“Where do I start” is one of the most commonly heard phrases surrounding fitness, health, and weight loss. People have motivation and inspiration but, no real direction or set goals. We see thousands of success stories on instagram and little to no stories or photos on the COUNTLESS failures, setbacks and mishaps. The beautiful inspiration that social media is for us, it’s truly just a perfect highlight reel. So don’t dig too deeply on yourself for coming up short in comparison to the 6000 other people who either A) failed 400 times before the success, B) spent literally hundreds of hours fine-tuning their craft, or C) are so insanely gifted* that you never had a chance. The field isn’t and was never even. It’s ok.
So, social media influence aside, having all this motivation and no direction is like getting in a fast car, flooring the pedal to the floor and then just letting the car steer itself… we’re moving “forward” and we’re going fast but, we have no idea where we’re going. Step 1 – let’s nail down some clear cut goals.
This blog post is going to be about how we have our clients break down their goals into one of three categories. These said categories allow for some accountability and some direction in not only our training and exercise but, in our diet. When someone tells you “this is the best diet out there” I know their full of shit because there is no “best diet.” Without knowing someones goals, health history, and present health, everything is just a shot in the dark; a fast car without steering. Let’s get you on track.
When it comes to diet and exercise, one of the first questions I ask our clients is which of the following is MOST important to YOU:
- Optimal Health (OH)
- Optimal Aesthetics / Weight-loss (OA)
- Optimal Performance (OP)
There is of course relation between the three. For example, if you’re a high level athlete (Performance driven) you will most likely be above average in health and aesthetics (there are exceptions.) If you have 7% body fat (aesthetically driven) you’re most likely more healthy and more “fit” than the average Joe. However, in order to achieve OPTIMAL status in any one of these three, the other two will inevitably need to be compromised, to some degree.
Performance – overeating, too many calories for OA and overtraining the body for OH.
Aesthetic – too little calories for OP and OH.
Health – undertrained and fed for OP, over eating for OA.
One of the first and most crucial parts of this identification of ones self is being totally honest with yourself. This is essentially the root of your “why.” The reason for coming to the gym. The reason for eating 3 salads a day, or eating keto, or coming to the gym 2x a day, 5x a week, or not coming twice a day. Knowing why your goals is your direction.
Think long and hard about what motivates you. What types of goals or scenarios excite and inspire you: having visible 6 pack abs, back squatting 500lbs, living to be 100+, going to CrossFit Regionals, achieving full ROM… This is where we all begin.