Matt Boyles from Fitter Confident You outlines some of the most common mistakes he’s witnessed – and made himself! – and how to avoid them.
- Comparing your entire self with a snapshot of someone else
We can be prone to do this in the gym (remember those? Me neither). We see someone doing ‘better’ than us. Lifting heavier, looking like they know what they’re doing, with some physical traits we’d like…
And our brain adds 2 + 2 and we get 5.
“Oh, they must have it all together” we think.
“The must be happy and rich and have lots of sex and ________ (replace with whatever your day to day daydreams are)”
But we know NOTHING about them, other than they are in this gym, right now, lifting weights. They could be desperately unhappy. In debt. Lonely – I hope they’re none of these things, but the point is:
We just don’t know.
We also haven’t witnessed any of their own journey – their dedication, hours of working out, what they might have given up to get here.
So remember, in the same way that we’re multi-faceted beasts, they are more than just your idealised version of perfection…
And therefore, impossible to compare yourself to them.
- Thinking food is evil / something to be ‘burned off’
Oh boy. I come across this a lot. The thinking I usually hear is:
“I ate so much, so I’ve got to ‘get rid of it’.
Get rid of it?!
Allow me to clarify this for you right here, right now:
Food is simply delicious fuel that allows you to do what you want to do.
Understanding the right amount of nutrition for YOU isn’t as complicated as it’s often made to seem. Whether you use a food tracking app or a fitness professional (oh hi!) to help you find this, it doesn’t need to be scary or a drastic change.
But if you take one thing from this article, let it be this:
You never have to burn off anything you’ve eaten.
- Using exercise as punishment
This links to point 2 – and often before we’ve worked together, my clients have conflated the two with this thought process:
“I’ve eaten too much, I must exercise to get rid of it – and the harder I exercise the better I’ll feel about what I’ve eaten.”
This is so sad, and also something important to remember.
Exercise gets you:
Fitter! Stronger! Healthier! Happier! Faster! Hornier! To live longerer!
But it’s not very good for fat loss.
So think of it in the above terms, think of it as something to lift your mood, or to futureproof your mind and body…
But never again think of it as punishment, and you’ll be much happier.
- Thinking you can turn fat into muscle
You’re not (as far as I know) an alchemist. So as lead cannot be turned into gold. Neither can fat be turned into muscle – they’re two separate tissues.
You might as well try to turn hair into pens.
You can burn fat.
You can build muscle.
And that’s great!
But you can’t turn one to the other.
- Thinking 40+ (or any age) is ‘over the hill’
People slow down in life because it’s so ingrained in them that that’s what we do. Society says we slow down, do less, stop pushing, that our best days are behind us…
I promise – PROMISE! – you can absolutely keep thriving and flourishing and growing and getting stronger and healthier and happier and fitter as you get older.
And that’s key:
You’re older, you’re not old. Don’t give up or take a backseat because everyone you know has.
Prove them wrong and push ahead – show them what’s possible!
As literally ANYTHING is possible.
So go get it. And stop waiting!
Have a Fitter Confident Month!