I had the opportunity to attend a mens retreat this weekend focused on spiritual growth. A local church hosted and there were about 300 men in attendance. All ages were in attendance from young men in high school to men in their 70’s and 80’s.
I led a small group over the weekend of mostly college students and men in their late 20’s. We discussed the talks we heard and got to know one another.
One thing that stood out to me that a young man said was he has been on an 18 month journey to discover his own faith. He realized that his faith was not his own. It was heavily influenced by others especially his parents. This led him to a season of questions he did not have the answer to and he spiraled into disbelief all together.
For the last few months he has generated what he calls his own faith not his parents or anyone else’s. He is on a new path in his relationship with God. A better path because it is his own and no one else’s.
I made a note to write about this because I believe the same thing occurs with health and fitness. Often times you start your fitness journey for someone else. Maybe a spouse or a coach. Basically you are 100% motivated to do this for someone other than you.
This isn’t always the case but it happens. If you are doing it for anyone other than yourself, it will not last forever. When that person is not in your life anymore or when you question working out all together your desire for fitness will disappear. Much like the young man in his faith, you will come face to face with questions and doubt which could lead to turning in the opposite direction or back to old ways.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why do I even workout?”. Or, “Why do I bother eating healthy?”. I would call these questions indications that you are externally motivated.
These questions are signals that your commitment to health and fitness could be coming from your desire to please someone else or impress another person. Maybe you want to lose weight for another person? Your adherence to healthy nutrition choices is to make someone else proud.
This isn’t bad. In fact it may be the first step in your fitness journey. However you must get to a place in your fitness journey where you are doing it for yourself and no one else. Your commitment is due to a conviction that you desire to be healthy. Eating healthy and exercise is therefore an act of self discipline.
My challenge for you today is to really think about why you workout and ask yourself if you are doing it for someone else. If so find someone who you feel is further along in their fitness journey and have a conversation about this with them. This could unlock some insight that you need which will help you continue on your fitness journey.
If you don’t know anyone or can’t think of anyone schedule a call with me. I would love to talk to you about this.