Every week, I write articles and blog posts that teach people how to get healthy and fit and I teach our clients in the gym to train hard and smart and to understand why lifting weights, conditioning and eating healthy are important and vital.
Yes, those lessons that I teach are powerful, and I know that I’m helping a lot of people. However, today, I want to share with you one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned and that most people don’t even talk about: Be kind to yourself.
I have to admit, when I used to see this phrase, I thought it was a weak statement. I’m going to bust my butt in the gym, eat clean and the harder I am on myself, the better results I’ll get.
I’m not weak, and I don’t need a pep talk or a baby sitter. As a former athlete and a leader and coach for many people, I thought that I had to be like superwoman. I wasn’t beating myself up for not getting results or for maybe having an ice cream, but I certainly WAS NOT being very kind to myself.
So, what does this whole “being kind to yourself” mean?
I want you to look at it like this: You can’t just work for the end result.
Rather, you have to enjoy the journey—the day-to-day work that you put in to accomplish a goal.
HOW TO BE KINDER TO YOURSELF
To be kinder to yourself, focus on doing the following daily:
- STAY present in the moment.
- STOP stressing about the “next thing” you have to do.
- ENJOY the foods you are eating and understand they are fuel and nourishment for your body—not just something to shovel in when your stomach is grumbling.
- FOCUS during each training session reminding yourself to again stay present and enjoy the process. Then, congratulate yourself on some seriously hard work.
- Side Note: This does not mean that “going through the motions” in the gym will get you results. You still need to bust your butt. Just simply appreciate the effort once it’s accomplished
- REFLECT on three things you are grateful for at the end of every day. S
- LOW DOWN. Stop running from day-to-day without stopping to reflect on where you are and how far you’ve come.
A FIT MINDSET:
Treat each day as a separate accomplishment. Fitness, health and wellness are not a means to an end. Everyday, you will have challenges. As women, we tend to take things very personally and often beat ourselves up for even the smallest misstep. That’s not fair.
We must do what we can today in pursuit of our goals and leave mistakes in the past and not worry about the future. The reason I wanted to write this article is because we are inundated with so much information on how to eat right, how to train hard and how to get results. We also need to focus on the results in our own heads. If we’re pushing relentlessly hard to achieve results in the gym, in our careers and in our lives, that’s great. But, on the flip side, what is the cost?
For some (not all), the result is stress, anxiety, exhaustion, undernourishment, overwork etc. I know that was me for a while. I wasn’t being kind to myself. I thought that if I had all the results and successes, that was all I needed. I wasn’t allowing myself to truly appreciate and to actually live with those results, because I was just going from one thing to the next like a fitness robot.
This is no way to live, and I know a lot of women are doing this. So stop and breathe, appreciate your successes and if there is something you need to improve on, do that. But don’t beat yourself up over it. Be kind to yourself in the process. No, this is not a hall pass to slack off and be “weak,” it’s simply an invitation to see life in a different set of eyes.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please leave me a comment below and if you appreciated this article, please share it on Facebook.