Posted by on Dec 5, 2014

Ben Hessel graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Science while earning his personal training certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). In 2011, he began his own personal training business. Want to train with Ben? We can hook you up.

Every day we face opportunities to totally fuck up.

Imagine the look on your bosses face if you missed a deadline at work and cost the company tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Think about how your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend might react if you left a hand towel by the stove and burnt down the entire house.

You could run your car off the road, spill a hot drink on yourself, or even miss a step while walking down the stairs, snap your ankle in half and need surgery right away – would your insurance even cover it?

When it comes to these terrible tragedies (or even more mundane events), we tend to do a pretty good job of forgiving ourselves.

We didn’t have sick intentions, we simply made a mistake.  Was it ideal?  Hell no.  But it was a mistake, people are ok and things will get fixed even if it takes extra work.

Ironically when it comes to our own self-care in fitness, we treat ourselves the exact opposite and fill our minds with negative self-talk:

“You missed two workouts this week.  You’re never going to have the body you really want.  Just quit.  Stop wasting your time.  Stop wasting your trainer’s time.  You just make things harder on everyone.”

If this feels familiar, I want you to know that the issue may not be your nutrition plan or your workout plan, you may just need to give yourself a little break.

When we aren’t successful, we tend to think “more-more-more” or that militant attitudes will treat us the best.

Treat yourself like you’d like to be treated. Photo source: Flickr

Let’s learn to look at ourselves through someone else’s lens

However unless you like G.I. Joe spitting sour commands in your face, the best bet is learn to assess ourselves subjectively.  Learn to look at yourself through someone else’s lens.

From a trainer’s perspective, I can say that if I have a client who’s done a good job all week and eats a pack of M&Ms that puts them 220 calories over one day, I don’t think they’re an asshole.  I don’t think they’re a quitter.  I don’t think they’re weak, that they’ll never get to where they want to be or that I’m doing all of my work with them for nothing.

In fact, those thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth.

When we take a deep breath and learn to assess ourselves from a subjective perspective, it becomes a lot easier to acknowledge that one day of high calories won’t balloon us up like one of Wonka’s oompa-loompas, and that starving ourselves with cauliflower and water will just make us mad that we even fell for that magic-bullet-diet in the first place.

Fitness is about quality of life.  The second it starts doing the opposite, you’re doing it wrong.

For all the good that fitness brings us, it also has a dark side that no one likes to talk about – fitness can tear us apart.

People lose sleep over their macros, and we shame ourselves for a few missed sets.  People who care about their health and appearance tend to dig themselves into an emotional hole while locking the lid so that they can never climb out.

Next time you feel like a failure, think of all the other things we fuck up that are way worse than missing a workout or overeating by 100 calories (fine, even 1,000).

When you begin to accept that things are rarely perfect, but at the same time work strategically towards your overall goal, results will come, and people who learn to be understanding of themselves get better results, faster than anyone else.

If you’re looking for extra support and a way to accomplish your goals faster, click here to work with Ben one-on-one. 

Featured image courtesy of Seth Kaplan

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