You may have looked at the title of this post and chuckled. This is because it’s very easy to categorize people into labels, especially as it relates to how they live their life. For example, you may classify someone by their job, their physical characteristics, their nationality, but also by their hobbies.
Some may love fishing, some may be hobbyist musicians, some may be fantastic home cooks. The problem with categorizing people in this way is that we often think of them as separate, distinct from us, perhaps even behind an impossible border. But that’s not true. Sure, you might not ever be French on an ethnic level, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move to France, embody the culture, and become a citizen.
As such, it’s good to look at certain hobbies we may have attributed to a certain “kind” of person, and think about what it would take to get there. When it comes to fitness, we tend to apply this semantic game, too. There are “fitness people” who work out often, who train towards an end goal, who eat healthily, and then there are “normals” who just take it easy and fluctuate in weight over time.
The truth is that this impression is flawed. You won’t become a “fitness person” you’ll become a person who enjoys fitness, still retaining who you are. Thinking that way makes this process more accessible, and less like something you’ll never attain. So, let’s consider how to achieve that, with a new perspective and sense of connection:
Find The Practice You Love
It’s healthy to find a practice you love. Not just enjoy, but really take to. It’s okay to take a little time finding out what that may be. To start with, you may enjoy running, but then fall in love with hiking, or swimming, or perhaps even just gardening (anyone who says this isn’t good exercise simply hasn’t tried it).
A practice or a hobby that involves exercise and that you would attend to otherwise can be nothing if not rewarding. It will also help you avoid the annoyance of having to negotiate a workout, because you were planning to go and practice this effort anyway. This is how “fitness people” often feel about their chosen activity, and you can go that too.
Develop A Simple Set Of Goals
It’s good to develop a simple set of goals. Don’t overburden yourself. Many people who make fitness part of their routine will plan out a set routine and stick to it. That might involve running 5k in four months. It may mean training for a half-marathon in your town to fundraise for a cause you care about.
A simple set of goals can also involve becoming more flexible and achieving a few yoga positions. When you work on your practice, you’ll feel better about it and can give yourself targets to meet. That’s how you become a “fitness person,” by falling in love with the pursuit and growth.
Focus On Your Mindset
Of course, fitness people have fitness mindsets. But that doesn’t mean all they think about is running on a treadmill, or that they don’t have rich lives outside of what their muscles look like. Even professional bodybuilders have relationships, friends, families, and pets.
So for that reason, you might just focus on your mindset. Perhaps you’ve realized that actually, running helps you feel so much better and dissolves your stress. That’s good enough. It can be good to question your desire to binge eat, or to engage in bad habits, or to stay up too late. Sometimes, a “super focused mindset” just means considering what really matters. That might help you make healthier decisions, like limiting your alcohol intake to a third of what it is now.
Understand The Culture
It’s easy to think of fitness culture as just meatheads picking up heavy things and throwing them down with a grunt, but that’s not the case at all.
Fitness culture is yoga, it’s taking long hikes, it’s enjoying a morning run, it’s heading out into the countryside with a camera to take pictures, it’s dancing with a friend in classes, it’s heading to the local swimming pool in summer.
It’s also about healthy eating and using AthleticStore to supplement some of your intake. If you can engage with that, then odds are you’ll feel integrated and welcomed by the culture instead of feeling averse to it. Then, just maybe, you’ll start thinking of yourself as a fitness person with a contribution to make to culture as well.
With this advice, you’re sure to become the new, fitness-appreciative version of you.