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Eliminate Unnecessary Stress From Your Fitness Journey – 5 Steps

Written by: Alexa Fan, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


It’s the age of the Zoom Era and I am front and center, soon to be leading a workshop for a group of corporate women accountants. The workshop was titled “Self-Care: An opportunity to prioritize you and your mental health in an interactive workshop environment” where we touched on topics from mental health, burnout, and ways to find joy in your day to day lives even when life is TOUGH (can you relate?).

As I am being introduced, my mind is thinking about what I am going to say and my mouth apparently has other plans. A few seconds in, I blurted out that the “stressures we are placed under” … *eye roll*, gulp, smirk. As I caught it I just started laughing. I apparently just made a new word and it’s name was “stressure”. Stress and pressure combined. Now it’s a term I use commonly when referring to what you feel sometimes on your fitness/wellness journey.

Have you experienced it before? I am quite sure you have but if you need a little more context, it’s something along the lines of “I didn’t get to the gym today. I had one job. I am never going to reach my fitness goals if I can’t even workout” or “I definitely can’t go to that party if there’s going to be all that food there. I know I won’t be able to resist temptation and I have been doing well on my diet.” It’s that feeling that you are missing the mark constantly and that the destination you have in your mind won’t be reached. It’s the joy sucking results of being too hard on yourself constantly. It may have even become your norm, your comfort zone, your common inner dialogue. But today, we’re going to change that.

I want to invite you into a few ways that you can work through the ‘stressures’ you are placing on yourself when it comes to your fitness/wellness journey. The stressures that have kept you down. The stressures that have prevented you from experiencing more joy on your journey. The stressure that prevents you from being consistent, which ultimately prevents you from seeing results.

Are you ready to place these stressures where they belong?

Let’s GO!

1. Monitor Times Where Stress Wells Up

How can you understand how to move through the stress or relieve it if you’re not sure where it’s coming from? It’s like trying to get rid of termites without knowing what they are feeding off of. You first have to identify where and when the stress wells up in your life, what circumstances are present?

Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Grabbing a journal and each day you can rate on a scale of 1-5 what your stress levels are and jot down a few notes about what is contributing to them.

  • Taking time to reflect on previous stressful situations on your fitness/wellness journey and see if there are any patterns. Example: Maybe after a missed workout, you experience self sabotaging thoughts and before you know it you are entering into full blown stress mode.

  • Understand that life is multifaceted and if you are stressed in one area it may trickle into another one. For example: If you have a conflict with a friend and your social wellness is affected, this may turn into a lack of desire to exercise.

2. Evaluate Your Expectations

This is a BIG one. Sometimes you have to really take a second to look at what you’re expecting of yourself. Could it be that your expectations are a little unrealistic? Could there be a way to manage your expectations that allow for more flexibility and grace on your journey? If you have an expectation to workout 5 days a week for an hour but you’re homeschooling your kids, cooking meals, managing a business, and saving the world all at once AND look like a boss while doing it, MAYBE you think about reducing your workout time from an hour to 45 minutes or 30 minutes. Give yourself some space to live and breathe.

3. Phone A Friend

Everyone’s got that friend that they can rely on for the raw, honest, growth oriented truth. Not the friend that offers their opinion every chance they get, but the one who constantly sees you and your efforts. The one that you can go to for a breath of fresh air. Call them up. Share with them what you are doing in terms of your fitness and wellness journey and have some accountability. You can also refer to this friend to help you process through the stress and pressure you're experiencing too. Sometimes a bird’s eye perspective on a situation can see things that you cannot. If you don’t have that friend, you can always reach out to a licensed therapist that you can text or call.

4. Choose Minimum, Maximum, and Reaching Goals

Love this one so much. It allows for grace and patience while appreciating the variability in your life! Who doesn’t need more of each of those? When talking about goal setting this is something I ALWAYS implement with my clients.

What are minimum, maximum, and reaching goals? I think it’s best seen through an example so let’s take someone who is aiming to go for a walk for 1 hour per day 5 days per week.

A minimum goal for them might be 45 minutes 4 days per week.

A maximum goal for them might be 1 hour 5 days per week.

Their reaching goal might be 1 hour 6 days per week.

See the options here?! See the grey area? See the, my son forgot his lunch at school and I need to drop it off so I don’t have my workout time anymore – see the reality? Not every week is the same in our lives and when you start to accept and expect that truth, your MUSTS now have a sliding scale and THAT is a relief. This conceptual goal setting tool really helps prevent feelings of defeat while continuing to work towards the outcome goals you set for yourself.

5. Accept the Adventure of the Process

Think of an architect. (forgive me if I don’t have the steps quite right, I am just speculating). I imagine it like this: Maybe they start off with a dose of inspiration from something in their world. Maybe it’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Pyramids in Egypt or The Sistine Chapel. Maybe it’s nature itself; the beach, a mountaintop, a tree. Then they might start to take that inspiration and sketch out a design. After the dreaming phase they move on to blueprinting their idea, gathering builders and engineers, and then moving into the building phase.

Do you see the process that just took place to bring an idea or goal to tangible reality? Can you imagine with me, the joy that inspiration can have for a creator, the possibility, the hope of a finished product. Great things truly take time and one of the biggest lessons I help people learn is that there is a process when it comes to their fitness/wellness journey.

The journey can be beautiful, patient, ever-evolving, or it can be miserable, destination minded, frustrating, and unattainable. But the choice really is yours. Life is what you make it and I would argue that fitness/wellness is too.

It is not a destination to be reached but an adventure to be experienced.

So don’t take yourself too seriously or you might miss the beauty of becoming all that you were created to be.

I hope this post made you reflect, rest, and be reassured that you don’t have to let the stressures that come while on your fitness/wellness journey drag you down. You can learn to enjoy the journey, readjust your expectations and goals, and invite others into the process. Trust me it’s way more fun this way than the alternative and when you apply these 5 tips, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

If you are looking for additional support on your fitness/wellness journey and want a compassionate coach who gets what it’s like to stress over the process, schedule a call with me. Let’s discover what’s possible for you, together.

Follow me on Facebook & Instagram for more info!


Alexa Fan, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Alexa Fan, is a leader in fitness, nutrition, and behavior change. After years of unhealthy habits ranging from binge eating to overexercising, Alexa entered college at the pinnacle of her un-health. In studying health and exercise science, Alexa learned the values and principles that lead to a healthy, fit, and nourishing life in mind, body, and spirit. After losing 35 pounds and gaining confidence, knowledge, and freedom from guilt and perfectionism, Alexa now devotes her life to teach others how to do the same. Her clients range from busy moms, to working professionals, business owners, and women living with purpose. She is the owner of Alexa Fan Wellness and Creator of The Fan Method.



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