What the heck is letting go got to do with exercise? Let me allow myself to explain but first indulge me in a personal story.
I’m a self-confessed control freak and have advanced degrees in micromanaging. I’ve been doing both pretty much most of my 51 years in existence. Not only has it affected my relationships with friends, family, and clients but fuels the fire for my aggressive anger.
This anger is destructive, has almost destroyed personal relationships, has lost me clients, and led me to therapy. Like an addict, no matter how hard I try to kick the habit, I cannot resist the urge for my next hit. Letting go is a huge problem for me and one I’m trying to improve. This leads me to the point of this article.
Letting Go And Exercise
There are two sides to the coin here.
The first side is when some completely let themselves go and exercise, health & fitness are not a priority. There a plenty of reasons why this happens. Some of it lies at their feet and some of it is life and circumstances conspiring against them. Either way, their health & fitness fall by the wayside. You only have to look at the worldwide obesity statistics to confirm this.
Now, this is not fat-shaming, which I’m totally against. Obesity is a complex problem way beyond the scope of this article and my brain. What I’m trying to explain is people do let themselves go and not in a good way.
Now the other side of the coin.
There are people who hold on too tight, I included. They wear fitness trackers, exercise consistently, weigh regularly, and may measure everything that goes into their mouth. Now, this is all great and healthy and things that all people should do but there is a dark side.
What happens when you DON’T get the results when you feel you’ve been doing all the right things? Some either quit (which is bad) or double down and do more. And this can lead to all kinds of obsessions and self-esteem issues. The human body is a tricky piece of machinery and progress is never linear.
Although we have huge control over what we eat and how we move, we don’t have complete control over how much fat is lost or muscle is gained. Or how much we lift on a given day. Doing all right things doesn’t guarantee results. Please trust me as I’ve seen this over and over in my 12 years of training clients.
What To Do Instead
If you’re one of the people who have let themselves go, it’s almost never too late to turn things around. Just starting off small by making better choices with food or walking every day will have an impact on your health. Yes, this is easier said than done but your health is worth it. Especially if you have others who depend on you. Do it for them and yourself.
Now for people like me who hold on too tight. Quitting is never an option when it comes to your health and fitness just because you didn’t progress. There has been many a time when these thoughts enter my head, but I remind myself of a few things.
1. I want to look good.
2. The need to be a good role model for family and clients
4. I’m going to fight the Grim Reaper when he comes for me
This is usually enough to stop my negative thoughts in their tracks. The trick here is to find your way. Because when things get tough, you need to remind yourself WHY you are doing it for. Plus, there is nothing wrong with doubling down and revaluating why you didn’t the results you expected. But just don’t go to the extreme.
Remind yourself you are doing all the right things and with a few tweaks here and there may kick start progress again. Letting go of the reins and trusting yourself that you are doing all the right things is key.
Control what you can control and letting go of the rest will help your sanity for sure.
A Personal Note On Letting Go
One thing that has helped my clients and my micromanaging is giving them choice when it comes to the exercises they do. When they have done all, I’ve wanted them to do, I give them a choice on what body part they want to train.
It keeps them happy, and it makes the clients a part of the process. Plus, they feel invested in their health and fitness. Letting go of my micromanaging clients and putting some of the decisions in their hands is freeing.
Letting go of my control-freak nature is still a work in progress. But at least I know it exists and I will continue to work through it. It is hard but it will be worth it.
Letting go can be a good or bad thing. Sometimes you hold on too tight or not tight enough. Recognizing this and adjusting is one of the keys to a healthy sane life. Plus, don’t you want to take down the Grim Reaper as well?