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Chuck Gross

Nutrition and Fitness Coach (Pn1, ACE-PT, OTC) at HEMA Strong
Fitness Mentor – Broken Plow Western Martial Arts
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“I’ve gotten off track. Was working out 6 days a week…here I am 4 months later and I don’t even know how to get back on track. How do I get back on track?”

I’m overwhelmed with the number of times I’ve seen that question asked. Go to any Facebook group that’s fitness oriented, and it’s a theme.

Why do people go off track, and then struggle with getting back on track with their fitness, be it nutrition, exercise, or both?

It’s not you

The problem is the track itself. Being on track, or being off track is part of an all or nothing mentality. Throw away the concept of the track, expunge it from your vocabulary!

To paraphrase a friend, Dr. Spencer Nadolsky:

“An all or nothing mindset is destined for failure. No one can follow some sort of plan 100% of the time. It doesn’t matter if it is diet, exercise, business, family, etc. No one can follow a plan 100% of the time, which means that if they have this mindset, they will most likely end up at 0% most of the time.”

The Fallacy of the Excluded Middle

The underlying issue is that by being in that mindset of all or nothing excludes the middle ground. You might see this explained using fancy terms like “the fallacy of the excluded middle”. Basically, by being stuck on that track, you may begin to struggle because you only see yourself at 0%, remember when you were at 100%, and the jump between them is too far.

So in the above example, how do you go from working out 0 days a week to 6? If you want to actually make a change, you don’t. The middle ground is 3 days, right? But even that might be too much, you might be setting yourself up for failure. What’s better than 0 days? 1 day. Heck, what’s better than trying to workout 1 hour at a time, 3 days a week? 10-15 minutes a day!

Who has time for that?

“I don’t have time”, you might say. We are all time poor. But the truth is that if you don’t have the time for something, it’s not a priority. That’s not a judgment. Some people legitimately have more pressing priorities in the short term. Ask yourself if that’s really true for you. Is there something that you could de-prioritize in order to prioritize something that’s best for your long-term well-being.

If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any. – Jim Collins.

In the end, it’s more about doing better, even if right now that means maintaining where you are and working toward being 1% better when you can.

Not sure what 1% better looks like? Join the HEMA Strong Facebook group and ask! Hope to see you there!

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