The Problem With The Word “Just”

You know what word women should eliminate from their vocabulary forever?

The word “just”. As in…

“I PR’d my bench press but it was just by a kilo. I have a long way to go.”

“I lost weight but it was just a few pounds.”

We do ourselves a great disservice by downplaying our achievements in the gym and treating them as insignificant.

As a woman, the word “just” is a powerful statement to oneself and those around you that your effort and accomplishments are things to be frowned upon, judged, or dismissed. It screams “I don’t matter.”

Consider the effort it takes to add one more kilo to one’s barbell squat for instance:

Hours spent in the gym mastering technique, building up strength, and squatting until the cows come home. The shouts and cheers from your training partners who stop to watch and support your lift (something that happens all the time in my gym CrossFit Fortius). The careful planning and time your trainer or coach dedicated to your programming, correcting your technique, and holding you accountable. Plus all the countless healthy meals you planned and ate to support your training; the money you spent on supplements and nutrition, all the social occasions you skipped so you could recover properly and get to the gym early the next day.

That’s the dedication that likely increased your lift by one kilo, and it’s the same dedication that will take you to three, five, ten, and twenty more kilos later on.

The truth is, you can appreciate where you are and what you’ve accomplished without being satisfied with staying there. 

You can be proud of “just” one more kilo or “just” one more inch to your vertical jump, or “just” one more pound of weight loss without accepting that that is where it all ends.

You can appreciate where you are and what you’ve accomplished without being satisfied with staying there.

Remember that there are many steps to achieving a goal and whether or not that step is big or small, it’s a necessary step nonetheless. That’s what gets you to the bigger goal.

It’s okay to look at your body or performance and think “This isn’t where I want to be.” It’s okay to want more from yourself, but the difference between one kilo or ten is still in the effort. You can’t skip the work that goes into making that happen, much like you can’t get to a 20lbs weight loss without first achieving a one pound weight loss.

All the steps to achieve something matter – every kilo, inch and pound. Using the word “just” to describe a small win dismisses its importance in getting you closer to your goal.

Stop that shit. Embrace the effort it takes to get from point A to point B. Celebrate the PR or new number on the scale because it is significant, no matter how small. Where you are now is not where you’ll be forever, and there’s a lot of power in acknowledging that.

You know what happens when you start paying attention to your own dialogue, eliminate certain words from your vocabulary, and start supporting yourself? You inform others around you how to treat, support, and show up for you.

But it starts with you.

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