I saw this picture on Instagram a month or so ago that listed five habits to give up this week. In our Fitness With Kristen member’s portal, we spent a day going over each habit and expanding on what they can mean and how to break that habit. I found it rejuvenating to go over these habits and be reminded to let go. Here are the five habits to give up, and my input on them.
#1- Trying to please everyone. This can be tough because in the pursuit to be a kind person, I think we mix this up with making everyone around us happy. You can be kind without pleasing everyone. When you try to please everyone else, you stop pursuing your own needs for the benefit of making everyone else happy. This is draining. Being a people pleaser can really bring us down because it causes us to be less true to ourselves.
#2 – Fearing change. Change can definitely be scary, and this can relate to fitness as well. Often times I have people come to me who tell me they are desperate to lose weight, but whenever I offer advice (recipes, exercises, etc) the response is “I don’t like healthy food” or “that sounds hard”. Until we try new variations of things, how can you really know you don’t like it? If you have tried an exercise regime for a month and hated it, you know you don’t like it. If you went for one run one time, how can you know you hate it? Maybe it was just hard and you’ll grow to love it. Or maybe you will really hate it. Trying something one time is definitely not enough to know. It’s the same with food. Sometimes the way a certain food was prepared can be gross (steamed brussel sprouts), but cooking it a different way it is delicious (roasted brussel sprouts). Change CAN be hard. Hard is not impossible. Embrace change! It can make the process more fun.
#3 – Living in the past. This can relate to sooooo many things, but let’s keep it fitness related today. I know so many people (myself included) who get so hung up on what they used to be capable of doing that they give up on their current goals! Did you used to be stronger? Faster? Weigh less? Get out of breath less easily? You can still get back there. If you are so focused on what you used to be capable of doing that it’s causing you to freeze, you’ll never get back there. If you let go of that and simply work toward your current goals, you’ll wake up one day surprised with how far you have come! I wrote more about this earlier this month.
#4 – Putting yourself down. The things I could say about this….. Can I get a podium here? This is all embarrassing to admit, but as always, my goal is to help you guys! I have always believed that your inner dialogue has a big affect on your well-being. I always believed this, but it took me a long time to really “get it”. I used to think that telling myself “you’re so fat” or “if you eat that you will not be fit” would motivate me. It didn’t. It made me just feel like an awful person. If someone ever said to me “you’re so fat, why don’t you workout more” I would probably scream in their face. Seriously. So why would I think talking to myself like this is OK? Now, I try to talk to myself like I would talk to my husband, or my friends, or my sisters. Kind, encouraging, and honest.
I set new goals that push my physical limits, I see food as the fuel I need to reach those goals, and I have stopped focusing so much on my body image. Some days I’ll still look in the mirror and think “man, that stomach could change” or “I wish my thighs were a little smaller.” But when that happens now, I change the dialogue. I think to myself “that stomach carried my hulk son” or “these legs carried me through a marathon”. It’s all so cheesy and I used to think people who said this were BSing, but honestly, changing my inner dialogue has truly helped me become a healthier person. Try this week to change your dialogue each time you put yourself down. Be aware of how you speak to yourself.
#5 – Overthinking. Oh man! The things I could say about this. This is something I struggle with a lot, and I really have to actively work on this still. I have gotten better than I used to be though! In relation to fitness, I think people really cause themselves to freeze by overthinking. There are a lot of recommendations of what to eat before/after your workout, or when the best time to workout is, etc. Remember they are just that: recommendations. They are not hard and fast rules that will cause life altering changes if not followed exactly. When I find myself overthinking things I ask myself “is this life or death?” Seriously. I get that it seems a bit extreme, but this helps me realize that it’s not that serious so just make a decision. When I’m at a restaurant deciding between two meals and I can’t decide I ask “will one benefit me more than the other?” If not, than just choose one. Who cares? It’s not that serious. Most people advise working out in the morning, and that’s fine. I usually prefer morning because it starts me off on a high note. Not a morning person? Don’t stress – just workout after work, or during lunch, or whenever else. As long as you know you will workout, the time of day doesn’t matter as much as actually doing your workout. It is more important to be active for 20-30 minutes than to do it at exactly the right moment in your circadian rhythm. Overthinking can literally cause you to freeze. Don’t let it!! Bring yourself back to reality. Guidelines are there for just that: guidance.
Does anyone else struggle with these habits? Even though the original picture may not have been geared toward fitness, these can all relate to how people struggle with their fitness and health. Try this week to get rid of these habits. You will see how much better your psychological health becomes!