Over the last few weeks I have been asked some form of the same question by a number of clients, family members, and friends: “Zach, what should the end goal of all my working out and healthy eating be? What should I be trying to achieve? And when am I done exercising?”
Nothing like an easy, straightforward, and black and white question… thanks everybody!
As always I wish I could give you a concrete A+B=C answer, but as per usual the answers to these questions are unique and personal for all of us. (Except the answer to the question, “when am I done exercising and eating healthy,” to which the answer is never! You’ve got to maintain what you’ve built!)
At the end of the day though, you have to figure out how you want your body to look, feel, and function. Then you have to decide how hard you are willing to work and how disciplined you are willing to be to make your goals a reality.
That said, I wouldn’t be a very good coach (or a coach at all) if I didn’t try to help you put your goals together and help you quantify when you may reach a point where it is time to stop pushing to achieve more and refocus your efforts to maintaining what you’ve already built.
So jump in with me today as I give you my personal take on these questions. Remember though, this is my personal view. My opinion is not fact. It is an opinion rooted in my outlook on life and my personal approach to health and fitness. So no quoting this as Gospel people.
- You feel content with how your body looks.
- You feel content with how your body moves, functions, and performs.
- Your internal markers of health (for instance your cholesterol, resting blood sugar, testosterone, etc) are all in a strong and healthy range.
- Your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints are strong, healthy and relatively pain free. (Relatively meaning whatever chronic pain or discomfort you may feel is low enough that it doesn’t impact your daily life and your favorite leisure activities.)
- You have found balance between the time you dedicate to exercise, meal prep and eating, and the time you spend with friends, family, having fun and leisure activities.
Regarding the Word “Content”
Regarding your place of balance, notice when I referenced how your body looks, functions, and performs, I said, “content.” I didn’t say love, thrilled, or even happy.
I specifically used the word content because to me, content implies you are “cool” with how things are. You aren’t necessarily “happy” per se, as in if you could lose another few pounds, or add a little more muscle, then you would be “happy.” But you are okay with how your body looks and functions. You are at a place where if neither improve, it’s not ideal, but it’s cool. (I’m trying to describe an abstract feeling, so bare with me if I can’t nail the wording here.)
It Is All About Being Happy
Personally, I think the entire point of exercising and eating well is so you can be happy. We all want to look better so we can feel more confident. And why do we want to feel more confident? Well, there are a number of reasons, but when you analyze them all out to their final conclusion they all come back to wanting to be happier.
But let me let you in on a secret; you’re never going to find true happiness in the gym. You’re going to find it with your friends and your family. Yes having a six pack or the worlds greatest butt is nice, but if you never go out and enjoy your body it was all for nothing anyway.
So remember, push hard to build a body that lets you feel confident in the way you look, a body that lets you move and play with power and grace, and a body that is healthy and as close to pain free as possible. But once you have, refocus your efforts to maintaining what you have built and go live. I’m serious; spend as much time with your friends and family (as long as they don’t drive you too crazy) as you can. That’s where the real joy in life comes from.
Your exercise and dietary coaching team.
Zach Moore Training.