How To Maintain A Balanced Lifestyle - The 80/20 Rule
Finding Your Fitness Balance
The fitness industry has been marketed as a very 'all or nothing' environment. The 'go hard or go home' mentality stems from elite athletes whose JOB it is to be in the best physical condition possible. They get paid to dedicate their life to health and fitness. For the rest of us, health and fitness should be an enjoyable add on to our already busy lives.
We’re sure you have other priorities in your life, and fitness should not get in the way of them. Balancing the stresses of everyday life with a newly formed fitness goal is no easy job, but with our guidance, we’re sure fitness can slot into your life nicely.
Our aim at Flamin’ Fitness is to Fuel Forever Fitness, this means balancing your physical health with your mental health. Your happiness is more important than dropping 10lbs!
Fitness is an aspect of your life that should be benefiting you. It should be the bridge that takes you from where you are to where you want to be. It should be a tool you use to help reach those ever-important goals.
To find harmony between fitness and your life already, you need to find the 'why' for your goal. Whether that’s drop a dress size, run a 5k sub 25 minutes or get those abs back for summer, your reason for doing so needs to be crystal clear. Try to dig a little deeper than just looking good, aim for feeling good. Aim to improve your quality of life by achieving this goal. Once you’ve established a solid groundwork of motive for your goal, you can start to fit that goal around your existing responsibilities and lifestyle.
When aiming towards a goal, sacrifices need to be made. To give something 110%, you may have to slightly neglect other aspects of your life. When pursuing your fitness goal you need to be aware that you may have to give less attention to your social life. If you’re willing to make small sacrifices, like swapping that weekly date night out for a home-cooked meal, now we can start to figure out a correct balance. At Flamin’ Fitness, we believe that staying on track comes down to the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time you stick to what you’ve planned to do so, 20% of the time you can live freely. This balance means that progress will be made nicely, and you’re still able to nurture other aspects of your life. Throughout daily decisions makings, ask yourself, does this take me a step nearer or a step further away from my goal. Asking yourself this question may allow you to correctly balance the restrictiveness of dieting/training with the rest of life.
Your goal also needs to be realistic for it to balance into your life. If you’ve never run any further than 20 metres for the bus and you’re goal is to run a marathon in 12 weeks, maybe consider changing things up. If you work 50+ hours a week AND have a family, a goal of training 15 hours a week may be a bit extreme. Your goal should reflect the sacrifices you’re willing to make. Making a goal too extreme is just going to lead to disappointment. Besides your fitness pursuit, you have a life! You may be a parent, daughter, son, friend, brother, sister, colleague to many. Setting a goal is not the only feature of your life.
As we’ve just stated, we are sure you have many other priorities in your life. Whether that be a career, family, mental health or other hobbies and pursuits. Fitness should complement all of these priorities, serving as a helping hand. It shouldn’t be stealing the limelight. So how do you find a balance between all your responsibilities in life?
First of all, can your new fitness venture fit into your existing life? Do you have the hours to spend in the gym? Do you have the time or money to cook around your families already fussy habits? Does pursuing this goal fit in with your social surroundings? Will you be supported? We’re hoping the answers to all these questions is yes, however we know that it's not as simple for everyone. It’s all about finding a negotiation, not trading off any good part of your life already, but just jiggling things around. We are sure that everyone can at least squeeze 30 minutes of their day to workout. Things like meal prepping save A LOT of time. There are plenty of ways to balance out all the stressors.
As said above, you are more than your fitness goal. You are more than a number on a scale or stopwatch. You are an individual with your own quirks and qualities. You have your own achievements, and you should not lose all that by partaking in a fitness venture. When you’ve been working balls to the wall all week and those damned scales haven’t budged, think of all the non-fitness related achievements of that week. Maybe you got through a really hard task at work, finally paid off your overdraft, or completed a bit of school work that’s been due for weeks. Remember, you have a life outside of fitness! There is no point trying to create a healthy lifestyle if your mental health is not healthy.
