I don’t care about abs! Yes, you read that correctly! But before you jump to conclusions, hear me out…

It’s not that I don’t care about having a healthy strong core. That’s very important! It’s that having a ripped six pack is not one of my goals.

Is it just me or do you see a paradox within the health and fitness industry? Are you motivated by health or aesthetics at any cost? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate physical beauty, but not at the cost of my health and balance or my ‘Why’.

When I first began my journey in to health and Personal Training, I came from a place of concern. I wanted to be healthier and I wanted share with others, my journey to health, and inspire them to continue theirs. I was naive to the industry. To the preconceptions, to the pressure, to the stereotypes, to the extremes.

The business of fitness and health uplifted me for certain. But at the same time I became aware that people began to stereotype me. I was often asked when was I going to do a body building competition. The notion had never occurred to me. Although, I enjoy teaching a class of up to 20 people in a Spin class, I could not conceive what would possess me to want to stand up in front potentially thousands of people and parade around while they picked apart my body. Apart from that, I was well aware that the journey to the stage would not be an easy one. My job already compromised my time with my children and I felt that this would compromise it further.

Never the less in late 2013, perhaps in my post Europe trip high/low, I decided I would give it a go. The training at least. I felt that I should at least endure the training to empathise and pass on my experience with clients. I hired an amazing trainer and travelled to see him once per week for a one hour session. On the other days, I trained using the program he prescribed.

To be fair his training was excellent. Controlled and considerate of my needs. Always safe. The diet was also fair, but more challenging to adhere to. I was hungry. ALL THE TIME. My life revolved around meal prep and eating. I was also moody. It didn’t take me too long to confirm that this journey was not for me. I didn’t have the passion for it. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel balanced. I didn’t care about it so much, that I could justify compromising my newly budding relationship and my relationship with my children, for my mood swings and strict regime.

This comes back again to my ‘Why’. My why is my inspiration for living my healthy life. My why is about health, balance, family and connection and this strict regime was all about self, restriction and isolation.

I am not by any means trying to take the shine off any other’s journey and passion for this sport. I absolutely admire and give full credit to those who have that passion and commitment to achieve this level of elite fitness. Even more so, if they can do so with balance in other areas of their life. Amazing. Hats off.

But for me, this was not the case. I openly admit, that I couldn’t do it. More than that, I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t find balance in this situation.

It took a considerable amount of time for me to find some balance after that. More than a few months. My weight and body composition changed and I needed to reconnect with my rhythm. Turn this up by 1000 and  it may come close to what some of these women go through after journeying the full experience from training to stage. Seeing your body transform is exciting and enticing and rewarding. Knowing that you can’t healthily maintain this figure year round is heartbreaking and discouraging and an avalanche of old insecurities.

I was never going to compete in a body building competition because the goal did not align with my values. It’s important to get clear on your inspiration to achieve your goals and ensure that they are a match.

When I take on a client, I want to see that they are committed to making change. Change does not have to be hardcore. Change could be about balance, happiness, family, love, self love, health or career. A true change will need to be inspired. It will need to come from within you and you’ll need to truly care about it to make it work. No mixed messages.

The elite, in any sport or field, is not a journey for anyone less than 100% committed. Choose your goals accordingly. If your goals support and represent your ‘Why’, the goal is worthy. If it does not, it is not.

Leave a comment below! Write down your top ‘Why’s’ (your inspiration) and follow it with your short and long term goals. Get clear on who you are and how you want to show up in the world.