My friends and I have a running joke about driving our cars into a brick wall, backing up, and driving into the same wall again. Like it or not, the majority of us tend to repeatedly make the same mistakes, particularly when it comes to fitness. Thankfully, there’s one easy rule that will help you avoid making recurrent fitness flubs:
You are the expert on you.
Allow me to elaborate.
I fell in love when I discovered weight-training. I skimmed fitness magazines and designed a full-body routine where I trained three days weekly. My muscles grew. Quickly. However, I noticed that other women lifted five days weekly. So, I also started lifting five days weekly. My muscles (wait for it) shrank. Assuming I needed more resistance-training, I added an additional two days—that’s every day of the week.
You can guess where this was heading.
After weeks of frustration, I examined what I was doing and realized that lifting more didn’t work for me. My three-day routine was effective because it allowed me to rest my body. Following others is what got me in trouble.
The overarching lesson is the same as the rule above: I am the expert on me. I should listen to my own inclinations, rather than take what I see, read, or hear as law. But learning this lesson doesn’t apply to fitness matters only was the biggest gift. I now trust myself enough to follow my own voice in addition to (and, yes, sometimes instead of) what friends and gurus suggest.
What fitness lesson—big or small—have you learned recently? How can you apply it to other areas of your life?