Every Choice Counts
Today’s post comes to you from personal trainer, Michael Anderson*. I first met Mike a little over a year ago when, after exchanging a number of emails back and forth, he reached out and invited me to train at the gym where he works which happened to be in the same neighborhood where I had just moved.
So, in a way, he was stalking me…..;o)
Okay, not really. But in the year or so since, he and I have developed a friendship and he’s definitely someone whom I feel “gets it.” He loves to help people, is constantly learning and trying to make himself better, and he loves to lift heavy stuff.
He’s good people in my book. In this post he delves into what choices we make and how they dictate our results.
As a personal trainer almost every client I see is trying to make a change in his or her life. Whether that change is more exercise, nutritional changes or how to incorporate more Jay-Z lyrics into their daily life, everybody has changes to make.
Dealing with these changes is a tricky issue. After all, in a commercial gym setting I’m dealing with adults with careers and families. It’s not always as easy as saying “get over it and do it”, unfortunately.
One approach that I like to take with my clients is an idea I got from Jim Wendler. I want my clients to “win every play”. You make a ton of decisions over the course of the day, just like there are a ton of plays within a football game. If you focus on winning every play instead of the game, the end result will be a victory. If you focus on making every choice a good choice over the course of the day, you’ll end up with a pretty good day.
With that being said, if you focus on having more good days than bad days, you’ll have a good week. More good weeks than bad weeks, and you’ll have a good month. Can you smell what I’m cooking here?
Your choices start first thing in the morning. The first choice you’re faced with is if you should wake up on time or hit snooze for another 25 minutes. That right there sets up the tone for the rest of your day.
If you sleep later than you’re supposed to, you won’t have time to make your breakfast. That means you’re either going to skip it or get some crappy breakfast sandwich at Dunk’s or Starbucks. This sets you up to continue making poor choices throughout the day.
You’d be more likely to eat pizza for lunch, skip the gym and go to happy hour after work where you will probably get drunk and cheat on your significant other your co-worker. Don’t be that person!
If you woke up on time, though, you would have time to make your bacon and eggs breakfast. You’d get to work early and your boss would notice.
They would take you out for lunch and offer you a promotion. Then you’d go to the gym, deadlift 500 pounds and go home where your significant other would be waiting with a grass-fed sirloin, The Shawshank Redemption on TV, and some naked-time. Boom goes the dynamite!
Don’t get caught up in how “good” your day was (in terms of nutrition and exercise), just consider how good each play is.
Those of us who aren’t elite athletes or celebrities have real lives and real problems. No matter how good your intentions are things are going to come up. You will have to go to a business lunch sometimes; if your breakfast and dinner are on point then you can get away with one “not great” meal.
Your significant other may want a date night when you had a workout planned; if you made sure all your other workouts were on point then you can miss one without any real consequences (just don’t make it a habit).
To sum it up, I want you all to remember that each decision you make throughout the day counts. Whatever your best option is, choose it. It may not always be the best choice in the world, but it’s the best choice you can make at the time. If you get stuck going to the business lunch, make sure that whatever you order off of that menu is the best choice possible. Don’t say “screw it, I’m going to have the pasta with alfredo sauce” just because you can’t eat your normal lunchtime meal. On the contrary, if you do make a bad decision, remember that it doesn’t ruin your whole day or week. Make sure your next choice is the right one.
Have a great day and go lift something heavy!
Author Bio: Mike is a Boston area personal trainer and currently interning with Boston University Strength and Conditioning. Mike is also finishing his degree in Exercise and Health Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He loves bacon, beer and his 7 year old pit bull Lexi. You can reach him with any questions, comments or notes of affection at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his website: http://commercialgymtrainer.blogspot.com/
* Anderson = For full effect you need to say Anderson in a slow, drawn out tone, like “Mr. Annnnderson.” You know, like Agent Smith in The Matrix when he walks up to Neo.