Celebrate your fitness successes

You need to re-evaluate your focus and goals, redefine success, and celebrate success, says Tanja Shaw.

Celebrate your healthy lifestyle choices.

Celebrate your healthy lifestyle choices.

Have you ever started an exercise or diet plan because you were unhappy with your appearance, or were worried about your health?  Perhaps you wanted to move away from something negative, such as low energy levels or self-confidence, and embark on a journey to change.  Unfortunately, all too often, we carry on this focus on the negative, even as we make positive changes.

Quite often, when people self-report (to others or themselves) on their eating or exercise habits, they are quick to highlight the ‘less healthy’ parts.  “I had three glasses of wine this weekend,” or “I didn’t do well; I didn’t lose any weight this week.”  We are our own worst critics, and for some reason when we start to make healthier choices, we sometimes criticize ourselves even more.

The negative talk can spiral into negative thoughts and negative beliefs.  You may think that you failed, or you determine your self-worth based on whether or not you had dessert, or if you lost any weight one week.  You feel guilty when you indulge, and try to make up for it by running a few extra miles, or skipping your next meal.  The goal of eating becomes to consume fewer calories, and exercise becomes a punishment for poor eating.

How do we abolish the negative beliefs and make the journey to health and fitness a positive one?

It’s simple.  You need to re-evaluate your focus and goals, redefine success, and celebrate success.

Change your focus and your goals

First, stop focusing on the number on the scale or the measuring tape.  When we focus on weight loss, the goal of eating becomes to restrict calories, and the goal of exercise becomes to burn calories.  Instead, shift your focus to feeling good and taking care of your body.   Choose healthy foods to nourish your body.  See exercise as an opportunity to energize yourself, and to be able to do more things in life, such as outdoor adventures, or playing with your kids.  The thought process in the journey should be a positive experience.  Focus on the action steps, and the results will follow.

Redefine Success

You’re going to have days when you struggle a little, days when you eat foods that are not on your plan, or you miss a workout.  That’s life.  Success is not a number on the scale, being 100 per cent compliant to your eating plan, or making every workout.  Improvement is success.  Recognize when you make any healthy choice, and give yourself credit.  Let’s say, for example, you ate well all day, kept up with your food journals and went for a long walk.   That evening, your neighbours stop by with a sampling of fresh baked cookies.  You ate dinner, and aren’t hungry, and a cookie was not on your plan for the day.  But the cookies smell so good; and you have two.  You can either look at the day as a failure (and perhaps fall into the ‘I messed up so I may as well eat all the cookies’ mentality) or as a success.  I choose to see it as a success.  You ate well all day.  You went for a walk.  Be proud!

Give yourself credit

Once you see you progress as success, it’s time to celebrate.  Out loud, give yourself credit.  Say, “I did really well today, I made some great decisions.”  Put your arms up and say, “I am awesome!” (I am serious; do it!)   How do you feel? Likely you feel a heck of a lot better than when you say ‘I really shouldn’t have had that cookie!’ Positive thoughts beget positive behaviours.  Keep spiraling in this direction.

Tanja Shaw is the owner of Ascend Fitness Inc., a private training studio.  Tanja and her team of expert fitness professionals work to inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  For more fitness tips go to www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother missing for four weeks

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged in Coquihalla crash showed ‘wanton and reckless disregard for other people’s lives’: Crown

Despite already having brake issues, Roy McCormack tackled the steepest hill on the infamous highway

Abbotsford International Airport. Black Press file photo.
Abbotsford Airport had 4th highest traffic in Canada in 2020, and its number are down

Statistics Canada report describes a ‘devastating year’ for air travel

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read