If there is one thing that will derail you from your health and fitness initiative, it is a loss of focus.
In the midst of the holiday season, we get bombarded with an abundance of sweet treats on sale every time we enter our local grocery store. The beck and call of cakes and pies on sale make it easy for us to lose our focus on maintaining a healthy diet.
After all, what beats enjoying a tray full of dessert items with family and friends over a steaming mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night?
When you are carb addicted, the temptations can be overwhelming. Everywhere you look, there are items on display that have been surely set as a deadly trap to sabotage your efforts at losing or maintaining a healthy body fat percentage.
Who can resist a three day sale on muffins at such a low price?
Who among us actually believes this sale price will not once again be there next week too?
We might do really good throughout the year in making healthy food choices for ourselves, but during the holidays, our brains can, and often do, become saturated with the idea that we can let loose and live for a day. Grandma is going to have her delicate feelings hurt if you do not rave over how good her homemade fudge is. God, we can’t hurt Grandma’s feelings can we? It is a special occasion and only one day, right?
Of course, if we are a kind and decent human being, we do not want to hurt the feelings of our Grandma’s, or anyone else for that matter. But here in lies a problem. People can get their panties all in a twist over being together to enjoy huge fattening meals as if holidays only happen once per year. If you fell into the trap of letting your focus shift away from your own health initiative every time there is cause for a family and friends holiday get together, you might as well throw in the towel altogether as we have:
Valentines day in February
Ramadan in April
Memorial Weekend in May
Independence Day in July
Labor Day in September
Thanksgiving in November
Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years Eve in December
I apologize if I forgot to mention any other holidays that may be important to you.
But on top of these, lets also remember all the birthdays and anniversaries that occur during the year too. There is far too much going on during the year for you to lose your focus on healthy nutrition if you intend to succeed at your losing and maintaining a healthy weight. If you are serious about your weight management, you have to keep focused on your goals. You cannot let the feelings of others derail you every time there is cause for a family get together.
Of course if we want to achieve and then maintain a healthy body fat percentage, we must also not lose our focus when it comes to our physical fitness activities. Whether we are alone on a run in the neighborhood, lifting weights in our garage, or partaking in the and other activities in a commercial gym, we must keep our focus to keep up our drive to succeed injury free.
With physical fitness activities, it can become easy to lose our focus for a multitude of reasons. If we are being honest, some of what we do to keep our bodies in top physical condition is not always fun. It can be hard work, especially when we are into heavy weight training.
When we are not having fun, it becomes easy to get distracted by our phones and electronic devices, the music playing in the gym along with the antics of those in our presence. And when we get distracted it becomes easier and easier to dial back on our efforts in the gym. When we begin looking for an easier way, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
For anyone who might be a seasoned athlete, the following might make you think “Well duh” For the fitness newbies, here are a few tips to remember when it comes to having a meaningful workout regimen:
- No matter what activity you partake in, set realistic, long term goals for you to achieve. Then devise a plan to achieve your long term goal by way of first planning a series of smaller short term goals in order to get you there. You should write this plan down in a personal log in order to track your journey. Or, you might find an appropriate app online to download on your phone in order to track your progress. For instance, there are many apps available for many popular weight training programs. There is an excellent one called Couch To 5K for newbies to running. These apps can and will guide your way while giving a record of your progress to periodically look back on. It is easier to stay on your path to where you are going when you remember where you have been.
- Weight training requires constant focus. A lack of focus will not only kill progression, it can and will hurt you in several ways. Every time you get under a barbell, you must focus on your form in order to not injure yourself through faulty lifting techniques. You also want to keep a focus on your surroundings and the equipment you are utilizing. While weight training is one of the best forms of exercise we can do, it can be inherently dangerous with a lack of focus. For example, Brenda Sue had a terrifying experience for both herself and me. I have trained her in weight training for almost two years now via online video. She films her lifting which she sends to me for my critique. This arrangement works quite well, as I can also communicate with her in real time by phone as she lifts. (we live 800 miles apart) Recently, as Brenda Sue was bench pressing, a life threatening event occurred as a result of distraction. She had forgot to set the safety pins in her squat cage to the proper height to protect her. This strong lady was benching a heavy weight for her, and experienced muscle failure during her last rep. The loaded barbell came down onto her neck and about strangled her simply because she had forgot to set her safety pins to the right height. Imagine her fear of having the barbell snuffing out her life through strangulation, and my horror as I could hear her struggle over the phone as I had been coaching her through this heavy lift. Of course she thankfully got out of from underneath the barbell as she is still with us. But a lack of focus almost caused her her precious life.
- No physical fitness routine is as simple as you might think. There will always be things you learn about that right now you do not know that you do not know. If you want to begin running, you want to focus not only on your surroundings, but also you will want to maintain a focus on your heart rate, your breathing and stride. You will need to pay attention to how well you are hydrated on cold days as well as on hot days. You will want to focus on wearing appropriate clothing and footwear which should be replaced fairly often if you are putting down the miles. If you try swimming as a newbie, you will need to learn to pay attention to your breathing, stroke, kicking and your lane placement. All of this requires constant attention and focus in order for you to not drown.
At the end of the day, we know and understand that our health initiative requires constant attention and focus in order to be successful in our weight loss, and or management endeavors.
We know that in order to lose weight to a healthy body fat percentage, we have to focus on good clean nutrition all of the time. It is not impossible as some believe…
We have to remain focused no matter what is going on in our lives, especially when you may be experiencing personal tragedy. When tragedy or illness is unfolding before our very eyes, we must focus on taking care of ourselves too. If we do not take care of our own physical needs, we will not be able to care for those most important to us.
We know that if we want to succeed in physical fitness activities for very long, we must focus on the fine details of the sport we have chosen for ourselves. We must do this to prevent injury and in order to keep progressing.
What many lose sight of is the far most important part of the full equation, our “Why”.
Why did we decide to lose weight?
Why do we want or need to be healthy?
Why does our health and well being matter?
In all that you do in your journey to health and fitness, never lose your focus on your “Why”. Once you have lost this focus, all else becomes a moot point and you will return from whence you came. If you were out of shape and obese, you will tuck your tail and shamefully return there when you lose the focus on your “Why”, We see this every day.
It is easy to lose sight of why we have an initiative for good health during the holiday seasons. But if you use the holidays and other special occasions as an excuse, you will never succeed. These events happen through out the entire year.
Keep your focus on your focus!
Succeed and be well.