I just had to open up my window because I was looking at my closed blinds and I felt like I was in a prison. Do you ever feel that way? Like, even if you’re in the best situation that you could possibly think of in your life, you still feel like you’re going to suffocate?
Please, don’t be scared- I’m not depressed, Kevin and I are just going a little crazy lately and I think it’s starting to get to me.
[More crazy than normal]
I was talking to Kevin yesterday about hobbies. About having an outlet. So many people (especially those that we work with at our respective personal training jobs) use exercise as an outlet to keep their work/family life in balance. It makes sense and is obviously super healthy to use exercise as a hobby or a way to get out of yourself for an hour everyday.
But what do you do when exercise is your job? Both Kevin and I constantly talk about exercise programs, our clients issues, our own workouts and fitness goals, etc. We workout 6 days a week at the same places we spend 40+ hours a week. And, what’s worse, exercise is associated with our financial livelihood, making it really tough to enjoy when you’re trying to budget for your future and pay off debt. We start to feel trapped by exercise, wanting an escape. Because, while exercise gives us a life and we love the impact we make on peoples’ lives daily, when it consumes our whole lives it makes us go a little nuts.
My coworker posed the idea that, when we get out of the fitness industry, we might just let ourselves go. At first, I thought this idea was crazy. I mean, we are in the health industry because we are passionate about health- both our health and our clients’. But maybe, if we stay in this line of work for too long, dealing with meeting sales quotas and putting a monetary value on fitness, we might begin to resent its real value and chose to act out via sitting on the couch eating ice cream.
I think she might be onto something.
It’s so easy for our passions in life to get stifled by reality. For example, being a personal trainer means working in a sales environment. No matter if you work for a gym or for yourself, you are in sales. The tough thing about that is you basically end up selling yourself. People are investing in your knowledge for fitness and your exemplified truth of your personal success. I’m am fortunate enough to work for some great managers and coworkers who are genuinely passionate about helping people. (Trust me- this is hard to come by in the fitness industry. Most gyms are full of trainers who have seriously forgotten the reason why they got into the industry in the first place and, instead, are just trying to take people’s money) And yet still, even though I’ve found myself in probably one of the best fitness jobs ever, I still feel pressure to sell and thus, have begun to affiliate my success and the success of my clients with my monthly sales goals.
Gah, monthly sales goals. Kill me. I can’t get away from them, I swear. It’s no one’s fault- we don’t have clients if we can’t convince them that buying training from us will change their lives in many, many ways. It’s just the hard facts. The repercussions of said sales goals is that this girl looses sight on a lot of things. When success doesn’t come in this area of my job, I get all stressed and feel like a failure. I start to resent my job and exercise in one fail swoop and worry myself into a heart attack.
Not really- I haven’t had a heart attack.
So where does this leave us? (Like it or not, you’re in this predicament with me) I’m not exactly sure how to balance my work life and my exercise life. I’m also not sure how to go about the whole figuring-out-how-not-to-freak-out-about-making-money. Altruistically thinking, I could just focus on helping people and stop thinking about money. But, it’s always in my mind. How much more money do I need to make this month to hit my revenue goal? And then, once I do, it’ll be November 1st and I’ll have another revenue goal to hit. The cycle continues.
When Kevin and I were talking, we both had the realization that we need to explore our other passions- his being cooking and mine being writing and photography. We’ve both have let our jobs distract us from other joys in our lives. It’s easy to let our jobs distract us because, like most other people, we tend to use exercise as our hobby. Because we are around it all the time, it becomes who we are- making our jobs become who we are. So, if we don’t hit revenue or are unsuccessful in any aspect of said job, we associate our hearts and self-worth with that failure.
I can’t keep going like this.
I know I’m where I need to be at my job, I love it! But I’ve got to separate myself from the money, and do other things that don’t involve exercise. Such things can include:
- Writing- hello more blogging
- Photography- again hello more blogging
- Tanning/Beaching- this one is random, I know, but I love the beach and it makes me happy, so there.
I also am going to help Kevin with his love for cooking via creating posts/vlogs of him cooking his amazing meals. Like last night’s dinner, which we have a 72 extra servings of, which I am very happy about.
