Sometimes, in our health and fitness pursuits, it pays to be a little selfish.
I know, I know. Selfish?!
The primary dictionary definition of selfish is: “lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure”.
No one really wants to be considered the selfish one. However, let’s take a look at the secondary definition: characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself.
If we take out the ‘only’ that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
We have to have concern or care for ourselves. This is a necessity – in life, but especially in health and fitness. We have to be a little selfish.
But, it’s not that we don’t care about others. We don’t want to put others down while we work toward our health and fitness goals. Is there a way be a little selfish, but still include others?
Heck yeah, there is! Let’s find out how. Let’s talk about four ways to stay selfish.
Do you want to listen? This aired as episode 011 on the Fuel Your Freedom Podcast! Check it out here and on all major podcast platforms!
Now, onto the rest of the post.
Schedule it before anyone else is awake…or after they’re all asleep.
Is it selfish if you’re inconveniencing yourself to get something into the day? Maybe not, but we’re going with it. The BEST way to ensure that you get an uninterrupted workout in your day is to schedule it before everyone else is awake.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give up sleep in the morning and it’s a pretty good chance your family won’t want to either.
Schedule your workouts for an early morning time slot – whether it’s at home or you’re going to the gym. Sneak out of the house, crush a training session, and you may even be able to get back before they’re even awake!
Now, this is a tricky one. If you’re not a morning person, waking up in the mornings can be tough…having someone counting on your to be there can help. Making a friend at the gym or scheduling a group workout via Zoom are two great ways to get some accountability and make getting out of bed to that morning alarm just a little bit easier.
Include others in the fun!
Gone are the days where it’s the norm to rely on a trip to the gym to get in a workout for that day. Home workouts, outdoor workouts, and Zoom calls all have their place in bridging the gap of our workout experience.
This makes it SO MUCH EASIER to include others…from all over the world!
Over last lat spring/early summer, we hosted a Quarantine challenge to focus on habits while we were all at home. My Mom and Aunt both chose to participate. I’m in Wisconsin. My mom is in Illinois. My aunt lives in South Carolina. But for those 6-weeks, we were able to do the same challenge! We have a member in Washington state who trains with us virtually 2 times per week and accesses our classes via app on her non-training days.
The reach of health and fitness is no longer restricted by the distance you wish to commute and, as a result, it’s easier to include others!
Join a gym with a friend virtually and plan to workout together. Take on a virtual challenge or program and meet new friends who are already interested in health and fitness. (We run Facebook groups for many of our challenges for just this reason!)
You can bring the gym to you, but you can also just BE ACTIVE with other people.
Often, we get so caught up in the perfect plan, the perfect rep and set scheme, the perfect everything that we overlook the positive effect of simply moving our bodies. Perhaps you have to take time away from the family to make it to the gym 2-3 times per week. But, on the other days, you plan to play with the kids at the park (not take them, but actually play with them) or go for a walk after they’re done with school.
These are both ways of moving your body that absolutely contribute to your progress toward any health and fitness goal.
Alright, alright. Workouts are all well and good, but there’s no way my family is going to eat my meals.
You’re probably right.
A chicken breast and rice casserole with butternut squash, broccoli, and pecans may not sound appealing to a lot of people. But, a “Thanksgiving leftover inspired casserole” brings about a whole new mental picture. (And yes, this is a very real example that I personally used. The dish was a huge success…when named appropriately 😉 )
Renaming meals, being sneaky about what is actually in the meals, and bringing a positive attitude can make all the difference – whether you’re bringing them to a picky husband, partner, or kids.
RECIPES TO BE SNEAKY: smoothies, zoodles, sweet potato cookies, layer zucchini in lasagna, veggies into meatballs, add pureed veggies to soups or sauces or salad dressings, sneak veggies under the pizza cheese, leave them out raw with a dip (everyone loves a dip; make one with plain Greek yogurt and spices to encourage eating veggies!)
Start small; don’t overhaul your life.
Of course, if you’re just starting a fitness journey for the first time, it’s going to be challenging. There’s no doubt about it. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by taking on a manageable amount of work.
This allows others to better understand. It helps them to be able to work with you to rearrange or adjust as needed – without massive amounts of hassle.
Not to mention, this is equally important when adding in new things to your life. If you don’t workout at all right now but have a starting plan with 5-6 days per week, that is not going to be sustainable. Start with two, maybe three days per week. Then, as you’re able to adjust and maintain that, start adding more.
We’re not looking for an overnight overhaul. We’re looking for sustainable change that you can maintain long-term.
Being selfish is tough. We all have our own personal home life, fitness goals, time allotted toward those goals, and any number of other variables. Unless you’re a member of Unity Fitness and I’m intimately familiar with your journey, I’m not even going to try to understand your unique situation.
So, for this week, take note of your unique situation. In what ways do you have to be more selfish? Or even do you have to be more selfish? Perhaps you already are selfish in your goals but this episode was the push you needed to feel less guilty about that. That’s okay too!
Whatever your situation, this empowered action is all about recognizing that being selfish isn’t a bad thing, especially in your health and fitness goals.