We have our own standards in every aspect of our lives. Relationships, cleanliness, education, work ethic, honesty, social life and every other area you can think of.
Some standards could be high, some lower depending on what we value and prioritise. For example
person 1 - may feel that they need to simply get by in work and not necessarily work to a high standard but would rather focus on their time away from work, having fun, enjoying yourself and have a higher standard of social life.
person 2 - may be self employed and need to work to their highest standard in work but feel that their social life would fall to a lower standard.
If I'm honest, as time has gone on and I've got older my priorities have changed and I've probably moved from person 1 to person 2. So your standards are always likely to change from time to time.
....but what are you standards when it comes to your health and fitness?
Personally I believe that this is a question that should be asked within the health and fitness industry more often.
The images I've used above are taken several years apart. The 1st was after we had Olivia, about 6 years ago. The second, a couple of years ago after I've got a few extra tattoos and grew some facial hair. The difference between the 2 photos is not only visual. My expectation in myself has improved. My health and fitness levels and body image standards have become higher. Not because of anybody else but because I wanted to make them higher. I now know that I'm happier when I'm training, eating healthier and in good shape. This is my new higher standard. As with anything in life, sometimes I may drop below the standard I expect for myself. That's ok, but I just need to realise that I expect better from myself and I'll then push myself to hit those higher standards again ASAP.
All too often we are comparing ourselves to others through fitness magazines, instagram images, newspapers, movies. These images can be our inspiration perhaps but they are not our own standards. In fact, due to photoshop and lighting they probably aren't even the models/movie stars' standards. So what are yours?
Here's an exercise for you to do yourself. Grab a pen and paper and answer these few questions.
(NB remember your standard is not simply your goal. Your standard is what you expect from yourself. You may not be at your standard right now but you would have achieved it at some point. This is what you expect from yourself as a minimum)
What is your standard in regards to:
- body shape
- steps in a week
- strength (eg. being able to carry your kids back from school or squatting a certain amount)
- cardio levels (eg. getting up and down the stairs without struggling or rowing 1km in a certain timeframe)
Would you consider these standards to be healthy?
What are these standards based on?
- your previous health and fitness levels
- improving your life in the future
- living a comfortable lifestyle
- other priorities (ie if not high then probably less important as other aspects of your life)
- proving yourself
Are these standards realistic?
When was the last time you reached that standard?
Has your health and fitness standard changed over time?
Do you have standard in regards to healthy eating?
- calories per day
- size of meals
- frequency of meals
- amount of fruit & veg
- water consumption
How long is your standard regarding sleep?
With all the information that you have written down are you happy with your current standards of health and fitness?
Do you think you need to change them?
If so, how are you going to change them?
As with our consultations the answers to these questions are unique to your circumstances but hopefully this will give you a slightly different perspective and give your something to think about and be more mindful of in the future.
Thanks for reading.