In fitness, our goals usually fall into three categories:
1. Health – feeling good, living longer, playing with our kids
2. Appearance – losing weight, looking good naked
3. Performance – PR’ing in the gym, running a marathon, winning a competition
As humans, we tend to want all three all the time! Who’s with me?! Unfortunately, it’s harder to accomplish then you think, especially on your own. Let me use myself as an example.
When I was a teenager, I was overweight. My first-ever fitness goal was to not be embarrassed in a bathing suit (APPEARANCE goal). I didn’t really know what to do so I ate in a calorie deficit (albeit too extreme) and trained too hard (hello 3 hours of cardio a day, face palm). Regardless of my naivety, I reached my goal and lost the weight. But I felt like shit. I was tired all the time. I had no energy. I was losing my hair. It was gross. My HEALTH and PERFORMANCE suffered in favor of my APPEARANCE.
In 2012 I started running half marathons. I logged 20+ miles per week to train for a handful of races that summer. PERFORMANCE was my goal – I wanted to finish in under two hours. During my training, I put on a few pounds of body fat (because I wasn’t strength training) and I developed ITB (knee) and low back pain. I was able to run a 1:56 half, but my HEALTH and APPEARANCE took a backseat.
A few years ago, I realized I hadn’t been taking care of myself. My biofeedback was terrible – I wasn’t sleeping well, I felt depressed a lot, I craved sweets 24/7. Stress had gotten to me and I wasn’t taking care of my HEALTH. I found a Nutrition Coach who helped me reverse diet. During the process, I had to come to grips with gaining some weight so I could get back to feeling like myself. For that year when I worked on my HEALTH, I couldn’t afford to focus on my APPEARANCE or PERFORMANCE goals.
I learned a lot of lessons on that fitness path from teenager to almost-40-year-old and I am grateful for them. I learned that I could have done better. I could have reached for those goals without the total detriment of other fitness goals. I just didn’t know what I was doing. My curiosity to learn more is why I become a Personal Trainer. When I came to TPA, it was a big leap of faith, but I knew it was an opportunity for me to be a guiding light, support system, and Coach for others. I wanted to be someone who could have helped the younger version of me.
So, what is your goal? What fitness category does it fall under? How will you accomplish it without risking your standing in the other categories? Step one is to take out a notebook or journal and write your goals down. I once read, “the way to connect your head to your heart is through your hand.” Write out your plan! See your plan of attack on paper in front of you. And if you want my help on journey, you know where to find me.
- Coach Jessica
Need help with your goals, or a plan on how to achieve them? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me: