It’s going to be difficult for me to write about much else except the way the Coronavirus has been affecting not only me, but my clients, for as long as it’s currently going on.
If you’ve been struggling, as many of my clients have, to gain some footing and some momentum while we have all been dealing with quarantines and business closures to varying degrees, I hear you. It’s been a struggle.
My own motivation has ebbed and flowed throughout all of this as well.
I want to give some thoughts into things that may help you because they’ve either been helpful for me or for my clients who need to feel as if they’re still in the driver’s seat as much as possible.
-Schedule your training. Pre-COVID, anyone who cared about their fitness likely had some degree of scheduling in place. Take for example, one of my newer clients, David. David would train with me every Tuesday and Thursday around 4pm. When the closures came into effect, he kept the same schedule. He knew that if he could keep that element of his life consistent, he could make the transition back when our studio reopened. While this may be easier for some than others, especially for parents of young children, see if there are any days and times that you can consistently show up for yourself. One day a week is better than none. Two days is better than that. Do the best you can (maybe the second best mantra I’ll provide you in this article).
–Fine tune your diet. I offer this with a caveat. You don’t necessarily need to use this time as a way to lose weight. If you feel that you reasonably can do so, great! If not, look at simple ways to make your eating habits healthier even if all you do is maintain weight at this time. Focus on simple recipes that take very little time to make. Try Googling “Quick Healthy Dinner Ideas” as a place to start. Right now, fancy can take a backseat to easy and practical. The great thing about this is that these are skills you learn now and you’ll have recipes you can file away for future reference. This should make it easier to transition into your lifestyle once the chaos has settled down.
–Really celebrate your non-scale victories. This is a big one, especially if you don’t feel confident focusing on fat loss right now. Look at other places where you can stage a win. I have clients who are teaching themselves new coping strategies or picking up old ones that are still purposeful. I have one client spending more time playing guitar, another is taking the time to bake with her children, many of my clients are going out for hikes so they can enjoy the nicer weather but still keep safe distances from others. Me? I’m spending more time reading and on continuing education. Not every good thing you’re doing has to be related to weight. However, there are so many things you can do that don’t require eating. If you’re struggling with frequent, unnecessary trips to the pantry and fridge, look for other things that make you feel good OR don’t exactly stimulate your appetite. Celebrate these things. They matter. And they will still matter when we all start to resume our previous “normal”.
–Make movement count. When I mentioned scheduling your training above, there’s another consideration to make. Break the thought process that you have to train for 60, 30 or even 20 minutes. Sure, in a perfect world, one of those time periods would be great. However, we’re not living in a perfect world right now. It is anything but. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have purposeful movement. Take something as simple as 1-3 exercises and do enough reps that you feel you did something good for yourself. That could be 3 sets of 15 bodyweight squats or it could be 1 set of push-ups to failure. Your benchmark for what feels good is all that matters. I wrote something about this when I referenced the “minimum effective dose”
–Just try. Now, more so than any other time that I’ve had this business (almost 11 years), motivation is not at an all-time high. Not for me and not for many of the amazing people we service. It’s okay to not be tremendously motivated right now. As a complement to the tip mentioned just above, the most important thing you can do is “something”. My own training has been less than spectacular over the last few weeks but I still manage to get some kind of work in every day. It’s nothing to brag over and I won’t be breaking any records any time soon. For me, for my mental state and for a sense of accomplishment, every day has to have something over nothing. For you, maybe now is not the time to make aggressive strides with your health but if you focus on the next pound down and replicating the effort it took to get there, you’ll make marginal steps of progress that seem attainable and practical. That’s a good place to be. However, you won’t get there if you don’t try.
Below is Sebastian, who for the last 2 years has been getting plenty of time around the barbell because it makes for good pictures. Normally, he just wants to roll the bar around and walk away. On this picture, he actually wrapped his hands around that barbell and attempted to move that 135 pounds off the platform. He grunted (when this picture was taken) and said “That’s heavy!” You’re right little man, it is. You’re not ready for it yet. But you tried and someday you’ll get there.
“We Make Great People Greater”