What is the dangerous game I speak of? It is the dangerous game of overconfidence. It is the game where you have experienced success in your life and now you feel like you can loosen up a little bit and enjoy your success. Though we should always enjoy our successes, we shouldn’t allow them to change our focus. When it comes to fitness, this can easily happen. We set a goal, we reach a goal, and then we give ourselves some lead way. Maybe we begin to let go of some of the disciplines that helped get us there. I have to tell you that this can easily happen and it is a dangerous game. Unfortunately, it is a game I have found myself playing for the last month.
My Unspoken Goal
From a fitness perspective, I sorta have two requirements regarding my physical appearance. I want to weigh between 210 and 215 lbs, and look decent in the mirror. I weigh myself each week, and for the month of September have found myself weighing in at about 211 lbs. Being closer to the low end of my desired weight for the first time this past month, I decided I wanted to celebrate and have some ice cream. And ice cream is surely my weakness. So, I ended up having two, scratch that, three big bowls of ice cream over that weekend. Then I worked out all week, weighed in still on the low end of the scale, and decided I would have more ice cream the very next weekend. For the last 4 weeks, I have had ice cream on the weekends because I have weighed no more than 212lbs for the entire month. You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal??? You are within your target weight.”
The Big Deal
The big deal is that I am starting to establish a bad habit. I got away from eating ice cream every weekend and have gone months without it. Now that I am back on that roller coaster, I am reliant on my workout habits to sustain me. But what if I get hurt and cannot work out for a couple weeks or a month and I have still have this bad ice cream habit? You betcha..I will gain weight quickly and my health will be impacted. We all need to have good habits, with some exceptions, not have good habits that combat our bad habits. It’s easy for a bad habit to take over.
For example, this past weekend has done me in. My wife offered to make me a pineapple upside down cake…my favorite, so of course I said, “Yes please!!!” So, I ate quite a bit of pineapple upside down cake this weekend. Again, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?” The big deal is that I ate a ton of pineapple upside down cake and I still had two really big bowls of ice cream. Do you see how dangerous this game can get? After church yesterday, I sat on the couch, ate anything I wanted, and watched TV from 2pm till 9pm, and I felt like crap. I like Sundays on the couch, but I shouldn’t gorge myself with food just because I have been successful in my fitness goals.
The dangerous game here is that we can find ourselves reaching our goals and then giving ourselves some leniency regarding our fitness and our diet, but we can’t. Sure, there can be some exceptions, but we should never settle for our good habits combating our bad habits. Maybe letting this happen when we are first starting out with a fitness routine or diet is not such a bad idea, but settling into this as a lifetime approach is just bad. Trust me, I have learned. I felt miserable last night. My stomach was hurting and I don’t think I even want to weigh myself this week.
Take it from me, don’t play this dangerous game. Have some exceptions, and celebrate your success, but don’t get it in your head that you can combat the bad habits with good ones long term. Have exceptions, not bad habits. Adhere to the things that made you successful in your fitness goals and let that be your celebration!!!