Plain and simple, your training should be a reflection of your fitness goals. That means you should definitely have fitness goals or you are just going through the motions.
So what are my fitness goals? Most people will say they want to be healthy and look good. My answer is more complex. My fitness goals can be broken down in to three categories; physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual and they all tie together.
Physically, I want to progressively get stronger and more fit even as I age. I want a fitness that makes me strong, explosive, powerful and fast. I want a fitness that keeps me lean and muscular and gives me the confidence to take my shirt off at the beach. I want to be proficient across all metabolic pathways which means that I am prepared to go hard for 10 seconds, 10 minutes or 10 hours. I want the type of fitness that would make me good at any given task. I want a fitness that protects me from the ravages of age and time. I want a fitness that protects me from injury. I want my fitness to help me age gracefully and keep me independent. I want my fitness to give me the ability to play with my future grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I want a fitness that not only builds my heart but tests it as well. I want a fitness where the workouts humble me but in turn make me confident and proud. I want a fitness that helps me to thrive, survive, and makes me feel more alive. That means I want my fitness to help me handle life's challenges whether physical or not. I want my fitness to transfer across other aspects of my life; to help me have the courage and discipline to handle any and all of life's challenges.
I want my physical strength and fitness to be a reflection of my spiritual strength and fitness. I want to honor God for the gift of my body and to be a wise steward of it. I want my fitness to be an inspiration to my children and future generations.
Lastly, I want to have no regrets. I want to look back on my life and know that at any given point or age, I was trying to be the best that I could be. I am as fit as ever but I know that I can't run as fast as I did in my younger years. But I have no regrets. I have milked it for all it's worth. And 20 years from now, I want to know that I milked this time of my life for all it was worth as well.
So the next time you see me lying on the floor trying to catch my breath, that is all part of the plan. There is a purpose for the pain.
Anyone who knows me can testify to the fact that I am very routine and structured. The same goes with my diet. I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every single day. This usually includes snacks as well. A while back, I decided to add more protein to my diet through a protein shake at night. Problem was that I added this in ADDITION to my normal snack I have at night. That is what this extra protein shake became to my weight...an ADDITION.
Now I only add the protein shake when I know I have burned more calories on a certain day. Otherwise I substitute it for something else instead of just adding it or I skip it altogether. After starting this, I immediately dropped the extra weight. You have to maintain that caloric balance and portion control to maintain your weight. To gain or lose weight, you have to skew those numbers either positively or negatively. It really isn't rocket science.
Weight gain or weight loss is a simple formula. If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. The complexity comes when you start talking about the types of food you eat, the way your body responds to those foods, and the genetic make-up and body composition of each person. These all have an effect on your weight but simply speaking, calories in must equal or be less than calories being burned otherwise there is weight gain.
Just keep in mind, if you eat breakfast and an hour later you eat a donut because there was a big box sitting in the break room at work, you have to either burn those extra calories off through exercise or take something out of your normal diet to keep a caloric balance. One way or another you will have to either work it off or go without during another meal or snack if you want to keep from gaining weight. Ultimately you have to decide if that extra donut is worth the extra work, want or WEIGHT!