By Zach Columbia B.S. NASM
Why does it seem like some people have all the discipline in the world? They can go to a party and not drink. They can go to dinner, order grilled chicken with steamed vegetables and skip desert. The answer; love. When it comes to fitness, discipline is a myth. The truth is, you are the result of what you love most. You either love having six pack abs more than chocolate cake or love waking up feeling energized more than staying up late to watch TV. Discipline has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Of course there are days that I don’t feel like working out. On those days, I skip. Why? Because I love working out. If you love pizza, but aren’t hungry, you know you don’t have to eat it. The pizza will be there for you to eat later. Being healthy and fit is about doing what you love, but you have to learn to love yourself and the things that contribute to your health.
When I was younger, I had dreams of being a professional baseball player. I didn’t lift weights because I loved it back then. Rather, I went to the weight room to get better at baseball. Of course, my desire to get better at baseball lead to my love of working out.
The moral of the story is, don’t worry about being disciplined. If you want to be healthy and look fit, start by loving yourself and loving what you do. Here’s three steps for getting in shape and being healthy without discipline:
- Find a form of exercise that you love. Don’t just go to the gym, don’t just run. Go to the gym, run, swim, bike, climb… Try it all. Find several forms of exercise that you love doing and do them. If you fall in love with cycling, odds are you’ll recognize how lifting weights benefits your cycling performance and you’ll end up going to the gym anyway.
- Find healthy food that you love. This is usually the hardest for people. If you don’t cook, you’ll never be fit. Love yourself enough to spend time cooking and trying different recipes. Cook healthy, delicious meals that you enjoy and look forward to eating.
- Love yourself. Self-esteem is a reflection of self-judgement. When it comes to diet and exercise, make choices you’ll feel good about and mental health will follow.
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