Helia Fitness women's personal training success

The Measure of Success

Success. How do you describe it, define it, qualify it, and capture it? What is it that creates a “successful” person? Is that person wealthy, happy, and attractive? Does that person have a particular physique? What does it mean to achieve “success” and to be “successful?”

As a concept, success is quite elusive; the meaning depending solely upon the individual defining it. Indeed, for some, successful people are those that drive luxury cars, wear designer clothes, don expensive jewelry and dine in the finest restaurants. For others, successful people are those that attain great happiness and peace in life despite material possessions and superficial appearances.

When it comes to fitness, people tend to believe that those having a “flawless” physique are the most “successful.” Particularly among women, there seems to be certain unspoken truths and tacit beliefs that if you achieve a particular weight and fit into a particular size, then you are “successful.” Never mind that weight training dramatically improves muscle tone strengthens the bones and boosts the metabolism. Forget that regular cardiovascular exercise fortifies the heart and lungs. If a woman, after all of her hard work in the gym “fails” to weigh what she thinks she must and fit into the size that she thinks she ought, then for all intense and purposes, she “failed.”

In my experience, I’ve seen way too many women externalize their own success and literally define themselves by a number on a scale or a number stamped onto an article of clothing. I’ve observed far too many women never even try because of some arbitrary yet closely guarded belief that they could never achieve an acceptable weight or size and thus be “successful.” So, instead, these women step into the background and choose invisibility.

Never accept that for yourself. Do not externalize your own success and trivialize your own progress because of some extraneous number on a scale or piece of clothing. Be a success in your own right. First and foremost, accept yourself entirely and completely. Take the physique that you have and make it the best that it can possibly be. Do not set your sights on perfection for it does not exist. Strive rather for consistent and steady progress. Set about your training with unbridled excitement and joy! Go ahead, push yourself a little bit, and just see what you can accomplish! Never be afraid to try.

As Vincent VanGough said, “what would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” Indeed, Vincent VanGough sold very few, if any, paintings during his entire lifetime. And most, including members of his own family save for one brother, thought him a miserable failure. Certainly, if VanGough defined “success” by the number of pieces that he sold, we most definitely would not have the rich body of his work available for us to study, appreciate and enjoy today.

So, I say to you this: Your journey toward physical fitness is yours and yours alone. Seize it with conviction and take it as far as you possibly can because ultimately THAT is the greatest and sweetest of all “success.”

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