I’ve touched on it before, but from observation, personal experience and anecdotal evidence there is one single determining factor that will absolutely guarantee your success or failure in any endeavor in your life. Yes, I said ANY. That magical factor is (get ready) your attitude. Specifically, the degree to which you hold judgments. When I was studying to be a life coach, we were taught not only to challenge our clients’ judgments but also our own. To the degree that you hold something as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, is to just the degree that your behavior will conform to those beliefs. Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely believe in absolute truths in some areas (morally and spiritually…and there are many who would disagree with me here) BUT I also think one needs to regularly examine one’s beliefs if one is feeling stuck or not achieving a goal.
Nowhere does judgment come into play more than in the area of fitness. I have been guilty of this and I am reasonably sure I’m not alone. The problem with it is that it can paralyze you and leave you stuck. Now obviously there are some unbalanced people out there, who can make themselves ill with excessiveness. Anorexia, Orthorexia and other disorders do exist and they are crippling and often fatal. I am talking about the other side of the extreme in which we compare ourselves to others, see a difference, and in an effort to preserve our opinion that we are ‘okay’ we must make the other person ‘wrong’ – thereby completely blocking ourselves to new possibilities. There are so many benefits to being physically fit, and so many dangers in being overweight and unfit that it would seem a given that people would want to improve their fitness. Unfortunately, they are held back and here are some judgments that aid and abet our withdrawal from everything fitness has to offer. Look at the five statements below and see if any resonate with you.
Judgment 1: People who exercise to look good are vain
Judgment 2: People who make exercise a priority are obsessed
Judgment 3: People who are interested in physical exercise are not intellectually interesting
Judgment 4: People who eat healthfully and exercise do not enjoy life to the fullest and are missing out or being deprived of something better
Judgment 5: People who exercise and eat healthfully are morally or physically superior to (or at least different from) the average person and therefore that way of life is unattainable for an ‘average’ or even ‘below average’ or ‘normal’ person
Do any of these echo the voice in your head? Are you not where you want to be physically or regarding your eating? If the answer is YES you will benefit from challenging these judgments. Sometimes it’s enough to recognize them and tell yourself a different truth. Sometimes a professional (coach or counselor) can help. We can all find examples of people for whom the above is true but there are just as many people for whom it is not and you are ultimately the one in control of how your behaviors and attitudes affect your life and enjoyment of it. This is good news!