Slim and toned models trying to entice you to join our gyms. Topless, fit looking guys on their paddle boards to sell our services. Lose fat, oil up the abs, look chiselled, bounce ice cubes off the butt.*
Not appealing? Fair. Not everyone’s motivated by specific, easy-to-measure, look-like-a-cover-model-who-sleeps-with-a-barbell aesthetic goals. Focusing only on fat loss and muscle building and striving for the glistening fitspo isn’t everyone’s jam.
But you keep coming back to the aesthetic goals. Only because you think you should. And so you keep living through the repeated sting of failure.
The industry has made you feel you lacked motivation. The willpower to follow rules. The hardheaded determination to push through. Like you don’t fit in. And this might have been going on for years.
You’ve resorted to thinking the fault must be yours.
Because why wouldn’t you be into looking like that person? Everyone else (even that 73 year old grandma) seems to froth over it. Training in their tight Gym Shark pants and crop tops.
So the result for you is always the same. You cancel your gym membership, wish well to your trainer, and swear to never return. This shit just isn’t for you.
Then the next year, just when the first wave of summer heat kicks in, the tension of being left behind grows too strong. You return. You try again. Maybe even make some progress. Until the sad trombone blows another exit tune.
What if the goals that the industry wants you to have are wrong?
Maybe you keep feeling like a fistful of failure because deep down you’re not motivated by a purely aesthetic-driven training. It might give you a short-term push, but there isn’t momentum to keep you rolling. You can’t find enough meaning behind it. It’s time to look elsewhere.
The good news is that you can focus on any goal you want. Turn the attention inwards. Start showing up for other reasons than superficial, industry dictated goals.
Show up for whatever gives your training meaning and purpose. Especially if you feel that awkward tension of going against the grain. Learn to ignore the noise of what the others think you should do.
Focus on being present, moving and doing something for yourself and your longevity. Internalise goals that are harder to measure. Pay attention to how you feel after you’ve exercised. How clear your mind feels and how much more energy you have for the rest of the day.
Embrace your goal, regardless of what it is. Even when it’s hard to measure.
And then, two more tangible concepts that might help.
One. Stop grinding yourself to the ground in each training session. Instead of making the workout a punishment to expel your past, show up to do just enough. Leave feeling better than you did coming in.
The barrier to show up for another workout is lower when you know you won’t feel like a bag of ground meat afterwards.
Two. Find people who support your approach. Those who welcome you as you are and want to be. Show up with, and for, a small group of people who share your values and your interests.
A group who would miss you if you weren’t there. Share stories. Discuss things that matter. Support and encourage each other to keep going. And move while at it.
Build a stronger connection. With yourself and with the people who help you show up. And then, help them show up as much as they help you.
If that resonated, here is the good news.
I’ve got two openings for Zoom small-group personal training.
Your program, based on your body (and goals, duh). Sessions run Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7.45am AEST. (Your time?)
And because it’s Zoom, you can join from anywhere with a decent internet connection.
$480 / month for two sessions a week.
$720 / month for three weekly sessions.
Here’s how to find out more. We’d love for you to join.
*I wanted to write “and to Instagram the shit out of your butt”, but it didn’t sound quite right… Or, it sounded too right?