The Strategy Session
Upon setting an appointment with a potential client, one of the first things we set out to accomplish is deciding where we want this exercise program to take us. Are we looking to improve strength? Do we desire to lose more around the midsection? Or are we interested in improving endurance?
It is very common when discussing goal(s) with clients for us to talk about adopting ‘this’ as a lifestyle. That’s a big commitment when you think about it. We are talking about carrying on whatever results we may have reached onward and ‘forever’. In reality I think the topic of lifestyle gets mentioned as a way for both sides to show their level of commitment, but beyond that what do we really mean when we say we are willing and able to adopt fitness as a lifestyle?
After competing in my ninth bodybuilding competition just this April, this topic shows itself in the most common question I receive immediately after a show, and that is ‘Seena, are you still on a diet now?’ ‘Or do you get to relax?’ This is not an odd question; however, majority of the people asking me this are like those that would be sitting across the high table from me overlooking the gym floor; interested in what fitness has to offer and potentially contemplating beginning.
This question proves that we are still missing the concept of lifestyle from its very foundation. We believe our dedication only spans the length of us reaching our goal; and then we relax. The problem I see with this is that it builds up too much anticipation and impatience on the goal at hand; it also serves to diminish the importance of going at a certain pace.
The preparation for this most recent show was different for a variety of reasons, but one of the ways in which it was unique is that I was always had my ‘diet’ in mind as part of a particular phase; knowing fully well upon completion that I would simply shift gears. Instead of shifting gears, we get caught up in the idea of stopping the car completely once our goal is achieved. This not only cheapens the result, it also makes good habits hard to stick to because we are ‘waiting out the clock’ until we can relax.
Lifestyle by definition means the way in which a person or group lives. Lives! If it is part of their life, then a person (or group) would truly never stop. Bodybuilding for me is an intentional and well-planned phase, not the span of my entire life. Fitness, however, is. So to answer your question, ‘Yes, I am still on my diet.’ And you will still be working within your habits and behaviors if you too intend on adopting this as a lifestyle.