: evaluating the events that led to this current moment will not get you where you want to go – in your health or otherwise. The path forward is the same:
1) Move Consistently
You don’t need anything fancy here. Move functionally, with purpose, safely, and regularly. Find something you love and do it 4-5 hours a week for the rest of your life. Mix it up, train in seasons, and have fun doing it.
2) Eat Reasonably
Sugar won’t kill you. Neither will carbs. Neither will an occasional weekend binge. Real life happens, calories matter, and food has an emotional impact. Be reasonable. Check your relationship with food. Seek professional help where necessary. If you find yourself constantly “challenging,” eliminating, or eating like you’re a freshman in college – fix it.
3) Support and Be Supported by Others
We understand ourselves through a relationship with others. You’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. All these platitudes on inspirational corporate posters have a nugget of truth. Parents that eat well and exercise have kids that eat well and exercise. People that party hard have friends that party hard. A yawn causes you to yawn; a smile makes you smile. Humans come out of the womb replicating the affect of others and continue to do so throughout the rest of their lives.
Here’s your #3 challenge: Get your “why I can’t/my history/my condition/my schedule/my, my, my, me, I…” out of your head and support someone through their’s. I promise you’ll forget about your own B.S. long enough to see some real progress.