For the Ancient Greeks, anguish is experienced when you realize you aren’t living up to your potential. The journey from your current state to your potential state is known as areté and refers to an ascension or climbing to a higher status. In our modern tongue, it is perhaps most commonly seen to refer to a narrow ridge of a mountain (arête).
I’m in no way comparing anyone’s current state to the existentialist (or mid-life) crisis that the Greeks were. However, in the wake of the holiday season and all its calorific temptations it can feel like we’re facing an uphill struggle or even tiptoeing across a mountain ridge. The point of this, of course, is accepting that you need (but more importantly, want) to change and get to the best version of you possible. (Is this starting to ring any bells?? cough PumpUp slogan cough)
Become The Best Version of You
Looking at myself in the mirror (whilst shaving/brushing my teeth…I’m not that vain!) I realized that I might have enjoyed my holidays a little too much. It’s that feeling of being “fuzzy” where muscles and the usual sharp edges have become slightly blurred or in some cases (and it pains me to say this) …rounded. And now I have found myself in that state of anguish, swearing every obscenity under the sun and physically abusing all the bits of cake and chocolate that I find lying around the house. Now it’s all very well sitting around moaning and crying about a few extra pounds here and there, but at the end of the day it’s not the end of the world. What matters is that you (and I) are going to do something about it. Going back to the existentialists (I’m a uni student at the moment so I can talk about this). You are responsible for who you are and as such it falls to you to make the right decisions and most importantly do what it takes to get to the peak of that mountain. What you’ve done in the past is irrelevant, it’s what you do now, and in the future, that will count. If that’s not a good enough reason to get up and go after what you want, then I don’t know what is.
Resolutions. Resolutions. Resolutions. Often it’s just a case of empty words that you soon forget about when it starts raining on the way to the gym or your work starts to demand more. That doesn’t have to be the case. So, with that let’s look at how you can sort out your resolutions (notably shifting that excess holiday weight). Kick start the New Year and knock it out before it even knows what’s going on (that’s right we’re gonna sucker punch 2017!)
Write It Down
Grab a bit of paper, a blackboard, whiteboard, your sibling or bedroom ceiling and write, tattoo (maybe an extreme idea but could work) or spray-paint what it is you want to achieve. Where is it you want to be by the end of the year? It doesn’t have to be anything major, you can do little “footsteps” like monthly goals or even weekly ones that build to a major one by the end of the year. It doesn’t matter what it is, the important thing is that you write it down and have it somewhere you will see it every day. Visualisation is key.
Get rid of it, get rid of all of it. Every bit of chocolate, crumb of cake or tiny little sweet. Throw it away. ALL OF IT. It’s simple really. If you take away the junk you’re tempted to eat, you can’t eat it. Problem solved.
Boats go into the dry dock for repairs and maintenance. After the holiday period (and probably the unavoidable disappointment of New Year’s Eve) you should probably do the same. Our bodies need maintenance and alcohol never helps. Take up the challenge and get yourself into the dry dock. Go sober for at least the whole of January and watch those pounds fall off. (I’ve spoken before about the effects of alcohol and going sober will help weight loss, improve energy, clear your skin, aid digestion etc. needless to say it’s a good idea to go without…at least for a month).
This is kind of self-explanatory really. Exercise benefits you in so many ways, the most noted and loved is helping to burn the f word (shh…fat). Get outside into the cold fresh air and run, walk, cycle, climb, skip, pogo, anything, just get moving and get your pulse up. The cold weather helps burn more calories too! Find a time of day that suits your regime, it doesn’t have to be the same time, often it’s better to mix it up and keep your body guessing.
I’m not talking about having a pop tart (disgusting in my opinion) or a “cold one”. I’m actually talking about clothes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl we all like to look good. Invest in decent workout gear (I’m talking running shoes, t-shirts, shorts etc.) the nicer they are the better. You’re more likely to go and workout if you’ve spent a load of money on workout clothing, right? And if you’re looking good whilst in the gym or on a run you’ll feel good too. This extends outside of workout clothes. Let’s say there’s a dress or jumper, a pair of jeans maybe that you really want but you want it in a certain size. Regardless of if they have it in the size you currently are set yourself a goal of fitting into the next size down (or whatever size it is you want). A more extreme method would be actually buying the smaller size so you have more of an incentive to work for it.
I realize some of the above pointers might have sounded a little harsh and I am sorry but it’s just as much for my own sake as it is yours (I’m trying to get myself to where I want to be, even if it means dragging myself up that metaphorical mountain, kicking and screaming.) So, there it is, a few tips to getting back in shape and pushing on with your fitness journey. The important thing to remember is that we all have setbacks and it isn’t our failures that define us but our ability to get up and press on after them. Wishing you the very best for the New Year and hope it’s your best yet.
See you at the top!
Alex is a student, fitness lover, and phenomenal role model in the PumpUp community. Follow Alex on PumpUp @alexn95.