It’s assumed fitness professionals lead by example.
They want to keep up appearances of a healthy lifestyle by posting pictures of their food and workouts on social media. And if they’re ripped, even better. Pictures with little or no clothes get lots of clicks and likes.
And there’s nothing wrong with that in my book. If you got it, flaunt it.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those trainers because I have sweet tooth among other things that are not conducive for a healthy lifestyle. But that’s a story for a different time.
You could say I’m a closet candy lover. Butterfingers, Snickers, Kit Kats and all types of ice cream. I eat them by the bag or carton with total disregard of my health, waistline or whether my kids wanted any.
It’s all mine. It’s all mine I say. 😊
You think that would go well over social media? Get me lots of clients? Probably not. However, my dentists bank account would be happy, and so would I with all the laughing gas I’d inhale.
So, when lent rolled around this year there was a decision I needed to make. Not a walk through the desert without food or water while being tempted by the devil kind of decision but a decision nonetheless.
Because I needed to do something with my obsession with things sweet things in a wrapper and I’d never really sacrificed anything before, except my freedom when I got married.
Calm down it was a joke.
Anyhow, candy was out.
Not a huge penance but it was a long 40 days.
It felt longer because there was candy in the house the entire time and the temptation was there. My oldest son made sure to remind me what I was missing out on by eating ice cream, cookies, candy and sweet rolls across the dinner table every night.
Lucky, I had a napkin to wipe away the drool.
However, during this time without my mass infusions of carbs, I learnt a few things which may inspire you to make a life change or to shake away some old bad habits.
Or you can sit back and enjoy my suffering. Either way, you win.
1. Use willpower when you really need it
Willpower is ‘the control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.’ People who fail to change their bad habits or to control their impulses are often branded as lazy or wait for it, lacking willpower. And most of the time that would describe me perfectly.
However, not this time.
When you put your mind to something, really put your full focus on it, then willpower may fade into the background because failure (for you) is not an option. But when temptations arise, like they always do, then you can call on your willpower to get you through.
But relying solely on willpower, weakens your defenses against other stuff that crops up in your life (like a pizza buffet) because willpower is a finite resource. However, when you combine willpower with focus, resisting the lure will be easier.
If I can do it, so can you.
2. You too can lead by example
In the fitness industry there’s a ton of people telling you what to do. Hell, it used to be me until seeing the errors of my ways. Now I listen more and talk less, however, sometimes my mouth runs ahead of my brain. I blame it on genetics.
When I made my candy decision, my youngest son decided he’d do the same. And he lasted the full 40 days also which is amazing considering he’s a candy freak. Because after years of telling him to curtail his candy consumption, he took up my example and gave up something he enjoys.
And I’m proud of him.
Furthermore, if you’re a parent, you know your kids will tune you out on a regular basis, but you do this with adults too. Someone could be telling you to do something (that’s good for you) until they’re blue in the face and you ignore them.
However, when they shut up and show you, you’ll (maybe) be more likely to follow suit. Funny how that works.
3. Nutrition beliefs are not always true for you
A nutritional belief that’s commonly held is if it’s in your cupboard, you’re going eat it. Because eventually you’ll need to satisfy your cravings and then after the momentary bliss is gone, you’ll feel guilty, ashamed and back to square one.
This is (maybe) true but here’s the thing, I’ve had candy in the house the entire time, with my family eating it in front of me and I didn’t flinch. Not once. Of course, it would’ve been easier if the temptation wasn’t around but what if you have family who likes what you’re giving up. Why should they suffer?
However, why should food and what you eat hold power over you? You have the power to make better choices and not to cling to nutritional belief that might not hold true for you anyway.
Until you’re tested, or test yourself, you have no idea how strong you are. Although it was only candy I proved to myself I could do it and set a good example, for a change.
You have more power than you think.