Let’s be honest, we all struggle occasionally with accountability. Holding yourself accountable can be incredibly difficult, especially when it comes to fitness.
This has been an issue that I have seen literally all of my clients face, as well as myself on a rare occasion. Whether it is with sticking to your diet, to working out on the days you’re scheduled, to taking the necessary rest time for your body and your mental health. We fall off track, we justify not adhering once or twice, and often this leads to not maintaining the healthy habits we’ve worked towards.
Let’s talk about staying accountable to ourselves when it comes to our diet. This can mean a myriad of different things depending on what our own specific goals are. Often diets will start out great! We are optimistic about what we’re starting. We do all the “research” about the benefits of this specific diet, whether it’s low carb, keto, paleo, or any of the hundreds of other fad diets, and we take the step toward starting.
We rummage through our cabinets and throw out anything that doesn’t fall into the boxes of this new adventure we’re on. That is, unless we give ourselves “one last” cheat meal to eat everything in the house. Then we make our maiden voyage to the store! Determined to buy only the essentials. This shopping trip goes exactly as planned and you have a great first several days.
Then comes shopping for week two! slightly less determination this week than last and you allow yourself one small something to “treat yo’ self!” for a job well done on your fist week. This could be anything from a bag chips to a pint of ice cream to a candy bar. Whatever it is can be the start to a very slippery slope.
I’m not saying that it’s bad to occasionally imbibe in a food that brings you joy, but this is the point where we need to start considering our accountability. Are you holding yourself accountable in letting yourself indulge? Are you going to let yourself continue without consideration next time?
Very similar to slipping up here, we can also slip up in our workouts. When starting a new routine with that same amount of excitement as our diets, we tend to go very hard the first several days or even weeks. That initial excitement slowly starts to trickle away the moment you realize that to maintain this it’s not a short term endeavor. You’re going to have to truly commit to yourself and to your goals!
There are a couple of great tools that can help when you’re undertaking any new fitness adventure though, so don’t stress just yet! My absolute favorite for any new diet is keeping a journal. I know that it sounds like a tedious and outdated tool, but that’s a bit of the point. Writing down everything that you’re eating gives you a chance to actually visualize what you’re consuming rather than just a rough “mental image”. It forces you to be honest about what you’re eating.
As far as staying on top of your workouts, there are two tools that I have always found to be useful. The first one is our very own social media! Forcing yourself to check-in every day, whether at your gym or doing a workout at home, on your Facebook and Instagram holds you accountable to all of the people that follow you on those platforms and gives you a community to back you on your journey.
The other tool is a singular other person. For a lot of people, posting their workouts every day can be incredibly uncomfortable. Beginning a fitness journey isn’t easy, so posting about your personal journey can be a little too vulnerable for some. This is where either finding a friend (preferably one that has been in and around fitness for a good amount of time) or hiring a personal trainer is going to come in most handy.
Having a friend that you either go to the gym with or send sweaty selfies to while there independently is a great way to maintain accountability without feeling uncomfortable. However, if you’re starting a fitness journey and you are not very comfortable in the gym already, I would suggest hiring a trainer. Someone that you can be comfortable around and that knows what they’re doing to make sure you are reaching your goals efficiently and safely.
Don’t get discouraged when getting started! There are several tools to help you reach your goals!