The Fitness Grind

Fitness Grind

This picture will make sense in a minute... maybe.

When it comes to modifying your life to cut the flab and shape up, there are normally two main paths you can take:

  1. The Balanced Approach – Incorporate fitness into you current lifestyle, maintaining a healthy balance.
  2. The Fitness Grind – Stop work on your current lifestyle, and dedicate all of your time to becoming healthy.

If you have ever read my site, you probably know that I am a huge fan of the first option. I believe that you have to maintain the activities that you love to keep your mental health, even if they might not be the best for your physical health. Slowly incorporating healthy changes into you life, in a way that changes your habits and patterns, will give you the best results.  The catch: This often takes a long time.

So, what about the fitness grind?

Recently, I have made some aggressive goals that have “forced” me to go down the second path.  I have cut out video games, stopped working on web development projects (except for this blog), and let my DVR fill up with episodes of Fringe. I have put a hold on almost all of the recreational geeky things I normally do.

Well, this has worked out really well for me.

I never thought that this was a good, “healthy” approach for achieving and maintaining overall health. But my mind has been changed due to a single mind hack, which I thought I would share.

Think of the Fitness Grind like an MMO Grind

All of you MMO junkies know all about the MMO grind.  You set your goal: “I want the Epic Helm of Whoop-Ass that you get when you become exalted with the M.F. Face-Crusher faction.“  Well to get that, you do your daily quests, you wear the faction tabard and plow through dungeons, you put aside other endeavors temporarily to focus on the task at hand.

Well, why can’t you apply this to fitness?

I had never thought about applying the mindset I had for years of playing World of Warcraft to my fitness endeavors.

For a short time, switch your primary focus to fitness, and let other things go undone for a while.

This means no World of Warcraft (which is ironic), a minimized workload, blogs going unread, etc. Once you put all of your focus on fitness, be persistent. During the grind for the Epic Helm of Whoop-Ass, would you make extra time to finish the daily quests and make a few dungeon runs? You betcha!  So do the same with fitness.

Never miss a daily fitness quest.

Be vigilant – after all, the more days you do your daily quests, the faster you will meet you goal, right? Do extra workouts to get you to your goals faster.

One of the biggest ways this mind hack helped me, was how I thought about the end-game. In my previous attempts to dive head-first into fitness – my eye was on the goal, and nothing else. This caused me to be short-sighted and I often burned out if I didn’t get the results I wanted. Well in our make believe MMO, our immediate goal may be to obtain the Epic Helm of Whoop-Ass, but the real goal — the long-term goal — is possessing the helm and having the ability to equip it in all future battles – well beyond the immediate goal of current grind.  In the fitness world, you may set a goal to lose 20 pounds, but the big picture goal is the benefits you get after losing 20 pounds.

Focus on the immediate goal for the current fitness grind – but always keep your eye on the big picture!

When you meet your immediate goal, the fitness grind is over. But the fun is just beginning – you now have new tools in your inventory that you have free reign to use. Don your Epic Helm of Whoop-Ass and wave good-bye to the M.F. Face-Crusher Clan and reap the rewards of your hard work.

Enjoy the benefits and rewards of the fitness grind!

It is amazing how small changes in mindset can affect your life. This may not work for you, but it has kept me motivated to lose weight for the longest period in my life. Not because I want to weigh 200 pounds, even though that is my current goal, but because of what I will be able to do as a 200 pound person:

  • Be able to keep up with the kids.
  • Look good in a T-shirt
  • Run a 5k

These are the rewards of meeting my goal, and they are well worth the fitness grind.

Are you in the middle of a fitness grind? What are the immediate and long term goals of your fitness grind?

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Coffee Grinder Photo courtesy of tonx

  • http://www.halfofjess.com Jess

    I think I was doing the fitness grind in the beginning (because I didn’t have a job or school to be involved with, but I will soon, BOO!) but that grind has turned into what I perceive as balance.

    I NEED my fitness grind in order to be balanced. Weird, huh? Once the fitness is incorporated, then everything else falls into place. I naturally don’t drink soda any more (it’s too sweet for me and dehydrates me). I naturally spend less time on the computer (well, I’m a bum right now) but I spend more time at the gym. There’s things that I consider part of my life balance when it wouldn’t have been so before.

    You CAN find balance in a fitness grind! And I love it :)

  • http://www.geekintoshape.com George Titswoth

    I’m so scared that I’m going to do the same… I have so much fun doing active things that make me healthy. And I have been spending a lot of extra time doing it.

    I don’t plan to give up the things I enjoy — playing WoW, Lost marathons, game night with the buddies — but during this grind, I have scaled back those things quite a bit. The bad part is — I don’t have the urge to dive back into them like I have in the past.

    Please don’t tell me I’m de-geeking…
    RUN TO THE COMIC BOOK STORE. STAT!