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Like many fitness beginners, my early goals were purely aesthetic. Simply put, I wanted to feel like was in shape, and as I’d never been in shape before at that point, I naturally questioned whether it was going to be possible for me.
Ultimately, through years of dedication which included countless gym hours and perhaps three times that in study, I unlocked a fitness blueprint for my body. This breakthrough led to an unexpected shift in my mindset.
Achieving my aesthetic goals reduced my self-imposed stress and quieted the internal chatter. I began to feel at peace with myself and where I was physically. This was a dramatic change, but one that I've seen mirrored in countless clients over my 12-year career as a personal trainer. People take their training goals seriously and not meeting them can feel life-consuming.
When people can't meet these goals, it leads to restrictive diets, endless gym sessions, or even health risks with dubious methods and supplements. The need to silence the nagging voice in their head saying they aren't where they want to be can be powerful. I firmly believe we're enough as we are on a human level, but that doesn't mean we can't strive to be more and feeling confident with how you look can be a big part of that.
The peace I found allowed me to explore aspects of fitness that I had previously neglected in favour of aesthetics: cardiovascular health, flexibility, balance, coordination, and overall energy levels. This broader definition of fitness encompassed yoga and mobility work, leading me to a balanced approach to fitness.
I hope to encourage you to find your own personal fitness blueprint. It's not about conforming to societal norms about how you’re supposed to look, or about comparing yourself to the unrealistic standards we’re bombarded with on social media, but about what makes you feel at your best. Achieving this personal aesthetic goal frees up mental energy and training time to explore other important but often neglected aspects of fitness.
What 'being in shape' means varies from person to person. It's not a homogenous standard but a unique journey to your best self. It's about finding what makes you content and confident.
The journey to my aesthetic goal was winding, and certainly had it’s ups and downs but once I reached it, I felt a new realm of possibilities open up. I no longer felt pressure to always be in peak condition. I knew I could return to that state with my established blueprint.
In fact, it's this blueprint that continues to serve me. I now prioritise overall fitness, ensuring that I can continue to enjoy activities like hiking and paddle-boarding for years to come, in fact the reason I’m writing the article today is because I was out for a hike this morning, and often walking the less beaten path takes considerable mobility, fitness and agility, and I want to be able to do that same walk 20 years from now, It made me think if I would even have been able to do it today, had I never gotten in shape for the first time, I just don’t think I’d ever have prioritised the kind of training it’s taken to maintain this ability.
This approach has allowed me to maintain what for me feels like good shape year round, always knowing how many weeks it would take to get into ‘peak’ condition, I try never to let that distance exceed 8 weeks, which helps keep me accountable to myself.
So, if you want to quieten all that mental chatter too, my suggestion is that you figure out what 'being in shape' means for you personally and dedicate yourself to achieving it, consistency is going to be key, so too will following the right program.
Focusing on your aesthetic goals can serve as a stepping stone to a more balanced and fulfilling approach to your health and wellness. With the right training program and consistent effort, you can unlock a whole new sense of freedom with your internal thought patterns and how you allocate time for exercise.
Remember, solving your personal fitness riddle will ultimately pave the way to a healthier and happier you, it won’t be because you ‘look’ a certain way, it’ll because of everything you’ll have learned along the way, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing what the roadmap is, you just need to get there once, then for the rest of your life you’ll know it’s real, and that it’s for you then if you ever get sidetracked all you’ll have to do is follow that same path back.
I hope you find your path as I did and as many of my online personal training clients have, and of course if you’d like me to join you as your coach for the journey, let’s schedule a consultation call here and discuss what you’d like to achieve, Scott.