Wait a minute..I can do easier workouts and still get the results I want? Yeah, I know, it seems too good to be true. But it’s not. You can get the most out of your exercise without spending all your time trying to burn calories.

In the fitness world there is this common notion that your workouts have to be grueling, hard af, and you’ve got to totally beat yourself up. If you’re not spending at least an hour at the gym, #didyouevenworkout ? 

I used to live by this notion too. There was one point in my life I was waking up at 4:30 am to hit the gym before a full day of college courses and wrangling my kids. I counted macros like I was getting paid, and beat myself up if I missed a workout. Needless to say, I was exhausted and surprisingly {or not} not so happy.

My life was out of whack. My priorities were messed up. My mental and emotional health was suffering. Worse of all, the people I said I was doing this for aka my kids and my hubby got what was left of me, not the best of me.

Fitness myth debunked

 We are told in order to get the results we want, our workouts have to be hard and miserable. The new fit ideal preaches the message to go hard all the time. Every day, busy women are taught to be just as disciplined and focused as professional athletes and pro body builders. And shamed or guilted if we fall short.

There was a time when only a few people were crazy enough to challenge themselves physically and mentally the way an elite athlete or body builder does. Now days it seems like this kind of intense focus has become the norm in the fitness realm and anything less is seen as a waste of time. 

Might I be the first  person to suggest that the everyday woman chasing those crazy fitness goals are the ones wasting their time?

Life is  about so much more than how we look, but somewhere along the line we’ve lost sight of that. Having the perfect body has become the standard by which all women are judged. If this is you right now, I’m not trying to beat you up because I know you do that enough. I’m trying to extend an olive branch and let you know there’s another way.

It is going to require you to do things differently than you may be doing it now. You will still have to show up consistently. But it doesn’t have to and shouldn’t feel like grinding 24/7. There may be seasons in your life when you want to crush a major fitness goal. That’s great. In fact, I’ll be the first one cheering you on to go for it. In those seasons it will be tough, it will require sacrifice, and it will feel like a grind for a bit. However, that’s not how your fitness journey should be all the time.

I believe your healthy lifestyle is one that fits into the rest of your life and enhances it. And when you’re in alignment with your deeper beliefs and values this will come more naturally. You’ll be able to tune into what you really want and what you don’t.

Does your relationship with fitness feel slightly insane?

I’ve heard it said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over  yet expecting different results. Isn’t this exactly what we are doing when we try the next diet or the next workout program. We cross our fingers and vow to be really good. To work hard, not cheat on our diets, and to develop iron clad willpower.

When we don’t get the results or we don’t keep the results, we beat ourselves up and add one more failure to the pile we’re lying under. This was me. Regardless of how much I was doing right, I only ever focused on the bad.

It doesn’t matter how much we beat ourselves up in the gym or in our minds, we won’t get the lasting results we want until we decide to do something different from what we’ve always done.

For me, I knew I couldn’t keep my 6 day/week 2 hour gym appointments any longer. I’m an ambitious busy woman, with a lot of responsibilities {just I know you are}. There are big dreams I’m chasing, but I realized I was standing in my own way by chasing someone else’s idea of what my fit and healthy body should look like.

Get the most out of your exercise by working out smarter, not necessarily harder

Yes, your workouts should challenge you. They should require you to do more than you did last time. Challenging yourself can like a variety of ways. One way is by adding more weight, doing more reps, or adding sets. But working harder is more of a mental game than a physical one, and it’s not about wrecking your body or your self-esteem in the gym.

Your fitness is your own journey. This means your fitness journey can be whatever you want it to be. Whatever fits into the rest of your life without completely taking it over. The real magic happens when you can fit your workout seamlessly into the rest of your day without feeling like you’ve dropped the ball in other areas.

Instead of focusing all of our energy around exercise or on some external goal, why not think about your fitness from the inside out? Focus on all the other ways becoming fit is adding value to your life beyond the scale, the size of your clothes, or the amount of calories burned. This slight mindset shift will take the pressure off you might be feeling if you’re not able to workout like you think you should.

Easier workouts–My ticket to freedom…can be yours too

I knew that if I truly wanted something different, I’d have to be willing to do something different. So I went to the drawing board and devised a plan.

First, I took an honest look at my life and assigned each area a score. Next, I decided to think about that particular season of life. I looked at all the things I had going on, and decided if that was the time in my life to be so focused on my health or not. Since I was overall pretty healthy, and didn’t have any nagging health issues, I decided I could let off the gas a bit with my nutrition and my workout regiment. 

This next step was perhaps the hardest…I decided to ditch the thinking that I had to be working on someone else’s idea of what my body should look like. It’s harder than it seems, but not impossible. I promise.

The first question you should ask yourself (honestly) is whether or not you can do what you’re doing forever. You might be tempted to answer with a quick yes. But do you really want to have to track your food forever? Do you really want to hit the gym hard every single day?

It can be hard to deviate from fitness culture in this. Especially when the women getting praised are the ones with six-pack abs (even after kids) and not a bit of cellulite to be seen.

I created a loose plan around working out and told myself I’d stay flexible. Since I’m a bit of a routine person, I still schedule my workouts, but also keep them short, focused, and fun. Instead of being so serious about training, I’ve decided to take a more curious and playful approach to fitness. It’s been a relief, and what do you know? I’m still getting results.

The best part is I don’t feel like I’m dropping the ball on myself or on my other responsibilities. I’m able to play with my kids, I feel darn sexy for my husband, and I went from feeling like a fitness robot to feeling free and alive. The way, I believe being fit was always meant to be. 

xo,

Alisha

PS. Are you ready to get off the insane exercise rollercoaster? Let’s chat to see if I’m the one to help you do that.  Schedule a FREE consult today!