Could you always tie your shoes? No, it’s likely someone – an expert – patiently showed you over and over as you fumbled the laces. Finally you figured it out, but it took some guidance to get you there.
When you are sick, do you wait until you are well before going to a doctor? No, you go to a doctor to get medicine to help you feel better.
If your car breaks down, how long do you tinker with it before taking it to a mechanic? What about your washer and dryer? Your refrigerator? No, you call an expert and get help before the dirty laundry is stacked to the ceiling and all your food has spoiled.
For the teachers out there – do you hand a student a book you know they can’t read, and let them fight through it every day without assistance? Picture a kindergartener walking around with Romeo and Juliet. Do you tell them “Let me know when you figure it out” and hope for the best? Anxiously waiting to be able to discuss the deeper meaning behind Shakespeare? No, of course not! This seems a bit ridiculous – the student would be so frustrated, probably try at first, and then give up – and just ‘accept’ that she will never be able to read that book – and she may even learn to ‘hate’ reading…
The scenarios above seem silly. But for some reason, as adults, we feel like health and fitness are simple concepts we should be able to figure out on our own. Picture the two year old saying “NO! I can do it myself!” While I value a sense of independence, it’s a long steady process to learn how to tie your shoes. One that takes help, patience, and guidance.
Often people tell me, “I need to get into shape before coming to your gym.” This is the equivalent of someone who is sick calling the doctor to say “Don’t worry doc, I’m going to get well before I come in to get medicine.” This always leaves me puzzled. We strive to create a welcoming environment at Cypher, that opens its arms to beginners and those who need some extra attention – why would someone think they need to have it all figured out BEFORE coming in? I WANT to help them figure it out! I wish I could tell them that it doesn’t have to be so difficult – and that we all have enough challenges in life, let me help take this one on with them. Why is there this ‘need’ to have fitness under control, before coming to the gym?
We eat every single day. Is this is why we feel this deep need to have figured out our own nutrition by now? Is this why we resort to all different resources – in secret – to somehow ‘fix’ our nutrition? Is this why we hold ourselves to some standard that reading information means that we will automatically have the power to change habits we’ve been building for years? Information and knowledge is power, but nutrition experts know that the magic happens with Accountability and Consistency. Someone to lead and guide those making a change is imperative. I’ll be honest, if I read a book about how to fix the engine in my Corolla, you better believe I would need someone teaching me, holding my hand every step of the way if I even was brave enough to attempt fixing my car. Just reading a book and watching a YouTube clip would have very little impact as I open the hood of my car… But, with Nutrition, we are tempted to gather information from all sorts of sources and go it alone; holding ourselves to this perfect standard and judging ourselves every step of the way. Without support, No guidance. Absolutely alone.
I’m telling you to stop. Just stop. Stop putting these pressures on yourself to figure it all out on your own. You would never judge yourself for not knowing how to fix your car, or expect to be able to diagnose and treat your own illness. Stop acting like the little one who wants to tie his shoes by himself, even though he can’t put his shoes on the right feet yet!
There are people who dedicate their lives to constantly learning about heath, fitness and nutrition. Experts who WANT to help you reach your goals without any judgement. Coaches who long to partner with you during challenges and will feel pure joy watching you celebrate successes. Get rid of the guilt behind “I SHOULD be able to figure this out on my own,” be brave, and get help.
See you at the gym,