Ambivalence. It’s a thorn in the side of everyone looking to pursue an active lifestyle and it holds so many of us back. So what is ambivalence? Well, its true definition is the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.
Obviously, we’re talking about something here and that something is exercise and pursuing an active and fit lifestyle. But so much ‘stuff’ gets in the way. What kind of ‘stuff?’ Allow me to lay out some examples.
Oh, I could pursue exercise if only my family supported me. Or, man I wish I had the same type of genetics as my best friend – they can just look at a weight and gain a pound of muscle while losing a pound of fat.
Exercise could be for me, but then I have to give up another activity or hobby like writing—
Ah, ah, aha!
Well, you just happen to be talking to a trainer who is not just a blogoholic, but has also written and sold fiction, so ha! I got you there. Add on a full-time job that I worked at a local distribution center while I clawed my way back into personal training – getting certified in one area while gaining recertification status in three other areas and you can clearly see I had to really schedule my day to make anything work – not to mention I also host an NFL uniform blog – don’t judge me.
So, ask yourself how the hell a full-time job and ‘other commitments’ are holding you back.
Okay, parents, I get it, you have to care for your kids so I have a little more sympathy for you except there’s the fact children love to imitate their parents, so what’re you doing, mom and dad?
And if your ‘other commitment’ excuse involves watching TV or any other form of entertainment, such as listening to music, learning a language (have you tried the Nemo app?), or reading a book (Audible is getting pretty hot these days) then why the hell are you sitting on the couch?
Yes, I’m talking to those who work a sedentary job, but even those who might work physical jobs where their ‘gym membership is work.’
For the former, I feel for your low back, hips, and abdomen among other bodyparts. For the latter, I hope you know repetition without balance leads to imbalances and overcompensation – so you’re not doing your body any favors by skipping the gym due to physical activity at work.
Heck, I worked twelve-hour days at that distribution center after bailing the steel warehouse and even went into the gym on my workdays.
And also found time for all my other activities as well, one of which included learning how to speak different languages.
Another one included writing two, count them two, urban fantasy book series.
So, there are no excuses – it’s simply uncovering ambivalence.
What’s stopping you from achieving your goals?
Here are some common scenarios that I’m sure you’re familiar with and be honest with yourself.
I Work Sixty Hours A Week
Okay, so while at the distribution center, I worked 36-40-hour weeks while also putting in another 30-40 hours a week writing two, count them two, book series – while regaining my personal training credentials.
Yeah, not a single day went by where I didn’t work.
The problem you have involves scheduling your workouts.
Again, for parents, I know kids come first as they should, but even you can learn something here, especially if Joey Sixpack is tearing up the football field.
You either need to schedule your workouts before, during, or after work. Or, if you’re dragging your son or daughter to a sports practice, sporting event, or an art activity (which is every bit as cool if not cooler than sports), then prepare accordingly.
Especially for sports practices – I have very little patience for overzealous parents trying to live vicariously through their kids in terms of sports.
Like, seriously, let your kids play and focus on yourself while they focus on themselves. Is it really that hard?
So, either before work, after work, or if your job allows it during work, it’s time to get some exercise in.
And take advantage of those weekends, especially if your son or daughter isn’t up to bat and is daydreaming in right field. So, weekends, weekends, weekends, and definitely make time around your workday.
Let’s Talk Nutrition: My Family Won’t Eat Healthily
Is your fitness journey about you or your family?
Listen closely: If your fitness journey isn’t every bit as intrinsic as it is extrinsic, you seriously need to think about you and your goals.
If you’re eating junk because your family, who should be supporting you, won’t eat healthy meals, then you really need to start meal prepping for yourself. If your decisions are met with antagonism and I saw this A LOT back in my early days between 2012 and 2017, you need to venture outside the house for some support, as I stated in a previous article.
But the fact you’re sacrificing your health trying to please other people in a culinary manner is inexcusable.
Is your fitness journey about you or them?
If you stated it’s about them, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. You need to worry about your own health and well-being. Now get after it.
Something Came Up
Okay, we’re all thrown curveballs and during the days when I was younger and selfish (I admit it), I’d be livid every time the gym manager spontaneously scheduled a training session in a slot I had blocked off for my own training session – and this happened a lot – especially since the particular manager was nothing more than the sleazy sales type.
But yeah, something came up.
What came up?
An impromptu training session.
Welp, these days I’d take a step back and say cool, I’m going to go ahead and train them right now while delivering the best possible workout.
I can train later.
Or, if I’m in the facility early enough, I’ll bump up my training time.
And the same should go for you.
Need to work overtime?
Then work overtime and come to the gym either right after work or later at night. This is completely possible if you belong to a 24-hour facility. Or, if you have stuff at home, turn to the home gym.
However, I DO want to caution that if something like this becomes repetitive, then someone’s taking advantage of you. In that case, you need to show some backbone. But when something comes up randomly it’s not a reason to throw in the towel.
Adjust your workday accordingly and get on with your life.
I’m Destined to Fail
This is often a mindset for those who may’ve pursued fitness or other endeavors a few times and have seen little to zero success. For one, I can relate to this because when you pursue, pursue, pursue, and try, try, and try, failure is inevitable.
It’s going to happen, but at the same time, failure is impossible.
Remember the article where I said success is a foregone conclusion?
Well, I also said somewhere along the line that success is the sum of perpetual failure.
What do I mean by this seemingly counterintuitive statement?
We either win or we learn and if one sees failure as a learning experience, then they’re one step closer to uncovering success. After twelve failures, we’re twelve steps closer to uncovering success. Twenty-four? We’re even closer.
And better yet, we probably found a little bit of success amidst all the failure.
So, we’ll let the success add up because of course, we’re going with what worked time and again, right? I would hope so.
At the same time, we’re trimming the fat, or the failure, in that regard.
When we ease out the failure but continue to build upon success, success eventually overtakes failure, but it all starts with perseverance – something the most successful people in history realized and took action.