Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to the never-ending, life-long pursuit of fitness, nutrition, and wellness. It often feels impossible, however, to be consistent in our health routines when our social media feeds bombard us with influencers telling us to push harder in the gym or avoid all “toxins” in our foods.
We know these cliché fitness messages don’t gel with real life; nevertheless, diet culture has permeated our consciousness for decades. The fitness industry has made a killing peddling fear, hoping innocent people will fall into the same cycle of “work hard, over-restrict, burn out, get bummed, lose traction, start over.”
At Trilogy Fitness Systems, we want to fix this by instilling in our clients the confidence and competence to actually maintain consistently healthy lifestyle routines. Keep in mind, though: you have to practice all of these habits—they don’t develop overnight! Before you start, it’s critical to develop a sense of awareness of where you are right now. Determine your capacity for habit change—where are you in your current health journey, and what are your inputs (i.e., reading, watching, listening)? If you are in a stressful phase of life (perhaps job + kids + social obligations + family + pets + whatever else can be going on…), it’s a lot to try and overhaul all of your habits at once. We recommend starting small and letting the habits build. Here are our favorite ways to start:
Shift your mindset
Rather than focusing on shrinking (burning calories or losing weight), focus on doing—building muscle and gaining confidence. Traditional messaging in diet culture and the fitness industry tells you to restrict yourself, ensuring negative self-talk and tendency to quit out of frustration. But the real focus should be on slowly improving your performance and building yourself up over time. Find a fitness routine that is enjoyable so that you actually want to keep going. This shifts your mindset into a mode of self-love and accomplishment, ensuring positive self-talk and personal betterment. At Trilogy, we specialize in small group personal training—we can combine the super powers of individualized training and a fun community environment so people actually enjoy coming into the gym.
Celebrate your wins
Consistency and the long game of fitness requires us to celebrate wins. If you don’t go for walks, then you start to go for one walk a week…celebrate it. If you do your first push up…celebrate it. If you make a vegetable for dinner…celebrate it. Comparing yourself to others, what you “used to be,” or what you think you “should be” is a losing battle. Comparing yourself to what you think you “could have done” is a losing battle. Focus on the positive and keep the momentum of the wins going. It is in our nature to focus on the negative. Fight that every day with some gratitude, and celebrate the wins no matter how small they may seem in the moment.
Know when to push and when to dial it back
Consistency is not about following the latest social media challenge or giving 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time. Life won’t allow that. Consistency oftentimes just means checking the box—showing up for yourself. Dialing it back and doing lower intensity exercises than you normally would still keeps the momentum going forward. The goal should rarely be perfection; you want to strive for consistently good enough. If you keep checking in with yourself and listening to your body, the momentum will slowly build.
Focus on what actually fulfills you
What brings you joy? What improves your quality of life? What meets you where you are? Checking in with yourself means your fitness routine can always be scaled to your level. Did you have a bad night’s sleep? Don’t skip the workout—just lighten the weights. Are you new to the gym? Ignore the person next to you pumping 100—go at your own pace and congratulate yourself for showing up. Stay focused on strength training and sustaining your body with a lot of nutrient-rich foods.
Your health and fitness journey is your own. Learn what exercise routines you enjoy, what foods make your body feel good, then find a community of like-minded people to support you along the way. The best part about health communities like Trilogy Fitness Systems is that you’re surrounded by people who are also doing their best to maintain a consistently healthy lifestyle.