Results. We all want them in anything we put effort into. When it comes to health goals, many times the results we want are external, but so often the internal results are under appreciated. In this blog I'd like to talk about approaching your goals with the internal result as the primary objective and focusing less on the external result, the one every one else notices.
Say you want to lose weight and that is all you can think about. You do everything you are supposed to do and follow the program that guarantees you'll lose those ten pounds in just a month. Boom, just like that you lost those ten pounds you wanted to lose. However, to lose all that weight you pursued a very restrictive diet that left you feeling fatigued and hungry all the time. You cut out the majority of the foods you loved and had to repeat the same boring meals day after day. Did you really succeed? Was the goal to feel tired, phsycologically drained, and unhappy? This is the trap all too many people fall into. This is the trap that causes over 90% of Americans to gain back the weight they have lost. It's an external goal, without an internal goal.
What if you decided you wanted to feel more energetic and less fatigued. That is what any health goal should be right? You want to feel HEALTHIER. Weight loss certainly meets this criteria if approached the right way. However, the results may come a bit slower. This is why most people choose the fast route, the unhealthier route, chasing the external result.
In my profession, I work with people with all different backgrounds and goals. Very rarely do I have someone inquire about my services with the goal of just feeling better. From a simple conversation I soon recognize the frequent pattern of wanting external results. "I'd like to lose 30 pounds." "I'd like to podium this race next year." Etc, etc. There is nothing wrong at all with wanting these results, the problem lies within the why.
Being happy with the way you look is important. However, the way you look certainly doesn't dictate your internal progress. What I mean by internal progress is what is happening on the cellular level. Internal progress is the long game and most people don't want to play that game. Rather than noticing you've only lost a pound this month or you didn't improve much in your fitness, ask yourself how your energy levels are. Ask yourself if you've been consistent and putting in the work. Ask yourself if you're better than you were last month. If you can say yes to these questions, then you are doing the right things. Physiological adaptation takes time and is completely individual. For some, it may happen faster, for others it may take longer. You can't always control that.
Feeling better everyday I think is the most important goal. If you want to lose weight, find a reason to do so that really benefits you other than the outward appearance. If you want to start running, don't compare your mile times with others. Maybe, "I'd like to lose weight because my joints hurt." "I want to start running to improve heart health." That personal reason will give you the motivation to feel progress while staying motivated and not comparing yourself to others. Also, don't think in terms of days or even weeks, but months and years. You don't want your results to be temporary anyway so think long term. We live in a time that we often forget that the person to satisfy first, is ourselves. When we are our best selves, we offer that best version to others.