Working out is amazing on many levels.
But there’s one issue it doesn’t solve.
I experienced it first hand…
Six Pack Shortcuts
The first program I followed was called Six Pack Shortcuts…You might have heard of it, nowadays when you google it, the general consensus is that it was a scam.
Note: If you have no clue why I’m writing about fitness on a blog called Peaceful Creativity, please read how to lose 15kg of fat in 3 months and get a 6-pack eating oreos.
For some reasons I thought that having a 6-pack would make my life better and this program was promising me I could get the pack in a few weeks!
They also confirmed that it would make me feel more confident, that I would be more attractive and I think they even mentioned that it could help my career or some other weird stuff like that.
Okay, fine, I fell for their Landing Page and got the program like a noob.
The details of this program is a theme for another part of the Peaceful Fitness series, but for now, let’s say that SPS isn’t nearly as scammy as it sounds: the exercises are legit, the meal plan makes sense and the progression is well-thought.
It can give you abs (it’s just not a shortcut).
I don’t blame SPS for what happened.
My mindset is guilty here.
Using a program called Six Pack Shortcut and focusing heavily on abs brought me right into a pitfall.
The definition of Madness
I started working out, followed the meal plan, had results but soon I also became more aware of a pain in my abdomen.
Like some sort of stress or tension.
I feel stupid writing it now, but at the time, I thought that this pain was coming from my belly fat.
My though pattern was then : “oh ok, I just have to get rid of that belly fat and the pain will disappear”.
(Looking back, I can’t believe I was thinking that.)
So I put more effort into the workouts, got more extreme in the meal plan … but the pain remained.
Because my efforts were fruitless I also began to feel fear and resentment toward myself. Like ‘I must do something wrong’ or ‘I’m not doing it enough’.
And because of this self-talk, the pain increased.
This was Einstein’s (or someone else’s) definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expect different result.
And each try I was going a bit more extreme.
Luckily here ‘extreme’ means reading more books, dieting more strictly and working out harder. It could’ve gone way more dark.
Anyway, one day, checking myself in the mirror, I realized I finally got those damn 6 pack.
And obviously the pain didn’t disappear.
That’s why, I’m begging you
Please, don’t work out for the wrong reason
The pain had nothing to do with belly fat (obviously).
It had to do with internal dialog & self-doubt.
I still have it sometimes but we’re friends now.
I know why it’s there, what it’s telling me and what to do with it:
- It’s a sign that I’m getting caught up in something.
- It’s telling me “take a break and breath”.
- When it happens, it means that I got so into a particular story or thought that I identified with it.
In these moments, I think ‘once I’m done with this, everything will be good‘.
At the time: ‘once I have those 6 packs, everything will be okay’.
Later: ‘once I get this promotion at work, everything will be okay ‘
Now: ‘once I’m done with this article, everything will be okay ‘
You know where I’m going with it: everything is already okay.Everything is already okay. Click To Tweet
I’ll describe exactly what I do when the pain arises later.
For now, let’s talk about why Working out might not be the right thing to do.
What Working out won’t do
Working out is awesome.
It feels great, it’s healthy, it makes your clothes look better on you, it makes you more confident … but it won’t bring you peacefulness.
I mean it will temporarily but not the long-lasting & deep one that we all deserve.
Working out won’t absorb your childhood traumas and make the inner-critic shut up.
Working out won’t get rid of your restlessness, just like it didn’t get rid of mine.
So if this what you hope to achieve by working out, let me save you a couple of months/years and tell you
Working out isn’t the path to Peacefulness.
So what SHOULD you do?
Well, join my Inner-Peace Now program, of course!
Just kidding, I won’t release it until the PeaCreaTribe reaches 100 members.
Make it happen faster by entering your name and email in the form on the side of this post!
You’ll get access to the 3 easy techniques for increased peacefulness ebook which will immediately put this restlessness in check.
You’ll also get access to a whole bunch of great bonuses (described at the bottom of the article).
Anyway, just to dissipate any confusion
You should still workout…
If you enjoy it or can learn to enjoy it.
If working out is not THE solution, it’s still an excellent tool.
Along the advantages I listed earlier, working out is also a fantastic release for the accumulated tension.
In Méthode de musculation – Tome 2 : L’espace stratégique . Olivier Lafay talks about the reason why we accumulate tension.
I loved this part of the book and I’m going to try and summarize it here.
Why Humans accumulate tension
In the wild, animals usually have 3 options to survive: Fight, Flight or Freeze.
- Fight is clear (bear vs wolves)
- Flight as well (antelope vs guepard)
- Freeze is worth digging
Freeze in the animal kingdom
Freeze in the office
Lafay makes the interesting point that if fight and flight are still present in the modern work environment, freeze is way more popular.
Say, you’re asked to do a useless task by your boss in an unexpected way:
- you might not want to risk your job or good work relation by fighting (with words) against it
- you might not have the chance to just ignore it and leave
- and so, you might end up freezing: saying yes to the absurd request and completing it against your will
These situations (in the workplace, in the couple, in traffic) add up and turn into…restlessness.
Or tension or depression or illness.
Bref, in bad stuff which needs to be released out of your system.
Working out is an awesome release
Lafay has a great way of avoiding this accumulation through ‘co-winning’ (winning with someone instead of against someone).
I highly recommend his in-depth analysis of the question.
But there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid it completely.
Which is why we need releases.
Sex is a release (if it’s good or decent)
Dance is a release
Working out is a release.
and an awesome one at that, because it’s controlled, predictable and come with a range of positive side-effects.
You can even combine it with a spiritual practice to form a mindful work out. I’ll post a detailed Mindful Workout in the upcoming Inner-Peace Now program (so don’t forget to subscribe 🙂 ).
I did work out for the wrong reason
And it wasn’t always pretty.
More on that in part 2 of the Peaceful Fitness series: 6 pack, powder and Musculation à la Française.
Coming up soon, exclusively on PeacefulCreativity.com
Thanks for reading and as usual,