One thing I always struggled with as an elite athlete was finding balance in my ‘healthy habits’. I always struggled with being healthy (eating well), training and exercising for my sport, and enjoying myself. I always seemed to be on either end of the spectrum; either completely throwing in the towel or totally dedicated to my sport and nothing else.
With Instagram and TikTok and the world of social media, we’re all exposed daily to everyone’s highlight reels, everyone’s opinion of what is optimal, and what everyone else is doing to be their best. I remember relying so heavily on the things other people were doing to gauge what I should be doing, what standards I should be setting for myself.
I would scroll through my feed and instantly feel one of two ways. Like I wasn’t doing enough to become my best OR like I had no life and I was missing out. The pendulum would swing back and forth and no matter which way it swung, I felt bad about it. I felt guilty for enjoying things when my competitors weren’t or I felt alone because I had isolated myself.
One day, I went into the gym with a new plan for how I was going to bounce back from my latest round of ‘enjoying myself’ too much and explained it to my trainer. He knew where I was coming from and, thankfully, saw right through it. He asked me why I thought that would help me prepare for my next season and I couldn’t give him a valid reason… because the truth was that I just thought it would punish me enough for falling off my plan. We got to talking and he asked me where I got the idea from, I explained it was someone I follow and his next question was so simple yet so powerful. He asked me, “Why are you so quick to assume that someone else’s path is better than yours?”
I had this idea that you had to be all in or you were all out; no in between. That was my perspective on ‘healthy habits’. But if it’s all or nothing, there’s no way to discriminate between 95% in/ 5% out and 40% in/ 60% out. It’s all the same because neither is a perfect 100%. But I think we can all agree that one is definitely different from the other.
Healthy habits require a healthy perspective.
– Coach Lauren