We are all on our own journey when it comes to fitness and health. Some of us are at different stages of the same journey while others are heading in the opposite direction.
Some have started the journey with no clear destination. While others are so laser focused on the destination that they don't see the path.
Too often we can look at someones progress and become envious, jealous or maybe even disheartened with what we witness thinking we need more weightloss or more fat loss.
And in my opinion, Social Media has made this even worse.
Now I am far from Anti-Social media and I'm not going to jump on the wagon of bashing social media. It is us that create and feed the machine that it is. But that's becoming a bigger discussion for another day!
However the omnipresence of "perfection" can easily fill our day where we end up comparing ourselves to others rather than focusing on our own journey.
Now, I'm not going to fall into the rabbit hole of mocking or criticising those who don't share the same beliefs or philosophy as myself or those I am lucky enough to coach here in our Oranmore Gym.
There are many fitness and athletic endeavors that really don't appeal to me. But I can still appreciate the dedication, hard work and commitment I've seen in Galway gyms and Oranmore gyms that these individuals put in.
Take body builders or fitness competition for example. This is something I have absolutely no interest in pursuing . It doesn't fit my life or goals. Yet I can only admire the commitment, discipline and insane training that these people put in.
Where I do have concerns, is when people who can't/don't want to commit to that lifestyle, using these physiques as their benchmark of health and fitness and well-being.
Use these physiques as inspiration but not as comparison. That 20 year old girl posting her filtered selfie in Instagram is on a completely different journey to the 37 year old parent with 3 children, a partner, bills and full time job.
Not that one can take the moral high ground over the other. It's just important for us to acknowledge the different journey.
Now, by all means the parent can be strong, lean, fit and energetic and healthy and be a role model for their children. But it's unlikely that they can commit to training and lifestyle of the young singleton!
Plenty of parents I know are stronger and fitter than our younger counterparts who could be in amazing condition. No one is better, just a different journey.
So, what journey are you on and where are you at with it?
For some, it will be losing the last few pounds. While for others, it might just be simply buying a healthier cookbook. Others will be looking to hit 100kg deadlifts. While some will be happy with a brisk walk. Some will be looking into protein/nutrient timing, while others will just be learning what protein actually is.
Everyone starts as a beginner. Regardless of how advanced, educated or intimidating someone is, they were once a beginner. At some stage they probably had a lot less knowledge than you currently do.
They are simply further along on their journey.
As the proverb goes " A thousand miles begins with a single step"
Do yourself a favour and define your destination. Would you like to be healthy and fit to play with your children? Or compete in an Ironman? How about build your confidence? Or maybe take on Karantoohil?
Simply decide your destination. This destination may change over the course of your jouney. But pick a point to aim towards. Next, analyze if this is realistic.
Sure, you might want deadlift 300kg. But if you are 6 feet tall and weigh 57kg and free to train only once a week. You may need to choose a destination that's a bit more attainable!
Finally, decide what you can choose as the next best step you can take regardless of where you are presently on your journey. It may be googling some healthy recipes. It may be hiring a personal trainer. It could cutting back on your alcohol or joining a gym or fitness class that suits your goals.
Pick your destination.
Decide if it's realistic.
Take the next easiest step.
Don't get overwhelmed with the big picture. Don't compare yourself to others.
Focus on YOUR journey and your next step.