Can Our “Before” Hinder our “After”

Most people assume after meeting someone new that they have always looked a way they do now in terms of health.  If someone is fit, they must have always been fit.  Or the other way around. The present does not always showcase the journey and often there is a “Before” story prior to what you are meeting now.  One of the most important areas to train is the heart.  Whether they are coming to me as their before photo or coming to me as a success story looking for maintenance, the root of the heart is where my tunnel vision is locked in on.

Does this mean I am focused more on who we were are opposed to now?  Absolutely not.  But our habits and consistency in creating a new lifestyle directly affect our results.

When I was growing up, my family gave us desert every night.  It was “always save room for desert in my house”.  That was fine when I was a child and I spent all day burning it off but as I got older things changed.  My habits caught up with me in college when there were endless hours of studying, eating fast food and saving room for desert.  My activity of working out for an hour or choreographing was still present but my habits made their presence known.  The reality was that in order to reach my level of fitness desired, I had to break the habit of eating something sweet after every dinner.  It was sabotaging my efforts.  It wasn’t the workout program.  It was my lifestyle outside of the workout program.  Habits matter.  Habits unless broken show up when we are starting a fitness program.  Do we work out but then eat fast food often?  Do we eat when we are tired instead of resting or even snack through the day without counting those calories?  In this case, the “before” hindering our “after” is habit.  We create new routines, hope for the best but often can be so use to habit that we overlook it, get discouraged by lack of results and believe the new routine is not effective.

Consistency is vital in all areas of our life.  Start a book and not finish reading it?  When we start a program,  it is crucial to treat it as a life style change.  Lack of consistency equals lack of results.  If your training sessions are treated more like appearances as opposed to appointments, this has to be looked at.  Consistency makes or breaks a program.  It beats up the self-esteem because lack of physical strength or perhaps physical changes desired are not reached in the timeframe we set and can lead to us feeling negative about ourselves in some way.

Here is the good news.  These “before” categories do not have the last laugh.  That is why we get at the root of the heart.  Why are you starting this program?  What barriers were in your way keeping you from reaching your results?  We have to look beyond the original stated reason and get to the heart.  Do we lack consistency in terms of attendance, nutrition or overall lifestyle?

Once we look through an honest lens, we can cling to the motivation behind the desire to change.  Just as important as it is to look at the heart of the habit, it is also important to look at the heart of the motivation.  Is it to feel healthy?  Is it to lower the risk for Preventative Diseases or even just to be more effective in your position at work?  We can reach our “after” by chasing the why we want to change as opposed to what we do not want to change.  Overall, if we focus on living a longer more active life motivated by your “why”, it will help us change the “what” that is holding us back.  Take some time to dig into the heart!  Day by day, celebrate the victories when you do not give in to a habit and share your journey with us.