Eating & Training
With your diet and training its important to be strict not restrictive. Stay disciplined, do what you say you were going to do! Think of it as if you were a young child, you know what’s best for them, (i.e. that chicken & veg pasta you’re planning to make for dinner, over calling for a kebab) but you also know that once in a while you’re allowed to take your foot off the break and enjoy yourself. Finding balance in your fitness lifestyle is all about looking after the mind, if you’ve been eating the same thing day in day out for weeks (we’re not sure why you would when Flamin’ Fitness has an array of delicious recipes) it may be a relief to have that pizza or have that ice cream. The same with training, not only should you be listening to your body to see when you need rest but if you’re mentally drained and the gym isn’t revitalising any of that energy, one day off isn’t going to hurt. Just try to base all your choices on what is going to give you the best long term satisfaction. Yes, skipping that leg sesh in the gym to stay in bed may be nice in the moment but if you went would you be feeling better after? We think so. Be true to yourself, you know yourself, you know when rest is needed. Recovery of the mind is just as important as physical recovery.
With eating and training, if you approach them both with an 80/20 mindset you’re well on your way to finding balance. Sticking true to your goal 80% of the time and 20% prioritising enjoyment and happiness means you’re going to achieve some killer results whilst also maintaining your sanity.
A lot of people like to eat ‘clean’ all week and have a ‘cheat day’ on the weekends. There shouldn’t be a need for a ‘cheat day’. You’re not cheating anything. You’re living. If throughout the week you live by the 80/20 rule, you shouldn’t get the urge to binge out on a cheat. Sprinkle little things in your day that keep you sweet. Whether that be watching your favourite Netflix show whilst doing an hour of steady cardio, allowing room for that pudding every night or grabbing a nice hot shower after a sweaty sesh. If something isn’t enjoyable, it's not attainable.
Another important thing to mention about training and eating is to look at the bigger picture. Remember yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Training your body right and fuelling it with the correct fuel is going to make it stronger, fitter and hopefully happier. Happiness is infectious, and it will start to rub off on others. You will be a beam of positivity most of the time. Try to include others when thinking of your motive for your fitness pursuit. If you’re not being the nicest person to be around whilst training or dieting, maybe reconsider your methods or goal. Fitness should be complementing your life!
Your quality of life in all of this is paramount. If you’re not happy, you’re not healthy. You may have washboard abs and killer quads but if you’re not looking after the most important organ, your mind, you’re not really winning. Exercising should be a stress reliever, so if you’re getting stressed over every gym session or run, it is not serving its true purpose. Eating healthy should help you feel energised, if you’re feeling bogged down all the time, change it up! We are not being naive, we know that on your fitness journey there will be down days, there will be days where it seems like your goal is the furthest thing from your reach. But day by day, bit by bit, bettering yourself by improving fitness should improve your overall quality of life.
A lot of fitness goals are hard Flamin’ work. That’s why not everyone on the planet parades around with perfectly sculpted bods. Because it’s HARD! Not everyone has the right mentality to see a goal through to the end. Not everyone has the time to do so. But these goals should be worth it, little achievements should be rewarding and refreshing. We believe with a little added support, all fitness goals can be achieved. Surround yourself with people that are rooting for you, that want you to be your best self. They want to push you but know when you need to take a break. Talk to one of our coaches for that added cushion of support.
You also need to be living your best life! Life is short, as we’re sure you’re aware. Don’t skip that brunch with the girls or that pint with the lads. If you want that steak and chips when you go out for dinner, get that steak and chips. It’s all about balance. If you do go slightly off track, pick up the reigns around it. Life only happens once, your birthday is only once a year, that Christmas work do is only once a year, don’t limit your experience of those things. The gym will be waiting. Vegetables won’t stop growing. Live your life to the full.
So now you’ve read how to start finding your fitness balance. Remember to ask yourself:
- Does your goal counteract with any existing priorities you have?
- Does it fit into your life, time-wise?
- WHY? - know the reasonings, they are your foundation.
We’re aiming for long term satisfaction. To be Fuelling Forever Fitness. Aim for happiness and health will follow.
For additional support check out the services we can give you to achieve that health & fitness harmony.