Want To Get Lean? Here’s How – Part 1
Why do you work out?
The number one answer that most people give to that question is: To lose weight or to lose fat.
It’s no secret that pretty much everybody who starts a fitness program or hires a personal trainer wants to shed fat and lose weight. That’s what motivates so many of us to go out and do the workout. We put all our mental and physical energy into hitting a certain number on a scale.
The number on the scale may also motivate us to keep track on every bite of food that crosses our lips. We want to make sure that we won’t overeat, because if we do, we won’t lose weight.
Shift Your Focus
I know that for me, and for a lot of other people out there, working out hard and eating super strict diet (that a lot of times is lower in calories than it should be) only because we want to see a smaller number on scale can get really frustrating. Being super strict with eating and staring at the scale number will eventually drive anyone crazy.
But let me tell you, there is a better way to improve your physique than running every single mile because of a thinner waistline or limiting your food to a minimum in order to drop weight.
To find out what it is and how it works, you need to shift your focus. Instead of setting goals like getting leaner, skinnier or seeing a smaller number on a scale, focus on performance.
Channel Your Energy Into Performing Better
Focusing on performance means focusing on things that you can do. Your performance-focused goal may be something like this:
Getting Stronger – Being able to do 50 Wall Ball Shots if you can do 40 now
Getting Faster – Improving your 100m sprint time from 16 seconds to 14 seconds
Doing something you were not able to do before – getting your first Pull Up or Push Up.
When you are constantly working towards better performance, you enjoy the workouts more. And as a bonus, the physical changes will come.
On the other hand, when you are working out to “get leaner”, “get skinnier” or even worse, “make up for the piece of cake / last binge”, you start to see the workout as obligation. Obligations are not fun. Sooner or later you get sick of working out and counting calories, you won’t see the results and want to quit.
How Focusing on Physique Made Me Run Worse
Back in the days when I used to run a lot more, there was a half marathon in May every year that I always did. It was a fun race with lots of spectaculars and entertainment.
When I first signed up for it, I followed a training plan to make sure I got to the finish in one piece – because at this time, running 13.1 miles seemed like the craziest thing in the world.
I focused on performance. I was prepared because I followed my training plan and I did really well on my first half marathon.
As the time passed, I got really obsessed with running.
My focus shifted from running smartly to running more, from quality to quantity. That was because I had discovered that running more helps me to get skinny. So I did – I ran more and more.
For the next races, I no longer did tempo runs, short runs or take rest days. All I did was long runs. The longer the better.
Did training like this made me faster in my runs? Of course not.
Did it make me skinny? Yes.
But with the price I paid with my health, physical and mental. I lost my period, had a constant brain fog, was tired and had no time for life outside of running, because it took me so much time. Maintaining my skinny waistline and certain number on a scale took all my focus.
If I had focused on improving my performance instead of being worried about my looks, I would have ran faster and kept my body healthy.
Be sure to stay tuned for part 2…