If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that a huge part of my summer was buying our first condo. They accepted our offer in May. We moved in June. We did renovations and updates all throughout July. And now, my lovely friends, it’s August, we’ve made our first mortgage payment, and we’re finally starting to settle in.
We’re almost two months into homeownership, and I already feel like I’ve learned SO much in the process. And I’m not just talking about how to tile a floor, paint a wall, install baseboard, or stain a bathroom cabinet (although I’ll happily talk your ear off about those things). I’m talking about those *real* life lessons that we only learn through a lot of struggle.
So today, I wanna share those with you, because I’ve realized they’re actually super related to nutrition and fitness motivation.
5 things buying a house taught me about fitness motivation
We can’t have it all
When we moved into our condo, I wanted to make it our own. It felt like we were crashing in someone else’s house. I immediately wanted to change absolutely everything.
As we sat down to come up with a game plan for updating our home, it became clear that we didn’t have enough time, money, or skill to do it all right now.
We couldn’t hire someone to paint the entire space AND rip up the carpet.
We couldn’t pay for updates to both bathrooms immediately after dropping our savings on a downpayment.
Laying down grass in the middle of the summer was just not gonna work.
Writing this now, I know it sounds silly and unrealistic, but in the moment, I wanted to do literally all the things. But the last couple months have shown me that everything is tradeoffs.
We have to choose the things that are most important to us in the moment and go from there.
And this is SO true for fitness, isn’t it? We all want to lose weight, build muscle, run faster, get stronger, and complete our first marathon.
Life is about priorities and tradeoffs.
Is losing weight more important than running a marathon?
Is running faster more important than building muscle?
All of our goals are totally valid, and it’s important to set goals, but we have to be able to prioritize the things we want in the moment and what can wait.
Take a look at your approach to fitness right now, and start prioritizing those goals.
The journey is never over
As we began making changes to our home, I thought I would begin to feel at peace and ready to stop.
The opposite happened.
As we made changes, I continually became aware of more changes I wanted to make. I’m told that this is the reality of a homeowner: always wanting to improve and work on your home.
This reminded me a LOT of our fitness journeys. As we start seeing results and feeling better, we get addicted. We want to keep doing it.
And even though we think that our fitness journey is gonna end when we lose 10lbs/run that first marathon/squat X weight, it never does.
It becomes part of our lifestyle and who we are, same as homeownership.
Perfect is an illusion
As we’re taking before and after pictures of our home and sharing them with friends and family, I’m amazed by the responses. I keep hearing things like: it looks perfect, you did such a great job, you must be so proud, etc etc etc.
And don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly proud and love everything we’ve changed about our home.
But it is far from perfect.
I see the spots where the tile isn’t 100% level. I notice the baseboard corner that is definitely not straight. It’s hard for me to ignore the water spots on the back of the counter.
I nitpick absolutely everything, because it is MINE. And isn’t this the same when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and all the social media representations of it?
We are so much harder on ourselves than others, and I think it’s important to remember that what we see is almost never the reality. It’s also been a great reminder to be more gentle with myself: perfect is impossible, and we’ve gotta remember that when viewing others’ social media highlights.
Patience is perhaps the most important virtue (that I don’t have)
Holy f. When we moved in, I wanted the walls painted, bathroom redone, and carpet pulled up YESTERDAY. Each day has been an exercise in waiting (im)patiently for the things I want.
And of course, life is always there to encourage our personal growth.
The bathroom shelves are still not done.
The flooring we ordered from Home Depot was never actually ordered and arrived 2 days late.
Half of our furniture didn’t fit through the office door.
And I’ve had to learn to deal with it, accept the process and let go of the things I can’t control. Because, by the time our floors were finished, the desk was in the office, and our bathroom was functional again, it was worth the wait.
Same thing with fitness motivation, no?
We want all the results, right now, but that’s just impossible. We’ve gotta work towards the things that we want, and be patient enough to give it time.
Never sacrifice your life for your goals
When we first moved in (and for most of June/July if I’m being real), all I did was work on the house. I would get up in the morning, write, paint, and work out. Then, as soon as I got home from work, I’d change into my grubby clothes and start painting again.
There were quite a few nights that Andrew and I argued over whether we should have a drink and relax or work on painting/cleaning/moving.
You can probably guess my vote 😀
But as time wore on, I started to figure out that there was no rush. This is my life now, and work will always be there. As a friend of mine said, that’s why we signed a 30 year mortgage. So I started to slow down (not as much as Andrew would like but hey, baby steps), take a few breaks, and actually go out for drinks/dinner again.
And honestly, this reminded me SO much of our fitness and nutrition journeys.
We all want to get to the finish line as fast as possible, so we’re often willing to skip out on drinks with our friends, dinner with family, or an afternoon of hanging out by the pool instead of meal prepping.
But it is SO not worth it.
We’re here to live our lives, not restrict ourselves to a tiny box in the name of our goals.
So if you’re trying to reach some fitness or nutrition/body goals, take a second to ask yourself if you’re truly living your life or if it’s taken a back seat to reaching those goals.
It’s not a race to the finish line. We’re never gonna achieve “perfect” (here’s what I recommend instead). This journey is never over.
So we might as well enjoy the ride.
I hope these truths help you with your fitness motivation, and frankly, your life! Coming to terms with these concepts has been a huge part of my summer, and I wanted to make sure to share out what I’ve learned. If you want more fitness, nutrition, and mindset nuggets, join my email tribe. I share all my best stuff with my email buddies on Thursday mornings. Join the conversation!