Review Category : Motivation

It Never Stops: On Fitness As a Lifestyle

***Disclaimer: I understand that there are many interpretations and definitions of fitness.  In this article, I am using the term “fitness” to refer specifically to the behaviors and practices associated with aesthetics (muscle mass, low bodyfat).

You’re thrilled. You’re excited – ecstatic, even. After months of grueling work, you finally fit into your skinny jeans. You can look down and actually see your toes. You ran your first half marathon! You’ve been diligent about getting plenty of rest, keeping junk food to a minimum, and working out several times a week. You feel light on your feet and your coworkers can’t stop commenting on how great you look nowadays. You’re beaming with pride and you’re practically walking on clouds now that you’ve reached your goal.

So you go out and celebrate with a martini. Then two. You order a giant platter of cheesy nachos as an appetizer, followed by a plate of taquitos. After that, you make a beeline for the nearest frozen yogurt shop and go to town on the sugary toppings. You fall into a drunken stupor and pass out on your bed with sauce stains dribbling down your shirt.

Ahh, so what? you say. That’s one night of celebration. No harm, no foul. Except… you wake up the next morning and you find yourself reaching for the pastries before your mind can figure out what you’re doing. Bummer. The day is shot; might as well go all out the rest of the day, right?

Soon enough, your gym membership is gathering dust and your jeans become progressively tighter (again!) by the day. You’re upset, but you’re also in denial. You’ve worked way too hard to get in shape – how could anything possibly move you away from that sweet spot?

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Willpower Wonders III: Flex That Muscle

There’s something I’ve struggled with over the past two months out here in the Boston area, and I’m only just now beginning to figure out an effective solution. Here’s the thing: I work at work, then I come home and I try to work. So I work before I work, but then my later work doesn’t really happen. What I ended up doing recently is moving my later work to my before work so that work actually gets done, and then I can go into work and work all day and be fine.

Are you following me? No? Okay, let me try again.

My full-time internship as a strength coach at Cressey Performance sucks the energy out of me. Depending on whether or not I’m training myself that day, I’m constantly on my feet on the training room floor between 7 to 9 hours a day. Add to that the mental exhaustion of making an effort to be friendly to everyone while simultaneously keeping an eye on all the clients that come through to make sure they’re not butchering their form – and I’m pooped. Most nights, I’ve come home and all I’ve want to do is hide in my room for the rest of the evening. As a natural introvert, being constantly surrounded by people all day as part of my job is really a challenge, and it takes a serious toll on me. But I have to keep in mind that I’m not only a strength coach – I’ve also got my Sohee Lee Fitness responsibilities. That includes writing, answering emails, taking care of online clients, and staying on top of social media (my Twitter handle is strong). Every night that I’ve pushed back an article deadline for myself, however, I’ve been racked with guilt. I’ve felt that I haven’t been living up to my expectations and that I’ve simply been lazy. I’ve that I’ve been losing steam in the motivation department and my want has been slowly fading away.

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It’s not you; it’s – oh wait, yes, it’s you.

Two years ago, I was eating out with some friends at a burger place. It was my first time there, so I asked the waitress what their best appetizers were. The sweet potato fries, she said. Oh, and also the onion strings. You can get them split half-and-half because they really are just that good. She went on excitedly about how they were just about her favorite food and that she regularly ate a whole order in one sitting. Mind you, she had far from the leanest figure; in fact, she was morbidly obese and had difficulty walking. After we’d placed our orders and she walked away, I shook my head and remarked that I hoped that woman would take better care of her health before something happened. A girl – let’s call her Sue – sitting at the table with us stared at me long and hard. I knew she had some choice words just itching to burst their way out of her mouth. “They can’t help it that they’re obese!!” she spat, disgust written all over her face.

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Willpower Wonders: Pick Your Challenge

You want more of it. You envy those who appear to possess more than you do. You hope that if you stare at inspirational photos long enough, that of others will seep through your skin and embody you whole.

Willpower.

You curse yourself as you fall for temptation, as you’re lured away from work by procrastination, as you’re once more a victim of your addictions.

This is the last time, you say. I’ll try harder tomorrow, you promise to yourself. Again.

But it just doesn’t work that way.

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Average Genetics: You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are

I wasn’t born with the world’s greatest genetics. If I sit around for long enough, I get soft. If I indulge too many days in a row, it shows in my waistline. I gain a disproportionate amount of fat in my face. I have to work – I mean work – to build my booty. My dietary adherence has to be spot on to see any kind of progress. I always, always have to pay attention to what I put into my mouth.

And I consider myself damn lucky for it.

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