You can’t fight yourself and win.
That’s my mantra and I believe it right to my core. How can you possibly fight yourself and win?
That being said, sometimes it can feel like your body is indeed fighting you and resiting the changes you wish to see. You may even feel like your very mind is against you and creating an internal struggle. Such a struggle eats up your energy and practically makes it impossible to take your fitness to the next level.
The reason why your body and mind might fight you can be summed up in one word:
Think of situations where people, animals or even the things we own are abused. Without fail, anything that’s abused becomes aggressive towards the abuser and fights back.
If the person doesn’t fight back they might bend to the wishes of the abuser but they won’t perform even close to their optimal level.
Abuse drains energy, creates ill feelings and crushes motivation. Over time the negative effects compound and the results become even worse.
And yet, abuse is still an accepted part of our fitness culture. We talk down to ourselves and say we are weak, ugly or not good enough in a piss-poor attempt to appear humble. Other times we abuse our body through excessive food, exercise, stress, and drugs. We even abuse minor things like watching too much TV.
When expectations are not met, we ramp up the abuse believing that more pain will lead to more gain. It’s a downward spiral that drives both body and mind into the ground.
Abuse is a really crappy motivator. You can scold and beat a dog only so much until it stops caring or even fight back. We can only trash our own ego and punish our body until we hit rock bottom.
If you give that same dog a treat and a belly rub they will be much more likely to do what you like with 100X more energy and enthusiasm. When we love what we do and embrace methods we enjoy the motivation just pours forth and the body seems to throw itself into making the changes we like.
Hard work is essential, but abuse isn’t. There’s a line and many times it’s not nearly as fine as we might think. Your body and mind will tell you when you cross it.
Please share these thoughts with anyone you think may be struggling due to self imposed abuse in the name of fitness.