Have you ever struggled to stick with your fitness/healthy eating routine because of pressure from friends or family members? Perhaps family was visiting and you spent all of your time visiting with them. Maybe you were at a friend’s house and felt rude if you would’ve chosen to eat something other than what was being prepared (none of which was particularly healthy).
I completely understand why you might struggle in these situations. There are extra temptations, and you had less time because of entertaining your guests. This is a hard for anyone to go through without slipping up a little bit. For many people in this same situation (most people struggle with this same problem), the biggest factors why they fail to stick with their program is: 1) a perceived lack of time, and 2) fear of seeming rude to excuse yourself to workout or choosing to eat foods other than what everyone else is eating.
This problem extends even beyond the previous circumstances of visiting family. In fact, it is a problem parents face everyday. I have no doubt as a parent you stay busy taking care of your family, and often it can seem selfish to take time for yourself in the form of workouts or other such activities. Many people (mothers in particular) struggle to justify spending time on themselves when it could be otherwise put to use in completing chores or spending time with family.
In fact, this is quite a universal human problem. We have so many responsibilities pulling us in all sorts of directions, and it can often feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. With all of that pressure, how is one supposed to carve out time to meal prep or workout with any kind of consistency?
I completely understand, and have struggled with this same dilemma myself a time or two. When I was in the midst of my personal weight transformation, my social life fell by the wayside. I had to choose between spending time with friends or spending time working toward my fitness goals. I’ll admit I lost friends because of my choice to pursue my fitness goals.
Now, this is a bit of an extreme example, but it led me to a realization. Although I spent less time with family and took extra time to pursue my fitness goals, the time I did spend with friends and family was of much higher QUALITY. This is true even today. When you exercise, see progress, and feel good about yourself you will exude new confidence and happiness. You will be more present when spending time with the people you care about, and more productive in daily tasks.
The ultimate goal of any fitness program is for you to be comfortable with how you look and with who you are. To know that your health is in good standing so that you can look forward to longevity; longevity that will provide you with endless special moments with the people you care about.
The time you take for yourself to exercise and eat right is an investment! You are investing a few hours a week now in order to gain extra YEARS later. I don’t know about you, but this seems like a phenomenal return on investment. You may have to sacrifice a small chunk of time normally put toward chores or social time, but the moments you will share with friends and family will be of much higher quality. Simply put, these moments will be more special.
This is important to keep in mind whenever you begin to feel selfish for taking time for yourself. Truthfully, you can’t put your best foot forward, or do your best at taking care of others, until you take care of yourself first.
This is why I’ve learned to prioritize my workouts above everything else (I’ll even admit, clients included). I’ve learned that when I take time for myself, to pursue my own fitness goals, I am happier, more energetic, and am much more PRESENT during my sessions with clients. I may have to block out time from my schedule to get this done, time I could otherwise open up to train additional people. However, in the end my clients greatly benefit from this prioritization.
Health and fitness is not a luxury. Being happy and confident is not only for a select few who make it, “look easy.” You have a right to be confident in how you look and who you are. You have a right to take care of yourself. You DO NOT have the right for all of this to just be handed to you. It takes purposeful and consistent effort day-in and day-out in order to reach your goals. You know what? This requires you to be a little selfish from time-to-time, and that’s completely okay.
So be selfish; take time for yourself. Remember that the quality of these special moments you will share with loved ones far outweighs the quantity, and being truly present will change the game entirely.