Don’t Earn Your Food in the Gym and Six Other Lessons I Wish I’d Learned Sooner

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I heard this saying recently: “Don’t Earn Your Food in the Gym.” It’s haunted my ears since. So many of us think this way, like we’re eight years old again and if we do our work, then we get a cupcake.

The concept of food as a treat is baked into our society. I’m not immune to this concept and, before I learned to love lifting iron for the sake of how it made me feel (versus the way it made me look), I was much more of an outcome-motivated gal. I was in that gym thinking that an extra set of this or more time doing that allowed me to eat more. I was earning my food in the gym.1_1

But those days are gone now. Why? Because I do what I love and I let those old proverbial chips fall where they may. I’m deadlifting and squatting (and doing all sorts of other things) because I love how strong and powerful these movements makes me feel. The fact that those deadlifts work my glutes and make my butt look firmer? Icing on that cake that I’m not eating. (I’m not a big cake fan. Go figure. Chocolate chip cookies, however, have taken my virtue many times.)1_2

Back to earning/not earning your food, though. The road to an invincible mindset that can lead you to success in nutrition and exercise and so many areas of your life? That road starts in your mind, as well as your body. You need to get your head and your butt in gear. Clear thinking plus movement is the road, and you need to get on that road.

So, reorder your thoughts. Earn your strength in the gym. You don’t have to earn your food. You’re not a dog dancing for treats. You’re an independent badass uncovering even more awesomeness inside you. If you want a sustainable lifestyle that will unlock your potential and supercharge your happiness, then you need to prioritize your mind: fuel your body to increase your performance, instead of increasing your performance in order to fuel your body.

Some other things I’ve learned that I wish I’d known sooner by Lisbeth Darsh