February 20, 2018

On being “unfit”

Unfit is a word we usually throw at ourselves as a general judgement rather than an accurate assessment of the capacity we need to build in order to be able to perform specific tasks to specific requirements.

Unfit is often loaded with connotations of laziness and innate ineptitude and incapability. Unfit doesn’t offer solutions to get us where we want to go – usually it just makes us feel bad and stuck, hopeless or desperate. Not the best place from which to take healthy action.

Our physical capacity to perform certain tasks (ie our fitness) is not a reflection of our worth or morality, and changes over time depending on many factors, not all of which are under our control, but we can increase it with the right types and amount of stimulus (exercise), food and rest.

Next time you beat yourself up go being unfit, try something more specific and more helpful:

*I’d like to improve my aerobic capacity to be able to do x
*I’m not strong enough right now to overhead press x weight y times
*I’d need more muscle endurance to walk up that many steps

This way of framing things is more helpful because when we identify exactly what it is that we’d like to improve it becomes easier to think about what we could do to make that happen, decide whether the time and effort required would be worth the outcome we desire and whether it’s realistic, healthy and safe for us, and then either adjust our goals or take action.

Next time you tell yourself you’re unfit, start by asking unfit for what? Get specific. Try not to buy into your judgemental thoughts too much but rather think about what you WANT. That will help you decide what you want to DO.

Be kind and reasonable to yourself – not only do you deserve it, it’s more constructive 😘

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