When looking at setting your fitness goals you may often hear the term “Find your why” and I agree, finding out why you want something will absolutely help you stay focused on your path to achieve your goals, but are you also asking yourself if your goals are actually yours?
You might be thinking “of course they are my bloody goals, who else's would they be?” take a step back and consider the following using the example of “I want to be a size 8”
When did this become your goal?
I really want you to think about this, when you first wanted this, start thinking of a timeline back to when this desire was initially triggered, this may be way, way back to early teens. In our example of wanting to be a size 8, they could question if they personally thought another person of that size looked fabulous (this would be your goal) or because it been pinned up in the media as a perfect size or is it because they have seen larger people, or themselves criticised for their size (this would make it someone else’s goal)
What moments in your day make you think about your goal? Is it sparked by negative feelings, not living up to others expectations, not being attractive to others? Or is it sparked by excitement of what you and your body are capable.
Write it all down in a notebook or on a scrap bit of paper so you can review your thoughts, see if you’ve been excessively influenced by external factors, family, friends, the media etc. etc.
I’ll tell you a bit about my own realisation when looking at my own goals. When I was very small I watched terminator 2 and instantly fell in love with Sarah Connor. I thought she was the coolest, the way she looked how strong she was, the way she trusted herself when people were telling her she was wrong. I wanted to be like her, because she was a badass and with my dad being a bodybuilder at the time, people around me thought this was awesome, cute and adorable and it was just wonderful.
That’s until I started nearing my teens. Being still totally obsessed with Sarah Connor. I’d excitedly say “I want to look like Sarah Connor”. Now, if I had a pound for every time that was met with “But boys/men don’t like muscles” I’d be a motherfricking millionaire.
That was the start of hearing crap like that. I’d hear women reassuring each other with “men like curves”. Adults around me spoke with passion about what was and wasn’t acceptable about what people’s bodies, in particular women’s bodies should look like. Fat = lazy, skinny = sick looking. It was all very confusing as a teenager.
However, there was always one constant “boys/men like……..” or “boys/men don’t like” and that seemed to dig its way right into my subconscious. It didn’t matter what I thought about my own body as much as what members of the opposite sex thought of my body.
Seeing the teeny women paraded in magazines with the underlying message of ‘Women this is what you should look like’ it got to me and I thought I needed to get as small as I could and doing lots of swimming, weights and Mr Motivator while consuming a diet of mainly apples and low kcal baked crisps I did get very teeny. I wasn’t happy, not in the slightest. I still hated my body.
Then I spent the duration of my teen and adult years going through a cycle of skinny, fat, toned, muscular over and over again, just hoping to suddenly feel happy with my body. But nope, surprise surprise, it didn’t fucking happen.
It’s taken until the ripe old age of 34 to realise the reason I wasn’t happy is because I was chasing other people’s goals and not my own. Each time I thought about what I wanted for my own body I was thinking about all the things I heard from other people and they will always be different things dependent on who you listen to, what channel you watch, what music you listen to, who’s IG you follow. Be careful and make sure you are living for you and not other people xxx
I promote body positivity, but for some of us, myself included, embracing your body doesn't come naturally, it can be a mammoth task for some, so instead catch yourself when you criticise your body. Try to talk to yourself as if you were talking to a loved friend . Find something you like about yourself to focus on! (For me it's my calf , we'll both of them, which is funny because I once hated them)
And if you do have goals for changing your body, don't over think it. Don't put too much pressure on yourself.
For example, if fat loss is your goal, you don't have to weigh yourself if it makes you feel like shit. For some people weighing is counterproductive. If you want to measure progress still, either do it via pictures and if that's too scary, take string measurements, no numbers, just take a piece of string, wrap it around your waist, cut it to circumference and stick it on the wall.
Most of all be kind to yourself x
This Is me:
I’m Emma, I train women (Offline and Online) who may struggle with their confidence and self esteem. I believe that women need more options that suit different lifestyles and needs, some of us don't have time to stick to a rigid plan, some people are to scared to even set foot in a gym (I have been there).