We are continuing with our Core Value Series where we’re diving a bit deeper into each core value of Worth the Work Fitness in order to help you get to know us better, and to help encourage you towards a healthier mindset with your health and wellness journey. Each week we are sharing one of our nine core values that are a part of the foundation of why we do what we do, and expanding on why each one is so significant to us and why we believe each can be significant to you as well.
We want to get away from the all-in or all-out mindset. We recognize that doing something is better than doing nothing. Health & wellness doesn’t have to be black & white. We’re comfortable living in the gray. Progress is more important than perfection.
“Give it everything you’ve got!”
“Pull out all the stops!”
“Spare no effort!”
Those phrases all sound pretty motivating, right? They’re the kind of phrases we tell ourselves when we’re taking on something hard. They’re the mantras we adopt when we really want to go after our goals. They’re the kinds of things we hear from coaches or trainers when we are pushing through a workout. They’re what brings out the warrior in us to take on anything!
But what does it actually mean to “go all-in”? What does it actually look like in day to day life? And more specifically what does it actually look like to apply that to your health and wellness? There are two main scenarios of adopting this mindset that we’ve seen come up time and time again throughout our work in the fitness industry. And unfortunately, time and time again we’ve seen how they have failed. Let’s take a look at how both of those scenarios play out.
Sally and Wendy are ready to make changes in their habits and health, so they sign up for a short term program (think 30 day challenge, 21 day reset, and the like), because THIS will be the thing that kicks their butts into gear and gets them living healthier once and for all.
Sally is ready to go all-in. She’s hung onto every word of instruction that she’s been given to succeed at this. She’s prepared all the meals, bought all the supplements, and planned out her workout schedule to set herself up for success to not just hit, but surpass, the goal she has set. She’s thinking that if she pulls out all the stops for the duration of this program, then she will achieve the body she wants, and then she can loosen up a little to easily maintain it. She gets started and never misses a workout. She even starts adding in additional workouts on the side - just to ensure the results she’s seeking. It’s hard for her to take all this time away from her family, but it’ll be worth it, she tells herself. Just a few more weeks. She measures out her food, counts her macros, and makes sure to never let a treat tempt her to cave in. Sure, it’s hard, especially when she watches her kids enjoy their Friday night pizza while she eats another salad. But she keeps telling herself, just a few more weeks. Just a few more days. She looks to that light at the end of the tunnel. And soon, she finishes the program strong, and sees amazing results in her body! She achieved her goals and she’s so proud of herself, but she’s also so relieved to be done. So now it’s time to celebrate. She’s earned a reward. She’s earned the right to loosen up. So she does. She indulges herself in a meal full of the treats she has been depriving herself of for weeks. But one meal sure isn’t enough. So she gives herself the freedom to indulge for a few more days. And a few more days after that. And she takes a couple days off of working out, because she’s earned a few rest days. And then she gives herself the freedom to rest a few more days. And a few more days after that. And then soon, Sally finds herself losing all of the progresa she made over the course of her program. And those habits she was so laser focused on are all but a bad memory she doesn’t want to return to because it was so hard to keep up with. She was all-in. And then she was all-out.
Then there’s Wendy. Wendy really wants this to be the program that works. She’s ready to go all-in, because she knows that how she’s living isn’t working and the only way that makes sense to fix it is to change everything. So she does. She gets prepared for the challenge as well. Like Sally she prepares her food, gets all the supplements, and plans out her workout schedule to make sure she sets aside the time for every single one. She knows that if she can just do this all perfectly - if she can go all in - then she will achieve the results she’s longing for. She gets off to a great start and is building momentum, but then one day a meeting gets scheduled at work during her normal workout time, so she misses one. And then another day she forgets her lunch at home and has to scramble to find something quick to pick up. And then another day she sleeps through the alarm for her morning workout because she is so exhausted from staying up all night with a teething baby. Then in her exhaustion, she takes a bite into the cake served at her co-workers birthday lunch before she realizes what she put into her mouth. Basically, life happens. And she’s no longer nailing it. Her plans to be all-in are failing, because you can’t be all-in if you are sometimes out. So she feels guilty. She feels like a failure. And she’s stressed out trying to make it all come together. But she loses hope that she will be able to get the results she wanted because she’s already made so many mistakes along the way. If she can’t do it perfectly, then what’s the point? So she shamefully gives up. She doesn’t even finish the challenge. Because she doesn’t believe that she can go all-in. So she boxes herself into being all-out.
Can you relate to Sally or Wendy? Not everyone’s story looks exactly like either of theirs, but there are surely a lot of relevant features in them for many, many people (we know there are pieces of them that we ourselves have been able to relate to). And it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the short term programs themselves. It doesn’t even have to do with some of the habits that Sally or Wendy tried to implement. It has everything to do with the all-in or all-out mindset. When we go all-in for a set amount of time, there is always an end in sight. So it can set us up for a suffering mindset of gutting through it for that short period of time, and resenting the work it takes to get the results we want because it feels so extreme. Or we’re so scared to death of screwing up or breaking the diet, and striving to do it perfectly that we stress ourselves out. Either way it likely leads to us hating the process and therefore abandoning our efforts soon after (or even before) we finish that short term program, resorting back to many of the habits we wanted to change in the first place.
But what if there’s an alternative? What if all-in or all-out are not your only options? What if you could find ways to establish healthy habits that you build on over time to become a healthy way of life? What if you could enjoy the work you are putting in because it feels worth it to you? Well, that’s what we want to help you do at Worth the Work Fitness.
And what exactly does that look like? Well, it often looks a bit different for everyone. Because each of us have unique body types, personalities, and ways of thinking that all affect what healthy looks like for each of us. Yes, there are some general guidelines of what is good for our bodies, and what is not so good. But oftentimes the execution is going to vary. Ultimately, it’s going to look like doing workouts that you can actually enjoy - the kind that make you feel good; the kind that keep you coming back. Sometimes it looks like doing the same kind of workouts regularly to keep consistent. And other times it looks like mixing it up depending on how you feel on a given day. But ultimately you are moving your body consistently for a reasonable amount of time throughout the week in a way that fits into your schedule without sacrificing effectiveness or quality time for other priorities of life. It looks like choosing healthy foods to eat without stressing out over every bite you take. It looks like giving yourself the freedom to find healthy foods you like and enjoy a treat without feeling guilty. This kind of living looks like learning and adapting as you go. It looks like small changes, a little at a time, that build off one another. It looks like finding ways to sustain your healthy habits when life shifts. And sometimes that means shifting your methods as you go. It looks like having a journey mindset - knowing that you’re in it for the long haul, and that means there will be ups and downs and turns along the way, but you keep moving forward. Because progress is better than staying still. Progress is better than giving up. Progress is better than perfection.
So let’s come up with a plan that works for you. Since it’s different for everyone, we’re here to help you figure out your best approach. We’re here to simplify the process for you and support you along the way. So what do you say? Are you in?
We’re offering an entire week of our workouts FOR FREE for you to try out and see if working with us is going to be the best fit for you. Head over here to claim those workouts for yourself!
Written by Kelly Pruim with Brett Henderson