Let your “can’t” be “can’t YET”

 

Since I’ve already told you I believe in magic, you’re probably wondering if I’m about to try to convince you that you can fly. Realistically speaking, if I must, maybe not at this time, but I would never say never. Flying aside, are we are equipped to do a limitless amount of other things? Absolutely.

We stop ourselves from getting things done by telling ourselves we can’t or that it won’t be enough. The following comments in varying forms come up frequently in my conversations with others: “Yeah, I know I should start working out again, but I used to run a minimum of 3 miles, 5 days a week and I’d probably barely be able to do a mile now.” Or, “I love to lift weights- -really enjoy it, but I know no workout program is complete without cardio, which I hate, so what’s the point if it’s not going to make any difference?” This all or nothing philosophy is one I understand well, having been sidelined by perfectionistic tendencies myself. And that’s actually what it comes down to: a desire to be perfect. Well, stop it. Because you are not now, nor will you ever be, perfect. You will never be the perfect person and you will never do the perfect workout and you will never have the perfect body. Because you won’t. Because you are human. So get over yourself and let’s get real here. To the two commenters above I offered the following strategies:

Person #1) Get your running shoes on and get moving. Forget how fast, how far and how much. (You guessed it- another Fit Beyond Form mantra 🙂 ) Start by walking. Burst into a jog when you’re ready. If you’re not ready during the first walk, aim for it the next time. Forget perfection. Just make it your job to get on your running shoes and get outside. That’s a start. The rest will follow. How are we going to eat this elephant? One bite at a time. (Trust me…I use this quote on myself OFTEN)

Person #2) Lift weights. You enjoy lifting weights. Let that be enough for now. Let yourself be. Do the part you enjoy to get yourself started. Move in faith that you’ll be led to the next step when you’re meant to be.

Anybody (and especially any fitness trainer) can tell you that yes, a well-rounded wellness program is going to include strength training, cardio and a balanced diet. Yada, yada, yada. A lack of this knowledge is not the reason why 30% of the world is either obese or overweight, so clearly the approach we have taken thus far regarding this situation is not working. Therefore, my approach requires some faith. Faith in the fact that small steps in the right direction will ultimately lead you where you need to be. And no, I never believed in small steps in the past either. I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it and I wanted it yesterday. But the problem with that philosophy was that in hurrying the process to get where I wanted to be faster faster faster, I missed out on the lessons that would have served to keep me there and I would eventually end up right back where I started. Every time. Those of you who have re-lost the same 20 pounds over and over again, are you hearing me?

So what can you do today? Besides getting over yourself, which is always a key place to begin… First, swap out the words “I can’t” for “I can’t yet“. Then begin with the part you can do and build from there. This is about the process! (And yes, you’ll hear me tell you that again and again, because I’m going to remind you of it until you’re blessed with your own lightbulb moment that shows you what I mean!) If you’re laying down, sit up. If you’re sitting down, stand up. If you’re standing, start walking. If you’re walking, start running. Do a little more than you’re doing now. If you’re already doing a full workout, up your weights, maintain faultless form and slow down your lifting pace. If you haven’t yet added in body weight exercises, throw in some push-ups, squats and lunges.  If you’re doing nothing it will be the hardest for you because you don’t yet believe you can do anything. That’s why I’m here to tell you that you can. Get up! Get outside (getting outside is key and we will explore that in the future) and just put one foot in front of the other and get started. The rest will follow in its own time. Your mission is to allow it to.

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