- Are you feeling stressed about finding a work/life balance?
- What do you do to de-stress and keep yourself sane, so as to not act on the urge to quit your job?
I love incorporating box jumps into my workouts. They’re great because they are high intensity cardio AND a power movement. Plus, you can use a small or as big a box as you want!
How-To Box Jump~
Tips and Tricks~
Have fun jumping!!!
Thursday Link Love~
Some articles that might be helpful.
- Do you ever do box jumps?
- What is your favorite way to incorporate them into your workouts?
Many people losing weight have found success in calorie counting. I can honestly understand their argument- but only to a certain extent. It makes sense, to eat less than you’re burning. It’s like you spend 20 years or so eating too many calories and now you are trying to burn those ding dongs you ate in 1994. But does it really work like that? Does calories counting and burning more than we eat the best way to keep off the weight, or even to tone up and lose the last 5lbs?
So maybe you’ve had success in the past losing weight this way. And then, life happens, and you gain some of the weight back. What do you do? If you’re like most people, you’d go back to the same plan that worked for you in the past- calorie counting!
Only, this time around, it doesn’t seem to work. Why? You’re eating half the calories you ate while you put on weight, but you’re not able to lose a single pound! What gives???
What Happens to Your Body When You Calories Count?
Your metabolism is like the furnace of your body. It burns calories [or breaks down fat/sugar] to use them as energy for various things your body needs throughout the day; digesting, walking, reading, stressing about work, etc. Just like a furnace, your metabolism needs fuel to burn stronger/faster.
Not all “fuel” [or food] is created equal. If you try to fuel your body with foods that have no nutrients, it’s like throwing paper in your furnace- it doesn’t take a long time to burn paper and, if you only used paper to fuel the flame, it would die out quickly.
In the same way, if you don’t eat enough food, your “flame” [or metabolism] will pretty much go kaput. Add a ton of exercise to this mix and your body shuts down- it almost stops burning calories all together.
Not eating enough + Too much exercise= Lowered metabolism and Stress on the Body
THIS is the recipe for ineffective weight loss and, scarily enough, weight GAIN. Your body won’t burn calories if you’re stressed because it is trying to survive. Much like if you were starving for food on a deserted island, your body would want to store as much energy [AS FAT] as it possible could so you could stay alive. And, if you don’t eat enough [like <1200 calories which most weight-loss hopefuls do], then you’re pretty much screwed.
So How Can You Lose Weight?
Like I said before, there are some positives to counting calories. It forces you to think about choosing more filling foods, helps keep your portions under control, and let’s you know what you’re really eating versus what you think you’re eating. I also like the fact that calorie-counters track their exercise. Food-logging and exercise-tracking really helps you in the future because you can look back on previous weeks to see what worked and what didn’t.
BUT… and this is a big “but”, the best way to lose weight is by doing to following:
1. Eat REAL foods
Stop eating processed crap. It’s better to eat more calories of foods that God made than it is to skimp on nutrients so you can have a few chips.
2. Eat When You’re Hungry
This seems simple, but it can be the most difficult to follow for serial calorie counters. If you ate 200 calories for your lunch and you’re still hungry, grab and apple or nuts or more grass-fed beef or a protein shake and chow down! Listening to your body is SO important. Our bodies are amazing self-regulators. They will tell us when we are hungry, tired, need to exercise, DON’T need to exercise, etc. Don’t fight your hunger- FEED IT!
3. Vary Exercise Intensities
Just like, at some point in your weight loss journey, walking a mile around the block will not be enough to keep losing, taking 5 spin classes and 5 crossfit classes a week won’t either. Sure- both are HUGELY effective workouts to do, but stress is a huge factor to monitor when it comes to weight loss. [we’re talking physical stress in this case] If you’re working out 4 days a week, make sure the you include 1 low intensity, 2 moderate intensity, and 1 hard intensity workouts.
Remember to talk to a fitness professional before starting your weight-loss journey. It’s SO hard to do on your own- especially if you feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING and nothing works.
Please email me if you need advice- email@example.com
I’m always here to help!
- Have you had success calorie counting?
- What eating strategies do you use to lose weight?