Sometimes on this journey of life we really care about the way we look and feel. Yet, how successful you are at making the changes to the way you look and feel are determined by the mindset you take on. How much responsibility you take and then how easily you can accept yourself with where you’re at, who you are and what’s truly important to you matters immensely.
Responsibility and the ability to accept where you’re at are synergistic aspects that, if you can do both, give you the opportunity to both have a body that looks good and is healthy, while enjoying your journey.?
The rest of this post, is about 3 mindsets I see people take on when it comes to their eating and working out (amongst other aspects of life).
The hope is that in knowing where you’re currently at, you can make the leap to a more beneficial place.
You can read
Level of Acceptance/Responsibility
A – Suffering
A lot of people will start in a place of “suffering.” They have a pain point where they’re not happy with themselves, their life or an aspect of their life. Not everyone necessarily starts in suffering, but for those that do, the difference is whether or not, you choose to stay in it.
I call this phase suffering only when you are abdicating responsibility for parts, or the totality, of your life to other things. This is the person who is in pain, but refuses to do what’s necessary to get out of pain.
This is the person who will blame circumstances, their past, other people, their job, where they live, and nearly any and every other thing they can in order to continue complaining, yet never taking the necessary steps to change the situation at hand.
If you’re in suffering, the most powerful thing you can do is start something that gives you back the power of personal responsibility.
Take action, sure. But own those actions.
Here’s the thing though, you can’t expect to change overnight or for the results you’re looking for to happen overnight. You have to make changes, and keep at it, without a deadline on your results.
If you can do that, then you’re onto the next phase.
B – Power
This phase is characterized by the phrase, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
If someone starts in suffering (not everyone does), then their next move is to the Power phase. This is where the person will become gung ho about change.
These are the “converts” to a specific methodology. If they didn’t feel great before, but started doing CrossFit and feel good, they typically will only recognize CrossFit as their rightful savior.
I’m not saying anything is wrong about being passionate about something you care for. In fact, you should be. But when you think you’re special because you do something and someone else doesn’t, then it might be an issue. Not everyone has the same priorities as you and that’s ok.
This phase can feel intoxicating and many people tend to stay here because of that intoxicating feeling. If you look on Instagram and Facebook and see a lot of inspirational quotes, you’ll typically see a lot of “Power” quotes and mindsets. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but half the time, they do sound judgmental.
So if you find something that works for you, recognize that you found something that works, for you. If a friend asks you what you did, tell them, but maybe qualify it with, “I know this worked for me. I’m not sure how it will work for you.” Try not to spread the gospel as the only thing that is and will ever work.
Funny how religion and fitness/nutrition, tend to have the same issues here.
The biggest issue with power is that your actions are inextricably linked with your self-worth. So, unless you’re taking specific actions (for example, working out hard or “eating clean” or running, etc), all the time, then you might not be as content with your life as you think you are.
If you’re in the power phase and you like your life, stay there. It’s fun and intoxicating. Enjoy it.
If you’re here though and have a gnawing sense that there is more out there while recognizing that you don’t have to be perfect, all the time, then you might be ready for the final phase.
C – Partnership/Acceptance
This last phase is a bit tricky to define, but basically, this phase is characterized by those who have moved past the suffering phase, know that they have the power to change circumstances, but also know that they are not going to be perfect. And here’s the thing. They don’t need to be perfect in order to be happy.
They can eat delicious food, not beat themselves up for it, and still workout like they would have done normally.
They can go out to eat with friends, have a drink and order something healthy and not feel weird about it.
In other words, this is the phase where someone is healthy, they have a body they’re content with, work for a better body, but not out of a place of suffering or fear, but out of a place of acceptance. They believe they can do better and since they can, they will. Not because they need to in order to feel better about themselves, but because, you know, “It’s cool.”
This place is radically different than when someone changes because they are suffering (Suffering) or they work harder because they feel like less of a person if they don’t (Power). This is where someone is healthy and wants to do and be better – but if they don’t, it doesn’t affect their self-worth. They are already whole and whatever they choose, is to enhance their life, not make their life.
Where are You Starting From?
So the question is, where are you starting from?
Are you in “Suffering” when it comes to eating, but “Power” when it comes to working out? Or vice versa?
Are you one of the enlightened bunch where you can accept yourself and others?
What do you want from your life, in terms of health and fitness? Do you want the best body, EVER???
Are you seeking self-worth from your workout pursuits?
And more importantly, why?
There is no right or wrong answer, but knowing where you’re at and what is motivating you to change can be highly empowering.
Once you have your starting point, the question becomes, what do you want to do next?