Over the years there’s a been a big shift in fitness going on. And I’m afraid this shift is causing more harm than good.
What is it?
We’re slowly relying more and more on external tools to validate what we’re eating and how we’re exercising.
At first thought this might seem like a good thing. Tools like calorie counting apps, the scale, and step trackers add a new dimension to your fitness program and can be very motivating.
But there’s also the flip side to relinquishing control to these tools.
Internal vs External Validation
How old are you?
Now, what does society say about your age and how you’re supposed to feel?
Is that the way you feel?
The calendar is an external validation tool. We brand ourselves with a number and expect to feel a certain way depending on what that number is.
But do we really need a calendar to do that for us? After all, some of us feel younger or older than the age we’re currently assigned.
How you feel is what matters. That is internal validation.
The same goes for many of the external validation tools surrounding weight loss – the scale, counting calories, and even the clock.
You Don’t Need These Tools
When I tell people they don’t need to count calories or weigh themselves to lose weight I get a couple of different reactions…
- They don’t believe it’s possible for them to lose weight without these tools.
- They aren’t sure how they’ll know how much to eat or if they’re losing weight.
Perfectly normal responses.
Here’s the thing – you are perfectly capable of knowing if you’re making good eating and exercise choices and whether or not you’re making progress.
You don’t need the scale to tell you that you’ve lost 20 pounds. You can figure that out all on your own by seeing yourself in the mirror, noticing how your clothes are fitting, or by paying attention to how your mindset surrounding food or exercise has changed.
If you overeat all day and then weigh yourself, what are you expecting the scale to tell you? “Hey you, you weren’t good today. I’m not very happy with you. Let’s compensate by starving ourselves tomorrow. But since the damage is done let’s go ahead and finish out the night eating what you want. Check in with me again in the morning and I’ll let you know how to feel.”
What, your scale doesn’t talk to you?
You don’t need the scale to tell you that you made poor choices that day. You are capable of self-validating that feeling all on your own.
And counting calories? All that’s doing is externally validating what you think you should be eating.
Even if you count calories you still have to adjust them based on your body’s feedback. Why not just go straight to the source and consciously eat more or less based what what your body says?
If you aren’t making progress does it really matter that you should be eating 1800 calories per day?
Becoming More Self-Aware
You need to become more self-aware of your body. You need to stop depending on external tools to validate your behaviors. You need to learn how to trust yourself instead of an electrical gadget that knows nothing about you.
It’s your body. Get to know it better.
The better you know it, the more confident you’ll become, and the easier it will be to self-validate how you’re feeling.
Self-validation is liberating. Trust yourself to make the right choices and to know if you’re progressing to your goal.