A pie chart for fitness

Over the weekend I created a pie chart for fitness with the components I think are helpful to think about in the pursuit of fat loss and fitness.

20% Training

Yes, this is only 20% and some might argue that it’s even less than that. It doesn’t matter what avenue you choose when you begin training. It could be Crossfit, Insanity, yoga, or a home workout using nothing but a TRX. It’s so easy to hyper focus on the method of training that you can almost paralyze yourself with indecision about which approach is right. One friend lost 50 pounds with one approach, another with a different approach and the next thing you know, you’ve tried seven different boot camps and DVD's and nothing has worked. 

10% Patience

This number also might be a little low. Patience is the part of the process where you stay the course. Choose one method of training and stick to it. Choose one nutrition approach and stick to it. It’s tempting, especially for fitness professionals, to jump from program to program to try something new - it’s tempting for non-fitness professionals to begin with one method of training and then find out about another method and the next thing you know, you’ve tried 10 different approaches in two months. 

Choose an approach - choose a gym, choose a coach to work with, choose a nutrition approach and stick with it for six months. 

30% Nutrition

You’ve heard this before and you’ll hear it again - you can’t out-train a bad diet. It doesn’t matter if you burn 1,000 calories in a workout, fat loss won't happen if you aren't keeping yourself in a caloric deficit. Nutrition is so important that you don’t even need to train to lose weight. If you are on point with your nutrition, and on point is different for everyone, then you will lose weight regardless of what you do in the gym. 

40% Kindness to yourself

I think I need to be clear about something here:

Kindness to yourself is not apathy. It’s not a free pass to say I’ll eat what I want, drink what I want, and throw in the towel on this whole process because it’s just not working anyway.

That’s apathy and I can promise you from experience, that’s a dangerous place to be. 

Kindness is caring enough about yourself to make the best choices you can taking into account your stress level, mood, and life demands on a given day. Some days your body might feel so wrecked by a lack of sleep and life stress that you need to make careful choices about your self-care. Maybe it's a nap, maybe it's a massage, maybe it's 30 minutes in a Starbucks with your headphones on and a good book. 

Kindness to yourself is prioritizing your needs. You might feel like you need a good kick in the pants from your coach to get motivated, and if that's what you need then we can do that. Kindness might mean I kick you out of the gym because you showed up for your workout having not slept in 36 hours.

Kindness is getting enough sleep and rest and prioritizing your recovery. 

Kindness is not beating yourself up more when life is already taking its punches at you, and this is where I think I can be misunderstood. If you missed your workout yesterday and I'm going to tell you that it's ok. 

Because beating yourself up for what you did or didn't do the day before serves you no purpose.