By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
I use to love the phrase “Go big or go home,” or “Do or do not, there is no try,” or “It’s all or nothing.” But my perspective of these phrases has changed quite a bit over the past few years.
Why? Because I see people apply this mentality to their health and fitness journey, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long haul is anything but going at something 100% or not at all. I’ve come to realize that the magic happens, for the most part, in the trying, in the effort put forth between the all and the nothing space.
So, if you adopt the mentality of “do or do not, there is no try,” then why in the world would anyone ever want to try in the first place (since according to that phrase, trying doesn’t even exist)? Trying is how you learn and grow, and eventually succeed.
FIND YOUR HOME BASE
Finding the “medium speed” lifestyle is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to keep a certain level of fitness. The flip side of this, if you don’t have a “fitness homeostasis” is the vicious cycle of being on a fitness bender for a period of time, then falling completely off the wagon and not worrying about nutrition or exercise at all for a period of time. You go from ALL to NOTHING, working out 5-6x’s per week and extreme dieting to then doing the exact opposite within a short time period.
So how can you prevent this cycle? Here are three things you can do to prevent a rebound from fitness fanatic to sloth, then back to fitness fanatic and then sloth again.
1. Be OK With A Little There are some weeks that I can only get two to three 15-20 minute cardio sessions, and maybe two or three 30-45 minute lifting sessions in. This may not seem like a lot. But this is kind of my “sweet spot” maintenance “life is busy right now so this is all I can do” fitness schedule. If I’m really busy, I may not even get that in, but I’ll get some kind of exercise in, even if it’s just a little. And I’m OK with that. It’s better than nothing at all. I know many people who won’t even bother if it isn’t a longer duration of time, or if they can only get two or three sessions in instead of five or six. That is more of an all or nothing mentality that causes you to miss out on getting at least a little bit of exercise in.
2. Find Something Manageable If you aren’t prepping for anything in particular: a big social event, a wedding, graduation, class reunion, vacation, etc., or a competition or photoshoot and just want to maintain a healthy, fit physique, set up a manageable workout program that isn’t too much or too little for your life right now. This is your fitness program “home base” that you can always rely on. It should be realistic and structured, but not too restrictive or else you won’t stick with it.
3. Camp Out In Your Fitness Happy Place If you think about your two extremes: working out and dieting like a maniac vs. being lazy and eating however much of whatever you want, the middle of those two extremes is your fitness “sweet spot” or “happy place.” In this place, you should feel like it is 100% doable for you, not too restrictive, not too structured but also not too relaxed, not too intense but challenging and enjoyable and manageable.
Sure, there may be times in life when you want to put things in overdrive for a very short period of time, or times when fitness may need to take a back seat to other priorities. But just like anything in life, it’s good to have a “home base” to always be able to go back to, and give yourself permission to not always have to be all or nothing with your fitness journey.
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.