All of us should have a definition of what we want out of our training plan, eating habits and the lifestyle that we’ve chosen. Your definition of fitness shouldn’t be influenced by what Marcus down the road holds important but what matters the most to you. Having the definition will do wonders for you goal setting and improve your odds of reaching those goals.
Once you have clear map of what health and fitness means to you it’s easier to navigate through and ignore all the trends, gimmicks, celebrity diets and other junk that gets thrown in your face each time you open television, a magazine or your internet browser. Not only that, but you are less likely to jump from program to program because of how it’s hyped by your colleague in the cubicle next to you.
Yes, destination and what “success” means to you can, and will change over time but if you have a solid definition at the start the changes are gradual rather than deep u-turns.
Defining fitness will help you to avoid guilt when you make food choices that others might consider unhealthy. It can help you to avoid guilt when you decide to opt for a walk with a friend instead of smelling the iron at you local gym. Because you know that both of those have their place in your life and one is just as important as the other.
Why is that? Because you know what you want from your fitness routine. How you want it to affect the way you look, the way you feel or how strong you want to be. When those things are clear for you, you can make decision based on that definition you’ve created.
Two Contrasting Definitions
1 – Timmy
Timmy’s definition of fitness is to have 7% of body fat, arms to die for and glutes so fine that they’ll make girls go “oh Timmy, your glutes so fiiiiine!” All his decisions are based on those three things. If he goes out with his mates he chooses the soda and vodka over beer. He eats chicken, broccoli and brown rice from a Tupperware container before heading out, so he can avoid, what he calls “ the diabolical food choices” throughout the night. He’s mapped it all out and knows where he is heading and what sacrifices his goals require. And Timmy is content with that.
You could say that when choosing the roads, Timmy has chosen to use the motorways instead of the scenic routes. Sure, there’s tolls to pay and there’s not a whole lot to look at along the way but for Timmy it’s the destination, not the travel that he’s into.
2 – Sven
Then there’s Sven who’s definition of fitness is a bit more open. He likes to get gradually stronger and more supple with the way his body moves and mind feels. He doesn’t care about the exact number of his body fat as long as his pants stay at size 32”, his shirts stay medium and he doesn’t have a roll of belly when he sits down.
Sven’s definition of health and fitness is considerably looser than Timmy’s. He prefers the scenic routes over highways, even if it means that it takes him a while to get to his destination. But he’s cool with that, he likes to smell the birds and look at the roses on the way. To him the journey is as, if not more, important than the destination. Sven too, is content with the decisions that he makes.
What Is The Right Definition For You?
Neither Timmy’s or Sven’s definition is right or wrong. They are just two different people with two different interest, values and lifestyles. But they both know what they want from their training routine and eating habits. They both have different priorities at this point in life.
For Timmy it’s the body that would make the Flight Club-era Brad Pitt look like he should be locked away in a tower. For Sven it’s all about having the flexibility to take the scenic routes when life requires him to do so without feeling like he’s missing out. Sven’s pieces in the puzzle can adjust with the different aspects of life.
How do you define fitness and health? What is it that you want from your routine? Once you are clear it’s easier to make decision about what road or roads you should take. Until then, everything is going to look shiny and worth striving for. Once you have the definition, you’ll feel less guilt and more content with the decisions that you make. You learn to own them and they become who you are. Don’t settle for definitions that other people push on you. Find you own path.