GOALS. It’s hard to think of that word without visualizing another person. Someone who has something that you don’t just yet. In the world of fitness, think body goals. At one point or another, most people keep a photo or two of their fitspiration who has an “ideal body” to stay motivated to work out (okay, I’m guilty!) and that’s fine. But proceed with caution. Looking up to someone else’s physique too much while working on your own could cause you to have a warped image of how your body should look… When really, you should do it for yourself.
Body image plays a huge role in how satisfied we are with our lives overall. According to a study by researchers from Chapman University in California surveying over 12,000 participants, satisfaction with appearance was the third largest factor for how good people felt about their lives behind financial satisfaction and satisfaction with their love lives.
How you feel about your body has major impact on how you feel about the rest of your life.
The study found that hating on your body leads to higher levels of neuroticism and more fearful and anxious attachment styles while embracing your body leads to more openness, conscientiousness and extroversion. That’s why body love really is important!
I have to admit that is a lot easier said than done. Earlier this year I was shopping for leggings and nothing fit well. I felt super fat and gross. It was the worst feeling ever.
I decided right then and there that I was going to change my body. I went on a low-calorie, low sodium and sugar, no processed food, no refined and white carbs, no red meat diet and no raw vegetable (phew what a mouthful!) diet. I upped my workouts from three times a week to everyday. One week passed, then two and then three but nothing changed, except that I was pale, starving and angry all the time. It didn’t work and I couldn’t understand why.
Looking back, it was probably because I was hating on my body so damn much. I kept messaging my friends things like “guys I’m tired of being so fat” and beating myself up over everything I ate and pinching my fat in the mirror.
That was the point that I sought out help. At the time, one of my most active Facebook group chats was my BodyCon 2015 group. BodyCon – short for Body Convention – was Gold’s Gym, Shape and Muscle & Fitness Philippines’ search for a set of fitness ambassadors. And I have to admit, the set of people that we gathered last year truly are.
I shared my sentiments with that group and they responded with support. I started working out with the fittest people that I knew… And it was really intimidating at first but they helped me believe that I could do it and get stronger along the way.
My first lesson was all about goal setting.
Mr. Muscle & Fitness Philippines Arnold Aninion, known as Arnie to his friends, sat me down and asked me what my goal was. I said “I just want to look like a Victoria’s Secret model.” I’ll never forget what he said: “That’s easy, just don’t eat at all.” Definitely not healthy and definitely not happening.
We set a healthier goal of getting stronger and leaner but generally maintaining my size. And I made a conscious effort to stop fat shaming myself and start loving my body a little bit more.
Why is it important to set fitness goals with a positive mindset?
1. It will set the tone for the choices that you make every day.
Your goal is the very first choice you will make in your fitness journey which really just is a lifelong series of choices. Sleeping in or jogging? Steamed or fried? Giving up or testing your limit? These are just a few of the many choices that you will be faced with every day.
Starting off with a positive outlook – I love my body. I’m strong. I can do this. will make it easier to consistently make healthy choices that make you feel good.
2. It will keep you motivated when things get tough (and trust me, they will)
When you have a positive mindset, you have more energy and motivation to get up and go. There’s no place you need that energy more than in the gym.
During a difficult workout, your mind will play tricks on you. It comes up with excuses, limits and weaknesses that actually only exist in your head – holding you back even when your body can actually do more. It’s survival instinct… But you need to beat it. Tempting as it is to give up when you’re tired and dripping with sweat, it’s only in those last few seconds of work that you really grow. And you can only accomplish that with a positive mindset that believes you can do anything.
3. It will help you become healthier overall
When you set your goal coming from a place where you embrace your body, it’s usually much healthier than a goal set while you hate it. You prioritize nourishing your body because you care about it. You understand the benefits of eating right and getting enough exercise.
The time has come for us to reclaim our bodies – starting with our mindset. We all want to achieve our body goals but at times, we get so lost in the details that we forget one little thing… The best thing you can do for your body is love it – no matter what phase of your fitness journey you’re in. You need to be positive and believe that you can do it and you will!
Let me know what you think.
Follow me on Snapchat for more of what I eat everyday.